Did you know that as of 2021, there are over 13 million women-owned businesses in the United States alone? This number has increased by a staggering 21% over the past five years, signaling a powerful shift in the business landscape. Among these trailblazing women, a significant number have founded successful Direct-to-Consumer (DTC) brands, revolutionizing industries from fashion to food, and skincare to wellness.
We'll spotlight some of the most successful female-founded businesses, such as Agua Bonita, Rosie Jane, New Money Ventures, WILD, Bangn Body, and Bondi Blades. These inspiring women are not just challenging traditional assumptions about women in business, but they are also setting a powerful example for future generations.
Join us as we delve into the success stories of these remarkable women and their thriving businesses, and explore the top DTC brands currently making waves in the US and Australia.
The rest of this article will explore the top DTC brands currently in the US and Australia, all of which have been founded by female entrepreneurs. Read on to discover the success stories of these inspiring women and their businesses.
The Rise of 20 Female-Founded Businesses in the DTC Industry
Over 1000 direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands in the US have been founded and led by female entrepreneurs. These brands offer various products and services, from fashion to home goods to food. With the rise of e-commerce, many of these brands have seen tremendous success in the past few years.
Beverage company, Agua Bonita is Latina-owned and sells a unique version of the traditional and popular Mexican beverage, agua frescas. They sell agua frescas in cans, and it comes in a wide range of tasty flavors. Agua Bonita’s agua fresca is also low in sugar and made from fresh ingredients.
Founded by Kayla Castańeda in July 2020, Agua Bonita sold 10,000 units in its first month. In an episode of the Female Startup Club podcast hosted by Doone Roisin, Kayla attributed this success to the market's readiness for a better-for-you aguas frescas product, extensive research on where to find consumers, and a strong focus on building a sustainable brand.
She also shared some key insights on how to start a successful business, including the importance of leaning into one's community when building a brand. She advised that everything takes longer than expected in business, and time equals money, so it's important to have a solid financial plan.
Celebrity makeup artist Rosie Jane Johnston has been in the beauty industry for over a decade. She founded her own body care and fragrance brand, Rosie Jane, in 2010, as she saw a need for products that are free from sulfates, phosphates, parabens, and sulfates. The brand takes sustainability seriously, and all products are housed in recycled and recyclable packaging.
Rosie Jane has grown her 7-figure business by staying true to her brand mission and focusing on creating high-quality products. She has also been instrumental in building relationships with retail partners like Sephora and Thirteen Lune and creating a community to support her business.
Rosie shows that a no now doesn't mean a no forever, and it's important to have the courage and conviction to keep pushing forward. She highlights that it takes time, persistence, and true conviction to build a legacy brand and that it's important to have a strong "why" and be able to adapt and bounce back from failures.
Miki Agrawal's first venture into the business world was with WILD, a gluten-free pizza restaurant concept. Founded 18 years ago, WILD was ahead of its time in offering gluten-free options before it became a trend in the industry.
WILD's success can be attributed to Miki's creative approach to marketing and branding her restaurant. She worked hard to create a buzz around the restaurant and make it stand out from the competition. This early success paved the way for her future businesses, which are discussed in the following section.
Miki's next entrepreneurial endeavor was THINX, a socially responsible underwear company. Founded in 2011, THINX offers period-proof and absorbent underwear designed to provide women with a more comfortable and eco-friendly period experience.
Again, Miki's approach to branding and marketing helped the company stand out from its competition. She also sought to break down taboos around periods by providing women with a practical and stylish product.
Miki Agrawal didn't stop at THINX, and she moved on to found Tushy, the modern-day bidet revolutionizing how we clean ourselves after using the toilet. Launched in 2016, Tushy offers a range of bidet attachments that make it easy to install and use.
Tushy's success is a testament to Miki's ability to identify and transform a market need into a viable business. She was able to tap into her existing customer base and create a brand that was both practical and attractive.
Founded by Zara Saleem, Delhicious is an award-winning, Indian-inspired skincare brand that was born out of her kitchen while on maternity leave. Focusing on using 100% natural and Ayurvedic ingredients 100% natural ingredients, Delhicious had a very slow start before exploding on the scene, thanks to the TikTok gods. It has now become a cult favorite amongst many beauty lovers and skincare enthusiasts alike.
One of the brand's product lines, Migh-Tea Moisture Balm, has been particularly popular with customers thanks to its unique blend of natural ingredients and luxurious texture.
