In celebration of International Women's Day, we're taking a little look at some of the female-led small brands that I continue to come back to time and again for inspiration, morale boosting, new thinking, reality checks, and sometimes, just a good old-fashioned laugh. All are small yet mighty. All are worth adding to your must-follows on Insta. Here are six of my favourite female-led brands to check out now.
Black And Beech
I love this brand, because founder and fashion design lecturer, and mum, Stacey Grant-Canham, isn't afraid to say it how it is. Black & Beech started out with a range of contemporary teething jewellery in 2016 and the product range has developed as Stacey's journey as a mother has developed. From prints to clothing to books, everything is designed with style-conscious women in mind and the messaging is no-nonsense, in-your-face and fun. She's all about products that get people talking. Check out her Do No Harm Take No Shit cardis for a good dose of empowerment.
Behind Join London is an inspiring story of a one-woman powerhouse that has worked incredibly hard to create an award-winning brand. Founder Jen created the business in 2017, and is a mum who draws inspiration from the British coast and Cornwall where she grew up. Join make dreamily scented home and body products. All are natural, sustainable, vegan and cruelty-free. Her hand-poured candles are divine and all of her products just feel really good to use. I'm very lucky to have been able to collaborate with her on our own Lisa Valentine Home Eco Multi-Purpose Cleaner.
Mabli, like mine, is a small Welsh business which was founded in 2016 by knitwear designer, Lisa Roberts. For a long time, she had envisioned her designs in miniature and she's now bringing that vision to life with her gorgeous vintage-inspired childrenswear designs. The collection is all-natural materials - 100% extra fine Merino wool, linen and organic Pima cotton - and their approach is all about slow fashion. I love the way they use traditional Welsh tapestry blanket patterns in to their designs, contrasted with simple and versatile pieces.
Jord Home's beautiful, boutique rugs transform rooms. Specialising in natural sheepskins and ethically-sourced hides, founder Gemma Wright created the business when she couldn't find beautiful, all-natural sheepskins for a reasonable price point. Their big focus is on ethical rearing and sourcing, and their ethos is to create a sense of wellness and comfort in people's homes. They've branched out into gorgeous rustic pots, storage and furniture. It's all very Scandi chic in the simplest and best way - and affordable. I love it!
Simply Scandi Mag
Simply Scandi was created by magazine editor Jennifer Morgan and it's a sumptuous dose of Scandi magic. I always turn to it for feel-good messages and gorgeous Nordic-inspired interiors. Jen makes a point of championing female small business owners and their brands. She's been wonderfully supportive of Lisa Valentine Home for the last few years and I love working with her whenever the opportunity pops up.
Cardiff-based jewellery maker, Lou Gray, creates beautiful, simply and heartfelt designs. Behind the brand is the ethos that every piece of jewellery - no matter how simple - should mean something. Lou herself describes her pieces as not being absolutely perfect - they aren't intended to be. They are intended to be unique and handmade with love.