We asked 4 Female Founders how they defined Female Empowerment

March 05, 2020 8 min read

It’s the ultimate Woman Crush Wednesday! 

Last year, we ran a series on The Journal called #WomanCrushWednesday. We interviewed several women who inspired us, and we learned a LOT in the process. As you may know, Encircled is a female founded company, so female entrepreneurship is something we support dearly. 

In celebration of International Women’s Day for 2020, we reached out to 4 female founders about their journeys through entrepreneurship, and how they defined female empowerment. It’s the ultimate roundup of great advice from incredible women. Plus, stay tuned to our Instagram for a giveaway featuring some of the products from these companies! 

 

The freedom to be yourself and work towards your dreams without compromise. No judgement on how we decide to hone in on our powers- as a high-level executive, a maker from a home studio, or anything in between.  


Zu, LEKKO LIFE GOODS

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m Zu- the founder, designer, and artisan behind LEKKO life goods. I live in Hamilton with my husband and 2 boys. 

What is LEKKO life goods?

LEKKO life goods is a brand focused on functional, aesthetic solutions to a sustainable everyday. 

What inspired you on your journey to entrepreneurship? 

I’ve come from a lineage of women that didn’t wait for opportunities to come to them, but instead went out and made them.

How would you define female empowerment?

The freedom to be yourself and work towards your dreams without compromise. No judgement on how we decide to hone in on our powers- as a high-level executive, a maker from a home studio, or anything in between. 

 

At one point, I used to define it as independence, equality and opportunity for women of all races and ages in whatever they choose. Yet, when I look back, this should feel innate for women, not an aspiration to work toward. To take it a little bit deeper, when women feel safe to be vulnerable, authentic and connected to others, this to me is their true power source in 2020.

Jacqueline, JOLIE LAIDE

Tell us a little about yourself.

 My name is Jacqueline and I’m the founder and designer behind Jolie Laide.

I’ve always had a deep passion and curiosity for travel, photography and design.

Through travel to places like Ecuador, Mexico, France and Italy I would collect beautiful objects and found the most well-made pieces were always created by artisans.

What is Jolie Laide?

Jolie Laide is a travel accessories line inspired by the lifestyle of nomads, artists and explorers.  We are committed to nurturing the talents of artisans in pursuit of quality. Jolie Laide grew from a personal need for a high quality camera strap for females and from here we evolved into a full collection. 

 What inspired you on your journey to entrepreneurship? 

The journey was accidental - yet I think what subconsciously drew me to take a chance on my idea was always for the possibility of freedom; freedom to grow on my own terms, take full responsibility for my potential and see where life takes me.

How would you define female empowerment?

At one point, I used to define it as independence, equality and opportunity for women of all races and ages in whatever they choose. Yet, when I look back, this should feel innate for women, not an aspiration to work toward. To take it a little bit deeper, when women feel safe to be vulnerable, authentic and connected to others, this to me is their true power source in 2020.

 

To me, female empowerment is not about an option to choose it’s about a right to choose. It is about instilling in girl’s and young women that SHE has the choice for HER future and HER own path. Not simply a path that society with its preconceived notions has created.   Empowerment is also about creating a culture of support for our fellow women and building them up for the choices they choose to make instead of shaming or passing judgment on one another for it.

 

Laura, WILDERNESS SOAP CO.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I am the sole owner and employee of Wilderness Soap Co., a mother of a beautiful one-year-old girl and wife of a very supportive husband who never questioned my crazy idea to start a soap company. I have a background in marketing and spent many years working in the ski resort industry on marketing campaigns and event activation. My husband and I are both very active people and spend many of our days hiking the Bruce Trail, snowboarding at Blue Mountain and biking the trail system of Collingwood. I now juggle my time between running my business and raising our daughter all while striving to live a simple, low-impact life here in beautiful Collingwood.

 

What is Wilderness Soap Co.?  

Plant-based artisan soap handcrafted using only the finest, 100% natural ingredients and produced in small batches to ensure purity. We carefully choose ingredients from the wilderness to create an eco-friendly product that is safe for both us and the environment.

We hold the wilderness close to our heart which means we strive to create an earth-friendly product right down to the packaging, including how we ship our product. Our soap labels are printed on organic banana paper made from tree-free agricultural bio-products and consumer recycled products creating a 100% biodegradable and chemical-free label. Our orders are shipped using recycled packing material whenever possible.

In an effort to help protect our environment even further, our products are vegan, palm oil-free and are never tested on animals.

 

What inspired you on your journey to entrepreneurship? 

As an avid yogi, I was originally inspired to become a yoga instructor and therefore six years ago I made the decision to leave my marketing job at Horseshoe Resort and travelled to Hawaii where I lived for a month studying yoga. I soon learned that I preferred to practice yoga, not teach it (I am a little shy when it comes to public speaking). So instead, I accepted a new marketing position at Blue Mountain Resort and moved to the small town of Collingwood in search of a more health-conscious lifestyle. Along with this came the decision to transition to a plant-based diet, cut out all harsh toxins from my life and reduce my overall environmental impact. 

One afternoon I found myself aimlessly roaming the “health” section of the grocery store in search of chemical-free skincare products which quickly proved to be an impossible task. Even those that claimed to be “all natural” still contained many ingredients that I could hardly pronounce. Not only that, the only products available were in plastic bottles. I left the store frustrated and decided to research “how to make your own skincare products” and came across the cold process soap making method. I remember reading about the process for hours and almost became obsessed with it and I hadn’t even made my first batch yet! I have always been the creative, hands-on type so naturally I decided to give soap-making a go. To my dismay, my first batch turned out great and worked like a charm. I immediately saw this as an opportunity to build a career for myself doing something creative that would benefit others looking to achieve a healthier, low-impact lifestyle. I created my first batch of soap in January 2015, opened an Etsy shop that March, received my first wholesale account by that June and left my full-time job the following January to grow my business. I now sell my soaps in 30+ boutique shops across Canada as well as in my online store.

