Following the month-long celebrations for International Women’s Day at Amazon, we’re speaking to a handful of women founders to find out more about their businesses, the inspiration behind them and their growth journey so far.
Our recent SME Impact Report found that around 40% of Amazon selling partners in the UK are women-owned businesses, a number we’re proud of and hope to see increase as Amazon continue to empower women founders with tools to grow online.
This year’s theme, announced in March for International Women’s Day, is #BreakTheBias, which celebrates women everywhere who challenge stereotypes and champion personal identity. This includes the amazing women behind small businesses and independent brands which sell on Amazon. Learn more about some of the individuals behind these brands and their stories.
Lara Morgan, founder of Scentered
Lara is both a business owner and a business investor. She invests in women-owned businesses, like YogiBare who also sell on Amazon, and is the founder of her own brand, Scentered.
As a global entrepreneur, Lara was travelling for a lot of the year and realised the need for portable aromatherapy products to support her mindful transitions from being in her home environment to more fast paced office and travel time.
“Scentered was created to meet the demands of eco-conscious consumers looking for natural, portable aromatherapy and essential oil solutions to help them mindfully transition their moods, thoughts and emotions while on the go,” says Lara.
“Being a part of Amazon Launchpad has given us more real estate online to better communicate our quality and uniqueness in a crowded market.
“Selling on Amazon has allowed me to test my products in new markets and apply my learnings to scale my business. Amazon helped me propel Scentered to a global audience at a faster pace, and accounts for nearly half of my sales!”
Joelle Hammond and Sarah McNena, co-founders of Drop Bear Beer
Joelle and Sarah are the LGBTQ+ couple behind Drop Bear Beer, a business which is brewing award-winning non-alcoholic beers from their HQ in Swansea.
Joelle and Sarah have successfully won over investors with their story and products – raising over £2 million across three fundraising rounds to help them brew alcohol-free craft beers while committing to building a better world in which to drink it.
Drop Bear Beer officially launched in 2019, but when pubs and bars were forced to close in 2020 due to Covid, they quickly shifted their focus to online sales on Amazon, this strategic move saw sales soar by 2000% over six months.
“We always had a vision for Drop Bear Beer to be a sustainable brand, and we felt that Amazon’s sustainability goals really aligned with our own,” said Joelle. “That’s why we knew selling on Amazon was the right channel for us to grow our business.”
Just two years on, they have achieved B-Corp certification and won over 20 awards for their beers. Looking to the future, they have big sustainability plans for their brewery and have joined Amazon Launchpad with a goal to service more of their European market.
Krutika Patel, founder of BeYou
Krutika is the founder behind female health and empowerment brand BeYou. Best known for its flagship period patches, the brand aims to use products as a way to encourage dialogue around taboo topics and issues for girls and women.
“Raising awareness and removing stigma from women’s health issues is what our products are made for, as well as being innovative, natural and science-backed solutions,” said Krutika.
When the first UK lockdown came into effect in 2020, Krutika and her brother turned to Amazon to maintain and build the business. This move was crucial for growth and allowed the brand to triple in size since their launch.
“We have also established the BeYou Foundation which is a grass-roots project to ‘pay it back’. The BeYou Foundation provides free period pads to girls in rural India and employs 15 local women there to teach them how to make the pads so they can sell these locally and keep the profits.”
Affi Parvizi Wayne, founder of Freda Health
Affi was inspired to set up Freda Health, an ‘eco-period and bladder brand’, after her own personal experience, both as a refugee and as a bladder cancer diagnosis survivor. Aside from being ‘sustainably manufactured in Sweden and customer focused products’, Freda puts access to period care at the core of the business.”
“I’ve always thought the menstrual needs of women are often overlooked, from every day public places to country border crossings and camps in Europe where women refugees are situated,” said Affi. “This is why a portion of every Freda purchase is donated to initiatives across the world which tackle period poverty.”
The brand was founded in 2018 but launched on Amazon a few months ago using the Amazon Launchpad programme.
“Amazon Launchpad treats all businesses the same and that’s why I utilised it. Whether you’re a small woman-owned business or a well-established brand, the playing field for selling feels equal in terms of access to tools and audiences. This is key for Freda where we want our products to be as widely accessible as possible.”
Audrey Buck, founder of EasyBlinds
Audrey founded EasyBlinds in 2002 so that she could earn an income while staying at home and spending time with her family. The idea for EasyBlinds was born through Audrey’s creation of DIY blackout blinds so her young child could sleep during the day. Her friends starting asking her to create these for their children too and the products grew organically from there.
“The business really began to excel when we started selling on Amazon in 2008. This helped us grow brand awareness and was key for expanding into new markets,” said Audrey. “I made the most of small business tools and programmes like Amazon Seller University resources.”
“The real gamechanger was when we transitioned EasyBlinds to Fulfilment by Amazon. This took a lot of heavy lifting off our business and helped us generate 80% of our sales through Amazon. Last year we grew our turnover to £1.4 million and we’re aiming to grow even more this year!”
What started off as a product to help parents with children has now diversified to broader audiences, helping more people including night-shift workers or those with bright lights near their homes have a good night’s sleep.
Read more about how Amazon supports small businesses in the UK.