Female-founded brands to love
While we like to celebrate the success of women every day, Tuesday the 8th of March 2022 marks International Women’s Day – a time to pause and acknowledge the advances made in gender parity and think of ways to further address inequality. It is also an opportunity to celebrate women leading the way.
In Australia there are the noteworthy women such as Melanie Perkins, founder of Canva, whose online graphic design tool has taken the world by storm, Janine Allis from Boost Juice changed the way Australians drink and Kayla Itsines whose fitness app Sweat has millions of users globally. These high flyers are paving the way for a more equitable society, and provide inspiration for others out there wondering if they could bring their visions to life.
However, there is still work to be done – only 22% of businesses are founded by women and despite making up more than half of the workforce, only 18% of CEOs are women with only 32.5% in key management positions (source: Workplace Gender Equity Agency Australia)
In the lead up to the day, we acknowledge the contribution of all women who are making ground in their own fields and share below some female-founded brands that we love for the simple quality of what they are doing.
After a career in banking, founder Nicolle Sullivan started Cultiver in 2012 while on maternity leave. Embracing the emerging e-commerce platform, Nicole was able to marry her love of textiles with an easy way for consumers to shop. From small beginnings, the Cultiver range now includes quality bedroom, bathroom, dining and kitchen linens, soft furnishings and wardrobe items all aimed at elevating the everyday.
Established in 1995 by Saskia Havekes, Grandiflora has flourished from its beginning as a pretty flower store in Sydney’s Potts Point to an international business with a fragrance line to its name. With scale and drama her trademark style, Saskia has published a number of books and created a signature style featured at countless private and commercial styling events.
A love for the outdoors and great Australian landscape led Emilia Sutton on a quest to produce a tote that was kinder to the environment, durable and recyclable. Made from 100% recycled PET, this range of bags is available in a variety of sizes and colourways all featuring their signature weave, expertly handcrafted by skilled artisans.
Sodashi was founded by Megan Larsen in 1999. Her holistic approach includes nurturing of the mind, body, spirit and emotions through pure, natural formulations developed with love and intention. Known for her uncompromising ethical approach, this brand now supplies exclusive spas across 30 countries worldwide with a range of 100 products sold to retailers.
The Beauty Chef
It was during her time as a beauty writer, that founder of The Beauty Chef, Carla Oates, became increasingly concerned with information relating to toxic and synthetic substances found in many commercial beauty products. Her journey towards healthier, natural alternatives led her to learn more about gut microbiota and the role it plays in health and wellbeing. From humble beginnings in her Bondi kitchen, The Beauty Chef range of products – Including Carla’s popular books – can now be purchased via the online store or through many different retailers across Australia and New Zealand, the UK, USA, Canada and Hong Kong.
Sisters, Nicky and Simone Zimmermann, founded their fashion label in 1991 with Nicky initially selling at the local Paddington Markets. After some valuable press exposure in Vogue, the orders started to flow, which lead to the opening of a small boutique in Darlinghurst. With sister, Simone joining soon after, the business has since evolved to include an online boutique, stand-alone stores in Australia and flagship stores in the UK, USA and Europe. Winner of multiple international awards and extensive media coverage, this is a brand for the most sartorially savvy.
In 2013 Mandy Richards founded Global Sisters as a means to democratise entrepreneurship for women, making self-employment a viable alternative to welfare assistance when mainstream employment was not accessible. Stemming from her own passionate social agenda on human rights, animal welfare and the eradication of poverty, Mandy has drawn from extensive experience in the private and not-for-profit sector. She has established an organisation that has to date assisted over 5,500 women in Australia through business education, development, support and an online marketplace where participants can sell their products or services.
Source: Global Sisters Shop and satTva World, both available through the Global Sisters Marketplace.
If you're looking to support female-founded businesses, we recommend exploring the Global Sisters Marketplace where you can find over 3,000 artisan and handmade products from women-led micro businesses.