When it comes to taking over the business world, no one does it quite like the ladies do. And since Women’s History Month was established in 1987, each March is dedicated to celebrating strong female leaders and the strides they’re taking toward equality and growth. But the truth is: Before we could simply buy from female-founded companies with just a few clicks, women were creating, inventing, and conceptualizing products that changed the way our ancestors lived.
While women have likely been cultivating thriving communities since the dawn of time, one of the first renowned female business owners made her mark in the18th century. Back in 1739 at just 16 years old, agricultural-loving Eliza Lucas Pinckney was put in charge of her family’s vast 5,100 acres after her mother passed away. Alone and with adult-level responsibility on her shoulders, Pinckney started experimenting with the indigo plant after noticing the growth of the textile industry. Within just ten years indigo dye production was booming, and Pinckney secured her spot in the history books.
Pinckney may have been one of the first recorded business women, but she definitely hasn’t been the last. In fact, according to Fundera, the number of female-owned businesses has increased by close to 3,000 percent, which means there are a whole lot of women-run companies out there to support. That’s why in honor of National Women’s History Month, we’ve rounded up eight of the most inspirational female founded companies you can shop from the comfort of your couch. Ranging from wearable art to wine, these successful businesses are not only owned by diverse, society-changing women, but the companies themselves are altering the globe for good.
Owners: Alexandra Waldman and Polina Veksler
About the business: This size-inclusive clothing brand was born out of an unsuccessful shopping trip. When pals Waldman and Veksler realized they couldn’t buy from the same stores due to size limitations, they decided to disrupt the fashion industry’s archaic restraints with Universal Standard. Since their initial product launch in 2015, Universal Standard has become “the world’s most inclusive brand.”
Why we love them: Every single one of Universal Standard’s high-quality, minimalist items comes in US sizes 00-40, and labels such as “plus size” are nowhere to be found on their site. To further reduce shopping anxiety and sizing-related trauma, the company has a unique policy that allows shoppers to exchange any piece from their Fit Liberty collection within a year of purchase if their size fluctuates. This way you can dress for the now instead of stressing about the someday.
Owner: Tai Rittichai
About the business: Born in Bangkok, Thailand, Rittichai spent her childhood working to save up enough money to move to America. When she arrived in California as a young adult, Rittichai started selling her original, handcrafted jewelry at flea markets around Santa Monica. Now Rittichai’s brand, TAI Jewelry, features an extensive collection of luxe, artisan accessories sold at the most popular retailers—like Neiman Marcus, Local Eclectic, and Anthropologie—in the world.
Why we love them: In addition to creating some of the most stunning earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and rings around, TAI is APPI owned and supports the Thai artists who now create the spectacular pieces.The company is dedicated not only to the lasting art of handcrafted accessories, but it continuously supports local and overseas charities. Plus, the entire US sector of the brand is female, providing even more jobs to women in the workplace.
Owner: Nancy Twine
About the business: Twine started brewing up beauty products when she was just 5 years old while assisting her chemist mother in the kitchen. Even though she went into finance after college, Twine felt compelled to revisit her beauty roots after her mother passed away and thus Briogeo was born. The all-inclusive haircare line caters to every ethnicity, color, texture, and temperament to ensure everybody achieves their best hair day everyday.
Why we love them: Finding products that are good for your hair, your body, and the environment can be a struggle. Briogeo makes it easy with their innovative 6-free formula that’s vegan, cruelty-free, and mindfully created without sulfates, paradens, and phthalates. Not only does the company care for their customers, but they’re big on charity, too. Briogeo donated over 50,000 meals during lockdown and continues to find ways to help those in need.
Pipcorn Heirloom Snacks
Owners: Jen, Jeff, and Teresa Martin
About the business: After popping a bag of tiny heirloom corn kernels Jen Martin found at a health food store, she and her brother, Jeff, were amazed at how flavorful the resulting popcorn was. Together with Jeff’s wife, Teresa, the trio tracked down the farmer who grew the corn and created the highly successful Pipcorn brand. After proving their success on ABC’s Shark Tank and getting backed by Barbara Corcoran, the company’s snacks are now sold internationally online and at Loblaws and Whole Foods Market.
