🌱 'Clean' is over, group biz coaching, build a 4000-person waitlist

💌 Fun events, smart workshops and helpful resources are inside.

Hey, welcome to Female Founder World, the place to meet your business besties online and IRL. This is our free 5-minute email keeping thousands of consumer brand builders in the loop. We're here for consumer biz founders and their teams–so forward this resource to your people.


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👇 Today we're covering

  • 📓 Resource roundup

  • 🗞️ Skim the headlines

  • 👀 You know the 'glass ceiling' but what about the 'glass cliff'?

  • 💖 Lo Bosworth's recipe for social media success

  • 🔗 You're invited: Virtual group business coaching with Stephanie Lee, founder of Selfmade

  • 🌱 Is 'clean' over?

  • 🎧 New podcast ep: How to build a 4000-person waitlist before launch

  • Are you a vision board girlie? Landing is a female-founded app helping you create stunning visual diaries. Brands can partner with Landing to get your product featured in shoppable moodboards made by their 200K+ Gen Z creators. They just collab'd with Bumble and are looking to work with female-founded CPG brands for their next partnership. Email [email protected] to get the details. 🔗 Tell me more

  • US-based founders looking for a chance to win $25,000 cash (uh yes pls) and mentorship should enter the Women Founders Network Fast Pitch Competition. Applications close May 31. 🔗 Tell me more

  • We want to see some of our Business Besties (you!) in Cosmopolitan. Now's your chance to be celebrated in 2023's cohort of "the new C-suite" celebrating women of color, and get featured all over Cosmo. 🔗 Tell me more

TIKTOK: Montana's TikTok ban is taking effect January 2024. Apple and Google will be fined if the TikTok app remains available to download, but individuals with the app won't be charged for using it. Of course, the ban is being contested in court, so anything could happen.

LAUNCHES: Karen Danudjaja, founder of superfood wellness biz Blume, launched on-the-go latte blend singles. The marketing around these bad boys has been cute.

Fragrance up-and-comer DedCool teamed up with OUAI on a limited edition Melrose Place scented laundry detergent and the vibes are immaculate—though we'd expect nothing less from founders Carina Chaz (DedCool) and Jen Atkin (OUAI).

Healthy beverage brand Swoon partnered with Barbie on a limited edition pink lemonade flavor. (We had their co-founder, Jennifer Ross, on the pod last year to talk about how Swoon launched into 260 Target stores.)

MONEY: SoftBank, the huge Japanese company that hit mainstream fame as a key WeWork investor on 'WeCrash', launched a new fund and will invest $150M in Black and Latino-led startups, called the 'Open Opportunity Fund'.

Sourse, the vitamin-infused chocolate brand by actor Sarah Hyland and CEO Jenne Moore, closed $2.4M in funding from venture capital firms and influencers. This $$ will go towards supporting their Sephora launch and new product development.

FOOD & BEV: Mondelez's CoLab accelerator participants have been announced, with each brand scoring a $20,000 grant and entry into a 12-week program. Keep your eye on winners CoCo Terra, DreamPops, Freezcake, Incredible Eats, Legally Addictive, Mezcla, New Gem, Steiner’s Coffee Cakes of New York, and Whole Dough.

CELEBS: Emma Watson and her brother are launching Renais Gin. It sounds like her family has a long background in winemaking, so this isn't totally random. (But like, still kind of random?) The gin is made using the byproducts of wine and will launch with a limited run of 3,500 bottles.

Meanwhile Aussie queen Margot Robbie also launched her own gin brand, Papa Salt gin as "an ode to the laid-back Australian lifestyle."

BEAUTY: OK, everything's expensive right now. EVERYTHING! Even drugstore beauty. Creators are posting online about the jaw-dropping prices of drugstore beauty. Exhibit A: Olay has a new sunscreen priced at $50 and it's going viral—not because of a great formula but because of that price. Woah.

Clean and eco-friendly beauty brand ĀTHR Beauty is shutting down after five years. The brand created the world's first zero waste eyeshadow palettes and won an Allure Best of Beauty Awards, but will close once stock is sold out.

👀 You know the 'glass ceiling' but what about the 'glass cliff'?

Elon Musk just appointed a new CEO at Twitter—Linda Yacarrino—and it's resurfaced some chatter about a phenomenon called the 'glass cliff' theory.

The theory says when a company is in really bad shape, women step in to clean up the mess. Usually, they're set up to lose, and are pushed off a 'glass cliff' and often take the fall for the company's failure.

Researchers first coined the phrase 'glass cliff' back in 2003 after United Kingdom newspaper The Times suggested that women leaders have a negative impact on company performance. The researchers thought this claim seemed off (duh), and looked into 100 companies listed on the London Stock Exchange. They found that the firms that brought women onto their board were more likely to have been performing badly over the past five months compared to companies that brought men onto their board.

