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High-fives go out to all of the ladies who run the world. March marks Women’s History Month, but why celebrate the countless achievements of women within a mere 31 days? In addition to breaking glass ceilings and sound barriers, more women are becoming entrepreneurs. A 2019 report by American Express found that the number of women-owned startups rose by 21% over a span of five years, and they represented 42% of all American companies.
That study, which was based on U.S. Census Bureau data, also found that those companies employed 9.4 million workers while bringing in $1.9 trillion in revenue. Though the numbers seem to add up to progress, only 10.2% of women around the world are new entrepreneurs, compared to “about three-quarters of that for men,” points out the nonprofit organization SCORE. And let’s not forget that women are paid 82 cents for every dollar earned by men in the U.S., according to the American Association of University Women’s 2020 gender pay gap report.
So if you’re looking to throw your support behind more female-founded companies, we’ve rounded some of our favorites to shop this month and beyond. Check out just a handful of the best female-owned brands below, from organic food delivery services to clean grooming lines and more.
1. The Sill
Launched in 2012 by founder Eliza Blank, The Sill has bloomed from a New York-based direct-to-consumer online plant retailer to a brick-and-mortar business with outposts in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and NYC. It’s become a go-to among stylish plant parents for its Pinterest-worthy pairings of low-maintenance houseplants with midcentury-inspired planters in cool shades. The company also hosts virtual workshops and offers in-store pickup for online orders at select stores.
2. Oars + Alps
NFL wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins is a fan of men’s grooming brand Oars + Alps, which was co-founded by entrepreneurs Mia Saini Duchnowski (a former TV host for Bloomberg) and Laura Lisowski Cox (who previously worked at Facebook). After seeking safe men’s skincare for their husbands, the Chicago-based founders decided to create their own line of products formulated without harmful ingredients such as alcohol, parabens, phthalates, sulfates, or talc. The cruelty-free and vegan brand offers daily moisturizers, exfoliating face wipes that help to reduce acne, aluminum-free deodorants, anti-aging serums, exfoliating bar soaps, and other multi-tasking products formulated for active lifestyles.
3. The Little Market
After meeting artisans during a trip to Africa, co-founders Lauren Conrad (formerly of The Hills and Laguna Beach) and Hannah Skvarla launched The Little Market, a nonprofit fair-trade marketplace born out of the desire to provide living wages and safe jobs for women in underserved communities around the world. The philanthropic retailer offers ethically-sourced products such as candles, handwoven baskets, acacia wood salad bowls, bath soaking salts, and more home goods and decor at its online shop and L.A. boutique.
The company’s efforts support organizations that provide business training, healthcare programs, counseling, literacy workshops, and other programs to those in extreme poverty, people with disabilities, sex trafficking survivors, refugees, and others.
Entrepreneur Arial Kaye was among the first to a direct-to-consumer spin on bedsheets with her Venice-based company, Parachute. The startup launched in 2014 with affordable percale bedding and rolled out comfy fabrics like linen, sateen, and brushed cotton. The company has since expanded to mattresses and other home goods for the bedroom and beyond, such as bath towels, mattresses, home furnishings, loungewear, and more.
5. Dehv Candle Co.
If you’re looking to embark on a global getaway without leaving your own home, Dehv Candle Co. will take you on an olfactory adventure. After working in the clean beauty industry for over a decade, founder Jade Eknaian created her line of sustainable candles inspired by her favorite memories and places — think the citrus and floral Riviera scent, the woodsy Sequoia candle, or the musky and bohemian Wander fragrance.
The candles are made of lead-free cotton wicks and non-GMO soy wax that’s hand-poured in reusable concrete vessels. The L.A.-based company also supports Trees for the Future, an environmental nonprofit that benefits underserved farming communities through tree planting programs.
6. Hedley & Bennett
When founder Ellen Bennett couldn’t find stylish aprons that could also take the heat of the kitchen, the former line cook created Hedley & Bennett. The brand has outfitted the culinary staff of some of the best restaurants around the world, and it’s beloved among amateur and pro chefs alike for its array of aprons in durable fabrics and stylish colorways.
7. Peak + Valley
Seattle-based founder Nadine Joseph was researching the neuroscience of stress when created Peak + Valley, a wellness brand of herbal blends that harness the power of medicinal mushrooms like ashwagandha and reishi. Exhausted by her own stress and anxiety, the research scientist discovered the benefits of adaptogens on the adrenal system. The company launched with three products formulated to decrease stress and support brain health, immune function, and healthy skin.
Seeking comfier alternatives to the G-strings and underwire bras, Ali Mejia and Mariela Rovito founded Eberjey, a Miami-based label comprised of cozy lingerie and stylish sleepwear made of Pima cotton and other super-soft fabrics. The brand also designs classic pajama sets for men, kids apparel, swimwear, and other effortless essentials.
Co-creators Cameron Diaz and Who What Wear co-founder Katherine Power launched their clean wine brand, Avaline, to bring “a new standard of transparency.” The vegan and non-GMO label offers vino made from organic grapes grown in sustainable vineyards in France and Spain, and without added concentrates, colors, or sugars. Avaline’s current lineup includes crisp and dry white blend, a light rosé with notes of melon and zest, a medium-bodied red blend with touches of cherry and spice, and a sparkling wine with hints of green apple and citrus.
10. Daily Harvest
When entrepreneur Rachel Drori struggled to keep healthy and organic meals (that didn’t take an hour to prepare) within reach, she decided to create a ridiculously easy online meal delivery service that would address the convenience factor. Daily Harvest allows you to customize weekly or monthly boxes that include nine to 24 items, and pricing ranges from $6 to $9 per product.)
On the menu are delicious meals that are ready to enjoy in minutes, including chocolate and blueberry smoothies, tomato and basil flatbreads, brussel sprouts and tahini harvest bowls, cauliflower and leek soup, pumpkin and chai oat bowls, dairy-free ice creams, and many other tasty dishes.