Female Founders To Follow
7 Mar 2023
While we believe that all founders, regardless of gender, deserve to be celebrated and supported all year round, historically women — along with people of colour — have been overlooked and underserved. Hence why today, International Women’s Day, we’re championing the female founders killing it in their fields.
These fierce female founders have carved up space in their respective industries. From sexual wellness to mental health, streetwear-inspired fashion to hand-carved homeware, these brands, and the women behind them, have inspiring stories to tell…
Founder + CEO at maude
One of only 10 Latinas in consumer goods to have raised $10M+ in venture funding, Éva Goicochea is an enigmatic entrepreneur, with the business goods to back it up. In 2015, Éva co-founded her first company, Tinker Watches, and in 2018 launched maude, “the modern sexual wellness company built to challenge a legacy industry and serve the customer through quality, simplicity, and inclusivity.”
Founder + CEO at Lone Design Club
Just like us at Appear Here, designer-turned-entrepreneur Rebecca Morter champions the independents. So much so, her entire business revolves around them. Rebecca launched Lone Design Club in 2018 as an omnichannel retail platform designed to support and promote sustainable brands within the fashion, beauty and lifestyle sectors. Passionate about rewriting the rules of retail, Rebecca has been named as one of Forbes 30 Under 30 as well as Drapers 30 under 30.
Founder at Wylde One
Stephanie Park launched Wylde One in response to the mental and physical health issues she had struggled with throughout her life — from disordered eating and body image to chronic fatigue, anxiety, digestion issues, and severe acid reflux. Stephanie wanted to share the transformative powers of the benefit-packed superplants and superfoods she had discovered. She now feels amazing in her skin and wanted everyone else to be able to tap into that feeling, too.
Founder at Peachy Den
“The initial idea was simple; to create clothing that my friends and I wanted to wear,” states Isabella Weatherby. “I wasn’t bound by archetypical fashion structures or seasons, instead, Peachy was born from a youthful energy and a rebellious spirit.” Evidently, Isabella captured the vibe perfectly — Peachy Den quickly transcended its humble UK launch, and went on to dress the likes of Bella Hadid, Olivia Rodrigo, Kaia Gerber and Addison Rae. Whilst also launching pop-ups with Appear Here, of course.
Founder at Grain & Knot
After graduating from the Manchester School of Art, Sophie Sellu moved down to London where she launched Grain & Knot in 2013, after becoming inspired by a spoon carving workshop. Since then, Sophie has been making soulful, uniquely hand-carved homeware objects from sustainably sourced materials. In 2020 Sophie won the first Independent Award in the Modern Crafter category, as well as our Spaces For Ideas competition.
Founder + CEO at Nii HAi
British designer and entrepreneur Rosie Williams founded her sleek yet sensual label Nii HAi in 2019, after finishing her law degree and moving to London. Rosie takes inspiration from her own life to craft a line of fresh and unconventional pieces that command attention and demand strength: “I think the way I feel about Nii HAi as a brand is a perfect representation of how we want women to feel. Constantly striving to improve themselves and innovate, doing what they want to do how they want to do it.
Founder at Thy.Self
Chloé Pierre launched thy.self, the London-based disruptive lifestyle brand, back in 2018 to challenge the norms, diversify the wellness industry, and actualise self-care and self-love in an inclusive and relatable manner. Fast forward to today, and Chloé is now the author of TAKE CARE: The Black Women's Wellness Guide.
Founder at LF Markey
Sydney-born, East London-based, Louise Markey went on to consult for global luxury fashion houses after graduating from Central St Martins with an MA. But it wasn’t too long before she launched her eponymous womenswear label, LF Markey that’s known for its bold and beautiful block colourways and motifs.
Alice and Maisie Jones
Founders at Sisters and Seekers
Gen Z sisters and founders, Alice and Maisie Jones, launched their DTC label, Sisters and Seekers, from their home in North Wales. They saved £2,000 from Depop sales and invested it into their brand when they launched in 2017. By 2021, turnover reached £3.7m and they launched on retail giant Asos — easy to see why the siblings have also been named in Drapers 30 under 30 list. Their advice? “Trust your gut and focus on your own lane.”
Founder at I AM VOLYA
“It's important for us to build communities and unite Ukrainians,” states Maria Suant, the founder of the online boutique I AM VOLYA, which was created in London after the start of the war in Ukraine. “We wanted to gather the best designers to introduce Brits to modern Ukrainian culture.” Maria launched pop-ups with Appear Here to not only bring the Ukrainian designs to the UK market, but to also nurture the community of Ukrainians who ended up in London (whilst also giving them access to homegrown labels everyone loves so much).
Founder at Emma J Shipley
From RCA grad to homeware founder, Emma Shipley is a graphic artist creating home decor and accessories, expertly made with nature lovers, dreamers and maximalists in mind. Emma launched during London Fashion Week in 2012 and quickly went on to win awards, including the WGSN Global Fashion Award for Emerging Brand. As well as launching in Appear Here spaces, Emma’s designs have also featured in Browns, Harrods and Fortnum’s in London.
Founder at Clio Peppiatt
Clio Peppiatt learnt to sew and embroider from her mother as a child, and began her journey making clothes for her dolls. Graduating to real-life people (after graduating from LCF and Ravensbourne University for womenswear, print and textiles), Clio worked as a print designer at Alexander McQueen. But it’s her own label that caught our attention. Focusing on hand-beading and hand-embroidery, Clio is empowering a new generation of women whilst partnering with the communities that rely on these skills.
Founder at Verte
Ex Team Appear Here member, Jess Brunt founded the circular company, Verte, in 2019 to encourage a more sustainable approach to shopping. Dedicated to building Verte’s conscious community, Jess plans to develop her brand into a permanent swapping and second-hand space — having popped up with Appear Here in the past. And by focusing on the ‘clothes swap’ as opposed to selling second-hand, Jess hopes to make the circular shopping economy mainstream.
Amelie Salas and Oria Mackenzie
Founders of Underdays
“Underdays is a love letter to your body,” states Amelie Salas and Oria Mackenzie. The duo believe that while life may not always be comfortable, your underwear should be. Two ex-Farfetch employees, Amelie and Oria casually began initial discussions while they were still colleagues, but quickly realised they may have spotted a gap in the market. Enter: Underdays in 2019. They interviewed hundreds of women and completed 50 rounds of user-testing before feeling satisfied — “we're putting women's health back at the forefront of underwear design through listening to your biggest pain points and combining solutions-driven fabrics with innovative design.”