Why we love them: The female, minority, LGBTQ owned company’s mission is to create accessible, better-for-you snacks reminiscent of the foods we grew up with. Oh boy, do they deliver. All of Pipcorn’s products—which include crunchies like popcorn, cheeseballs, and crackers—are whole grain, gluten-free, non-GMO, and tasty as heck. That’s probably because since the company’s conception, Pipcorn utilized the same local farming to support the agricultural community.
Owner: Michelle DeLoach
About the business: Even though DeLoach grew up sewing, it wasn’t until being in her friends’ weddings that she realized the formalwear market needed an upgrade. That’s when the self-made entrepreneur set out to diversify and change the concept of bridesmaid dress shopping. What started with DeLoach selling her designs door-to-door has turned into Revelry, one of the largest made-to-order bridesmaid dress companies in the country that puts the focus on fostering a positive bridal party experience.
Why we love them: Since the company’s start in 2008, Revelry’s mission has been to make every bridesmaid feel beautiful not just on the big day, but during the shopping process as well. Not only do they make some of the most fashion-forward formal gowns, but the company was one of the first of its kind to offer home try-on options and skintone matching for illusion details. Most importantly, while they offer sizes 0-32 and “tall” options, they never charge extra for what other brands label as “extended sizes.”
Owner: Eliza Blank
About the business: With a passion for plants and the knowledge that fostering them is proven to enrich the human experience, Blank wanted to change people’s lives through plant care. In an effort to demystify horticulture, she founded The Sill in 2012 as a way to make purchasing and learning about plants accessible to both newbies and seasoned growers alike. What started out as a simple plant selling business has grown into a flourishing movement that takes the guesswork out of plant-related self-care.
Why we love them: The Sill’s easy-to-use site makes shopping for plants simple with categories like low-light and pet-friendly. Not only is there a wide variety of Pinterest-worthy greenery and florals to choose from, but there are plenty of pretty, modern planters as well. Shop online or at one of their brick-and-mortar locations to find your new plant baby, then take a virtual or in-person workshop to help your growth journey really bloom.
Owners: Cameron Diaz and Katherine Power
About the business: After a few glasses of wine on a sunny day, besties Diaz and Power started chatting about what, exactly, they were drinking. With so few regulations surrounding the winemaking process, the pals quickly learned just how many unnecessary ingredients are included in most wine labels. In 2019 their quest to create clean, conscious wine began when they launched Avaline, and now the label offers a wide variety of popular blends without all the additives.
Why we love them: It’s hard *not* to love good wine, especially when it’s reasonably priced. Made by sustainable vineyards out of France and Spain, the organic, vegan, non-GMO label skips the extra sugar, coloring, and concentrates to provide a cleaner drinking experience. Plus all of their ingredients are explained so you understand exactly what you’re drinking. The best part is, the brand can be found in stores nationwide and ships to a variety of states so you can shop sustainably with ease.
Owner: Ju Rhyu
About the business: After working with some of the most innovative consumer-based global brands (like, Kraft and American Express to name a few), Rhyu founded Hero Cosmetics as a result of yet another unexpected breakout. In an effort to destigmatize acne, Rhyu developed a line of gentle products that work with the skin instead of against it to help everyone and anyone reach their complexion dreams.
Why we love them: While many skincare brands use shame tactics to sell products, Hero aims to empower by giving their consumers the tools to achieve their realistic goals. Their marketing includes diverse faces of all complexion types and their less-invasive treatments steer clear of hash chemicals that strip away at your skin. Whether you use their products for everyday maintenance or reach for their renowned Mighty Patch to fight a pesky pimple, the sustainable company has what you need to feel confident about the skin you’re in.
Whether it’s a glass of sustainable wine, accessories that support charities overseas, or clothes that fight the media’s narrow frame of beauty, game-changing, female-founded companies are just getting started. Who—and I can not emphasize this enough—run the world? Girls.