14 Inspiring Australian Female Founders

We’ve put together a list of some of the most notable Australian female entrepreneurs and small business founders.

Each founder listed here has told the story of starting their business in Australia, including:

  • How they came up with their idea
  • How they launched their business
  • How they've grown their business
  • And how much they're making today

Here's the list:

1. Kayla Houlihan (Founder of Tribe Skincare)

Kayla Houlihan is the founder of Tribe Skincare.

  • Revenue: $100,000/month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 2

My name is Kayla and I am the founder of Tribe Skincare. After working in the beauty industry for 5+ years, I found a gigantic hole in the market for skincare for sensitive skin.

Some skincare brands had a few products or a range for sensitive skin, but no brand was solely focusing on it. Due to industry trends and customer demand, I knew that I wanted all of the range to be 100% natural, made locally in Australia, vegan-friendly and cruelty-free.

As a skincare range for sensitive skin, it is formulated around key anti-inflammatory ingredients like Aloe Vera, Zinc and Kaolin Clay, and works to rebuild the skin’s natural barrier to reduce redness, breakouts, and eczema. While we had a very niche target market, sensitive skin turned out to be a very common pain-point for consumers. The demand has grown so quickly and with a return customer rate of 75% (more than double the industry average) we have scaled into a multi-million dollar company in just 2 years! 95% of our sales in within Australia and we recently opened shipping to NZ and the USA which currently makes up the extra 5% of our sales.

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Kayla Houlihan, on starting Tribe Skincare ($100,000 revenue/mo) full story

2. Alex and Ryan Hutchinson (Founder of Mahiya)

Alex and Ryan Hutchinson is the founder of Mahiya.

  • Revenue: $75,000/month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 1

Hi, guys we are Ryan and Alex Hutchinson from the Fashion Accessories label Mahiya. A husband and wife team from the Gold coast in Australia. Mahiya means ‘My Love’ and we specialize in bohemian leather products including women's purses, handbags, footwear, and clothing.

We are currently in our 6th year of business and are averaging $75,000 of sales a month via our website, showroom and worldwide boutique wholesalers. Ryan runs the ins and outs of the business and I am the creative director. I do all the designing, run our social media, run and update or website, produce photoshoot content and marketing material for EDMs and marketing.

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Alex and Ryan Hutchinson, on starting Mahiya ($75,000 revenue/mo) full story

3. Kiri Yanchenko (Founder of AMPERNA)

Kiri Yanchenko is the founder of AMPERNA.

  • Revenue: $50,000/month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 2

I am Kiri Yanchenko, the founder of AMPERNA® - we are an Australian Active Probiotic Skincare brand committed to creating active products specifically formulated for even the most sensitive skin, so they can be used by everybody.

I am passionate about health & wellbeing. I hold graduate qualifications in Visual arts, Graphic Design, and User Experience as well as qualifications in Fashion Styling from The Australian College Of Professional Styling. I have over 15 years of experience in the design industry with skills across project management, end to end delivery of content, leadership and strong technical abilities. I have also taught marketing & social media. I enjoy the fast-paced online world that the beauty industry now enjoys plus I also speak Japanese!

I felt that there was a gap in the market for no nasties active products that helped people who also suffered from skin concerns like acne, perioral dermatitis, dermatitis, rosacea, etc that weren’t strong suppressive medications. I also saw that no one was really talking about a truly holistic approach to skincare.

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Kiri Yanchenko, on starting AMPERNA ($50,000 revenue/mo) full story

4. Sarah Davidson (Founder of Australian Woodwork)

Sarah Davidson is the founder of Australian Woodwork.

  • Revenue: $20,000/month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 2

Australian Woodwork is a family-owned and managed an online store that sells a wide range of Australian made woodcraft. We represent many different craftsmen from all over the country who use traditional woodworking techniques combined with modern technology and good contemporary design to create beautiful and useful household items.

We ensure that the wonderful native timbers used in our products are sourced from sustainable forestry practices.

Most of our sales come from customers who want a quality, interesting, Australian-made gift; to take or send overseas for occasions such as weddings and birthdays or for people such as student exchange hosts and house sitters. Closer to home the gifts can be for corporate occasions, new citizenship, housewarming, graduations, and all the standard congratulation events.

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Sarah Davidson, on starting Australian Woodwork ($20,000 revenue/mo) full story

5. Kelly Walter (Founder of Daily Orders)

Kelly Walter is the founder of Daily Orders.

  • Revenue: $20,000/month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1

Hiya! My name is Kelly and I am the founder of Daily Orders, a Veteran-Owned business based in Victoria, Australia.

Daily Orders is a gloss acrylic planning board (aka sexy looking calendars). The board allows people to never miss an appointment, bill payment or sporting event ever again.

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Kelly Walter, on starting Daily Orders ($20,000 revenue/mo) full story

6. Sireesha Narumanchi (Founder of Crowd Work News)

Sireesha Narumanchi is the founder of Crowd Work News.

  • Revenue: $13,000/month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0

Hi, I am Sireesha Narumanchi, founder of Crowdworknews.com. I help work from home enthusiasts in finding legit online jobs, side hustles and other extra income options.

Remote work/location independent jobs are still a new concept in many parts of the world and my mission is to show them they can work from home no matter where they are in the world.

What started as a side hustle has grown into a thriving business now generating 5 figures a month. But in true terms what feels more surreal or a measure of success for me is being able to reach so many people like me and help them break out of the ‘9-5’ race.

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Sireesha Narumanchi, on starting Crowd Work News ($13,000 revenue/mo) full story

7. Jess Yasuda (Founder of Chasing Planner Peace)

Jess Yasuda is the founder of Chasing Planner Peace.

