6 female startup founders who are crushing it

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Are you ready to be inspired? Meet the women who have created start-up brands that are changing the game for good…

Makayla Drummond is the founder of The Source Bulk Foods

The Source offers a unique shopping experience providing quality ingredients, where you only buy what you need without any plastic packaging. There are now two stores in London with more set to open around the UK this year.

On good advice

When building your business don’t be afraid to outsource tasks like recruitment, accounting and marketing early on. By trying to do everything yourself you will loose valuable time and not grow as fast as you could if you got help.

On overcoming hurdles

At first, the biggest hurdle I had to overcome was trying to get suppliers to see how vision and the potential in our business. There are now many zero packaging stores in the UK but at the time we opened it was difficult to find suppliers willing to sell in bulk to us.

Kat Pither is the founder of Yogi Bare, a yoga mat and accessories brand

The brand was founded with a desire to make yoga less of an elite club and more of a party, bringing the best quality yoga equipment in fun prints and more accessible prices to everybody and breaking down barriers. I felt yoga should remain accessible, fun and full of magic and delight, not comparison, competition, staid or elitism. So I got to work. I wanted to develop a range of eco-sensitive products with accessible price points and I wanted to inject personality to a world that can sometimes seem alien or difficult to access. The name isn’t just a fun play on words but the ‘Bare’ is symbolic of the eco credentials and a sense of stripping back.

On good advice

Simply wanting to be your own boss isn’t enough, you have to have purpose behind what you are doing. You’ll cut your teeth, hurt your heart, be your legal, finance, creative, dogsbody, customer service and PR department in one. You’ll google everything. Your day will shuttle your between the highest highs, the lowest of the lows. You’ll never work harder. You’ll doubt and curse, you’ll discover your fire and determination. And yet, despite it all, you’ll never have felt more alive, a passion and belief in your veins like nothing else. There has to be a real reason for what you are doing. That passion carries you through it all. That passion is the reason.

On overcoming hurdles

The hardest hurdle I’ve had to overcome is knowing your worth and knowing you can’t drain – emotionally, physically and financially – yourself in order to please everyone. It’s okay to say no.

Sedge Beswick is the founder of SEEN Connects, an influencer and social marketing agency

SEEN Connects is an influencer marketing agency – working in areas of tomorrow and restlessly innovating the social space whether that’s voice or a new face. We work with brands such as Instagram, Jo Malone London and Nike. I also mentor people kick starting their careers in the social/influencer space and have placed over 60 people in roles in the UK.

On good advice

When I worked at Red Bull, my boss drummed into me the “five minute rule” – AKA if you can do it in five minutes, do it now rather than adding it to a to-do list. Speed is definitely my strength. Plus, my dad’s rule for life is make time for everyone – my Friday mornings were spent going to school with the bin men round my kitchen table for a cuppa and some toast. He has an amazing ability to make time for everyone and that’s something he’s instilled in me.

On overcoming hurdles

The hardest hurdle I have had to overcome has been being taken seriously when I’m the age I am/was – I’m direct and to the point. Not too many people like being told what’s right by their reportees, which took its toll physically and mentally on a younger version of me who couldn’t understand why we weren’t all delivering up to the same goal and working as a team.

Carli Wheatley founded fitness food brands Protein Haus and Paleo Supply and Strong Island festival

I love nothing more than spreading the benefits of health and wellness whilst bringing lots of wonderful people together in an inclusive and positive environment. The concept and brand for @paleosupply is a new wellness fast food space in Canary Wharf. It was a project close to my heart – feeding people is a big responsibility and one that I take seriously. It focuses on organic and locally produced food, it’s plastic free and I made my own ice cream – they’re vegan coconut milk based with flavours like charcoal black vanilla and matcha swirl.

On good advice

The best advice I’ve heard is ‘nobody has died’ and ‘if you realised how little people thought about you, you’d be offended’ – in other words, get on with being yourself.

On overcoming hurdles

The toughest hurdle I’ve had to overcome was to resign from a business I felt like I gave birth to and dedicated every hour I had to its fruition. It was making so much money which is fantastic but then the board of directors around the table got greedy. I had a clear vision what I wanted for this company and clearly I was going to have to sell out on my mission and join the pocket filling or walk away and – so I chose to walk away.

Gemma Godfrey is the founder and CEO of Moola, a consumer-friendly service to improve people’s financial wellbeing

On good advice

I have lots of best advice! First, keep it simple. In my TEDTalk (How to KISS), I explained how, in order to make an impact, you need to think not about sounding smarter yourself, but helping other people to be smarter. It takes a lot more work to avoid jargon and explain something in a clear and simple way. It’s much more powerful to deliver a message in a way that will resonate with the person you’re speaking to, relate to their own life and be easy to understand. Secondly, test the market. Before you launch a new idea or product, validate whether there really is a demand for it. Leaving your ego at the door and testing whether your new ‘smart idea’ really has legs can be humbling but also provide the most valuable insights to enable you to launch something you’re more confident will work. Thirdly, surround yourself with smart people: No one is good at everything or can do it all. So, surround yourself with people who are great at what they do, so together you can succeed.

On overcoming hurdles

The hardest hurdle I’ve had to overcome was going through an acquisition, but it was a phenomenal experience. It’s an intense process, where you’re challenged on every part of your business, but I learned more in those 6 months than I had done in the decade before. Most importantly, it was a great outcome for the business and our customers, as our acquirer shares our mission of improving people’s wellbeing. I’m so grateful for the fantastic team at Moola, and our super smart advisers.

Toni Jones is a journalist and founder of self-help book club and community Shelf Help

The brand brings people together through online and offline book clubs. Through Shelf Help, Toni wants to demystify the self-help sector.

I have a couple of day jobs as well as my Shelf Help ‘side-hustle’ at the moment and so I work harder and earn less than ever, but I am the happiest I have ever been. Our March Book of the Month was Your Dream Life Starts Here and in it author Kristina Karlsson recommends tying your dreams to the betterment of others, which I think might be the best advice I have been given when it comes to growing a business. Self-help totally changed my life when I was in a dark place – or should I say it helped me to change my own life? – and so my dream is to share the magic of self-development with as many people as possible by growing the brand and business into a force that connects and empowers thousands of people globally.

By Charlotte

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