Today is #InternationalWomensDay, a day dedicated to celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women. In honor of this, we have compiled a list of inspiring, female-built brands that are changing the game. We recommend having Destiny’s Child or Rihanna playing in the background as you read.
The Bunkhouse Group
The Bunkhouse Group is a popular Austin-based hospitality group that offers more than just a good night’s sleep or a good cup of coffee. This unique brand was built by creating memorable experiences for guests to encourage word of mouth and inspire them to return.
The Mastermind behind this concept is Liz Lambert, a native Texan who used to hang out on South Congress Avenue in the early 90’s. Filled with crime, drugs and poverty, this wasn’t a great part of town at the time, but Lambert saw an opportunity in a rundown 1930’s hotel – The San Jose. Liz eventually went on to transform the space entirely, turning it into a 40 room urban bungalow-style hotel. After acquiring more hotels and Jo’s Coffee, The Bunkhouse Group was created to oversee her growing portfolio which now includes Austin Motel, El Cosmico, Hotel Saint Cecilia, Hotel Havana and more.
You’re almost guaranteed to walk away from the Bunkhouse experience feeling inspired and craving more – that’s the result of a powerful brand right there. We look forward to seeing how The Bunkhouse Group will expand their already-successful company in the coming years.
Museum of Ice Cream
Wildly popular with millennials and celebrities, The MoIC is an interactive art exhibition that contains “among other things, a rock-candy cave, a unicorn, and a swimming pool of rainbow sprinkles” in a maze of different rooms. So far its temporary locations have included New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Miami.
The MoIC is the brainchild of Mary Ellis Bunn, who was only 25 years old at the time of its first opening and has already been hailed as “The Millennial Walt Disney”. Bunn started the company as a temporary passion project but knew she was on to something when tickets sold out almost instantly. It’s clear that Bunn understands the power in creating visually compelling experiences that look good on Instagram.
We’re expecting big things for the future from the MoIC, and we’ve got our fingers crossed for an exhibition to open in Austin!
The Honest Company
The Honest Company is an American consumer goods company that offers all-natural, non-toxic products across a wide range of consumer categories, including baby, personal care, home care and vitamins & supplements.
Jessica Alba started this company after being inspired by her own ill-health and the birth of her first child. She had severe asthma and allergies and noticed they would get much worse after using certain household products such as hairspray, and also noticed that some baby products weren’t even gentle enough for her own skin. So what did she do? Created her own range of trustworthy products that don’t contain any harmful ingredients. Not only do the products serve an ethical purpose, but they also feature stylish packaging and actually work, making them tick all the boxes for consumers. With a reported $300 million in annual sales, it is clear that building an ethical brand has worked for The Honest Company and we hope that more brands take a step in this direction.
Glossier is a beauty startup with a devout following. This brand questions the traditional beauty paradigm where experts tell the customer what they should be putting on their face. Instead, it celebrates personal choice, diversity and individualism. Glossier is powered by the people.
Emily Weiss is the CEO and founder of Glossier who launched the company in 2014 after successfully raising $2million in initial seed funding. Since then, investors have plunged nearly $90million into the brand, proving its immense success in such a short amount of time. If anybody understands the importance of a strong brand identity, its Weiss. She has been meticulous in creating a unified look and feel for all of her products, services and marketing materials. From aesthetically pleasing packaging to a carefully curated Instagram page, building a strong brand identity has really paid off for Glossier. It will be interesting to see how Weiss continues to elevate this exciting brand in the future!
Last but certainly not least is Austin’s very own, Juice Society. Described as ‘a community-driven wellness brand’, Juice Society sells nutritious beverages and wholesome snacks, both online and in their brick-and-mortar store on S. Lamar Blvd.
Like Jessica Alba, Danielle Sobel was also inspired by her own ill-health when she created Juice Society. After becoming tired of treating chronic migraines and eczema with pills and creams, Sobel started creating and drinking these concoctions of herbs, fruits and vegetables which turned her life around and made her illnesses disappear. Sobel wanted to help other people incorporate these healthy options into their day-to-day lives, and so Juice Society was born.
Sobel credits Instagram for helping her build her brand. It is evident that she has a clear vision for the brand aesthetic, keeping it ‘bright, light and simple’ – this is visible in everything from the web design to the packaging to the shop’s modern interiors. Her goal is to introduce superfoods to people in an approachable way, and we can see how this translates through the clean and simple branding.
All this talk of fruit juice has got us craving it, so we think a trip to their brick-and-mortar store will be on the cards for lunch. We encourage you to support a local female-owned business today too. Happy #InternationalWomensDay!