To honor International Women’s Day, I’m rounding up some incredible woman-owned brands in the fashion and beauty space. Get to know these wonderful companies, their founders, and hear each founder speak on what it means to be a woman in business.
Designed specifically for the minimalists out there, Seven Seven Cosmetics simplifies your skincare routine, providing the staple products you need for healthy skin all year round. As a former celebrity makeup artist, founder Emily Jimison learned a lot about the most effective skincare ingredients and which products were truly necessary for a strong skincare routine.
On what it means to be a female entrepreneur: “I feel so incredibly grateful to be among some of the hardest working women in the industry; to learn from them, grow with them, and set examples for young females. Not only telling them they can do or be anything they want, but showing them how. There has been such an amazing shift for women in business. More resources, more community, more access to funding; if you throw passion and hard work into that pot, the sky’s the limit.”
On her advice for aspiring entrepreneurs: “For the aspiring female entrepreneurs out there, keep in mind that success is never linear. Every single success story is filled with both wins and losses, but there is something valuable to learn from every ‘L’. You can choose to see it as a lesson rather than a loss. So my biggest piece of advice: keep learning & keep going! I’ll be rooting for you!”
Range Beauty, founded by Alicia Scott
Alicia Scott’s Range Beauty is revolutionizing the beauty world, offering extensive foundation and makeup shades for all skin tones. With a tagline of “More Diverse, Less Toxic”, Range Beauty is bringing greater representation to the beauty industry, all while offering products that are vegan and cruelty-free.
On the inspiration behind Range Beauty: “I was inspired to start Range Beauty after noticing the lack of makeup shades available for Black models while working in the NY fashion industry. Along with this, I couldn’t find any makeup brands that catered to my skin tone and didn’t inflame my eczema and acne. I created a clean makeup line with targeted skincare benefits for the forgotten shades.”
On what it means to be a female entrepreneur: “Being a female entrepreneur to me means paving our own innovative paths, loudly standing up for the missions and values we believe in, and inspiring and supporting other females along the way. These are all especially important when building businesses in majority male-dominated industries.”
The Feelist, founded by Shea Marie
Shea Marie has transformed her social media influence into a full-blown entrepreneurial enterprise, with a dedicated following of millions, a popular luxury swimwear line, and now clean beauty brand The Feelist, launched in August of 2020. Designed to elevate your beauty and self-care routine, The Feelist features clean, vegan ingredients for skincare products that are luxurious and effective.
On not comparing yourself to others: “Don’t feel intimidated but always be willing to keep learning. No matter where you are in your career there are always going to be people more powerful than you, with better connections, who have worked in whichever industry longer, and just flat out know more. Watch and learn from those people, but know what you bring to the table, and have the confidence to hold your own in terms of ideas, concepts, and innovations. No one ever complained about an employee doing too much. You have to know your worth and believe in your worth for others to believe in it too!”
Inspired by architectural shapes and easy-to-wear designs, Teresa Pinedo founded SAÏNT MOJAVÏ in 2018 with a goal of empowering women through fashion. By utilizing “pre-loved” fabrics and creating made-to-order pieces and limited production batches, the brand is also on a mission of sustainability and waste reduction while creating stylish, timeless clothes.
On why women make great business leaders: “I feel women naturally have a strong intuition or gut instinct. I believe we can break into any industry and thrive if we can learn to closely listen to our intuition and apply that to business.”
On her tips for aspiring entrepreneurs: “Don’t lose sight of why you started in the first place.”
boscia, co-founded by Lan Belinky
Born and raised in Japan, Lan Belinky and her family moved to the United States in her teens, giving her a deep understanding of skincare traditions from both cultures. boscia’s famous charcoal products, including the fan-favorite Luminizing Black Charcoal Mask, were all inspired by her Japanese heritage.
On her top three pieces of advice: “I have three pieces of advice for young women in business. “1. Do not take anything personally. Nothing is personal. 2. Network. Make connections with like-minded individuals in your industry. 3. Find a mentor. Someone who has accomplished what you hope to achieve.”
RÓEN, co-founded by Tiffany Thurston Scott
Tiffany Thurston Scott grew up in the mountains of Utah, giving her a deep appreciation for nature and wellness. She originally pursued a career in finance, along the way helping manage an upscale wellness spa and discovering a gap in the market when it came to clean and luxe beauty. In 2019 she launched RÓEN to fill this gap, combining glamour and wellness into one.
On following your passion: “Pursue a career you have passion for and with dedication, hard work and staying humble…success will follow, and others will be inspired to follow you.”
