15 Women-Owned Businesses That We Support
Though International Women’s Day for 2023 (Wednesday 8 March 2023) has passed, we still want to highlight our favourite Australian female-founded businesses that we work with the day-to-day at TOT: HOT OR NOT.
As a woman-owned business (with a mostly female team), we are part of the almost 30% of Australian businesses owned by women.
Some of these women-owned brands are household names – but you may not necessarily know their female founder story. Have a read and support their businesses!
Australian Female Owned Businesses
1. Merry People
After experiencing the frustration of Melbourne weather while working in a corporate role, Dani Pearce went in search of a solution that would be comfortable and durable, while saving her work shoes.
She knew the practicality of gumboots from growing up in South Gippsland and took a leap of faith to pursue her creativity. With some sketches and help from a friend on the technical aspects, Merry People was born.
Dani began selling her colourful and now very recognisable creations at weekend farmer’s markets, giving her the opportunity to connect with customers.
While Merry People has grown past those early days, Dani relishes the chance to live out her dream while delivering a beautiful product that makes her customers happy – and encourages them to find their own adventure.
2. Active Truth
Neighbours Stevie and Nadia, bonded over baby playdates and long walks in the hunt for coffee while navigating the post-partum transformation that many go through.
It was while on this shared experience, they realised there was a gap in the market for activewear that suits a diverse range of women and Active Truth was founded.
Their initiative found them talking with family and friends who reflected similar challenges when finding quality activewear to suit different shapes and sizes. While juggling their babies and day jobs, they launched Active Truth from the living room in 2016 with the aim to provide the best activewear that would celebrate women.
Stevie and Nadia are passionate about showcasing real women, encouraging others to be ‘happy and active while looking and feeling amazing in her activewear’. They also support organisations like Share the Dignity, Body Image Movement and female-led and focused charities.
Mum of four, Kristy Chong was training for a marathon in 2011 and after experiencing light incontinence was frustrated by the lack of solutions for women.
Modibodi was created while Kristy was looking to provide options for women that were comfortable, reliable, and more sustainable for the environment. She set about researching and developing a product that would create a revolutionary solution for disposable hygiene and apparel.
The company has now grown and offers a fabulous solution for women to look good and feel great in reusable, absorbent, and sustainable garments.
4. Salty Crush
A passion for fashion and over a decade in the industry saw co-founders Michelle and Madley come together in 2016 to create Salty Crush, a brand that would provide gorgeous boho pieces to soul sisters.
Salty Crush was created on Sydney’s Northern Beaches and their range of unique styles that embrace bold colours and patterns, empowers women through their individuality and style.
Madely and Michelle are inspired by the seasons and are constantly refreshing their stock to offer relaxed and feminine lifestyle looks to their customers.
5. Stuck On You
Meet Annemieke Mensink, General Manager of Stuck On You. An entrepreneurial mum of two young girls with a passion for personalised labels, stamps and bento lunchboxes!
With years of retail experience under her belt, she has developed a keen eye for detail and an exceptional understanding of kids' school needs.
Despite the challenges of balancing motherhood and leading a business, she supports her highly engaged team with unwavering determination, confident Stuck On You will continue the journey of success it is on, providing personalised solutions for parents globally.
A visit to Indonesia’s endangered Orangutans over two decades ago saw Tracey Bailey make a pledge to be part of the change and curate beautiful products that empower people to make sustainable and ethical choices.
Biome was born in Paddington as Tracey followed her passion, and when her mother was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour, she became more determined to raise awareness of the unsafe industrial chemicals in goods.
Today, Tracey and her team have built a brand favourite with Biome and a go-to when it comes to a cruelty and toxin free range and allows customers to make ethical and informed choices.
7. The Baby Gift Company
The Baby Gift Company is a lovely women-led, family-owned business that was founded in 2008 in Melbourne with the goal of making gifting easier and more enjoyable, especially for families in their early, tender days.
Priscilla decided to start her own online business after working in the retail and marketing industries for many years. She envisioned a customisable online shopping experience in which customers could build their own new mother and baby gift boxes based on their budget and tastes. The Baby Gift Company was the first website at the time to offer this bespoke gifting service allowing customers to create beautifully packaged gift hampers delivered to their loved ones across Australia.
