| Beauty | Clothing | Lifestyle |
While many people believe International Women’s Day is a modern holiday created during the social media era, in reality, the history of International Women’s Day actually dates back to 1909 in New York City and 1911 in several European countries. In 1977, the United Nations declared March 8 as International Women’s Day, and that day stuck, worldwide.
But despite its long history, many people had not heard about the day until more recent years, so we love how social media has helped propel this holiday to the forefront of our minds. As for celebrating, one of our favorite ways to celebrate such a holiday is by supporting small, female-founded brands. You get to do what you love — shop — and you’re supporting another woman while you do it. That’s got to be the dictionary definition of a win/win situation, right?
So, what does “indie” mean exactly? Essentially, indie is short for independent. And indie brands are smaller, independent businesses whose owners hustle to create a space for themselves among the bigger, well-known, well-established brands. Indie brands might be small, but they’re huge on creativity and talent.
There is a wide array of incredible women-founded and led businesses out there, but these are indie businesses in the beauty, fashion and lifestyle spaces that really catch our eye. So shop from these brands for a gift to give a bestie who you want to celebrate this International Women’s Day. Or celebrate your own wonderful person, and get something for yourself, too. After all, it’s your day, too.
Women-Owned Indie Beauty Brands
Why We Love It: Alleyoop is a vegan and cruelty- and paraben-free anti-beauty brand with efficient, multifunctional products that help to declutter your life without sacrificing what you need most.
Fun Founder Fact: Founder Leila Kashani expects more from the beauty industry. After forgetting to shave only one of her armpits before an important meeting, this time-starved woman set out to create her own beauty products that could keep up with her lifestyle.
Favorite Product: The Pen Pal 4-in-1 Touchup Pen looks like a Bic pen, but instead of multicolored ink, the Pen Pal is an eyeliner, lip liner, brow pencil and highlighter in one easy-to-use (and easier-to-stash) click pen. It’s available in three color options.
The Route Beauty
Why We Love It: Quite simply, the products just work! Backed by copious testing and formulated using a winning combination of science and nature, the products deliver on their promises and treat your skin right.
Fun Founder Fact: Founders Nancy Pellegrino and Courtney Baber are best friends who decided to use their expertise to start a brand. Nancy is a nurse, while Courtney worked in the beauty industry for years with heavyweights like Sephora and Urban Decay.
Favorite Product: The Party Peel is an exfoliating treatment mask that makes your skin look healthy, radiant, smooth and refreshed (really), plus it’s super fun to use! When you first apply it, it bubbles on your skin, and then it settles to a glittering gold that is totally selfie-worthy.
Why We Love It: Where to begin? The all-natural brand is founded on complete ingredient transparency, which means no greenwashing, just plant-derived ingredients that perform. The brand is also 100% women-led and donates a portion of all its sales to the Make-A-Wish foundation.
Fun Founder Fact: Founders Connie Lo and Laura Burget started the brand with just $4,000, making products in the kitchen in Connie’s apartment.
Favorite Product: The Glow 49% Jojoba Oil Serum is made with just four ingredients and helps hydrate and balance the skin, naturally controlling excess oil production and reducing the size of pores.
Why We Love It: Founded on ancient ayurvedic principles from the founder’s own childhood in Sri Lanka, the brand just launched on March 1 with two multi-tasking hair and skin oils. The packaging is made of sustainable glass and renewable natural wood, and the food-grade ingredients are fair trade and sustainably sourced from family farms run by women. The cherry on top? The brand supports Girls Inc., so when you shop Wildpatch, you’re also supporting that organization.
Fun Founder Fact: Before starting her own brand, founder Shalini Seneviratne worked in the beauty industry in both Asia and North America. She’s a passionate traveler and has visited 75 different countries.
Favorite Product: The Golden Hour coconut melt is a delightful combination of coconut oil and turmeric that smells like toasted coconut and leaves skin immediately glowing and hair healthy and shiny.
Women-Owned Indie Clothing Brands
Why We Love It: A stark contrast to the fast fashion, overconsumption philosophy we see so often these days, Cultnaked designs “seasonless slow fashion” to minimize overproduction. The thoughtful designs are made of the highest quality fabric that flirts with “2000s aesthetics and sexuality.” Cultnaked is beloved by celebrities like Kendall Jenner and countless others.
Fun Founder Fact: Ukrainian fashion designer and founder Mary Furtas started the brand in 2017. Cultnaked fashion is made to order and its skort has become one of its most popular pieces.
Favorite Product: We love the party-girl look of the Killa Dress that contours your silhouette in the best vegan leather and hits right about at midi length.
