Advertisement

16 Powered by Women Brands, Businesses, Products, and Projects to Rally Behind

You might have noticed that we have a thing for supporting women-owned businesses. (If you haven’t already, bookmark By Women, our curated list of 100 products from woman-owned brands that our editors love.) But only focusing on those brands that are owned by women has some limitations—what about woman-founded brands so successful that they get acquired by a major corporation? Or legacy brands that aren’t owned by women but are finding new success with women at the helm? Or major companies that are launching noteworthy female-centric projects? These increasingly common scenarios nudge the needle toward a more gender-balanced economy and, in our opinion, also deserve a shout-out.

So, as a way to widen our lens and capture more moments of female innovation, we’ve curated a list of “powered by women” brands. Some are household names that were born when a woman noticed something obvious missing in the marketplace. (Can you believe it used to be hard to find chlorine-free diapers or tampons?) Others are powerhouse names that are leaning into female leadership and woman-centric projects and products. Some are companies you didn’t even know had a major connection to women. All are worthy female-fueled brands, businesses, products, and projects for you to pour your own feminine energies into.


It Cosmetics

You probably know the brand, but did you know that its founder, Jamie Kern Lima, was once a TV news anchor—and before that, a Denny’s server? Struggling to find makeup that could even out her rosacea and fill out her thin brows in a manner worthy of HDTV, she ended up formulating her own products with help from dermatologists and plastic surgeons. When they hit QVC in 2010, they sold out in minutes; rather than demo them on basically flawless models, Kern Lima would remove and reapply her own makeup, or use average women of all ages and skin types. Women loved what she was selling, and in 2016, It Cosmetics was purchased by cosmetics powerhouse L’Oréal for $1.2 billion, and Kern Lima became the first female CEO in the company’s 100-plus-year history. One holy-grail product that It unleashed on the world: the Your Skin but Better CC+ Cream.

It Cosmetics Your Skin but Better

$47.00, Amazon


SPONSORED

Marriott International

In 1927, entrepreneur John Willard Marriott and his wife, Alice, opened the root beer stand that would give rise to the largest hospitality company in the world. “My grandmother played a pivotal role in founding and growing the company,” says David Marriott, chairman of the board of Marriott International, which today includes nearly 8,800 properties across 139 countries and territories. Alice was Marriott’s first bookkeeper and first interior designer—and the first female board member when Marriott went public in 1953. “We’re proud of the role women have played throughout Marriott’s history, starting with my grandmother,” David says. Today, almost 50% of the company’s global executives are women—among them Tina Edmundson, president of Marriott’s new luxury division. Edmundson, a lifelong explorer, is defining the future of luxury travel as she oversees all aspects of Marriott International’s strategy as it pertains to the company’s portfolio of luxury brands, including The Ritz-Carlton, Ritz-Carlton Reserve, Bulgari Hotels & Resorts, St. Regis Hotels & Resorts, Edition, The Luxury Collection, JW Marriott, and W Hotels.

The St. Regis Chicago—part of Marriott International’s luxury portfolio, which is overseen by Tina Edmundson (inset)—was designed by world-renowned architect Jeanne Gang of Studio Gang. The 101-story tower is the tallest building in the world designed by a woman.

The Honey Pot

This now familiar “powered by herbs” feminine-care company started with a DIY (and aha!) moment: Beatrice Dixon concocted a natural wash that finally cured her persistent bacterial vaginosis. She shared the product with friends, then launched her company at a 2013 Atlanta hair show, after which the brand quickly got picked up by Whole Foods and expanded into menstrual-care products. The Black female founder—who didn’t benefit from any venture capital, just a personal loan from a relative—was able to quit her day job once Target started carrying The Honey Pot, which, thanks to its aesthetic packaging and addictively tingly herbal pads, has managed to make pads cool (somewhat literally). More proof: In January, Compass Diversified acquired a majority stake in the company for $380 million.

The Honey Pot Herbal Super Pads With Wings

$7.96.00, The Honey Pot


Supergoop!

Before it became one of our absolute favorite sunscreen brands, Supergoop was a third-grade teacher’s way of protecting her students from skin cancer. Holly Thaggard, who lost a friend to skin cancer, was on a mission to get SPF pumps into Texas schools. Step one was formulating a sunscreen like nobody had seen in 2004: one with clean ingredients and a nonsticky feel. Supergoop went on to completely disrupt the category, making sunscreen a pleasant and even aspirational skin-care step, and in 2016 a female CEO, Amanda Baldwin, helped launch the brand to the next level. Among the products womankind would no longer want to live without: Glow Screen, a tinted, skin-perfecting SPF.

