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Women are now more than ever front and centre when it comes to entrepreneurship and business.
Despite the increase in visibility and support though, a 2014 survey on the growth of small and medium enterprises in Canada showed that only 15.7 per cent of those businesses were owned by women, while 64.6 per cent were owned by men.
As consumers, it’s our responsibility to put our purchasing power to use in support of causes that we feel are important. Every small action makes a difference, whether that’s through word of mouth, following brands on social media, or choosing where we spend our hard-earned cash.
Ahead of International Women’s Day on Mar. 8, we wanted to highlight some of our favourite brands that are owned by female entrepreneurs. There are so many to choose from that it was tough to pick just a few, but here are nine Canadian female-run brands to support in 2020.
Founded by Vancouver-based Miriam Alden in 2014, this playful brand aims to uplift women “all day, every day.” Known for their bold casual wear that includes slogan tees and hoodies, their brand of fun pieces have been featured on Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle site Goop, as well as on celebrities like Jillian Harris.
A third-generation jeweller, founder Noura Sakkhuja started Mejuri because she wanted to overhaul the thought that fine jewelry should be reserved exclusively for special occasions. The brand creates high-quality pieces (minus the traditional industry markups) for everyday wear, and encourages women to embrace the finer things in life.
Joanna Griffiths first created Knix’s signature leak-proof underwear after learning about the realities of life after childbirth. Since launching, she’s grown the brand to include functional basics, including bras, underwear and swimwear, that are as comfortable as they are beautiful.
Since launching in 2009, Bojana Sentaler’s namesake label has become a worldwide sensation thanks to a little help from the women of the royal family. Following appearances on both Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle, the brand’s luxury outerwear has helped put Canadian fashion on the global stage.
Founder Natalie Dusome started the accessories brand Poppy & Peonies as a working mom looking for on-trend pieces that suited her busy lifestyle. Their selection of vegan leather bags feature bright pops of colour and the latest silhouettes, all while remaining affordably-priced.
Founder Julie Clark, who struggled with allergies and eczema all her life, set about creating her own natural products to suit even the most sensitive skin. Sourcing local ingredients gathered from provinces across the country (hence the name), Province Apothecary brings a natural and uniquely Canadian approach to beauty.
Montreal sisters Myriam and Romy Maguire launched Maguire Boutique with the hopes of creating high-end footwear without the sky-high prices. Their model of limited-run production coupled with season-less designs allows the brand to work directly with manufacturers, all while passing along the savings to shoppers.
It’s a family affair for Nudestix founders Jenny, Ally, and Taylor Frankel, the mom-and-daughters trio behind the brand’s foolproof beauty products. With multipurpose sticks designed for eyes, lips and cheeks, they’re taking the work out of creating your perfect makeup look.
Founder Randi Bergman recently turned her successful website Capsule 98 into a fashion brand, and it’s now available to shop through a unique collaboration with Hudson’s Bay. Bright, colourful, and completely ‘90s inspired, her designs are a nostalgic look at everyone’s favourite decade.