BelliWelli is a revolutionary functional wellness brand that offers a healthy snack alternative to help people achieve their wellness goals. Digestive health is an issue that impacts over 70% of U.S. adults, and BelliWelli was founded to provide people with a tasty snack alternative that won't compromise their health goals.
Its founder, Katie Wilson, saw a lack of options in the functional food market and developed the first gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, and certified low-FODMAP bar on the market. Being a gut sufferer, she set out to create a treat that would taste good and positively impact people's digestive health.
Summersalt is a direct-to-consumer swimwear brand founded by Lori Coulter and Reshma Chamberlin. Launched in 2017, it offers high-quality swimwear that is stylish, comfortable, and body positive. Summersalt has quickly become a favorite among women of all sizes thanks to its wide range of sizes and styles.
Founded on the belief that every woman should feel confident and empowered in her swimwear, Summersalt provides customers with an inclusive and personalized shopping experience. The founders have also been vocal about their commitment to sustainability, using recycled materials for their swimwear and implementing eco-friendly practices in their production process.
Experiment Beauty, founded by Lisa Guerrera, is a chemist-led brand that offers clean, sustainable beauty products that are science-backed, safe, and ridiculously fun.
The brand has quickly become a leader in the green beauty movement, and its commitment to sustainability is evident in its packaging and product formulas. The brand's first product, the acid neon green reusable sheet mask, has become a cult favorite, and its other products have been praised for their effectiveness.
Bossy Cosmetics is a color cosmetics brand that cares about how women feel, starting from the inside and moving outward. Founded by Aisha Fatima Dozie, Bossy Cosmetics empowers ambitious women with ethically-made lipsticks, eyeshadows, and eyeliners.
The brand's products are cruelty-free and made with natural ingredients that are good for the skin and the environment. This global beauty brand also provides topical content on its website to empower and inspire women to be their most confident, ambitious selves.
August is a lifestyle brand focused on making sustainable period care that works. Founded by Nadya Okamoto, August ensures that periods are not a source of shame or embarrassment but something that can be embraced and celebrated.
August aims to make periods as comfortable and manageable as possible, using natural ingredients and sustainable materials in its products. Its period care options offer a wide range of benefits, from increasing comfort and convenience to helping reduce the environmental impact of period care products.
New Money Ventures is a venture capital firm that invests in game-changing brands and the entrepreneurs behind them. Jaclyn Johnson founded New Money Ventures and provides founders with money, mentorship, and the opportunity to reach their goals.
The firm believes that early-stage investments have the potential to be the most rewarding and works with founders to help them scale and grow their businesses. With a team of experienced investors and advisors, New Money Ventures has the expertise to back powerful ideas and help them reach their full potential.
Ceremonia is a clean hair care brand founded by Babba Rivera that is rooted in her heritage and inspired by the rituals she grew up with. The brand was created to provide representation and products for the Latinx community and make clean hair care accessible to everyone.
Ceremonia's products are made with clean and natural ingredients and range from hair oils to styling products. With its combination of heritage, clean ingredients, and social responsibility, Ceremonia is changing how people view hair care and the Latinx community.
Wondermind is a mental fitness startup founded by Daniella Pierson, Selena Gomez, and Mandy Teefey. After a powerful conversation around mental health struggles, Daniella and her co-founders set out to create an innovative platform that fosters emotional intelligence and well-being.
Wondermind offers a range of mental fitness services, including personalized coaching and access to experts in the field of mental health. The startup also provides a space for users to connect with others on their mental fitness journey.
Magic Dates provides tasty and innovative snacks with a nod to Middle Eastern culture. Founded in 2018 by Diana Jarrar, a former Syrian and Palestinian refugee, this brand deeply appreciates Middle Eastern culture and values.
Magic Dates' products are becoming a popular alternative to unhealthy snacks, as they offer a great way to satisfy cravings without extra added sugars or sugar alcohol. Their snacks come in a range of flavors and consist of natural ingredients.
Many women experience periods that leave them feeling exhausted and in pain. Elix is a revolutionary women’s health brand founded by Lulu Ge to help women take control of their bodies and their health.
It features an innovative platform providing help in the form of herbal medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), and clinical research.
Thanks to Elix, women don't have to suffer in silence anymore—they can take control of their health and find relief from their menstrual symptoms. With Elix, period issues don't have to ruin anyone's day! The brand's pure and potent liquid herbal extracts relieve hormonal imbalances that cause discomfort, making it easier to manage menstrual cycles.
