12 Fellow Female-Founded Brands to Support
We’ve come a long way since March 8th, 1857, when women protested against poor working conditions in New York City factories. Because of their bravery, the path for women to hold careers and pursue passions was paved. It also began the commemoration of International Women’s Day (although the date wouldn’t be officially recognized until 1909).
Nowadays, so many of the brands we regularly shop for are created by women. To honor them, and the many female leaders before them, we’re sharing some of our favorite female-founded brands to support.
JIHAN DEMPSTER | ZEEN CANDLE
“Your access to grandeur shouldn't be dependent on color, class, or economic status,” reads a letter from Zeen Candle’s founder, Jihan Dempster. Born to Jamaican immigrants, Jihan imbues scents inspired by the West Indies into her candles, which are made from FSC-Certified wood and free of parabens and phthalates.
JEN ATKIN | OUAI
With only $300 in her pocket, Jen moved to Los Angeles to begin a career in hair care. Years later, she’s a renowned celebrity hairstylist with her own hair care company, OUAI, which she started after realizing that “there were a lot of men in boardrooms making decisions about what women want for our hair.” OUAI has since expanded beyond hair products, creating a variety of fragrances and body care.
Psst: We partnered with Jen to create an exclusive Multitargeted Treatment Set featuring her favorite products for firm, soft, glowing skin.
TAMERRI ATER | GIFT OF THE NILE
We would be remiss if we didn’t include Versed’s very own Senior Product Development Director Tamerri Ater, who created a wellness brand called Gift of the Nile. It’s quite literally rooted in her history (her name, given to her by her Baba, translates to Beloved Land or Gift of the Nile). Her mists and candles are rooted in both aromatherapy and ancient Egyptian astrology—another passion of Tamerri’s.
JACLYN FU AND LIA WINOGRAD | PEPPER
Jaclyn Fu was not only teased as a teen for being small-chested, but she also struggled to find bras that didn’t poke, slip, or create gaps when she wore them. As a result, she teamed up with Lia to create Pepper, a bra line specifically designed for small busts. Their brand has greater meaning than just providing lingerie, however; Pepper’s mission is to “get the world to relook at and redefine body standards.”
KATHERINE POWER | MERIT
If this name sounds familiar to you, it’s because Katherine Power is also the founder of Versed (hi!). Besides running a plethora of brands, from fashion to natural wine, she also created one of our favorite makeup lines, Merit, which is rooted in makeup minimalism and home to the five-minute beauty routine. All its products are made with skin-friendly, clean (EU standards) ingredients—which makes us love it even more.
JULISSA PRADO | RIZOS CURLSJulissa coincidentally launched her haircare company around the same time that Hurricane Maria touched down in Puerto Rico, extinguishing power and causing many Puerto Rican women to find alternate ways to style their hair without hot tools. Luckily, Rizos Curls became a resource for many women to find ways to take care of—and embrace—their natural curls. Her line of haircare is cruelty-free and made without artificial dyes and mineral oils, too.
CAMI TÉLLEZ | PARADE
Cami was only 24 years old when she created size and gender-inclusive Parade after dropping out of Columbia University. Today, she’s sold over 2 million pairs of underwear, which are made from recycled and reclaimed materials. To prevent waste, their website says they “only create more if you want us to.”
SARAH GIBSON TUTTLE | OLIVE AND JUNE
A former equity sales trader in Manhattan, Sarah launched her first flagship nail salon, Olive and June, in 2013. Named after her two grandmothers, she dreamt of a friendly space where women could enjoy self-care and spend time with each other. While she still maintains salons, you can also shop polishes, press-ons, and other nail care essentials on the Olive and June website.
CARLY STEIN | BEEKEEPER’S NATURALS
It wasn’t until Carly found a plant-based ingredient, resin, that she finally found relief for her tonsillitis. Inspired by the idea of finding natural ways to cure ailments, she created Beekeeper’s Naturals. Even better, the brand keeps the lives of bees at the forefront, acknowledging that they are so important for many of the precious ecosystems that exist on our planet. All their products—like sprays and capsules for immunity and gut health—are sustainably sourced and come from small-scale apiaries.
CYNDI RAMIREZ-FULTON | CHILLHOUSE
While spas can feel luxurious, they can also feel inaccessible. Chillhouse founder Cyndi set out to change that. Her brand started as a flagship, where stressed-out New Yorkers could grab a latte or book a massage, but has since expanded into an entire “chill” brand, complete with non-toxic, reusable press-on nails, massage tools, and more.
KATIE WILSON | BELLIWELLI
IBS affects 10-15% of the population, including Katie (she has had six colonoscopies, four endoscopies, and twenty-six rounds of antibiotics, according to her website). Her aches were the major reason she decided to give up her career as a matchmaker to found Belliwelli, a snack brand focused on gut-healthy bites, which are gluten-free, dairy-free, low-sugar, and certified low FODMAP.
PETA TAKAI AND CHRISTINA OOI | PARADIS
Best friends and fellow bike riders, Peta and Christina worked together to create Paradis in 2020 as a way to create more colorful and size-inclusive bibs and other cyclewear. They’ve since expanded into bright, comfy athleisure that’s inspired by their many cycling adventures.
We’re female-founded, too! Shop some of our favorites below.
Header image courtesy of OUAI, Belliwelli, Zeen Candles, Chillhouse, Gift of the Nile, and Merit.