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Female Founder Award

This category shines a light on the brilliant women behind brilliant brands. Why? Because women are still disproportionately less likely to start a business or get access to funding than men. It celebrates those female founders who are smashing stereotypes, defining a new narrative, and who are paving the way for others.

There are two lucky winners for this award: the first will receive £10,000 and the second will receive £5,000. You can read the full Terms and Conditions for The Independent Awards here and read all of our FAQs here.

HOW TO VOTE

When you vote in the Independent Awards you’re letting a real person know that you believe in them and what they’re building — as well as giving them a chance to win a cash prize of £5,000 or £10,000, which can really help their business.

  • Vote for your favourite Nominee by tapping the button in their box below and entering your details
  • You can vote for one business per category
  • Verify your vote within 24 hours (verification will be sent to your inbox, so do check your junk folder)
  • Head over to the other category pages and vote for your favourites for those awards too

Votes cast up until 5pm on the 24th November will help select the category Finalists, and any votes made after this time will still count towards the People’s Choice Award. Please see our Ts&Cs for further details.

Vote for your favourite nominee

Each of these independent businesses has been selected for being outstanding in this category. Which is your favourite?

Aunt Joy Gallery

Founded by Amy Gardner, Aunt Joy is an online gallery exhibiting a carefully curated collection of art by female artists, with a clear intention to promote a more balanced representation in the industry. 10% of every sale is donated to charities supporting women.

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Bird Kitchen Clothing

Vicky at Bird creates kitchen clothing for women of all shapes and sizes who work in the world of food. They believe in the alignment of slow food and slow fashion, and strive to make their production sustainable and planet friendly.

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Black & Beech

Black & Beech is a feminist fashion brand that celebrates and supports women everywhere: their freedoms, their choices and their thoughts. As well as a responsible supply chain, they have donated over £12,000 to charities that support female rights.

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Black Girl Knit Club

Founded in early 2019 by Sicgmone and Vea, Black Girl Knit Club was born to create a safe and inclusive space for Black women creatives and to promote diversity within the craft community. Since launching, they have built a 600+ strong community through their monthly workshops and online tutorials.

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Cult of Youth

Cult of Youth was born with the tagline ‘jewels to keep your loved ones close’ and it was helping others to celebrate their families, that allowed founder Kelly to support her own. All pieces from their made-to-order range are produced in London using recycled materials where possible.

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Domestic Dusters

The Domestic Duster project inspires women-centred solidarity and activism through craft. It invites women to hand embroider their domestic perspectives and experiences onto a yellow duster. Each cloth is exceptional and personal.

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egg

egg is an online platform supporting and empowering women in Scotland. This year they opened their first bricks and mortar space — a pop-up in the heart of Edinburgh — welcoming almost one hundred, female-led businesses.

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Joke Amusan

Highlighting the importance of community through storytelling, Joke creates tapestry art to empower and champion the voices of Black women. She is on a mission to break barriers and create a positive change in our world.

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Kitty’s Kits

18-year-old Kitty founded Kitty’s Kits out of her passion for teaching as many people as possible about the art of breadmaking (and a strong belief that bread should be accessible to everyone). Her kits and free classes give people of all ages a ‘breaducation’, empowering communities with new skills.

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KISO

KISO fuses founder Aimee’s passions for style and sustainability. Their ethical boilersuits are lovingly made of 100% organic cotton, use eco-friendly dyes and are fitted with biodegradable detailing to make them adjustable and suitable to be handed down and loved again and again.

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La Basketry

Offering handwoven homeware and accessories, La Basketry is a lifestyle brand that collaborates with female artisans in their native Senegal. Through books and DIY craft kits, founder Tabara is also inspiring a new wave of makers.

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Liv & Dom

Twin sisters Liv and Dom are ceramicists and designers that make unique and hand-crafted statement pieces for the home. Their signature nude figures strive to destigmatize nudity, promote body positivity and bring joy to the home.

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Let Us Pretend

With a ‘shine bright like a sequin’ ethos, Susie at Let Us Pretend creates ‘wearable mega sparkle’ for everyday heroes. Their exuberant collection of glittery childrens and adults capes, rosettes and banners are inspired by pop culture and ‘the art of dressing fancy’.

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Maisie Hill

After experiencing debilitating issues with her own hormone cycle, Maisie Hill spent years researching and testing treatment strategies — becoming a a highly-qualified practitioner along the way. Since then, she has written a book Period Power and created a free guide to help other women understand their cycles.

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Mary Benson

Born out of a desire for more diverse, inclusive, joyful dresses, founder Mary put conscious eco-manufacturing at the heart of her business, as well as providing a space for local crafters to create their made-to-order pieces.

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Mère Soeur

Mère Soeur is a lifestyle brand for mums that celebrates the importance of subverting tired stereotypes of motherhood in a tongue-in-cheek, exciting way. On setting up the business, their founder says, “The support of other mamas was utterly invaluable. Never underestimate the power of a girl gang.”

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Myro Doodles

Myro Doodles is a Mancunian-Ukrainian artist whose bespoke, hand drawn creations inject heart, soul and commercial impact into the windows and walls of independent retailers, schools and hospitals, up and down the country.

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Rubbish Portraits

Rubbish Portraits is a live portrait booth, where illustrator Lucie Sheridan will draw your portrait in just 3 minutes. Lucie’s booth is miles apart from a typical “photo booth”, priding itself on providing fun, chat and good times.

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Stalf

Founded by Paris, Stalf is an easywear brand that produces handmade garments by a female team from their workshop, The Pink Studio. At the very heart of the company is tracability and transparancy.

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The Enthusiast

In a world where we’re often told we’re ‘too much’, The Enthusiast was set up by founder Ellie to encourage unashamed enthusiasm. They offer eco-friendly, ethically-made clothing, home décor, a print magazine and podcast to help ‘celebrate you’ fully.

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The Fabled Thread

Eppie founded The Fabled Thread to encourage people of all ages and backgrounds to explore their creative side. Her designs have inspired many to pick up a needle for the first time and helped refresh many people’s idea of sewing.

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The Money Edit

Written by Makala Green, The Money Edit is a ‘no blame, no shame’ guide to taking control of your money. The book gives women the confidence and clarity to understand money and make smarter choices at every stage in life.

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