Inspiring inclusion: four female-founded brands share their success stories

9 minutes

This year, it’s time to inspire inclusion. From celebrating women’s achievements to creating supportive environments and continuing to drive progress, International Women’s Day belongs to everyone, everywhere. And at VistaPrint, we’re proud of the female-founded businesses that have turned their passions and ideas into thriving brands. In this exclusive article, we speak to four female-founded brands that are pioneers within their industry and achieving success. We discover their missions, the experiences their most proud of as female entrepreneurs and what International Women’s Day means to them.

Cardigang

Can you tell us about your brand, its mission and what inspired you start your own business?
Cardigang was born out of a need for a new creative outlet and a desire to brighten our own
wardrobes. During Melbourne’s 2020 lockdowns we, the Cardigang Co-Founders – Morgan Collins and Cat Bloxsom, were looking for a creative outlet that would keep us connected but also help keep our hands busy and minds calm. Rather than turn to sourdough or Marie Kondo our wardrobes, we turned to knitting. Neither of us had knitted before, but the idea of having something wearable that we’d made
ourselves was very appealing. With the help of YouTube, we both taught ourselves and
discovered just how easy it was to master. In a short time, we were rocking some cool knits that started getting the attention of family and friends.

From there the idea for Cardigang was born and our mission to make knitting and crochet more fun and accessible for newbies drives everything we do. We say we are a brand for beginners, built by beginners. Everyone can learn to knit and crochet, you just need the right tools and a bit of determination. Plus, it’s awesome when someone asks you where you got your knit from and you cannot so humbly say, I made it myself.

Can you tell us about your experience as a female entrepreneur and the achievements
you’re most proud of?

As female entrepreneurs, our journey has been marked by determination, creativity and a desire to do things differently. Overcoming challenges is part of running a business and it’s something that we find motivating. We’re very conscious that we’ve got an opportunity to build a brand and a business from the ground up, and that we want our business to serve both ourselves, our team members and our customers. We’ve both come from corporate backgrounds and see Cardigang as an opportunity to develop a work life balance that means we enjoy what we do and we can build a business that inspires other women to follow their passions.

From day one we’ve received an overwhelming amount of support from other women – both from peers in business and from our amazing customers. It fills our cup to experience the generosity of support and advice from women and we try to pay it forward whenever we can. Creating kits that allow individuals to celebrate their individuality through fashion has been a rewarding experience, and we are proud of the impact Cardigang is making.

This year’s International Women’s Day focusses on inspiring inclusion. What does
International Women’s Day mean to you and how do you promote inclusion within your
small business?

International Women’s Day is a time for us to reflect on and celebrate the achievements of
women in all walks of life. It’s also a time for us to reflect on the ways that we can inspire women and work together towards our shared goals of inclusivity and equality. We promote inclusion within our business by embracing diversity in our team and celebrating the uniqueness of our customers. We strive to create a supportive and inclusive brand that encourages the expression of diversity and creativity. In our designs and marketing, we consciously reflect the diversity of our community, ensuring that everyone feels represented and valued.

AS Creative Collective

Can you tell us about your brand, its mission and what inspired you start your own
business?
Curated and directed by interior designer Alyssa Sutherland, A AS Creative Collective is a multi-disciplinary design agency. The brand was established in 2019 but has been my long-life dream.

Focused on mindful design, our mission is to enhance the human experience. This means constantly striving to better understand our clients and their desires. From interiors to branding and more, we aim to transform visions into realities.

After working in the building industry, my career took a turn in 2022 when my position was made redundant. I was devastated at what the result of Covid-19 had pushed onto the once strong and booming construction industry. I watched the industry suffer, as people worked themselves into the ground, the immense mental load it took on many trades and the companies and clients that were plagued by financial pressures.

After I left my role, I had four building companies approach me and join their team but I was certain I no longer wanted to work in the building industry.Finally, I had an opportunity to turn my side hustle into a creative agency. Thanks to past clients, friends, family members and complete strangers who stumbled across my Instagram, AS Creative Collective was born. I believe that life happens for you and you should trust in the process – two values that helped me to take the leap and found my very own brand.

Can you tell us about your experience as a female entrepreneur and the achievements you’re most proud of?
In 2023, I launched a lifelong goal of mine; a podcast called ‘Catch Me Outside My Comfort Zone.’ It’s a lifestyle and design podcast, striving to inspire listeners to live their dream life both professionally and personally. This eventually led me to design my first product, a journal, which has been loved by so many of my listeners. I’m fortunate to be a well-respected and recognised Alumni of Swinburne University and for the past few years, I have had the honour of mentoring other interior design students which brings me so much joy. My proudest moment was in August 2023 when I was selected to speak at the 2023 Media Arts and Design (MAD) Conference at The State Library. As a former student with a success story, I felt very emotional and proud.