Mrs. Goldfarb's Unreal Deli is the brainchild of Jenny Goldfarb, who set out to recreate her favorite deli foods in plant-based form. What started out as a mission to make vegan deli food accessible to everyone has turned into an amazing business changing how we all look at plant-based food.
Mrs. Goldfarb's Unreal Deli offers a wide range of delectable deli items, from vegan bacon to classic deli sandwiches. All the products are made with high-quality ingredients and no artificial preservatives, fillers, or GMOs.
Even non-vegans adore the unique flavors that Mrs. Goldfarb's Unreal Deli has to offer, proving that plant-based food is for everyone. With its delicious deli treats, this brand is making it easy for everyone to enjoy a deli-inspired meal that is good for their health and the environment. Bon appetit!
You may have heard of Tonic, the CBD company founded by Brittany Carbone. What started out as a side hustle has turned into a booming 7-figure business!
Tonic's mission is to help people feel better by mixing CBD with adaptogens, which are natural substances that can help the body adapt to stress. Their beautiful tinctures don't just look pretty—they also taste delicious and offer a range of health benefits.
The company expanded into hemp farming, setting up a farm in upstate New York. This allows them to produce high-quality CBD in an ecologically responsible way.
Cubicle to CEO® is an online platform for women entrepreneurs who want to take their businesses to the next level. Founded by Ellen Yin, this exciting online platform brings together inspiring female founders and CEOs who are sharing what's actually working in the business right now.
Cubicle to CEO® offers a plethora of amazing resources, including weekly interviews with leading entrepreneurs, podcasts, blogs, YouTube and Instagram videos, and more. With so much valuable information at your fingertips, it's easy to take your business to the next level with Cubicle to CEO®.
Everyday Humans is a female-founded company that is radically redefining beauty standards. Founded by Charlotte Chen Pienaar, the brand aims to empower people of all ages, sizes, and colors to love their own unique beauty.
The brand offers a wide range of natural and organic skincare products, including comfortable, conscious sunscreens designed for all skin types. This brand makes it easier for everyone to feel beautiful in their skin and embrace a more holistic approach to beauty.
Top 5 DTC Brands in Australia Right Now
While the world’s leading DTC brands are mostly based in the US and Europe, Australia is home to some of the most innovative direct-to-consumer brands. From fashion to food, these five DTC companies have skyrocketed in popularity due to their unique business models and digital-first strategies.
Bangn Body is a natural skincare brand that was founded by Priscilla Hajiantoni. The company offers a range of natural acne-fighting products, herbal extracts, and serums formulated to relieve hormonal imbalances.
The brand's gentle and effective skincare products have gained a loyal following, with many customers attesting to the product’s efficacy. This Aussie DTC brand is quickly becoming the go-to source for natural beauty products.
SoL Cups! is a reusable cup company founded by Rebecca Veksler and her mother. After suffering from a chronic illness, Rebecca decided to start this business alongside her mum while in rehabilitation.
The company has since expanded to become one of the top 4 reusable cup companies globally, producing stylish and sustainable cups, bottles, gifts, and accessories that are helping to reduce pollution.
Founded by Ali Clarke, Bondi Blades is Australia’s first at-home derma razor company offering a range of ergonomic razors that make it easy to achieve salon-quality results from the comfort of your own home.
The company is taking the industry by storm, offering a range of different razor models designed to suit any skin type. This Aussie DTC brand is a must-have for anyone looking to take their skincare routine to the next level.
From the depths of her dark past, Zoe Marshall founded The Deep Podcast, which has since become one of Australia’s most successful female-founded podcasts. With over 1.5 million downloads, The Deep has become a place for thought-provoking conversations and an exploration of the human psyche.
The podcast features conversations with people from all walks of life and provides a unique insight into the lives of many who have been deeply impacted by their experiences.
Sustainability is at the heart of everything that One Small Step does. The company was founded by Lily Dempster and aims to make being eco-friendly simpler and more accessible.
The One Small Step app encourages users to decrease their carbon footprint and set new, eco-conscious goals. The app is filled with helpful resources, tips, and tricks that make living a more sustainable lifestyle easy.
Female entrepreneurs play an increasingly important role in the direct-to-consumer industry, bringing innovative products and services to life. From fashion to food and skincare, DTC brands founded by women are making a huge impact on the industry and helping to shift toward a more sustainable and equitable future.
Whether you’re looking for a new skincare routine or want to learn about the lives of others, these DTC brands have something for everyone. I can’t wait to see what amazing things these female founders come up with next!
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