In a world where so many women's brands are run by men, we thought we'd celebrate the women who own brands you shop at, but may not know are female-owned.
We hope the stories of these female entrepreneurs inspire you, but remember, just because they built businesses in their 20s, doesn't mean you have to too, everyone's journey is different.
Owned by Florence Ledwith, who started the shoe empire at 22 years old. After graduating from Northumbria University with a Fashion Communications degree, Florence was saving up for a deposit for a flat in Essex.
She saved £15,000 over 6 years, which she then decided to invest in the brand she had been envisioning, Envy. Florence took the risk, moved back into her parents home and invested every penny into the brand, which turned over £350k 2 years later and is worn by many influencers, but she still reinvests every penny into the brand.
Florence's supplier said not to make the diamonté 'Melissa' heel as 'it wouldn't do well'. She followed her gut and ordered 300 pairs which sold out overnight!
House of CB
Conna Walker started House of CB when she was just 17 years old, and is now a multi-millionaire. The brand that you may know for stunning figure hugging dresses, started with a £3,000 loan from Conna's father.
It wasn't an easy journey though. People doubted her, telling her she was 'too young and didn't know what she was doing', men thought she didn't understand and just liked 'pretty things'. Conna now has 1,000 staff spread across 5 stores in the UK and USA. Her team is predominantly female as she feels that women understand the customer better.
Conna started her entrepreneurial journey after a trip to China, where she saw bandage dresses that hadn't been seen in London before. She bought 30 wholesale dresses, modelled the dresses for pictures, and sold the dresses on eBay. The eBay shop grew, and from the age of 18 to 20, she was visiting China every month to have her own designs made.
However, many wrong decisions nearly brought the company to bankruptcy when Conna was 21. With the hunger that a true entrepreneurial spirit has, she hunted celebs in hotels, paid doormen $40 to pass on her surplus dresses and direct messaged LA reality stars on Instagram.
Her dresses are seen on celebs such as Rihanna, Gigi Hadid & Khloe Kardashian. In 2018, House of CB turned over £12 million in profit.
Sisters Sophie & Hannah Pycroft started their business in their garage, aged 24 and 25. Spectrum Collections is now worth £12 million.
Sophie was a photographer for weddings, fashion and photoshoots, whilst Hannah freelanced in digital content creation. Both living in Wales, the lack of creative opportunities was the driving force behind Spectrum. The sisters always tried to get freelance work on the same projects, so they thought about starting their own business. All they knew was that it had to be in either one of their passions; fashion or beauty.
Noticing the lack of pretty and interesting makeup brushes in the beauty industry, they pulled their savings together and invested £15,000 to cover the cost of stock and shipping for their new makeup brushes.
Spectrum Collections started in the garage of their parents house. They did everything themselves; packaging, photography, building a website, shipping etc. After 6 months, despite the business slowly growing, they still couldn't afford to pay themselves, so they carried on with freelance work on the side to reinvest into the business.
Their break-through moment happened at their product launch. Lots of people attended the launch party, which caught the interest of the press and social media.
They now have a team of 5+ people, a lot of whom are friends, and moved into a bigger office in 2018.
There's nothing more inspiring than a woman absolutely killing it in the business world. Whether you're a business person or not, we hope these ladies inspire you.
Let us know which business women inspire you in the comments.