Hair Interviews Makeup Skin
March 08, 2021
by Danielle Gay

6 Game-Changing Female-Founded Brands To Support This International Women’s Day

by Danielle Gay

These six women rose through the ranks and started companies that have changed the beauty industry forever. Show your solidarity this International Women’s Day and shop from their game-changing ranges.

International Women’s Day (IWD) has long been a day to demonstrate that you stand in solidarity with women. The global event is a key date on the women’s rights calendar, but it’s so much more than that: it’s a chance to celebrate women everywhere, take a moment to acknowledge our achievements and look forward to how we can further progress. That’s why we’re taking the opportunity to highlight six of the female-founded beauty brands that blow our minds and the success of the incredible women that own them.

Maeva Heim

Founder of Bread Beauty Supply

“People say that you shouldn’t own a business if you don’t want a boss because you end up with lots of different bosses anyway—from customers to investors, and everyone in between. However, I quite like being accountable to lots of stakeholders—including myself,” says Maeva Haim, the founder of Bread Beauty Supply, a haircare brand that is out to hero natural texture. “You take on a huge amount of responsibility, but at the end of the day, I’ll gladly take that on if it means the decisions for the business are ultimately down to me.”

Heim not only launched Bread Beauty Supply during the pandemic but managed to get Sephora  on board before she’d even launched a product. That’s no mean feat, but it also took some serious hard work and of course, Heim’s genuinity to find a gap in the market—like many Black women, Heim had spent years relaxing her hair before she created efficacious products that would help with growing out her own natural texture.

As she embarks on her first IWD since officially pressing ‘go’ on her brand, she told us: “To me, International Women’s Day is about recognising how far we’ve come, and acknowledging how far we still have to go—especially when it comes to the intersectionality of womanhood. It’s about celebrating the womxn who have helped us along the way, and taking stock of the ways we have helped others so far, and what more we can still do.” We couldn’t have put it better ourselves.

Shop Bread Beauty Supply.

 

Rumbie Mutsiwa

Founder Rumbie and Co

Knowing that 65 per cent of the world’s population has wavy, curly or afro hair, Rumbie Mutsiwa couldn’t help but notice these hair types were not being catered for in the salon experience—particularly so in Australia, where she relocated to from Zimbabwe 15 years ago. Rumbie is now part of the change, breaking down boundaries by launching her Chippendale salon Rumbie and Co and an innovative product line to boot.
“I would like to think I try to celebrate women’s day everyday!” says Rumbie of her IWD plans. “Celebrating International Women’s Day for me is about taking time out to listen to the stories of other wonderful women and learning how they succeed in their everyday lives. I also make a special effort to text women in my life and let them know why I admire them. Basically, spread the love!”

For Rumbie, mentorship is key and when it comes to her own mentors and the women she looks up to, Rumbie names her late mother as her biggest inspiration. “She loved hard, worked hard and fought hard for our family to live well. She was tenacious, and a no-nonsense kinda gal yet she impacted people positively. The values she taught me were to be kind, fair, honest and, when you can, be generous. As a leader I try to ensure these values guide me.”

Shop Rumbie and Co.

Nicole Eckels

Co-founder and creative director of GLASSHOUSE FRAGRANCES

“As we go into 2021, we know now more than ever that beauty lies in championing a diverse group of women, as well as those who identify as women,” says Nicole Eckels, the clever entrepreneur who turned a shopping trip to buy a candle into a business which employs more than 100 people and brings in more than $50 million a year. If you’re not familiar with Eckels, she’s the founder of your favourite candle brand, Glasshouse Fragrances.

“I’ve always looked up to Gabrielle Bonheur “Coco” Chanel as CHANEL was the first brand I worked with as a make-up artist,” she explains. “I’ve loved how she had the power to transcend the everyday as a fearless and independent woman while paving the way for other female leaders within fashion and beauty for years to follow.”

As for how the brand will be celebrating other women this IWD and beyond? “At GLASSHOUSE FRAGRANCES, we always look to work with new and international artists to celebrate them and bring their talent to a broader audience. This International Women’s Day, we were really thrilled to partner with Weronika Marianna. She’s created a magnificent collection, ‘Ode to Women’, which celebrates the female form in all of its iterations.”

Shop GLASSHOUSE FRAGRANCES.

 

Eloise O’Sullivan and Eloise McCullough

Co-founders of FIGR

“Womxn’s shame and discomfort about sex and pleasure has been static for way too long. We knew it was time for quality, beautiful sex products to be readily available and covetable,” Eloise O’Sullivan and Eloise McCullough describe when asked what propelled them to create an intimacy line that launched this year with their very first product, a personal lubricant. “The majority of lubricants stocked at your local supermarket have a pH 7 (this includes trusty ol’ coconut oil!) which is fine for someone with a penis, but can cause problems down the line for your vulva (as our pH sits 3.5-4),” they describe. 