Their gift range has expanded significantly over the last 15 years as they constantly refresh their product offerings. Each of their attractive hand-wrapped boxes has been carefully selected to include everything the parents and newborn could possibly require, including cotton clothes, safe toys, picture books, swaddle wraps, bath towels, and nursery essentials. They've also included a range of precious organic babywear and natural skin care products, giving new parents the best possible gifts to will leave a lasting impression.
A new baby is a wonderful thing, and The Baby Gift Company have thought of everything to make gifting for new parents incredibly special with delightful baby gifts.
8. Naked Sundays
As a television reporter, Samantha Brett spent hours in the hot sun, in bright lights and with heavy makeup. When two colleagues had skin cancers removed, and sunscreen could not be easily reapplied over makeup during the day, she realised a gap in the market.
Naked Sundays was created to bridge the gap between skincare and sunscreen and Samantha worked with skin experts and makeup artists to develop an SPF solution that could be applied over makeup and doesn’t pill or throw whitecast.
In the process Samantha has created a beautiful skincare line that is not only good for your skin and is easy to apply, but is also super cute among your regular products.
For more than 25 years, Aromababy have been creating natural skincare that is gentle for sensitive and eczema-prone skin.
As pioneers in natural baby skincare, Aromababy have become an iconic part of the baby essentials landscape, and are now stocked in maternity hospitals, resorts, and retail stores throughout the world.
Their range is now one of the most trusted lines in baby products with skincare, gifts, and eco-friendly accessories.
10. Carla Zampatti
When it comes to icons of fashion, Carla Zampatti is the name that symbolises fashion design in Australia and for over 55 years, her luxurious garments have graced runways and fashion pages throughout the world.
The late Zampatti opened her first store in Surry Hills, Sydney in 1972 and over the years of her meteoric career, became a stalwart of women-led fashion building an enviable brand.
With 100% Australian made garments, Carla Zampatti is a female-founded business to be celebrated.
11. Soon Maternity
After noticing a gap in the maternity market, the founders of Soon Maternity began their mission to create a label that would provide an option in maternity that was outside the norm and allow women a fashion alternative.
Their journey began with a wholesale business and with hard work and determination they grew into the local market opening their flagship Melbourne store in 2013.
A women-led business, their current Director Miso has been with the company for over four years and as a mum, she understands first-hand the challenges that come with finding amazing maternity wear that makes women feel good and stay fashionable.
Peta Shulman is the founder of GoodnessMe and as their chief food lover and a self-confessed artificial-free foodie aficionado, she has created an amazing brand that is easily accessible and full of goodness.
After being diagnosed with an auto-immune condition and many years of health struggles, Peta discovered the nourishing effects of whole foods in restoring her health and getting her on the path to wellness.
Determined to provide Aussies with nutritional foods made with quality ingredients and armed with her own experiences, Peta established GoodnessMe to give a healthier choice to those wanting to change their lives for the better.
13. Sans Drinks
Fed up with the lacklustre options for non-alcoholic beverages in stores, Irene Falcone wanted to create a healthier alternative that didn't involve stepping into a traditional bottle shop and being tempted by alcohol.
This led Irene to launch Sans Drinks – Australia's first physical non-alcoholic bottle shop and online superstore, which has succeeded in positively impacting people's lives by disrupting the traditional alcohol industry and providing customers with healthier, high-quality, delicious, non-alcoholic options.
14. The Stork Nest
Many years working in the baby and nursery industry saw Alex, the fabulous founder of The Stork Nest build connections and the chance to experience a multitude of brands and products in the space.
To offer parents the opportunity to have the best brands conveniently at their fingertips in one location, she conceived and nurtured The Stork Nest: a curated collection for babies, toddlers, kids, and parents with delivery right to the front door.
Stocking both Australian and International brands, Alex and the team at The Stork Nest have produced a solution to make life easier in the hustle and bustle of parenthood.
15. The Well Store
Mariana Boulos founded The Well Store after seeing a need to source natural and organic products for her family that would be beneficial and wholesome for their health.
After experiencing terminal illness with her mother in 2008, and then her father, Mariana was determined to create a healthier lifestyle for her family and when investigating the ingredients in the products they used, she became aware of the hidden chemicals in everyday products.
The Well Store focuses on stocking natural and organic items that promote wellness and Mariana oversees all ingredients before they go direct to the consumer. She is dedicated and passionate about promoting conscious choices that are vegan, sustainable, Fair Trade and Cruelty Free.
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