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The female-founded wellness brands you need to know

From movement for your mind to better-for-you beauty pioneers, these are Australia’s women-led businesses to watch in 2021.

wellness industry - image credit Roxane Handelsmann

Wellness is a US$4.5 trillion-plus global industry, and women are cashing in on it. According to the Global Wellness Summit in 2018, there is no other industry of its size as heavily dominated by women. And that’s something to celebrate this International Women’s Day.

In Australia, just as in the rest of the world, the COVID-19 pandemic has illuminated the importance of preventative lifestyle choices, shifting consumers away from superficial hang-ups with body size and shapes toward a desire for greater overall wellbeing – mind, body and soul. And female-pioneered wellness brands like The Beauty Chef and Groove Therapy are responding, making consumers’ health their (very lucrative) business in 2021 and beyond.

While the list is by no means exhaustive, here are five women-founded brands from the Land Down Under to keep on your radar.

Top five women-led wellness brands to watch in 2021

The Beauty Chef

Carla Oates, The Beauty Chef Founder
Carla Oates, The Beauty Chef Founder

Created in 2009 by naturalist Carla Oates in her Bondi kitchen, The Beauty Chef brand is a pioneer in the inner-beauty category. Using the power of the gut-skin connection, The Beauty Chef has created a range of bio-fermented, probiotic-rich wholefood supplements and organic, topical skincare products to help its following achieve beauty from the inside out.

Why it’s on our radar: During the pandemic, many of its products like the signature Glow powder were reformulated to provide even more antioxidants, polyphenols and phytonutrients to support gut health, glowing skin and overall wellbeing during this health-challenged time.

Orchard St.

Kirsten Shanks, Orchard St. Founder
Kirsten Shanks, Orchard St. Founder. Image credit: Roxane Handelsmann

Founded by naturopath, herbalist and nutritionist Kirsten Shanks in 2013, Orchard St. began as a humble juice cleanse shop. Since its founding, the innovative brand quickly became a household name, transforming into a complete wellness enterprise. Orchard St. now boasts a “platform for true change” replete with consciously curated offerings from “plant medicines” to medicinal massage all meant to illuminate the life experience and help all achieve a thriving state of body, mind and spirit aligned with the wisdom of nature.

Why it’s on our radar: This female-founded company has continued to grow during the pandemic. Orchard St. recently opened a new shop in Manly, NSW with smashing success, despite COVID-19 restrictions and mandates.

Groove Therapy

Vanessa Marian, Groove Therapy Founder
Vanessa Marian, Groove Therapy Founder

Founded in 2016 by Vanessa Marian, Groove Therapy was born out of the desire to make dance less about the choreography and more about the effect it has on the mind. Its unpretentious, beginner adult dance classes run for that very reason – to foster mental wellness. Dancing offers an undeniable mind-body connection and creates a surge in mood-boosting endorphins – something everyone can benefit from, pandemic or not.

Why it’s on our radar: Groove Therapy recognises dancing’s physical and psychological benefits and is working to make this joy accessible to all walks of life. It’s currently working with mental wellness and health industry professionals to create a dementia dance program, tapping into long-term memory with old-school music to connect with patients. It’s also trialling a program called Groove Rising – a dance class for young refugee girls and a series of classes for at-risk, displaced youth.

Lowanna Natural Skincare

Sinead Vandenbroek, Lowanna Natural Skincare Founder
Sinead Vandenbroek, Lowanna Natural Skincare Founder

Indigenous-owned and Australian-made, Lowanna Natural Skincare is a beauty brand that goes beyond skin-deep. Founded by Sinead Vandenbroek – a proud descendent of the Narungga people of the Yorke Peninsula region – Lowanna Natural Skincare products are natural, vegan, ethically sourced and cruelty free, meaning they’re not only amazing for the skin, but they’re kind to the planet too.

Why it’s on our radar: Launched during COVID-19 lockdown, Lowanna was met with immediate success, selling out of its now cult-favourite product, the Everyday Moisturiser, repeatedly.

Higher State Co. Australia

Samantha Manning, Higher State Co. Australia Founder
Samantha Manning, Higher State Co. Australia Founder

Founder Samantha Manning created Higher State Co. Australia in an effort to change the way people drink forever. With positively charged, lightly sparkling crystal waters in soft pastel colours under the Osun Sparkling brand and non-alcoholic and sugar-free, ready-to-drink beverages under the Monday Distillery brand, Higher State Co. aims to provide beautiful hydration for high spirits and clear minds, ushering in the new age of “sippable” self care.

Why it’s on our radar: The non-alcoholic drink trend shows no sign of slowing down as the sober life speeds up. Millennials and gen Zers are drinking less and many in the wellness world are abstaining from alcohol simply because it doesn’t fit with their goals of looking and feeling their best. In Australia, Higher State Co is one of the only companies that’s offering a refreshing selection of wellness beverages that are naturally beautiful, sugar-free and alcohol-free to boot.

Feature image: Roxane Handelsmann

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