Today is International Women’s Day, so we felt it was only right to highlight some of the amazing brands in our industry helmed by women. From an online African marketplace to a buy-back sofa brand, all eight of these brands are not only women-owned, but hold ethics and sustainably at the heart of their efforts. Scroll down to read more about these admirable brands, and keep them in mind next time you are shopping for home goods!
(article and banner photos from Shoppeblack, Apartment Therapy, Coveteur, MyDomaine, Sight Unseen, NBS, Getty Images, Angela Brown Ltd., Ayo Magazine, The Silverwomen, Luxury Daily, Twitter, Mercedes Benz, Rank & Style) left to right: Nana Quagraine, Ellen Van Dusen, Jodie Fried, Lily Stockman, Nicole Gibbons, Justina Blakeney, Ariel Kaye, Caitlin Ellen, Michele Varian, Angela Brown, Robin Reigi)
This contemporary African design marketplace was founded by Nana Quagraine, a New York-based Ghanian with passion for the unique materials, craftsmanship, and beauty of traditional African goods.
The website sells everything from pillows to jewelry, and is operated by former execs from Goldman Sachs, Procter & Gamble, and Macys who apply their corporate knowledge to share the work of native cultures from around the world. Perhaps the most novel aspect of 54kibo is their “Search By Country” tool which allows you to filter products by origin, and shares the story of the designer on each product page.
As her website bio states, Angela Brown does not want the focus to be on her. Rather, the owner of the Manhattan showroom prefers the focus to be on the gorgeous, well-crafted products she represents.
Working closely with artisans and manufacturers, she and her team select textiles, wallcoverings, furniture, lighting and art to offer their clients; some of the most sought-after designers and buyers in the city. A New York design staple, Angela Brown Ltd. is an irreplaceable resource led by a determined and keen-eyed owner.
Founded by Californian Jodie Fried and Australian Sally Pottharst, handmade rug brand Armadillo uses all natural fibers, like jute, wool, and linen. For Armadillo, aesthetics and ethics go hand in hand – the brand has fully funded a school in the area of India where their rugs are made, where many of their artisans’ children attend.
Their rugs are luxurious, richly colored with natural dyes, and, best of all, support jobs and dedication overseas.
LA sister duo Hopie and Lily Stockman launched Block Shop Textiles while they were in graduate school to support the block printing industry in Jaipur, India. Starting with a collection of scarves, the brand has grown exponentially and now sells bedding, fabric, linens, and rugs, all with the Stockman’s signature use of shapes and stripes.
Their minimal-yet-eye catching style has caught the attention of big brands and designers, which has led to their expansion into fashion (Rachel Comey), hospitality (Ace Hotels), and even chocolate (the duo designed the packaging for a special MAST Chocolate bar), all while contributing to the ethical growth of block printing production in India.
With their “Clare Color Genius” quiz, they can help you narrow down colors, and with their stick-on paint samples, you can see each shade on your wall without a brush or commitment!
Originally a womenswear line, founded by Washington. DC designer Ellen Van Dusen, the Dusen Dusen home launched five years later, bringing the brand’s playful, contrasting patterns and shapes to homegoods. Now based in Brooklyn, Dunsen sells vibrant bath towels, bedding, throw blankets, dog beds, oven mitts, and (most recently) face masks.
Justina Blakeney, the designer known for her bohemian aesthetic and bestselling decorating books, is also the founder of Jungalow, an e-commerce site that sells her own home decor designs as well as a curated collection of products from other boho designers.
Upon exploring the website, the most striking page is not the bold designs, or funky wallpaper (although we love these too), but the camaraderie between the all-female staff. In the company’s “Meet the Team ” tab, their bios are more than the average career summary – they share bits of their personality, and are seemingly inspired by and appreciative of one another, which makes the products even more special.
As the owner of her eponymous shop, Michele Varian designs and curates her boutique’s collection of everything from stylish home goods to coveted jewelry. Formerly located in Soho, the store is now on Atlantic Avenue, and has been a destination for designers, editors, design enthusiasts, and New York creatives for over twenty years.
Her own designs, which range from wallpaper to furniture, are both classic and modern, created with functionality and fashion in mind. In addition to running her highly successful shop, Varian is also a tenants rights and small business advocate, and has been recognized for her accomplishments in small business ownership.
Californian creative Ariel Kaye was struggling to find home decor products that fit her budget and quality standard, so she started designing her own. The result, Parachute, has become a recognizable brand both online and in person, with multiple brick and mortar stores popping up around the country since the brand’s 2014 launch.
Parachute’s products are simple and clean, and are free of synthetics. In line with Kaye’s belief in the power and importance of textiles, the brand also donates a portion of proceeds to providing malaria-prevention bed covers to those in need.
One of The Turett Collaborative’s go-to architectural product showrooms is Robin Reigi, Inc. With over twenty years of experience in the industry, Robin is a wealth of knowledge when it comes to architecture and design products, from glass to acoustical panels.
She and her team are also at the helm of the showroom’s Youtube channel, where Robin discusses and compares products, which has been especially useful over the past year when showroom visits have been difficult.
Caitlin Ellen and Phantila Phataraprasit, two design-loving friends who met in college, created Sabai; a modern, minimal furniture company with sustainability and simplicity at its core. Their three products; a sofa, a sectional, and an ottoman, come in various options of recycled fabric, and made with easy home assembly in mind.
Their motto is “repair don’t replace,” which they facilitate by selling each part of the furniture separately as well, from slip covers to new legs (at only $35 each). Plus, when you’re sure you are done with your Sabai couch, they buy it back to recycle.