IWD: Fashion & Lifestyle Female Founders To Know



Maeva Heim of BREAD; La Ligne’s co-founders Molly Howard, Meredith Melling, and Valerie Macaulay (Courtesy)

Happy International Women’s Day! Paving the way in the fashion, beauty and, lifestyle space, these leading ladies inspire us with their compelling stories! Here are some female founders we’re celebrating today and supporting 365 days a year.

Shani Darden Skin Care

Considered the secret behind Hollywood’s most flawless faces, expert esthetician Shani Darden sets herself apart with her results-oriented approach to skin care. Having trained under a leading Beverly Hills dermatologist, Darden learned first hand how to deal with every kind of skin condition in an environment where beauty standards were incredibly high. Her passion for simple yet effective solutions has earned her and her brand the trust of A-list clients including Shay Mitchell, Jessica Alba, Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Kristen Stewart, Anya Taylor-Joy, and many others.

Agent Nateur

Agent Nateur believes that beauty regimens should be a luxurious experience that renews the skin. With a focus on quality and efficacy, all skincare is made with youth-illuminating European active ingredients that have been clinically tested, ensuring their safety and potency. When founder Jena Covello was diagnosed with endometriosis and adenomyosis at age 23, she set out on a path that would dramatically change the course of her life. Upon learning that heavy metals are known to adversely impact the endocrine system, Covello chose to cut aluminum-based deodorant from her routine. This decision that would ultimately lead to Agent Nateur’s flagship product: the holi(stick) deodorant. Now boasting a full line of luxury, all-natural skincare, Agent Nateur is a product of the founder’s mission to understand the root of her health issues, heal, and share her learnings with others.


Maeva Heim made it her mission to not only de-stigmatize society’s skewed view of textured hair, but to create a brand for an audience that have been completely overlooked. This resulted in the birth of BREAD; a line of hair care basics, for not so basic hair. Poised to disrupt the $2.5 billion textured hair care market, BREAD launched back in July 2020 online and in Sephora and is going from strength-to-strength. The brand is also expected to debut in Ulta this year.


Lifestyle brand Lunya creates exceptionally crafted products to help you achieve your best-ever rest. This includes sleepwear with patented no-twist waistbands, strategic ventilation, stay-put sleeves, state-of-the-art fabrics, washable silk bedding, and more. Lunya was founded in 2014 by Ashley Merill, who was then on a journey to source comfortable, quality, and flattering sleepwear that was in line with how she wanted to feel in her leisure hours. When Merill discovered there wasn’t anything on the market that met the level of design, craftsmanship, quality, and sustainability she was seeking, she naturally set out to create it herself.

Ellis Brooklyn

Ellis Brooklyn was created in 2015 by Bee Shapiro. The Williamsburg mom was looking for clean and sophisticated fragrance options, and also had major industry cred as a beauty columnist for The New York Times. Shapiro’s fragrance, body care, and skincare line features multilayered scents crafted with care in small batches. The eau de parfums are also phthalates-free, paraben-free, PETA-certified vegan and cruelty-free, sustainably sourced, eco-friendly, and utterly luxurious. In less than a decade, Ellis Brooklyn has impressively become an award-winning leader in the high-growth clean prestige fragrance market.

La Ligne

Founded in 2016, La Ligne is a timeless brand anchored by an iconic signature: the stripe. The label’s confident vision is a product of its stripe-obsessed co-founders Meredith Melling, Valerie Macaulay, and Molly Howard, who have many decades of experience in the fashion business between them. Drawing on their backgrounds at the likes of Vogue and rag & bone, the team partnered to create a modern brand united in the belief that the best things in fashion (and life) are universal, timeless, and classic, but never off limits.

Andie Swim

Melanie Travis founded her swimsuit company, Andie Swim, in 2017 with the idea to prioritize body inclusivity and produce swimsuits using exclusively recycled material. Travis was really thinking about herself, friends, and her community and what she knew they wanted—as such, Andie is meticulous about fit, especially since a swimsuit is the smallest garment one is wearing in public. Andie Swim has set out to change the way swimsuits are marketed, by bringing an intimate touch to the experience. Customers can take the Fit Quiz on the website to find their perfect suit or one can schedule a virtual fit consultation with a Fit Expert. Say goodbye to anymore stress in the fitting room!