Why We Love It: Gorgeous, colorful luxury handbags at shockingly affordable price points — need we say more?
Fun Founder Fact: Nigerian-born founder Alexandria Alli started her modeling career as a teenager, but was disheartened that the average woman couldn’t afford the luxury fashions she modeled. Years later, her brand is an answer to that fashion dilemma.
Favorite Product: The Lilly AirPod Case/Micro Bag is the trendiest accessories case we’ve ever seen, and it also happens to be supremely functional as well — it even has a cutout port so you can charge your AirPods without taking them out of their chic leather bag.
Lisa Says Gah
Why We Love It: Lisa Says Gah is an “anti-shop kind of shop,” where a vintage-y, throwback vibe is captured in its anti-fast fashion designs that carry a Free People-esque spirit.
Fun Founder Fact: Founder Lisa Bühler has been saying “Gah!” since 2014, but has had that feeling long before that. She says “Gah” is the opposite of “Ugh” and means “an unbridled outburst-ing of surprise and delight.”
Favorite Product: The dainty Suryo Tout A Leur Box Bag has a satin harlequin check print with a white pearl beaded strap. It’s been handcrafted by female artisans in Java and supports the Javanese craft community.
Women-Owned Indie Lifestyle Brands
Why We Love It: Magic Hour is far more than ‘just a tea’ brand — it’s a true lifestyle brand that intends to provide an experience to customers with each cup of tea they drink. The brand’s teas are also some of the most complex, beautiful and delicious we’ve ever tasted.
Fun Founder Fact: Founder Zhena Muzyka started selling her custom tea blends from a street cart in California as a single mom trying to support her family. In the years since she’s created two successful tea businesses and Magic Hour teas are grown by farmers in Sri Lanka who are primarily mothers, who the brand supports with fair wages, health care, maternity leave and education for their children.
Favorite Product: Since it’s basically impossible to choose just one favorite flavor from Magic Hour’s vast menu of options, our favorite has to be their sampler boxes, and the Herbal Magic sampler box is perfect for people looking for caffeine-free ways to indulge.
Why We Love It: If you love ceramics and unique designs, you’ll adore Rachel Saunders’ brilliant creations. Made in small batches, each piece is thoughtfully designed from vases to mugs, to incense holders.
Fun Founder Fact: Founder Rachel Saunders designs her ceramics from her Vancouver Island studio. The multidisciplinary artist uses a self-taught technique and works with clay as her primary medium.
Favorite Product: The Shelfie is inspired by the Cycladic interiors of Mediterranean landscapes. This handmade stoneware ceramic shelf is glazed in matte Bone or Tourmaline and helps declutter your space.
Silk + Sonder
Why We Love It: Silk + Sonder’s hybrid journal/planners are beautifully designed, intricately detailed and filled with science-backed techniques to help reduce stress, anxiety and burnout.
Fun Founder Fact: Founder Meha Agrawal enjoyed a successful career as a software engineer at several well-known companies before heading down her entrepreneurial path. The idea for Silk + Sonder was birthed from her own journey with combating burnout and pursuing self-care and journaling.
Favorite Product: The Quarterly Journal Subscription gives you three months of planner/journals as well as access to the brand’s Sonder Club & Circles — a community for accountability, tip sharing and virtual gatherings, as well as digital access to tools to help you along your personal mental wellness journey.
Why We Love It: Delivering curated boxes of various champagnes in sipping sizes to your door, The Sip encourages women to explore and refine their palate in a fun, attainable and affordable way.
Fun Founder Fact: Best friends Erica Davis and Catherine Carter are true trailblazers, as less than 4% of wine brands are female-owned, and less than 1% are black-owned (they check both those boxes).
Favorite Product: The Novelty Box offers three unique champagnes (including the Blanc de Bleu that’s as delicious as it is gorgeous) that will take you on a flavor journey you won’t soon forget.
Why We Love It: As the world’s first nutritionally dense salt and pepper, Spicewell’s New Salt and New Pepper products contain 10% of our daily vitamin requirements all sourced from organic fruits and vegetables. So yes, you can provide yourself and your family with better nutrition simply by seasoning your food.
Fun Founder Fact: Founder Raina Kumra Gardiner worked for years in the tech industry, but founded Spicewell in 2021 to help fill nutritional gaps after facing multiple health issues within her own family.
Favorite Product: The Superfood Shaker Duo gives you both the New Salt and New Pepper, each of which provides 21 plant-based vitamins and minerals to your meal as they season it.
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