As a female-founded brand ourselves, we know it can be pretty tough out there for women entrepreneurs. From trying to convince investors that people actually want your products, to balancing all the components of managing a business with our personal lives and values, not a day goes by where being a woman doesn’t impact what it’s like to run a company.
That’s why this Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day, we’re celebrating a few of our fellow female founders and giving them the flowers they deserve. Whether it’s a skincare brand we admire, a sister-owned swimsuit company, or a very cool magazine for mothers, the companies these women run are innovative, purpose-driven, and definitely worth your time and money.
Below, 7 female-founded brands we’re supporting this Women’s History Month, and the reasons we love them so much.
P.S. To celebrate International Women’s Day, this week we’re offering 10% off any purchase of $100+. Just use the code FORYOU22 at checkout.
Lesley Thornton, KLUR
Lesley Thornton, the founder of KLUR, is a beauty-industry veteran who began her career as a makeup artist and licensed esthetician to over 2500 clients. In 2019, her love of the Black community, as well as her passion for clean and natural beauty, inspired Thornton to launch KLUR, a skin care brand dedicated to formulas that work for a wide variety of skin conditions as well as ethnicities. When Iris&Romeo asked Thornton how she plans to make a difference as a female founder this year, she explained that for her, it’s always about putting community first. "As a Black female founder, I plan to continue to do what I set out to do, which is to show up in my purpose,” said Thornton. “To the core, my values are to operate with integrity, be honest about the journey, and to be a positive representation for young people—especially women who want to build mission-driven brands. We wouldn’t have a brand without our community and we are always trying to give back whenever we can. This year, I hope to connect more personally to the community and share my story and experiences."
Natalia Rachlin & Melissa Goldstein, Mother Tongue Magazine
“Mommy content” has a reputation for being saccharine and overly prescriptive (if not straight up judgemental). So much of it focuses on the “best” ways to raise your kids as opposed to how to take care of yourself, which is why so many women lose themselves to motherhood. Mother Tongue Magazine is the very necessary antidote to all of that. Through incredibly insightful writing, beautiful art and photography, and a commitment to seeing moms as whole people, founders Natalia Rachlin and Melissa Goldstein have created something really special. “We launched Mother Tongue in the summer of 2021 because we hoped to foster a more nuanced, honest and inclusive conversation about the complexity of the motherhood experience, speaking to a generation of mothers who think of themselves as women first,” Rachlin told Iris&Romeo. “We hope people come away from the magazine feeling seen—recognizing themselves in the unfiltered stories of others—whether they are mothers themselves, or not.”
Shiza Shahid, Our Place
Chances are you know someone who has, and loves, their Our Place pan (or at the very least, you’ve seen it all over Instagram). People are obsessed with these all-purpose, non-stick, and very aesthetically pleasing cooking pans for all the obvious reasons, but we’re super fans of the brand because of how the pans are made. Our Place’s founder, Shiza Shahid (also the co-founder of the Malala Fund—no big deal), put in the work to make sure all the materials that go into the brand’s products are sourced from ethical manufacturers and are as responsible and sustainable as possible. She also hires primarily immigrants, women, and people of color for the Our Place team. “Our Place felt like a way to have a larger conversation about belonging, about immigration, about what does it mean for a place to be truly ours?” Shahid recently told Elle. “For us, the work is personal, and food is so much more than food. Food is identity, it’s culture, it’s politics, it’s innovation, it’s science, it’s heritage.”
Simmone Taitt, Poppy Seed Health
Simmone Taitt founded Poppy Seed Health for the same reason a lot of entrepreneurs start a business: she had a personal need that no other company could fulfill. After suffering multiple miscarriages, Taitt wanted to find a better way to track, understand, and build community around fertility, pregnancy, and the postpartum experience, and the Poppy Seed app does just that.
“Listen, we need a PSA about asking a person how they are doing before we ask how the baby in their belly or arms is doing first,” Taitt told Iris&Romeo. “At Poppy Seed Health, we are there for you at every step of your journey. It’s embedded in Poppy Seed Health to radically care for others wherever they are. Empathy is at the core of our values — and technology helps us deliver on that promise.” With 24/7 support from doulas, midwives, and nurses, as well as resources and the ability to connect with other women, Taitt has built the platform she wanted and needed herself.
Danielle Duboise and Whitney Tingle, Sakara
Sakara is a wildly popular meal kit service for a reason: the food is straight up delicious. Current menus include dishes like roasted pear pancakes, harissa falafel, and a Thai-inspired burger. But like most founders, childhood friends Danielle Duboise and Whitney Tingle spent the early days of Sakara DIY-ing the majority of the work, including cooking 50 meals a day in their apartment kitchen and hand-delivering those meals by bicycle. Now a big business that brings in an estimated $150 million per year, Duboise and Tingle are as committed as ever to providing the best ingredients, as sustainably as possible. “We put ourselves in the shoes of every kind of client that we have: What does she want? What does she need? How do we inspire her to do so?” DuBoise told Forbes. “It's our job to inspire and seduce people into really taking care of themselves, which is a job that we take really seriously.”
Oleema and Kalani Miller, MIKOH
For sisters Oleema and Kalani Miller, life is quite literally, a beach. A childhood spent swimming and surfing in southern California inspired the pair to start a swimwear line of chic separates that are perfect for mixing and matching, as well as breezy cover ups, loungewear, and accessories that beg to be seen. But you don’t have to be a part-time surfer to wear these swimsuits—something we really love about MIKOH is that they’re not designed with one specific woman in mind. “I design for myself, for my friends, my family, and most importantly, for the women that inspire me,” Oleema told DORÉ. “I design for women that are strong, confident, and not afraid to be sexy…For women that want to stand out, stand tall, and not be afraid to take risks. And for the women that may have lost their way and are looking for ways to find themselves again. My greatest success is to inspire women to embrace their curves, their natural beauty, and for simply being themselves—for that is the most beautiful quality of all.” (Also, last summer they launched their first eco-friendly collection, and you know we love that.)
Ingrid Nilsen & Erica Andersen, The New Savant
The New Savant is what happens when a big-time beauty blogger and an internet-savvy entrepreneur meet, fall in love, and decide to create something special. Girlfriends Ingrid Nilsen and Erica Andersen launched The New Savant, a line of inventive and luxe-smelling soy wax candles in 2020, and the handmade in Brooklyn (seriously—Nilsen pours the wax herself!) tins have been selling out since. A big part of that has to do with the care and education that goes into each scent and what that scent evokes. ““Historically, [scent] has always been the sense with the least language around it—and yet one of the most important because it gets processed in the same part of the brain as emotion and memory,” Andersen told Vogue. “It has this secret power to transport you to another era of your life, or to evoke a strong response to the outside world. It gives us so much information.”