While they acknowledge the number of womxn in the sexual wellness space is growing rapidly—and yes, they’re part of this growth—and say it’s something to be celebrated, they insist there’s still plenty of work to do. “Womxn’s nipples are still being censored on Instagram, womxn’s genitals are being mutilated in 30 countries around the globe, womxn are being scrutinised in the media when speaking up against a sexual assaulter, blue liquid represents blood in period product advertisements, and there’s still so much shame and confusion wrought with what it means to be a womxn. These are just some of thousands of hurdles womxn must overcome from the day they exit the womb. We made a conscious decision from the beginning of FIGR to collaborate with people who identity as womxn and non-binary, as a staggering 70% of sex product companies are run by men.”

Instead, FIGR is for everyone. “When we lift one another up, our possibilities are endless.”

Shop FIGR.

Nancy Twine

Founder and CEO of Briogeo Hair Care

Nancy Twine has hit some seriously impressive milestones in her career. She not only created her own “green” beauty brand, Briogeo Hair Care, but in doing so, she became the youngest African-American founder to launch a product line at Sephora and recently hit an annual turnover of $40 million dollars. Here in Australia, she has conquered Mecca too, but her career path was forged by tragedy, after losing one of the most important women in her life: her mum. 

“I started my career in finance, and halfway through my career, I actually lost my mom in a car accident. It was a very profound moment for me, in a lot of different ways. But I think the biggest way was that, you know, life could be short. And it’s so important that we align our careers with our passions.” 

That’s now her best piece of career advice to other women and she tells Gritty Pretty she sometimes feels like a “broken record” saying it, but she insists: “You do your best work when you align your passion with your career.”

That and backing yourself. “One of the things that I feel like men do is they really have no fear about asking for what they want. I have so many girlfriends that will call me like, ‘Nancy, I’ve been working so hard, and I feel like I deserve a promotion. I’m doing more than anyone else on my team.’ And I’m like, ‘Well, you’ve got to speak up and say something!’”

Shop Briogeo Hair Care.

Charlotte Tilbury

Founder of Charlotte Tilbury

Ever since British makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury launched her namesake skincare and makeup line in 2013, she’s basically made it her job description to shatter glass ceilings. In fact, the brand has clocked up more than 300 global awards since and in 2018, she was crowned with  The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for her services to the beauty industry. 

How’d she do it? “ There’s a powerful, positive chain reaction when women embrace our magic, and that moment of self-belief has an empowering ripple effect, spreading LOVE and JOY from one person to another, and to the world!” says Tilbury, who, each IWD, does her best to remind women to “always have self-belief and harness what makes you unique!”

Tilbury is also a Global Ambassador and long-time supporter of Women for Women International, so IWD means quite a deal to her. “I am incredibly proud to be a Global Ambassador and long-time supporter of Women for Women International. Playing a part in helping women survivors of war to rebuild their lives and define their own destinies is truly inspiring, and we are committed to raising awareness for this incredible, world-changing charity every day—but especially on International Women’s Day.” 

Shop Charlotte Tilbury.

Maeva Heim

Founder of Bread Beauty Supply

“People say that you shouldn’t own a business if you don’t want a boss because you end up with lots of different bosses anyway—from customers to investors, and everyone in between. However, I quite like being accountable to lots of stakeholders—including myself,” says Maeva Haim, the founder of Bread Beauty Supply, a haircare brand that is out to hero natural texture. “You take on a huge amount of responsibility, but at the end of the day, I’ll gladly take that on if it means the decisions for the business are ultimately down to me.”

Heim not only launched Bread Beauty Supply during the pandemic but managed to get Sephora  on board before she’d even launched a product. That’s no mean feat, but it also took some serious hard work and of course, Heim’s genuinity to find a gap in the market—like many Black women, Heim had spent years relaxing her hair before she created efficacious products that would help with growing out her own natural texture.

As she embarks on her first IWD since officially pressing ‘go’ on her brand, she told us: “To me, International Women’s Day is about recognising how far we’ve come, and acknowledging how far we still have to go—especially when it comes to the intersectionality of womanhood. It’s about celebrating the womxn who have helped us along the way, and taking stock of the ways we have helped others so far, and what more we can still do.” We couldn’t have put it better ourselves.

Shop Bread Beauty Supply.

 

Rumbie Mutsiwa

Founder Rumbie and Co

Knowing that 65 per cent of the world’s population has wavy, curly or afro hair, Rumbie Mutsiwa couldn’t help but notice these hair types were not being catered for in the salon experience—particularly so in Australia, where she relocated to from Zimbabwe 15 years ago. Rumbie is now part of the change, breaking down boundaries by launching her Chippendale salon Rumbie and Co and an innovative product line to boot.
“I would like to think I try to celebrate women’s day everyday!” says Rumbie of her IWD plans. “Celebrating International Women’s Day for me is about taking time out to listen to the stories of other wonderful women and learning how they succeed in their everyday lives. I also make a special effort to text women in my life and let them know why I admire them. Basically, spread the love!”