This is exactly what we’re seeing unfold at Twitter right now with the appointment of the company's first female CEO. She's also the only woman in charge at any of the big four social media companies, and that just doesn't feel like coincidental timing, you know?

So how do women end up on a glass cliff?

It might be that women are trusted to clean up the mess. More likely though, it’s that men feel confident turning down a leadership role offered under tough conditions, knowing that another opportunity will come up. However, women feel like it’s their only shot to progress into more senior leadership, so say yes—even if they’re being set up to fail.

What do you think? Hit reply with your thoughts.

💖 Lo Bosworth's recipe for social media success

Most of you will know Lo Bosworth as the reality TV girlie from The Hills or Laguna Beach, but she’s dedicated the past seven years to building an incredible supplement business, Love Wellness. Lo's business is doing tens of millions in revenue now, but the way Love Wellness started is pretty relatable. She spent the first two years building this brand herself—DIY-ing the website, Googling how to find manufacturers, using her own savings and literally just doing the scrappy stuff we all do.

We've got the rundown on what you can learn from Lo in 60 seconds.

  • A bootstrapped launch can lead to investors later: Lo launched Love Wellness with her own savings. Most of her launch budget went towards creating the product, buying the product inventory and some paid ads. After getting traction through a bootstrapped launch, Love Wellness attracted $25M from investors.

  • Add shock-value to your content: To anyone launching a business on social media in 2023, Lo shared her recipe for success on the Female Founder World podcast last week. Step one: your content should have some kind of shock-value. "Beautiful lifestyle ads simply don't work anymore."

  • Pay for pros: When Love Wellness launched on Amazon it was initially a big flop. Then, Lo hired an agency two years ago and now the channel hits. The lesson: You can waste a lot of time and money figuring things out yourself. Sometimes you just need to pay for a pro.

  • Map out your customer journeys: Customer journeys are essentially all the touch points that lead a customer through interacting with your brand, from discovery through all the way to purchase. Lo suggests spending a lot of time mapping these out and making them perfect.

We've got Lo on the Female Founder World podcast. You're going to love this one, besties.

🔗 Group business coaching cCall with Stephanie Lee, founder of Selfmade

May 25 at 1pm ET

Stephanie Lee didn't know celebrities and investors when she started her beauty business, Selfmade. Instead, she used her savings to start the brand, built a waitlist of 4,000 potential customers, and then went on to knock on doors until she raised $1.5M from investors.

Her business explores the relationship between the nervous system, mental health and skin. In a pretty crowded beauty market, Stephanie's building something really unique.

Bring your questions to this group business coaching call and ask Stephanie all about fundraising when you're absolutely not a nepo baby, impact-led business, and launching a consumer brand.

A recording of this video call will be available only to Business Bestie members.

🌱 Is 'clean' over?

There's been a HUGE vibe shift in the wellness industry and Laura Henshaw and Steph Claire Smith just confirmed it.

Laura and Steph were models and influencers before becoming entrepreneurs—their business, Keep It Cleaner, is a pretty big women-owned wellness company in Australia. It's a fitness app that started as a recipe e-book and has evolved over time, led by two influencers-turned-entrepreneurs.

It's a good app, I use it.

This week Keep it Cleaner rebranded to Kic and dropped the word 'clean' and stay with me friends, 🚨this matters!

Clean is one of the first words that the weight loss industry co-opted as it started to rebrand as 🌱wellness🌱 in the early 2000s. As the body positivity movement grew and diet culture became uncool, words like 'lose weight' and 'diet' became dated. Gen Z would neverrrrr.

Jenny Craig's recent biz trouble (a newly leaked internal email said the business is shutting) just shows how deeply uncool these legacy weight loss companies have become. So, many brands in the weight loss industry evolved. Weight watchers became WW. New brands popped up. We do ✨wellness✨ now you guys!

Products are 'metabolism-boosting' and 'detoxing' and 'de-bloating' and yes, 'clean'. Almost always code for weight loss.

But years have passed and the wellness girlies (👋 hi it's me, I'm the problem it's me) associate 'clean' with toxic diet culture and there's no saving the word. So, smart brands who are plugged into wellness culture like Kic drop 'clean' and move as far away from it as possible.

Next: it will be detox, debloat, and metabolism-boosting that the culture cancels. And brands who are genuinely trying to be body positive need to rethink whether they want to be associated with this language.

I also wonder when this will trickle into beauty.

NOTE: I believe Steph and Laura are genuinely motivated to build a positive space online, not co-opt diet culture and give it a shiny rebrand. They're leading the way.

🎧 New podcast ep: How to Build a 4,000-Person Waitlist Before Launch With Stephanie Lee, Founder of Selfmade