International Women’s Day is a day that celebrates equality. It’s a day that reminds us of the importance of a gender equal world, because even though it’s 2022, there are still women all around the world that don’t have the same rights as men do. A world free of biases, discrimination and stereotypes, a world that celebrates diversity and differences, that’s a world that we should work towards together. In order to celebrate women’s achievements, we’ve listed 6 successful brands that were founded by women that we absolutely love.
The Swedish jewelry brand Muli Collection is based in Gothenburg and is 100% female founded and owned. By women for women, this brand has the desire to translate moods into creations that evoke beauty and empower women. Their jewelry is unique and iconic, designed to be styled and worn to all occasions imaginable. They have a wide range of 18k gold plated jewelry; earrings, ear cuffs, necklaces, rings, and bracelets. The founders of the jewelry brand are Cajsa Andersson and Isabelle Åkerström, who are both based in Gothenburg, Sweden.
No Ordinary Scent
A world’s first, a concept where the consumer gets to create a personal and emotionally triggering scent that belongs solely to yourself, that’s No Ordinary Scent. With the help of Artificial Intelligence, the startup company can analyze the content in any chosen photo and transform it into an unforgettable scent. All the customers have to do is to upload 3 personal photos to the website. Then the AI will detect the characteristics of the photo, such as season, lightning, and people. The last step is for the customer to name their scent and within shortly, they’ll receive the finished perfume.
They are thoughtfully designed in Stockholm and was founded back in 2019 by Sandra Kinnmark and Amelie Saltin, who are two women that are passionate about personalisation and new ways to explore identity through senses. They want the perfumes to not only smell good or familiar, they want the scents to take the customer back to a moment or a memory that is meaningful to them, like their last vacation at the beach house with the family. Kinnmark sees perfumes like music, different scents are meant to be used for different occasions, which is why customers can personalize the perfumes to go with different events. A big part of the business is Scent Branding, where the company works B2B to create personalized scents that translate a brand’s DNA, which they have done for brands like Nick’s and Workshop.
A clean hair care brand rooted in Latinx heritage, that’s Ceremonia. With a mission to empower women and their natural hair, they create products that are made with natural ingredients from the hearts of Latin America, which is key to making hair feel and look good. The brand’s name, which translates to ceremony in Spanish, aims to both represent and honor as well as better serve one of the more overlooked demographics by embracing the Latinx traditions and rituals. Ceremonia launched in October 2020 but managed to surpass $100k in revenue in the first 100 days and successfully raised $1 million in pre-seed funding.
The founder of Ceremonia is Babba C. Rivera, but before she founded the hair care brand, she was a part of the team that launched Uber in Sweden where she’s originally from. It became the fastest-growing launch market for Uber at the time, which gave her the opportunity to travel to different markets, host marketing summits and to mentor various marketing managers around the globe. It eventually led her to relocate to New York City, where she also found herself immersed in the startup scene when she started working as the director of brand marketing for Away.
Gaining some experience within startups inspired her to open her own marketing agency bybabba, and eventually Ceremonia. What makes Ceremonia different from other hair care brands is that they focus on hair wellness rather than hairstyling. This stems from her upbringing that her parents shaped, of which Rivera would strongly recall being told that beauty wasn’t something superficial, rather it’s a way of taking care of yourself, for no one but yourself. The belief has shaped her view on beauty, which in turn influenced the values of Ceremonia.
The cosmetics brand CAIA Cosmetics is currently one of Northern Europe’s fastest growing beauty brands. By cutting out intermediaries, they are able to manufacture top quality and cruelty free makeup at affordable prices directly to the consumers. All the products are exclusively sold on their website, and ever since they launched their first eyeshadow palette, the company’s product range has expanded to a broad range of products such as blushes, highlights, bronzers, brushes, lipstick, foundations and even perfumes.
CAIA Cosmetics was founded in 2018 by the beloved Swedish influencer, media personality and entrepreneur Bianca Ingrosso, and her team of beauty veterans Mikael Snabb, Jesper Matsch, and her manager Vanessa Lindblad. The company is now present in 30 different countries and has reached over SEK 120 million in 2020. Bianca Ingrosso is the daughter of the famous Swedish singer and actress Pernilla Wahlgren, and growing up, Ingrosso followed her mom to endless amounts of shows and concerts. According to Ingrosso, it was behind the scenes of these shows where she had her first ever encounter with makeup. She remembers being very fascinated by the power of makeup and would also spend hours playing with it.
The inspiration for her brand comes from the strong and independent women around her, such as Wahlgren and other inspiring figures. For as long as she can remember, she has always been around creative souls like dancers, makeup artists, choreographers, producers, her mom’s friends and her own friends. They’ve all had a strong influence on her and on CAIA Cosmetics, because except for being the founder and the face of the company, she’s also the creative director.
Bumble is a platform that connects people online, and it’s not only for people that are looking for a partner, but also for people who are looking for new friends or even mentors. Therefore, if you want to form new meaningful connections with people in your area, Bumble is the platform to use. The application was designed to challenge the outdated heterosexual norms by encouraging women to be the first one to make a move, giving them the ablity to initiate and control the conversation in heterosexual matches.
The company was founded in 2014 by Whitney Wolfe Herd and she has since then joined Forbes list of the super-rich, together with other super-rich, but also super-famous people such as Kim Kardashian. The 31-year old CEO became the youngest self-made female billionaire when she took Bumble public in February 2021. She owns 11.6% stake in Bumble, which gives her an estimated net worth of $1.3 billion.
Wolfe Herd’s idea with the dating app is to create a safe space for women where they are in control, an app that helps them avoid being bombarded with unwanted messages from men. The CEO is fairly open about her past, and shared about her upbringing in Utah and the abusive relationships she has been in when she was younger. According to her, these experiences gave her a better understanding of the dysfunctions of gender dynamics, which later influenced the design of the dating app. Her openness, vulnerability, and the fact that she avoids corporate speak has won her fans over and is also one of the reasons behind her success.
23andMe is the leading consumer genetics and research company that offers personal genetics services to customers so they can gain an understanding of their Health Predispositions, Pharmacogenetics, Carrier Status, Ancestry, Wellness and Traits. All the customers have to do is to submit their saliva, and in return, they will get a thorough analysis of their DNA. The company has 12 million customers worldwide and 80% of them have consented to participate in research which makes 23andMe an important study partner in pioneering research.
Anne Wojcicki founded the company 23andMe in 2006 and became an on-paper billionaire in the beginning of 2021 when her company went public in a SPAC that valued 23andMe at $3.5 billion. The female founder is holding 99 million publicly traded shares which puts her stake at more than $1.3 billion. She openly shares that she tries to use her money to drive change, and according to a Crunchbase analysis for Fortune, Wojcicki has invested in 14 startups with at least one female founder out of 29 overall investments. This is by far the most gender-diverse track record among all the founders whose companies went public or sold this year and who have invested in other startups. Not a single male founder among these has invested in a female-founded company.
Wojcicki was previously married to Sergey Brin, the co-founder of Google and now the world’s sixth wealthiest man in the world. She was married to Brin when she was still building her own company, and she strongly recalls memories from when she accompanied her husband to events where she was always seen as the “partner” of somebody more important, which resulted in her being ignored many times. Well, it’s safe to say that she’s not ignored anymore and neither is her successful company that she built with her own entrepreneurial efforts.