While this past year has certainly been difficult adjusting to motherhood while running a full-time business, with a few tweaks and modifications to my business model, I have been able to find a happy balance while continuing to grow the Wilderness Soap Co. brand. 

 

How would you define female empowerment?

To me, female empowerment is not about an option to choose it’s about a right to choose. It is about instilling in girl’s and young women that SHE has the choice for HER future and HER own path. Not simply a path that society with its preconceived notions has created. 

Empowerment is also about creating a culture of support for our fellow women and building them up for the choices they choose to make instead of shaming or passing judgment on one another for it.

 

Simply put, female empowerment is letting go of comparison and competition. There is enough need and want for us all to succeed. Once we break down the barriers, embrace our community, and support eachother,  there is nothing sweeter and more fulfilling than female friendship.

 

Melissa, SUNDAY’S COMPANY 

Tell us a little about yourself.

In 2013, my husband and I (with our pack of dogs) moved from our stressful lives in Toronto in order to adopt a simpler, unhurried one-- surrounded by nature, wildlife, and like-minded people. What I thought might be a slow transition into this new world, was actually a natural process for me. I felt like I had finally set my roots-- I was home, and slow living was in my blood all along. 

 

What is Sunday's Company?

Sundays Company  is a plant-based apothecary nestled in the hills of Northumberland County, Ontario, where botanical creations bridge the space between beauty and nature. It’s rooted in the belief that self care should be low maintenance and gratifying. Products are thoughtfully created in small batches, using only natural ingredients— literally just plants and oils. No chemicals, no preservatives, no fillers. As much as possible, ingredients are sourced locally, through organic growing and ethical wildcrafting. I trust in the magic of our plant friends, as they hold the Earth’s energy within them, and it is my wish to offer you simple, sweet products that nourish your skin and spirit and enhance your self care practice.

 

What inspired you on your journey to entrepreneurship? 

I dabbled in all kinds of things, in my 20’s, but failed to figure out what my “purpose" was. The only thing that was certain was that I needed to be my own boss… until I made the move to country life. It was here that everything changed. My priorities, my passions and my goals. I immersed myself in things that were out of my comfort zone, and allowed myself to naturally follow a path that led me to where I am today. About a year after my move, I found myself at a workshop, picking medicinal weeds in a meadow. From that moment, the seed was planted and it led me creating Sunday's Company began as an idea to offer the simplicity and gifts of the Earth, but has evolved into something bigger. 

 

How would you define female empowerment?

Simply put, female empowerment is letting go of comparison and competition. There is enough need and want for us all to succeed. Once we break down the barriers, embrace our community, and support each other,  there is nothing sweeter and more fulfilling than female friendship.

 

GIVEAWAY!! 

Head over to the Encircled Instagram for full contest details.

View this post on Instagram

💝GIVEAWAY💝⁠⠀ #InternationalWomensDay is all about celebrating women, their impact, and accomplishments. To celebrate female empowerment, we’re bringing you 4 Days of Giveaways. ⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ Each day brings a *NEW* giveaway! We're featuring a curated selection of ethical, women-owned brands you’ll love.⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ Day 1 is today and here's the giveaway:⁠⠀ -A 3-piece set of handmade, reusable linen bowl covers from @lekkolifegoods⁠⠀ -A $100 gift card from us.⁠⠀ ⁠⠀⁠⠀ ✨How to enter:✨⁠⠀⁠⠀ 1. Like this photo and follow @lekkolifegoods + @encircled_ ⁠⠀ ⒉ Tag your BFF. Have more than one? Tag them all for more entries!⁠⠀⁠⠀⁠⠀ ⁠⠀⁠⠀ ✨BONUS entry✨⁠⠀⁠⠀ Share this post in your stories and tag both accounts.⁠⠀ ⁠⠀⁠⠀ Details // Entries must be received by March 6th at 11:59 EST. Winner will be selected at random and notified via DM no later than March 7th.⁠ No purchase or payment necessary. Not sponsored, administered, or associated with Facebook or Instagram.⁠⠀⁠⠀ ⁠⠀⁠⠀ ✨Don’t forget to stop by tomorrow for Day 2. Turn on your notifications to NOT miss a giveaway!✨⁠⠀⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ ⁠⠀ #sustainablefashion #slowfashion #buylesschoosewell #madeincanada #capsulewardrobe #qualityoverquantity #flashesofdelight #shopsmall #thatsdarling #ministyle #lessismore #sustainablestyle #slowfashionblogger #minimaliststyle #minimalist #makingadifference #consciousbrands #ethicalcompany #ethicallymade #giveback #ethicalfashion #changemakers #shopsocial #ethicalliving #livemindfully #sustainable #ecofriendly #sustainableliving⁠

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Travel Essentials. Encircled creates versatile minimalist clothes with the everyday traveler in mind. Each piece is Made in Canada, out of sustainable, and eco friendly materials.

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Travel Essentials. Encircled creates versatile minimalist clothes with the everyday traveler in mind. Each piece is ethically made, out of sustainable and eco friendly materials.Travel Essentials. Encircled creates versatile minimalist clothes with the everyday traveler in mind. Each piece is ethically made, out of sustainable and eco friendly materials.Travel Essentials. Encircled creates versatile minimalist clothes with the everyday traveler in mind. Each piece is ethically made, out of sustainable and eco friendly materials.Travel Essentials. Encircled creates versatile minimalist clothes with the everyday traveler in mind. Each piece is ethically made, out of sustainable and eco friendly materials.

 


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