Female Founder Friday - Fashion Forward Visionaries

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Female Founder Friday - Fashion Forward Visionaries

It’s almost the end of March and we’re down to our second to the last Female Founder Friday blog post! Thank you for supporting Naturally Drenched’s Female Founder Friday series. 

Do you remember the times you’d play dress up with your friends? Or tried to experiment with your mom’s makeup? How about the first designer item you bought? Our third blog centers around women who turned their passion for fashion into advocacy that aims to bring out the best in all women around the world. Their vision extends beyond the realm of trends and labels, seeking to empower women worldwide by accentuating their innate beauty and confidence.

Join us as we delve into the stories of these fashion-forward visionaries, whose passion and dedication are transforming the landscape of style and self-expression for women everywhere.

Tia Bowman - Before Our Time & B22 Fragrance 

Tia Bowman is a lawyer and brand founder of BEFORE Our Time and B22 Fragrance. BEFORE Our Time is an e-commerce, retail and agency business specializing in luxurious products. While B22 Fragrance believes that fragrance transcends mere scent – it's an embodiment of individuality, a manifestation of style, and a conduit for creating unforgettable memories.

Guided by Tia’s dedication to excellence, each fragrance within our collection is meticulously formulated in Italy, embodying the essence of luxury and refinement. She meticulously sources the finest ingredients, curating a symphony of authenticity and artistry in every bottle.

Kendall Reynolds - Kendall Miles

Kendall Reynolds, the visionary Founder and Design Director behind Kendall Miles, hails from Chicago and is a graduate of the University of Southern California with a degree in International Relations. Her journey into footwear design began with self-taught skills, which she further honed through formal training at Milan's prestigious Ars Sutoria, solidifying her expertise in the craft.

Following her immersion in the fashion industry in New York City, Kendall returned to her roots in Los Angeles in 2015 to establish Kendall Miles. A pioneer in the luxury footwear sector, Kendall prioritized inclusivity and empowerment by assembling a team composed entirely of Black women, challenging the norms of a male-dominated industry.

Mani Jassal - Mani Jassal

Mani Jassal, the creative force behind the eponymous luxury evening wear and bridal brand based in Toronto, Canada, embarked on her journey in 2014. A graduate of Ryerson University with a degree in Fashion Design, Mani's ascent in the fashion world began with the unveiling of her inaugural collection at her graduate fashion show, where her innovative interpretation of South Asian attire garnered immediate attention. Departing from traditional heavy embellishments, Mani introduced lightweight, distinctive silhouettes that challenged conventional norms.

Born in Punjab, India, and raised in Toronto since the age of five, Mani's multicultural upbringing deeply influenced her design philosophy. She aims to bridge the gap between ethnic and everyday wardrobes, recognizing the multifaceted identities of modern women. The Mani Jassal brand is a testament to this vision, offering pieces infused with Indian influences yet versatile enough for various occasions, transcending cultural boundaries.

Taylor Long - Nomads Swimwear

Nomads Swimwear, spearheaded by Founder and CEO Taylor Long, stands as a testament to the transformative power of inclusivity, sustainability, quality, and passion within the fashion landscape. This woman-built company specializes in crafting destination-inspired, size-inclusive, and sustainable swim and resortwear, driven by a mission to revolutionize both the industry and the environment.

Taylor's journey as a designer and plus-size model unveiled the stark realities of exclusion within the fashion realm, igniting her fervor to effect change. Drawing from her firsthand experiences, she envisioned a swimwear brand that embodied luxury, inclusivity, sustainability, and timelessness—a vision that evolved from her capstone collection in design school to the thriving entity known as Nomads.

Wilglory Tanjong - Anima Iris

Anima Iris, a contemporary brand, draws its name from the influential women who shaped the founder's life— Iris Tsamoh, her mother, and Sarah Yaa Anima Amoyaw, her cherished childhood friend. Rooted in the rich heritage of Africa, the brand celebrates the vibrant hues of Cameroon's Bamileke cloth and the intricate patterns of Ghana's kente, embodying the continent's bold history in every design.

Crafted with precision and care, each piece in the Anima Iris collection is meticulously handmade by skilled artisans in Dakar, Senegal. Leveraging centuries-old African craftsmanship, these artisans infuse a unique touch of quality and attention to detail into every garment, creating limited-edition pieces that exude exclusivity. By collaborating with local Senegalese businesses for materials and employing a zero-waste model during production, the brand remains committed to sustainability. 

Yumel Gonzalez - YG Collection

YG Collection, founded in 2019 by Yumel Gonzalez, is a mission-driven and female-founded brand with a powerful commitment to empowering women and fostering confidence and individuality.

Born in the Dominican Republic and immigrating to the US at a young age, Yumel's journey embodies resilience and determination. Raised in a lower middle-class household, she envisioned fashion as a means of transcending limitations and creating positive change. Since its inception, YG Collection has surpassed expectations, evolving into a beacon of empowerment for women worldwide. 

Aurora James - Brother Vellies

At the helm of Brother Vellies is Aurora James, a Toronto native who found her creative home in New York City. With a diverse background spanning fashion, journalism, art, music, photography, and horticulture, Aurora brings a wealth of experience to her role as Creative Director and Founder. Her enduring passion for craftsmanship, design, and humanitarianism infuses each Brother Vellies creation with unparalleled artistry and purpose.

Brother Vellies,embodies a commitment to preserving traditional African design practices while fostering artisanal jobs worldwide. From its humble beginnings, the brand has blossomed into a purveyor of luxury accessories that honor cultural legacies and timeless design principles.

Anifa Mvuemba - Hanifa

Anifa Mvuemba, founder of Hanifa, has made waves in the industry with her boldly colored designs, garnering attention from celebrities and gracing multiple covers of InStyle magazine in recent years.

At Hanifa, they firmly believe in empowering women to shatter barriers, excel in every facet of their lives, and rewrite the rules on their terms. Their mantra, "For women without limits," encapsulates our unwavering commitment to supporting women as they fearlessly pursue their dreams.

Anifa draws inspiration from her mother, her ultimate muse, whose well-tailored suits from her childhood became the foundation for Hanifa's formfitting garments. With a keen eye for detail and a dedication to empowering women through fashion, she continues to redefine modern elegance and confidence with her designs.

Charla Ruschelle - Charla Ruschelle

Based in Atlanta, Georgia, Charla Ruschelle is committed to slow fashion and sustainable practices, championing individuality and confidence while celebrating style. Inspired by a blend of bohemian, urban, and chic aesthetics, they craft pieces that embody cultural influences and timeless elegance.

With vibrant colors and meticulously polished prints, their limited-edition collections offer made-to-order and made-to-measure handmade pieces from premium fabrics like cotton, crepe, and challis.

Charla proudly collaborates with women-led businesses worldwide, forging connections with those who share her vision and values.

Michelle Choi - BOV Active

BOV Active stands at the intersection of style and sport, redefining women's golf apparel with a vision ignited by founder Michelle's passion for both golf and fashion. Michelle's journey began in 2015 when she discovered her love for golf and was captivated by the stylish attire adorning golfers in Korea. However, upon seeking similar options in North America, she encountered a void – a lack of diversity and inclusivity in designs predominantly tailored for men.

Driven by a desire to revolutionize the landscape of golf fashion, Michelle embarked on a mission to empower women of all ages and backgrounds. BOV Active was born from this fervent determination, with a commitment to boosting confidence in a traditionally male-dominated sport, promoting an active lifestyle, and inspiring more women to embrace golf.

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