Our Favorite Women Led Brands
A century ago, it might have been hard to find a brand founded and built by women. Nowadays, women are increasingly leading the pack across a variety of different companies. As a jewelry brand ourselves, we’re often particularly inspired by the business women making waves in industries close to our heart, such as fashion, skincare and cosmetics.
While it’s hard to narrow down a list of the world’s most inspiring female-founded companies, we have put together a run-down of some of our favorite few.
The stories behind these women-led brands reflect on the true potential of girl power, perseverance and striving to do good in this world... all factors that have been huge motivators behind Astrid & Miyu’s own growth.
Image source: vogue
Eileen Fisher, sustainable fashion icon
Eileen Fisher is an American clothing designer and founder of the women's clothing brand Eileen Fisher, Inc. She is best known for her simplistic designs for using non-traditional models in its print advertisements, including its own employees.
When Eileen started the company in 1984, she had $350 in the bank and the idea that women wanted simple, yet chic clothing.
As well as bringing simple fashion to the women of the world, the brand and Eileen herself has always been a pioneer of sustainability in the clothing industry, but now, the company is doing more than taking responsibility for much of its fashion footprint. They are part of a new zero-waste initiative called “Waste No More”, with the aim to bring more awareness to the the importance of being more conscious of the massive environmental impact that the fashion industry continues to have on the planet.
Ashley Nell Tipton, plus-size fashion advocate
You might know plus-size designer Ashley Nell Tipton from Project Runway. Ashley won in 2015 with her fresh take on plus size pieces. Ashley started her formal design career with JCPenney, after her Project Runway win. She was attracted by the chain’s reach in the U.S. Ashley wanted plus size women to feel that they could go into any mall and find a department for them. She asked the brand to increase their top size to a 32 (from a 24) as a condition of accepting the offer. They agreed.
Ashley continues to bring fashionable and on-trend clothing to women that extend past straight sizes. ashleynelltipton
"What I didn’t realize while I was on the program was that there were thousands of other “Ashley’s” in the world. Those that have been bullied, called names, “not picked”, felt less than…..they were there with me.”
Image source: shopify blog
Image source: smh.com.au
Matteau, sustainable swimwear brand
Peta Heinsen and Ilona Hamer are the founders of the swimwear brand, Matteau. They both began their careers in the fashion world and were inspired by their upbringing in Sydney, the beach and the lack of simple, no fuss swimwear in the current market. They’re vision was to create a swimwear brand to accommodate every body shape.
At the heart of their business is their passion is to create products to last, both through timeless design and with manufacturing integrity to ensure quality, durability and longevity. They are currently in the process of undertaking a carbon emissions audit process, with the aim to offset their carbon emissions in their own facilities, and in the transport of their products, by 2022.
They hope to promote body positivity and help women feel their best. “When a customer tells us she hadn’t been in a bikini in five years, took the plunge in Matteau, and never felt better, well, that’s just magic.”
ZOEVA Cosmetics, makeup brand empowering women
In 2008, Zoe was searching for good quality make-up brushes at an affordable price with no such luck. Realising there was a gap in the market, Zoe bought several brushes with no logo on them from a manufacturer and tested them on herself, discovering that they worked really well. After this discovery, she thought that the public would be the next best judge, so opened an ebay shop and sold them on there. The brushes sold out very quickly with a profit, and that was the birth of the Zoeva.
Another reason for being so driven to start her own company was her experience with domestic abuse as a child and her drive to give her mother freedom and independence. The company is committed to working with charities to support women in crisis, with core aims being empowerment and confidence boosting.
"Work hard, work diligently and never, ever give up on your dream. Beauty is a very tough world but be very persistent and read a lot to stay informed."
Image source: buro247
Image source: romper
Go-To Skincare, Zoe Foster Blake's cruelty-free skincare brand
Go-to Skincare is a global skincare brand that launched in Australia in 2014, founded by Zoe Foster-Blake. Its range of cruelty-free, clean, uncomplicated and effective skincare products has hoards of loyal fans across the world.
Zoe Foster-Blake is one busy woman! She is an Australian author, columnist, magazine editor, and cosmetics entrepreneur, boasting 740k followers on her Instagram profile (@zotheysay). She was also Beauty Director at Cosmopolitan Magazine, Harper's BAZAAR and editor in chief of beauty website PRIMPED.com.au, as well as a relationship advice columnist for Cosmopolitan since 2009. Last but certainly not least, Zoe is a mother of two.
Zoe has always been eager to use her success and profile as a force for good. She is an ambassador for the Australian Orangutan Project, working to raise awareness of this endangered species, and also an ambassador for Look Good Feel Better, a charity that offers free beauty workshops for women undergoing cancer treatment. She is also an opponent of unachievable role models in beauty, encouraging women everywhere to love the skin they’re in!
“Life isn't always really glamorous and fabulous. It's about encouraging people to go back to natural beauty."