International Women’s Day has arrived and is there any better way to celebrate than to do a little (or a lot of) shopping? IWD is a global celebration of how far women have come since its inception as a socialist movement in the early 1900s but did you know that each year, it’s given a theme? This year’s theme is Break the Bias and that means it’s all of our responsibility to work toward a gender-equal world.
While it feels tough to celebrate anything these days with the travesty occurring in Ukraine to the abhorrent anti-gay law in Florida as well as the medieval abortion ban in Texas. There may be lots of work to continue to do but one fact remains steadfast and that’s that International Women’s Day is more important than ever before.
To kick off the festivities, I’m sharing a handful of female-founded brands to shop and support today & always.
Melanie Auld Jewelry
Melanie Auld Jewelry was born out of a love for creating unique stories. Created by Melanie herself, the brand intersects her three passions: travel, fashion and interior design. The timeless and versatile pieces she creates are “rooted in a modern yet thoughtful aesthetic” and are meant to be layered and worn to evolve over time. The fine and demi-fine offerings here are easy to wear, approachable, and classic. The MAJ boutique in Toronto just opened last fall on Ossington and it’s truly a dream to experience.
Founded by mega influencers Marianna Hewitt and Lauren Ireland, Summer Fridays is a skincare and lifestyle brand that’s encapsulated that going-on-vacay feeling. Launched just four years ago, the brand has grown massively but its hero product, the Jet Lag Mask, continues to be the ultimate multi-tasker. Fast-forward to today and Summer Fridays has a wide product offering that’s clean, vegan, cruelty-free, and incredibly efficacious.
On a mission to simplify the search for classic and timeless pieces is T.Line, a brand new capsule collection by modern lifestyle brand Trouvaille. Created by founder Britt Barkwell, a seasoned Toronto-based fashion professional, the brand is all about creating an effortless and classic style. Consisting of pieces like the perfect white shirt, Breton stripes, classic silk scarf, to even one-of-a-kind handcrafted catchalls, Britt has simplified the art of shopping by helping us do so with intention and thoughtfulness.
If you ask me, there are few things more transformative than lighting a brand new candle. Simple yes, but not something to overlook. One of my faves in the city to support is Apothegeri. The brand, launched by Geri herself, was born in 2018 but came to full fruition during the pandemic. Geri’s goal through her brand is that these candles and trinkets serve as a reminder to take some time for ourselves and to allow them to bring a little light into our spaces. All of Apothegeri’s products are sourced locally, ethically made, and even created using recycled glass.
Even though winter is thankfully on its way out, we can still talk about Sentaler! The brand is known for being worn by celebs and royals and the woman behind it all is Bojana Sentaler, herself. Launched all thanks to a chance meeting with legend Karl Lagerfeld who inspired her to explore her true passion — fashion and design. Bojana discovered the incomparable alpaca fibre and fell in love with its lightweight and warm features and thus Sentaler was born and the rest is fashion history.
I don’t care who you ask, but there is NO better feeling than tucking into bed at the end of a long day. As if that feeling could get any better, sliding between Tuck Bedding has done just that. Founded by bedding-0bsessed babes Julia and Hallie, Tuck is all about creating bedding that’s well-made, high-quality, soft and sustainable. Their proprietary fabric blend literally puts all other sheets to rest and believe me, once you’ve slept a night in Tuck sheets, you’ll get what the fuss is about.
Thought self-tanning products are tricky to use? I used to think so but I haven’t looked back since introducing TopGlow into my regimen. Launched by sisters Mirdita and Besarta Bytyqi from Kosovo who escaped a war-torn country, learned English and adapted to a new culture, the duo found a mutual love for beauty products. TopGlow was born out of that love and continues to thrive with its offerings of teeth whitening, spray tanning, and its iconic self-tanning serum.
Skincare has just gotten smarter thanks to U Beauty. Founded by Tina Chen Craig, the brand was born out of Tina’s need to streamline her routine and optimize her skincare. U Beauty is all about replacing excess with essence and thanks to fewer and smarter offerings that produce real results, time and waste are saved. My personal fave? The brand new Barrier Bioactive Treatment is something of a miracle — it’s an overnight treatment that strengthens and softens your skin while you sleep for juicy and plump skin come morning.
Thought the words ‘fashion’ and ‘engineering’ didn’t belong in a sentence? Think again because 2-time CAFA nominated women’s contemporary fashion brand, NONIE has done it. The brand’s founder Nina Kharey has used her engineering background to develop & advance the future of sustainable fashion with the world’s first full circular, zero-waste, anti-viral contemporary ready-to-wear collection. Included in the collection are a range of chic pieces like skinny black trousers with an oversized classic white shirt, and of course, the brand’s iconic trench wrap coat – inspired by NONIE’s sleeveless blush trench dress as made famous by Meghan Markle!