What it means to be “Female Founded” in 2020
2019 was a very strong year for female founded brands, with a record amount of 17.2 billion dollars worth of venture capital being raised for female founded startups in the United States. Through sheer determination these female founded and empowering brands have been reshaping their industries and setting a new standard for mission-led and community focused business.
Listed below are a few female founded brands setting a strong example for the next generation of female founders:
For far too long female shaving products have been marketed to show a singular end result, silky smooth skin from head to toe. Billie has recognized that body positivity means making your own choices, and has been a strong voice in the movement of normalization of female body hair. “Billie was built for all of womankind, celebrating our choice to be shaggy, smooth, or anything in between.”
Through their #femalebodyhair campaign, Billie has created an online community of women that are proud to share pictures of themselves that push societal norms, and create a new standard of acceptance for women around the world.
Rent The Runway
Sisterhood and sustainability are the heart of Rent The Runway’s closet sharing service. Their unique business model has given women around the world a new way to express themselves through their fashion, allowing for customization of packages filled with high quality brands, as well as the ability to swap out and return any items and try something new.
Rent The Runway’s system encourages customers to step out of their comfort zone, and be able to try new trends that they may not be sure they want to buy. This new path that’s been paved for affordable high fashion has given a community of 9 million customers access to their dream closet, and provided them with the creative liberation that they desire.
In the spirit of sisterhood, Rent The Runway launched a campus ambassador program to inspire young women to buy less and live more, and offer access to mentorship and career resources.
As Alicianne Rand — VP of growth Marketing said during the NRF’s Big Show “Our ability to harness the power of our customers as growth drivers, I think that’s going to be the future of social as it intersects with commerce.”
LOLA was born from a question: “What’s in our tampons?” and ever since the company’s inception they’ve worked tirelessly to provide women around the world with feminine hygiene and reproductive care products that are made from entirely natural ingredients. From their 100% organic cotton pads and tampons, to their essential oils and daily multivitamins made from the most naturally occurring ingredients, LOLA are striving to set a new standard for women’s health.
LOLA works to create ongoing relationships with their customers, starting as early as their first periods and into their adult lives. The brand has cultivated a community that welcomes asking the tough and personal questions about women’s health, and conversations that drive product development. LOLA has become woman’s best friend.
As of 2019 they also joined forces with Period Equity, the policy organization determined to abolish the Tampon Tax, and all the unjust financial tolls it takes on women around the world.
Health, wellness, education, and empowerment are the pillars that Kendra Scott has founded it’s business upon. Ever since designing her first collection of jewelry in 2002, to then opening her first store in 2010, Kendra has held these values close to her heart and still does to this day. Kendra Scott as both a woman and as a business has been intensely dedicated to Philanthropy.
Through the Kendra Cares Program, which provides children in Pediatric Hospitals the opportunity to design their own custom piece of Jewelry, Kendra Scott has served over 7,500 children and caretakers in over 30 hospitals across the country. In addition to this, Kendra Scott is looking to build a better future for young entrepreneurial women everywhere.
In September 2019, they launched the Kendra Scott Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Institute at The University of Texas at Austin. This program is dedicated to providing courses and workshops that supply a gender enlightened experience, support diversity, and prime the next generation of strong female entrepreneurs to be able to take on whatever hurdles may stand in their way. In addition to this, Kendra Scott has created a campus ambassador program titled Gems, which gives women at Universities all across the country the opportunity to gain valuable networking opportunities as well as tangible, career boosting experience in the fashion, retail, and marketing fields.
The antithesis of Victoria’s Secret, ThirdLove is disrupting the world of intimates and changing the dialogue around what a bra should be. With 78 different sizes, ThirdLove has become the most inclusive intimates brand on the market.
The idea for the company was born when one woman, Heidi Zak, who was fed up with the fact that she owned 12 bras, and not a single one actually fit. Since then, ThirdLove has strived to set a new standard of bra, one that provides women with the comfort and confidence they deserve.
This mission has resonated with the customers, and cultivated a fantastic community of women who care about rectifying this issue as well. ThirdLove has partnered with renowned organizations such as Soles4Souls, Good360, I Support The Girls, and St. Anthony’s to donate Bras to those who need them. To date, ThirdLove has donated over $20M in bras.
“Let’s listen to women. Let’s respect their intelligence. Let’s exceed their expectations. Let women define themselves.” — Heidi Zak, Co-Founder, ThirdLove