Supergoop! Glow Screen

$38.00, Amazon


Mielle Organics

When influencer Monique Rodriguez—known for divulging the products she used to take care of her waist-length hair—launched her brand in 2014, it consisted of one product. It quickly grew to a complete collection carried in more than 100,000 US stores, and in 2021 Rodriguez became the first Black woman to raise a noncontrolling nine-figure investment, in a deal with Berkshire Partners. In 2023 she sold the company to beauty powerhouse P&G but continued on as CEO, operating the brand as an independent subsidiary. When its Rosemary Mint Scalp & Hair Strengthening Oil went viral on TikTok in 2022 (sparking some controversy) and kept selling out, Mielle became a true household name. Another bestseller to check out: the Pomegranate & Honey Twisting Souffle.

Mielle Organics Pomegranate & Honey Twisting Souffle

$12.97.00, Amazon


Kate Spade

Gen X and millennial women know there was just something about that original nylon Kate Spade bag that became ubiquitous in the early aughts—boxy and black, just the tiniest brand logo, classy and subtle. It was a new kind of brand, aspirational yet accessible, cool yet practical, subtle yet insider. Its eponymous founder—a 2002 Glamour Woman of the Year—was an editor at Mademoiselle when she created her first designs using construction paper and Scotch tape (as legend has it, at least). She died in 2018 at age 55, but her entrepreneurial legacy lives on through a global accessories empire that still has a female CEO, Liz Fraser, at its helm.

Kate Spade Boxxy Color-Blocked East-West Cross-Body

$498.00, Kate Spade


Queens by National Geographic

We grew up loving Simba, future king of the jungle, but the current generation of kids will also see the animal kingdom through a female-centric lens. Streaming on Hulu and Disney+, this seven-part docuseries celebrating powerful sisterhoods of the animal kingdom was produced by an all-women team, with Angela Bassett (a 2022 Glamour Woman of the Year) narrating. “We [needed] the series to be female-led, but then when we looked around we realized that there weren’t enough people at the right level and high enough to do that,” co–executive producer, showrunner, and writer Chloe Sarash told Variety. “So we very intentionally worked to mentor and train and bring an extraordinary new group of talented filmmakers through. And by doing that, we’ve also left the door open for this to happen again.” The subject matter also marks a first in the realm of wildlife documentaries. “It’s the first time we’ve ever featured and focused on female power in the natural world,” executive producer Vanessa Berlowitz, a wildlife filmmaker with more than 30 years of experience, told TV Insider.


The Estée Lauder Company

This iconic beauty brand isn’t feminine in just name but also vision. Ever since Mrs. Estée Lauder, the daughter of Hungarian and Czech immigrants, founded the company in 1946 with four skin-care products, it has remained focused on advancing opportunities for women around the world. Example: In 2021 it launched an initiative called Opening Doors: Women’s Advancement and Gender Equality, committed to securing gender pay equity, hiring women from underrepresented groups, and achieving gender parity on its board of directors by 2025 (among many other goals). Worldwide, the company has a workforce of more than 80% women, and 59% of its positions at the vice president level and above are filled by women.

Estée Lauder Nutritious Booster Drops Serum

$42.00, Estée Lauder

The Honest Company


Honest Co.

Bummed about the lack of chemical-conscious diaper options when she had her first child, actor Jessica Alba had an idea that (unbelievably) seemed novel at the time—create an infant-care brand based on trust and transparency, right down to its name. When Honest Co. launched in 2012, Alba capitalized on her celeb status to shine a light on the idea that what you put on your body matters just as much as what you put in it, and that ingredients lists should have nothing to hide. The idea caught on fast, and the brand expanded beyond baby items into skin care and beauty, went public in 2021, and currently has a female CEO, Carla Vernón, who is also the first Afro-Latina CEO of a US publicly traded company. A major player in mainstreaming safer products, the brand lists 3,500 chemicals it chooses not to use, including parabens, sulfates, and synthetic fragrances.

Honest Co. Training Pants

$12.99.00, Honest Co.


Veuve Clicquot

We all know it as the bottle with the orange label that gets popped at fancy clubs. Yet this Champagne brand has a less known and uniquely female backstory. One of the first woman entrepreneurs of modern times, “Madame Clicquot”—Barbe Nicole Clicquot Ponsardin—became, when she was widowed at age 27, head of the company her father-in-law had founded. She fully embraced the role, drove the brand to wild success, and is credited with creating the first blended-rosé Champagne, among other major industry innovations. Still centered around the concept of female innovation, the brand uses its Bold by Veuve Clicquot initiative (launched in 1972—way ahead of its time) to empower women entrepreneurs and give awards to standout female innovators around the world.

