International Women’s Day is a time to celebrate the amazing things women have achieved – and it’s a lot. Not least, creating and building thriving businesses that give back and bring joy. At Faire, we support female founders in any way we can.
Our “value tag” filter in the search results lets you exclusively explore women-owned businesses on International Women’s Day and beyond. But for now, we’re spotlighting some incredible brands owned and run by female powerhouses.
Women-owned homeware brands
Vases that depict the voluptuous female form, ancient pottery techniques and cloud-soft pillows are just some of the homeware products born from female creatives.
1. Abigail Ahern
Blowsy, imprecise puffs and tufts of grasses, drooping blades and delicately shaded florals characterise UK homeware designer Abigail Ahern’s latest line. But it’s the ancient techniques and artisanal irregularities that make the brand’s textiles, ceramics and famous faux botanicals such a hit. With a swathe of features in tabletop magazines, four books under her belt and her own London-based retail space, Abigail continues to be an unstoppable force in the homeware industry.
2. Sophie Home
“Sophie Home nails the joy of a good pillow”. It’s a big accolade from Stylist magazine, but no surprise. The women-owned brand is a keen advocate for colour and comfort. Each piece is knitted using 100% cotton, creating the most indulgent pillows, throws and nursery accessories. Sophie Home gives back, too – the brand donates 5% of its profits to Choose Love, a charity that supports refugees in their greatest time of need.
“We work hard to improve the company every day, whether this is reviewing the provenance of our materials, upgrading their eco-credentials, improving products and their packaging, or simply carefully considering the messages we are sharing on social media”, says founder and designer Sophie McNiven. “Our commitment to our customers is to deliver good design, quality products and at a fair price. This has not changed since day one”.
What began as a university side project for founder Natasha Boorer has become a successful, mission-driven business that sells a catalogue of vegan, cruelty-free and eco-conscious luxury home fragrances. NOA has come a long way since Natasha’s mother-in-law lent her £200 for materials. Today, the brand is changing the home fragrance industry with its focus on high-quality, planet-friendly blends that smell good.
“I’m proud of this business and everything it has become”, says Natasha. “We’ve grown in ways I could never have imagined, from pouring candles in the kitchen to our own workshop space with three industrial-grade melters”.
“I am grateful every day for every ounce of joy this business has bought into my life and honestly do not know where I would be today without it”.
Women-owned beauty and wellness brands
From goodwill-spreading gummy bears to eco-friendly fragrances and skincare made from leftover coffee grounds, here are some innovative female-led wellness brands doing the rounds.
4. Nathalie Bond
Nathalie Bond, based by the sea in wild North Wales, has a goal of making products that are great for the skin but don’t cost the earth. It’s run by married duo Nat and Andy who bring beautifully smelling soaps and essential oils to eco-conscious shoppers.
You’ve probably never considered using leftover coffee grounds on your face, but UpCircle has. In fact, the female-led business has already saved over 450 tonnes of coffee grounds from landfill and turned them into dermatologically approved skincare. UpCircle has taken the saying “one (wo)man’s trash is another (wo)man’s treasure” and turned it into a thriving business idea that’s been a huge hit with shoppers on the hunt for vegan and cruelty-free skincare.
6. Beautybears GmbH
Beautybears GmbH (a.k.a. Bears with Benefits) are gummy bears that do good. Led by a female founder, the brand concocts well-thought-out combinations of active ingredients for beautiful hair, radiant skin, and a strong immune system. It supports women at every stage of life by combining pharmaceutical research with a positive and sustainable attitude – every product is mostly vegan, free from preservatives, cruelty-free and shipped with environmentally conscious packing from Germany.
Women-owned paper and novelty brands
From bright, bold illustrations to wellness journals that don’t feel overwhelming, here are some of the top female-led brands in the paper and novelty sector.
7. Esther Lalanne
Esther Lalanne is a French illustrator and art director currently living in Berlin after a five-year stint in London. Her bright and bold illustrations focus on women’s rights, inclusivity, sexuality, mental health and relationships, bringing a beautiful mix of pretty politics to people’s homes. Esther’s work is sprinkled with lively characters and a strong sense of movement amongst bright splashes of pinks, yellows and blues.
8. Be Wholesome
Be Wholesome’s first product is a prompted journal aimed at nurturing wellness and uncovering the key to happiness. It was born during a difficult time when founder Bella discovered that journaling really helped her process her feelings – but she couldn’t find an existing product that didn’t feel gimmicky. Enter the Wholesome Wellness Journal. It has four months’ worth of prompts, useful resources and a ream of blank note pages.
Women-owned food brands
From mouthwatering vegan sauces to traditional British biscuits with a twist, here’s what top women are doing in the food and drink arena.
9. Nojo London
Nojo is a female-owned business making waves in the sauce world. Every product is prepared using the finest natural ingredients and is 100% plant-based – but still packs a mind-blowing umami punch. The team is on a mission to create incredibly tasty products with little impact on the environment, hence why every sauce is GMO-free and plastic-free.
10. Lismore Food Company
The Lismore Food Company takes tea and biscuits to the next level with its range of handmade snacks and chocolate confections made with the purest and most delicious ingredients. It brings together founder Beth-Ann Smith’s Irish heritage with contemporary flavours from the rugged Atlantic coastline – a truly luxurious treat.
Women-owned accessories and jewellery brands
From fun brollies perfect for the unpredictable British weather to stylish bracelets, rings and earrings, here are some stellar female-led brands rocking the accessories and jewellery category.
11. Original Duckhead
Woman-owned Original Duckhead brings playfulness to downpours. No one likes being caught in the rain, but a cute umbrella with a duck head for a handle is bound to lift the mood (if not the clouds). Each product is crafted using recycled, biodegradable and sustainably sourced materials and is built to last, making them a firm favourite for consumers on the hunt for fun and functionality.
“As a female-owned and -run business, we aspire to inspire and are constantly investing in opportunities to lift up other independent sustainable brands”, says founder Morgan Cros.
12. Bijoux 7bis
Nathalie started Bijoux 7bis from a workshop tucked away in Paris’s third arrondissement where the women-only team creates delicate and unique jewellery. There’s an emphasis on designing one-off pieces that are “a joy to wear” – a sentiment that the brand’s loyal customer base fully supports.
Women-owned kidswear brands
A fresh take on traditional workwear makes it into our list of well-loved female-led kidswear brands.
13. L.F. Markey
Markey Kids is a new line of mini-styles inspired by the L.F. Markey signature look. The stylish London-based clothing brand is female-founded and renowned for its contemporary take on traditional pieces – most prominently, boilersuits and dungarees, where it embodies innovative cuts, bold colours and fine fabrics. The brand is on a mission to encourage slow, sustainable fashion and is committed to making clothes in a safe, ethical environment with fair working conditions.
Celebrate all women-led brands all year round
This is just a small handful of the amazing collection of female-owned brands we work with at Faire. There are way too many to list, but they all offer something unique, whether it’s a fun take on a functional item or a delicious new way to enjoy a traditional treat.