Making Her Way
By Sarah Lidwell-Durnin
Making Her WayApr 25, 2021
Episode 10 - Rozella Kennedy, Brave Sis Project
Rozella (Rozie) Kennedy is the Founder and owner of Brave Sis Project, which she describes as a “message and a movement of wellness and intercultural sxsterhood.” Through publications, events, and lifestyle brand assets, Brave Sis uplifts impactful Women of Color in history across ethnicities as a way of fostering awareness, celebration, and creativity.
In 2021 she launched the Brave Sis Journey-Journal, part planner, part history book, part journal, and also part coloring book.
This unique book highlights Black and other American Women of Color in history, notably the lesser-known she-roes, whose stories will energize and inspire users of all ages.
Centering Black and other Women of Color but welcoming all, this is a lovingly created, colorful, and inspirational planner/journal with quotes, prompts, coloring pages, and commemorations to get womxn across cultures in a reflective, energized, and creative mood month after month through the year to come. There are portraits and prompts featuring 80 Black, Latinx, Native and Indigenous, and Asian-American foremothers—it’s an incredible labor of love.
In this wide-ranging conversation, Rozella discusses the journey she took herself to bring this book to life - and what 2022 holds!
Episode 9 - Katherine Swift, OMGTeas
Katherine Swift is the founder of OMGTeas, an organic matcha tea business in England.
She started the business after her mother was diagnosed with cancer, and she wanted to explore every possible way of helping her mother's recovery - including nutrition and the impact of antioxidants. Several years later, she now has a successful business selling both premium grade matcha powder and ready to mix "grab and go" bottles, with stockists all over the UK as well as a vibrant ecommerce business.
In this wide ranging interview, we get down to the details of matcha tea grades, packaging (of course!) and how to market a product that many people have never even heard of before.
Episode 8 - Kris Galmarini, Neve & Hawk
Kris Galmarini is a designer and the founder of Neve & Hawk, cult California clothing brand, with strong ethical underpinnings and an authentic business ethos that Kris has honed over the last 10 years. Launching her debut collection of children's clothing catapulted her brand to success and an impressive wholesale client roster, but when Kris realised that her business had become disconnected from her passion, she took the bold step of pivoting right back to her design roots and refocussing her work on womenswear and direct to consumer sales.
In this episode she talks to me about the thrills and spills of succeeding at her first trade fair without an actual business in place yet, manufacturing in the US, the country where she has finally found manufacturing nirvana and how she runs her business day to day now, in a way that makes her feel fulfilled and happy.
Episode 7 - Dr Stephanie Schull, Kegelbell
Today I meet philosopher Dr Stephanie Schull who stepped right out of her comfort zone to create an innovative new product - a vagina gym. Driven by seeing a family member in distress, she set out to create a product that would help women strengthen their pelvic floors and avoid the incontinence issues that many women silently face, often being treated with high risk surgery, or facing a lifetime of incontenence pads and discomfort.
She set out to create a brand new product that was safe, effective and affordable, and with no prior business experience, she dived into the world of manufacturing, stringent FDA requirements, branding and marketing.
In this interview she talks me through the whole process, from venturing into one of the world's biggest sex toy shows in Germany through to finding a branding pro on Fiverr and learning to adapt her language for marketing and compliance!
Visit Kegelbell after you listen to the episode.
Episode 6 - Cayla O'Connell Davis, Knickey
Cayla O'Connell Davis is the New York-based founder of Knickey, a stylish new organic cotton underwear label that seeks to reset how we think about sustainability in the supply chain. She and her cofounder, Lauren Sagadore, met at Parsons School of Design and started Knickey in late 2018, and set to work designing a versatile and practical collection of underwear that was fully sustainably produced, with a transparent supply chain from organic cotton farm all the way to your mailbox.
After a well-timed feature on Vogue's website led to them selling in their first week, Cayla has been working hard to make her business as sustainable as her products, and in this episode she talks us through the whole journey from that first phone call with her cofounder saying "Let's do this!" through to working on expanding their range for the coming year.
If you have ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes in an ambitious and ethical underwear or apparel startup, this episode is for you.
Episode 5 - Liha Okunniwa, Liha Beauty
Liha Beauty was founded in 2014 by best friends Liha Okunniwa and Abi Oyepitan, who set out to combine British aromatherapy trends with Yoruba traditions and natural materials, and from a soft launch at Port Eliot festival in 2014 the brand has gone on to be carried by beauty retailers worldwide from Liberty to Net A Porter.
I sat down with Liha recently to ask her about the practicalities of launching a skincare brand and how workshops and learn about how personal connections have been such an important part of their journey. We talk about working with festivals, retailers, suppliers, adventures in packaging and the advice that Liha has for new entrepreneurs in this exciting industry.
Episode 4 - Sophie Lavabre-Barrow, Kinn Living
Today I’m talking to Sophie Lavabre-Barrow about Kinn Living, a range of vegan and eco-friendly cleaning products and certified organic body care, made in the UK, and how she has grown it to national success in just 3 years.
We’ll be talking about the process of creating truly environmentally friendly products that go beyond just greenwashing, working with retailers and the advice that Sophie has for people starting out in this growing industry.
Episode 3 - Christine Mason, Rosebud Woman
Christine Mason is the founder of Rosebud Woman, a prestige intimate care collection of luxurious balms and oils. She created the collection when she recognised that there was a huge market being completely overlooked, and threw herself into a rigorous research process to identify the intimate care needs of women, and create a versatile and highly desirable product collection.
Together we discuss the challenges of manufacturing a high end skincare product in the US, building a network and launching to targeted audience of influencers, and the challenge of educating consumers about a product they didn't even know they wanted.
Episode 2 - Liz Turrigiano, Esembly Baby
Liz Turrigiano is the co-founder of Esembly Baby, a cloth diaper business based in New York. Esembly Baby grew naturally out of Liz and her co-founders’ cloth diapering service, DiaperKind, and has been kitting out the smartest babys and their diaper bags with sustainably manufactured diapers, baby skincare products and accessories since 2019.
Join us as we talk about how the importance of cloth diapers, how business came into being, how they funded their ambitious launch collection of 14 different products, and the challenges of running a business like this in an uncertain year.
Liz’s stylish creations and sustainable outlook make her a dream guest on Making Her Way – I hope you enjoy the interview!
Episode 1 - Katie Gastley Idlewild Co.
I’m thrilled to have her with me on Making Her Way and really looking forward to learning more about growing a successful paper goods business in the US.