Veuve Clicquot Rich Rosé

$73.99.00, Wine.com


Stasher

A mom questioning the need for disposable sandwich baggies has saved 5.5 billion single-use plastic bags from entering our waterways and oceans. Owned by SC Johnson since 2019, the now ubiquitous reusable-bag brand Stasher (sold at Whole Foods and just about everywhere else near you) started as the pet project of Kat Nouri, a mom of three, who wanted to stop using so much plastic when packing her kids’ lunches. (She’d already been designing silicone baby bibs and placemats, so silicone slide-lock bags were a natural progression.) She took the idea onto Shark Tank and won a $400,000 investment from Mark Cuban, followed by $500,000 from an outside investor.

Stasher Reusable Silicone Storage Bag

$22.00, Amazon


Ouai

You know it as the hair-care brand beloved by various Kardashian-Jenners and other A-list celebrities—one that’s also refreshingly affordable and accessible. Yet Ouai is different from other trendy hair products in one notable way: It was designed by a woman who didn’t have a glam squad but was the glam squad, a hairstylist working on photo shoots and red-carpet events. Jen Atkin moved to LA when she was just 19 to become a hairstylist. (Well, first she was a receptionist in a hair salon.) After building an impressive roster of big-name celebrity clients over the years, she decided she could make hair products that better fit what her clients—and her generation—were looking for, plus supplements to make hair healthier from the inside out. She launched the brand in 2016 to instant success, in part thanks to her and her clients’ massive social-media reach, and sold it to P&G in 2022. These days it’s known for giving real women what they want: cleaner ingredients, nourishing formulas, and products that actually work.

Ouai Fine Shampoo + Conditioner Set

$64.00, Amazon


Carol’s Daughter

One of the biggest Black hair-care brands on the planet was born not in a corporate boardroom but a Brooklyn kitchen in 1993. Founder Lisa Price got her start selling homemade products at local flea markets and festivals and later opened a boutique. In 2000, Carol’s Daughter became one of the very first beauty brands to sell its products directly to customers via its own online store. Carol’s Daughter hit the big-time after launching on HSN and then getting picked up by Target in 2014. Now it’s part of the L’Oréal family of brands and sold everywhere from drugstores to Ulta, and Price is considered one of the most influential Black beauty entrepreneurs of all time. Current hot seller to try: the Hair Milk Refresher Spray for Curls & Coils.

Carol’s Daughter Hair Milk Curl Refresher Spray

$11.58.00, Amazon


E.L.F. Cosmetics

Known for making ultra-affordable makeup, E.L.F. was founded by a man—but these days its current CFO, a woman, is making headlines for her massive success in turning the brand around. Mandy Fields joined the brand in 2019 and has since clocked 20 consecutive quarters of growth—and net fourth-quarter sales for 2023 increased an insane 85 percent over the year before. Part of her strategy: keeping prices low in a world where just about everything seems to cost a fortune, and investing more in marketing. The brand is also focused on introducing hero products that are dupes for viral items from pricier brands. Its own viral product of the moment: Halo Glow Liquid Filter Complexion Booster.

E.L.F. Halo Glow Liquid Filter

$14.00, Amazon


Chanel

In the world of luxury goods, Chanel has notable feminine power behind it. Its story and aesthetic are built around its founder, Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel, who grew up as an orphan, made her name via a Parisian fashion boutique, and went on to become one the most influential fashion designers of all time. Her menswear-influenced clothing aesthetic really caught on among everyday women after World War I, freeing them from the buttoned-up and corseted feminine styles of the past. Today it is one of the few legacy fashion houses headed up by a woman, with Global CEO Leena Nair at the helm since 2022. Further evidence that Chanel remains as woman-powered as it was in Coco’s day: More than 60% of management positions at the company are held by women, and Fondation Chanel, the company’s charitable initiative, is one of the largest philanthropic organizations in the world devoted to empowering women and girls.

Chanel Pantos Sunglasses

$615.00, Chanel


Etoile

If you, like much of womankind, believe that the world is a better place because brilliant female-POV series like Gilmore Girls and The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel exist, here’s some great news: The creator of these beloved-by-women franchises, Amy Sherman Palladino, is masterminding an upcoming ballet series, Etoile, that will air on Amazon Prime. The premise: Two famous ballet companies in New York City and Paris have to swap their most talented stars. We can’t wait to see that tulle-laced drama starring Charlotte Gainsbourg play out next year, and in the meantime, we have a brand-new excuse to rebinge Gilmore and Maisel. Marvelous.

Originally Appeared on Glamour