DERMAFLASH, founded by Dara Levy
We have DERMAFLASH founder Dara Levy to thank for the at-home dermaplaning phenomenon. She introduced the DERMAFLASH device in 2016 after building out an entire med spa in Chicago centered around the DERMAFLASH dermaplaning facial, realizing a need to make the brightening and anti-aging skincare treatment more accessible.
On her advice for women starting out in their careers: “My advice to young women in business is to do what you love and love what you do and you’ll never ‘work’ a day in your life.”
Curie, founded by Sarah Moret
Frustrated that many natural wellness products didn’t work as well as the chemical-filled options, Sarah Moret set out to create Curie to offer women effective and clean hygiene products. Curie’s mission is to give ALL women the confidence to accomplish their dreams and feel good about themselves.
On taking the leap: “If you have a good idea, you’ve fleshed it out, and you’re in a position in life that you can take the risk involved with starting a company (financially, emotionally, logistically) then do it. Don’t wait until someday, just do it. When I started Curie, I made a conscious choice that no matter the outcome, I would never regret taking the leap, even if I failed. The only thing I knew I would regret was forever wondering “what if”. Ultimately, my biggest piece of advice for aspiring entrepreneurs is to do what you love and what sets your soul on fire and success will follow.”
Knours, founded by Julie Park
Julie Park founded Knours in 2018 as a way to combine her passions for both wellness and beauty. Knours offers clean skincare products that cater to the different stages of the hormonal cycle, providing women with effective skincare products that address hormonal skin concerns.
On being a business for women, by women: “As a woman-owned business led by a team of women, we strive daily to put the needs and concerns of women first. Our purpose as a hormone-conscious brand is focused on encouraging women to know and appreciate their bodies and skin by embracing & celebrating the different cycles we enter hormonally. We hope to provide a space where women can share their experiences, learn from each other, and ultimately we hope we can empower women to challenge the status quo on relevant topics in our workplaces, in our schools, and in our communities.”
London Grant, founded by Tiffany Staten
In 2016, Tiffany Staten started making body butter out of her kitchen when she noticed a gap in the market for clean body care products for new and expecting mothers. This venture developed into London Grant, which offers skin and body care products for women and hopes to educate its customers on clean and conscious consumerism.
On supporting women in their careers: “As we continue to grow and challenge gender roles, we are committed to actively supporting women in leadership. In my former life, as a Talent Development Leader, I was charged with identifying top talent for a Fortune company. I’m still passionate about looking into the heart of humans and developing them in their careers–especially in early-career roles. There’s something very sacred about being a part of someone’s early career journey. I support matching women with uncommonly women-led roles within our organization. I fully believe in the art of women supporting women that support women–it’s a vibe.”
Saalt, co-founded by Cherie Hoeger
Saalt co-founder Cherie Hoeger is on a mission to modernize sustainable period care. Not only are Saalt’s products environmentally friendly, but they also make it easier for those who menstruate in developing nations to manage their periods and live full, empowered lives. And to celebrate International Women’s Day, 100% of website profits will be donated to Her International.
On the power of women: “We have such power as females in the workforce and as entrepreneurs to empower other women through our examples of leadership. Studies show that the most effective way to increase the number of women in leadership roles is to simply expose them to more women who are taking the lead and changing the world, and we can do that for our co-workers and the teams we lead. The challenges women face in a traditionally patriarchal business structure are real. As women, we need to be the ones breaking barriers and exploring creative solutions to help solve the unique needs of women, particularly young mothers in the workplace. The high cost of childcare, for example, is one of the number one barriers for mothers who want to work and many mothers struggle to send their kids to daycare. Because our team at Saalt is made up of mostly females—many who are mothers of young children (myself included)—we started offering an in-office preschool which has been instrumental to our team’s success because we’ve been able to tap into stellar female talent who otherwise may not be in the workplace.”
On her advice for women looking to change the world: “My advice for other women wanting to change the world with her ideas is to just catch the wave. If there is something you are passionate about, it is likely that many others are passionate about it as well, and are looking for someone who is willing to dedicate their time and effort to be a voice for that cause. Just start somewhere. New doors will open and you will find other evangelists who believe as you do. And get support!”
Susteau, founded by Kailey Bradt
Kailey Bradt is the creator of the world’s first-ever waterless shampoo. Recognizing the inconvenience of traveling with shampoos and other hair products, Kailey sought out alternative options, leading her to develop a water-free shampoo that has revolutionized the sustainable beauty world.
On the right age to start a business: “I had the concept for my business at 22 and did not let that stop me. You’re never too young, or too old, to invest in your idea for change. There’s never a good time to start a business, so don’t wait for something to feel right. Just go for it! The moment you start your business is the moment you stop questioning how you spend your days.”