An all-natural energy drink?! Sign us up! GORGIE, founded by Michelle Cordeiro, is the only all-natural energy drink currently on the market. The vibrant drink is caffeinated with green tea leaves, and includes wellness perks such as vitamins B6, B12, and L-Theanine for focus and clarity, Biotin for hair skin and nails, and BCAAs for rest and recovery. GORGIE strives to create products that give a burst of energy, but with added benefits for health, wellness, and mindfulness. The brand currently has three flavors available: Watermelon Crush, Peachy Keen, and Electric Berry, with more to come soon.


Founded by Katie Sturino in 2017, Megababe is an innovative beauty brand offering non-toxic, solution-oriented products that allow people to feel more comfortable and confident in their own skin. Their growing suite of products addresses some of the more ‘taboo’ body discomfort issues many women face such as thigh chafe, boob sweat, body odor, butt acne, and more. Consider it your new go-to.

The Honey Pot

The Honey Pot Company is an inclusive vaginal wellness brand that offers better-for-you products made from powerful and efficacious plant-derived ingredients. Founded by Beatrice Dixon in 2014, the brand has successfully brought to market the first complete feminine care system that supports you; no matter where you are on your journey to overall wellness.

Hill House Home

Founded by Nell Diamond in 2016, Hill House Home is a now Instagram-famous fashion and lifestyle brand that brings beauty and joy to everyday rituals. Since launching with bedding, Hill House Home has extended its offering to baby, bath, accessories, and apparel. Honing their fashion POV with their widely-beloved and trademarked Nap Dress, Hill House Home also now offers seasonal fashion collections with feminine styles and quality products designed to enhance your life.

Casa Del Sol Tequila

Casa Del Sol is a luxurious, award-winning ultra premium sipping tequila. Co-founded by actress Eva Longoria, Casa Del Sol is inspired by the magic of golden hour and the Aztec goddess of agave, Mayahuel.  As Tequila is a romantic, ritual spirit steeped in tradition and mysticism, Casa Del Sol seeks to celebrate those traditions and the women behind them. Along with Longoria, co-founders and master Tequilarias Alejadra Pelayo and Mariana Padilla enjoy promoting Tequila culture, both locally and globally, and empowering women in the industry with key leadership positions. Talk about a power trio!


Bianca Gates is the CEO and co-founder of Birdies; the company that invented a new category of footwear with stylish flats that are secretly slippers. Launched in 2015 after identifying an opportunity in the footwear  industry, Birdies was born out of a need for stylish and comfortable shoes to wear both inside and outside the home. We approve!


As a brand, Naghedi strives for ethical and sustainable practices. After nearly two decades in the world of accessories, Sara Naghedi started her eponymous line in 2016. Tired of the wastefulness of seasonal fashion and seeing handbags go out of style every few months, the designer set out to produce a time-honored and durable collection that could be carried throughout the seasons. Naghedi utilizes fabrics that are lasting and easily cared for, and each bag is individually hand-woven. Their skilled weavers can only produce one or two bags each day!  Truly a unique accessory to have in your closet.

MANIFEST: 7 Steps to Living your Best Life by Roxie Nafousi

Roxie Nafousi is a self-development coach, manifesting expert, author, and ambassador for the Mental Health Foundation.  After years of living a hedonistic lifestyle in her early 20s, fueled by partying and poor self care, Nafousi found herself at rock bottom. Having suffered depression on/off for six years, in 2016 she decided to open up about her issues through her writing. The mom-of-one shared how to unlock your limitless potential, create lasting, transformative change, and turn your dreams into a reality in her Sunday Times’ bestseller and social media sensation, MANIFEST: 7 Steps to Living Your Best Life.  Call the book club, tell them you’ve found next month’s must-read!

Cara Cara

Cara Cara launched in 2019, with the premise to offer something unique to women through thoughtfully, well-made clothing, without the luxury prices that are often associated with high-end product. Entirely female-founded, owned, and operated, the NYC-based brand designs clothes for women that seek to embody a unique joyful spirit and casual glamour, with an offering that’s flattering, comfortable, and chic. Founders and long-time friends Julia Brown, Sasha Martin, and Katie Hobbs have a strong desire create practical pieces that are meant to evolve with you and your forever wardrobe—and it shows.

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