For Rumbie, mentorship is key and when it comes to her own mentors and the women she looks up to, Rumbie names her late mother as her biggest inspiration. “She loved hard, worked hard and fought hard for our family to live well. She was tenacious, and a no-nonsense kinda gal yet she impacted people positively. The values she taught me were to be kind, fair, honest and, when you can, be generous. As a leader I try to ensure these values guide me.”

Shop Rumbie and Co.

Nancy Twine

Founder and CEO of Briogeo Hair Care

Nancy Twine has hit some seriously impressive milestones in her career. She not only created her own “green” beauty brand, Briogeo Hair Care, but in doing so, she became the youngest African-American founder to launch a product line at Sephora and recently hit an annual turnover of $40 million dollars. Here in Australia, she has conquered Mecca too, but her career path was forged by tragedy, after losing one of the most important women in her life: her mum. 

“I started my career in finance, and halfway through my career, I actually lost my mom in a car accident. It was a very profound moment for me, in a lot of different ways. But I think the biggest way was that, you know, life could be short. And it’s so important that we align our careers with our passions.” 

That’s now her best piece of career advice to other women and she tells Gritty Pretty she sometimes feels like a “broken record” saying it, but she insists: “You do your best work when you align your passion with your career.”

That and backing yourself. “One of the things that I feel like men do is they really have no fear about asking for what they want. I have so many girlfriends that will call me like, ‘Nancy, I’ve been working so hard, and I feel like I deserve a promotion. I’m doing more than anyone else on my team.’ And I’m like, ‘Well, you’ve got to speak up and say something!’”

Shop Briogeo Hair Care.

Nicole Eckels

Co-founder and creative director of GLASSHOUSE FRAGRANCES

“As we go into 2021, we know now more than ever that beauty lies in championing a diverse group of women, as well as those who identify as women,” says Nicole Eckels, the clever entrepreneur who turned a shopping trip to buy a candle into a business which employs more than 100 people and brings in more than $50 million a year. If you’re not familiar with Eckels, she’s the founder of your favourite candle brand, Glasshouse Fragrances.

“I’ve always looked up to Gabrielle Bonheur “Coco” Chanel as CHANEL was the first brand I worked with as a make-up artist,” she explains. “I’ve loved how she had the power to transcend the everyday as a fearless and independent woman while paving the way for other female leaders within fashion and beauty for years to follow.”

As for how the brand will be celebrating other women this IWD and beyond? “At GLASSHOUSE FRAGRANCES, we always look to work with new and international artists to celebrate them and bring their talent to a broader audience. This International Women’s Day, we were really thrilled to partner with Weronika Marianna. She’s created a magnificent collection, ‘Ode to Women’, which celebrates the female form in all of its iterations.”

Shop GLASSHOUSE FRAGRANCES.

 

Eloise O’Sullivan and Eloise McCullough

Co-founders of FIGR

“Womxn’s shame and discomfort about sex and pleasure has been static for way too long. We knew it was time for quality, beautiful sex products to be readily available and covetable,” Eloise O’Sullivan and Eloise McCullough describe when asked what propelled them to create an intimacy line that launched this year with their very first product, a personal lubricant. “The majority of lubricants stocked at your local supermarket have a pH 7 (this includes trusty ol’ coconut oil!) which is fine for someone with a penis, but can cause problems down the line for your vulva (as our pH sits 3.5-4),” they describe. 

While they acknowledge the number of womxn in the sexual wellness space is growing rapidly—and yes, they’re part of this growth—and say it’s something to be celebrated, they insist there’s still plenty of work to do. “Womxn’s nipples are still being censored on Instagram, womxn’s genitals are being mutilated in 30 countries around the globe, womxn are being scrutinised in the media when speaking up against a sexual assaulter, blue liquid represents blood in period product advertisements, and there’s still so much shame and confusion wrought with what it means to be a womxn. These are just some of thousands of hurdles womxn must overcome from the day they exit the womb. We made a conscious decision from the beginning of FIGR to collaborate with people who identity as womxn and non-binary, as a staggering 70% of sex product companies are run by men.”

Instead, FIGR is for everyone. “When we lift one another up, our possibilities are endless.”

Shop FIGR.

Charlotte Tilbury

Founder of Charlotte Tilbury

Ever since British makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury launched her namesake skincare and makeup line in 2013, she’s basically made it her job description to shatter glass ceilings. In fact, the brand has clocked up more than 300 global awards since and in 2018, she was crowned with  The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for her services to the beauty industry. 

How’d she do it? “ There’s a powerful, positive chain reaction when women embrace our magic, and that moment of self-belief has an empowering ripple effect, spreading LOVE and JOY from one person to another, and to the world!” says Tilbury, who, each IWD, does her best to remind women to “always have self-belief and harness what makes you unique!”

Tilbury is also a Global Ambassador and long-time supporter of Women for Women International, so IWD means quite a deal to her. “I am incredibly proud to be a Global Ambassador and long-time supporter of Women for Women International. Playing a part in helping women survivors of war to rebuild their lives and define their own destinies is truly inspiring, and we are committed to raising awareness for this incredible, world-changing charity every day—but especially on International Women’s Day.” 

Shop Charlotte Tilbury.

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