This year’s International Women’s Day focusses on inspiring inclusion. What does International Women’s Day mean to you and how do you promote inclusion within your small business?
I love the phrase, ‘you will never be judged by someone doing more than you, you will only be judged by someone doing less.’ I stand true to this statement. I strive to put myself in environments where I know I am going to be supported by women who are already successful and who will encourage and support me. I also try to support women who share their big ideas and business goals with me. I want to make sure they know just how capable they are of achieving them.

When I work with women who are new to business, I offer so much more than just a logo or website. I’m the friend you can text late at night when you have a crazy idea. I want to build lifelong relationships with my clients and other local business owners because I know we have so much more strength when we work together – rather than compete or compare.I know I can be an icon for inclusion and will always keep this at my core. As a female who has worked in a very male dominated industry, I have never been shy of using my voice to articulate ideas and solutions.

Nyiwarri Yarn

Can you tell us about your brand, its mission and what inspired you start your own business?
My name is Reese, I’m a proud Wiradjuri woman, fibre artist, designer, owner of Nyiwarri Yarn and Psychology student living on Ngunnawal country. I am a self-taught fibre artist using techniques including knitting, crochet, punch needle and sewing. My passion for fibre arts began at the age of twelve, and I have been practising this art-form ever since. Nyiwarri Yarn started as a medium to connect with my culture – Indigenous women have been fibre artists for thousands of years. At Nyiwarri Yarn, I offer my own modern take as a young Wiradjuri woman by using knitted textiles to create pieces with meaning. My latest collection, Always Will Be, symbolises the persistent nature of Indigenous people’s connection to the land, despite adversities faced, whilst highlighting waste in the fashion industry. Indigenous people are the original environmentalists and I aim to promote these values at Nyiwarri Yarn.

Can you tell us about your experience as a female entrepreneur and the achievements you’re most proud of?
As a female entrepreneur the moments I’m most proud of are the moments where I’ve been
able to traverse business whilst keeping my creative spark. This is something notoriously hard for artists. Once you put a price on your art, it can become meaningless and a chore. I’ve been able to overcome this challenge by prioritising creativity and learning new techniques and patterns in my spare time.

This year’s International Women’s Day focusses on inspiring inclusion. What does International Women’s Day mean to you and how do you promote inclusion within your small business?
International Women’s Day for me personally is a day to stop and really appreciate the women in my life. I will forever be grateful for our staunch matriarchs that lead in the face of adversity. It’s important to remember that, because of her, we can. My brand promotes inclusion by creating first nations, ally friendly and LGBTIQA+ friendly pieces that can be worn with pride.

Spring Buyers Agency

Can you tell us about your brand, its mission and what inspired you start your own
business?

They say timing is everything. But what happens when you decide to completely burn the
boat and enter the world of entrepreneurship when the odds seem stacked against you?
Spring Buyers Agency was born as Covid-19 gripped the world. It was a period of global uncertainty, economic downturns, and challenges that would make even the most seasoned
entrepreneurs pause. Some might call it bad timing, but we saw it as an opportunity to defy
expectations and rewrite the narrative.

We decided to turn adversity into advantage and pursue our dreams when the world
seemed to say otherwise. Spring Buyers Agency emerged not despite the worst possible
timing but because of it. We met in 2009 as selling agents. Whilst our careers lead us on different paths within the real estate industry, our friendship stood the test of time and we knew we were destined to
join forces in business one day.

Spring Buyers Agency was sparked by a pinnacle conversation with each other about our
recent experiences in offering advice and assistance to friends who were struggling to buy
property at the time. As selling agents, we had witnessed first-hand the frustration, disappointment and challenges property buyers faced as well as the lack of un-biased, professional assistance available to them.

Can you tell us about your experience as a female entrepreneur and the achievements
you’re most proud of?

Founding Spring Buyers Agency and Spring Property Management are our
proudest achievements. We both sacrificed a lot and took an enormous financial and
professional risk to embark on a journey we genuinely believed would make a difference to
people’s lives. We defied the odds and ignored the noise. Another notable achievement has been our dedication to innovation. We constantly strive to improve our clients’ journey and deliver excellence.

This year’s International Women’s Day focusses on inspiring inclusion. What does
International Women’s Day mean to you and how do you promote inclusion within your
small business?

International Women’s Day holds significant meaning for us as a celebration of the
achievements worldwide and a reminder of the ongoing work needed to achieve gender
equality. This is especially relevant for our business as we are part of what has always been, a very male dominated industry. It’s a day to recognise the contributions of women in various fields and reflect on our own contributions towards gender parity and the challenges that still exist.

Even in a very small business, fostering inclusion for women is achievable with intentionality
and commitment. That means promoting diversity, supporting other women in business, creating social impact, championing for equal opportunities and pay, providing flexible workplaces and supporting community.

Want to turn your hobby into a thriving small business – just like these brands? VistaPrint is here to help with the marketing and design solutions that you need. Start browsing our range of standout marketing materials, irresistible merch and more – all customised to your unique business.

Start Shopping