  • Revenue: $11,613/month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1

Hi, I’m Jess. I’m 34 years old from Tasmania, Australia. I started Chasing Planner Peace back in 2015 when I was pregnant with my third child. Originally we were based on Etsy and only sold planner inserts, however, we’ve now turned into a one-stop planner shop that caters to seasoned “planner addicts” who want to add to their planners, and also planner newbies who love the fact our shop is the only store in Australia you can custom build your own ring planner style planner.

Customers can choose their planner size, cover pattern, dividers, accessories and hundreds of refill options. We have over 300 “inserts” that cover everything from weekly, monthly and daily layouts to trackers for fitness, meal planning, habits, health, Christmas and birthday party planning. We also sell ready-made bundles for study, wedding planning, teachers and more. We really pride ourselves on having lots and lots of options so people can choose a perfect planner that suits their unique lifestyle and needs. For example, a busy mum of three who is trying to make time in her day to exercise is going to need a different planner to a young student who lives alone. We also offer very niche inserts such as for people using the National Disability Insurance Scheme in Australia - there is literally nothing else like this on the market.

Over the past few years, we’ve really expanded our range to not only offer planners and inserts, but also planner dashboards (beautiful cover pages), dividers, notepads, stationery items and more. We also recently started our subscription box service where every two months customers can receive a “Planner Peace Box” which is full of planner and self-care goodies. We have so many more plans for new products in 2020.

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Jess Yasuda, on starting Chasing Planner Peace ($11,613 revenue/mo) full story

8. Natalie Matthews (Founder of Height Of Fashion)

Natalie Matthews is the founder of Height Of Fashion.

  • Revenue: $25,000/month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1

Hey, I am Natalie Matthews the Founder of Height-Of-Fashion, An online clothing store for tall women 5’10” and over.

Our products range from casual daywear to evening and workwear, with Jeans, Leggings and Playsuits being some of our biggest selling products.

Because we are a niche brand, it means our customers reside all over the world, are long, tall and leggy! Our range is like nothing else out there and we’re focused on helping dress women in garments that fit but also help empower tall women to love their height and look fabulous doing it.

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Natalie Matthews , on starting Height Of Fashion ($25,000 revenue/mo) full story

9. Tom and Alex (Founder of Saint Belford)

Tom and Alex is the founder of Saint Belford.

  • Revenue: $13,500/month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 0

Hey, we’re Tom and Alex—Co Founders of Saint Belford.

Our mission is to empower others to keep self-care on top of their to-do list so that they can design, build and live a life that genuinely fulfills them, without compromising their wellbeing in the process.

We create physical diaries (called Curation) that focus on self-care and personal growth for people who want to prioritise their wellbeing and live life on their terms. We’ve incorporated over a dozen lifestyle tools into one A5 sized planner—things like goal-setting worksheets, habit intention worksheets, habit tracking tools, weekly meal planner, annual bucket list, weekly challenges, pre-week planner to properly map out your week, daily self-care planner… the list goes on—and that’s what sets us apart.

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Tom and Alex, on starting Saint Belford ($13,500 revenue/mo) full story

10. Aimee Tawhai (Founder of ALTR Project)

Aimee Tawhai is the founder of ALTR Project.

  • Revenue: $7,000/month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 5

👋 Hey! My name is Aimee Tawhai & I founded my first SaaS business (ALTR Project) at the age of 23.

ALTR is currently being used in 26 different countries, has some of the largest names in Crossfit as ambassadors and was all created from my bedroom.

4 years later and I am still the sole founder, but now with a team and another business (Crossfit Project Bayside) by my side.

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Aimee Tawhai, on starting ALTR Project ($7,000 revenue/mo) full story

11. Judith Treanor (Founder of Temples and Markets)

Judith Treanor is the founder of Temples and Markets.

  • Revenue: $5,500/month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0

Hi, I am Judith Treanor, founder of online curated store Temples and Markets. Every Product has a story and every product has been ethically sourced from artisans and Social Enterprises in S.E Asia.

In my store I tell the stories behind the artisan made products and the people who make them, giving a human element to the often cold world of E-commerce.

Temples and Markets showcases accessories, bags, jewelry and home decor unique to the region of S.E Asia. The gorgeous products I source are handmade, crafted from sustainable materials and more often than not from interesting or upcycled materials.

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Judith Treanor, on starting Temples and Markets ($5,500 revenue/mo) full story

12. Elva Li (Founder of Elva Li)

Elva Li is the founder of Elva Li.

  • Revenue: $8,500/month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1

I am a brand stylist, designer and speaker, and founder of ELVA LI Brand.Style.Design, a boutique branding house helping lady bosses feel confident online and land high-end clients through luxury branding and website design.

With a background in Business and Finance for 10 years, I have combined my creative flair with my business savviness to help female entrepreneurs bring their visions to life and turn their ideas to a premium brand. Everything I do exudes style, elegance and timelessness, because these are a necessity, not a luxury. I have been featured on LadyBoss Asia, This Women Can and have been seen on ABC, CBS, Fox, etc.

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Elva Li, on starting Elva Li ($8,500 revenue/mo) full story

13. Mel young (Founder of Flowerdale Valley)

Mel young is the founder of Flowerdale Valley.

  • Revenue: $5,000/month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0

Hello, my name is Mel. I run a skincare business called Flowerdale Valley. I named the business Flowerdale valley because that's where I live, in a small town called Flowerdale in country Victoria, Australia.

I live on an old cherry farm with lots of beehives. I was selling honey for a bit of pocket money when I learned that beeswax was great for keeping skin hydrated and youthful. So I did some experimenting.

The first skincare product that I made was a face, hand and body balm called Bee Balm. It's made with my own beeswax and honey from the farm plus unrefined, cold-pressed sweet almond, avocado, and jojoba oils and scented with lavender essential oil. It’s still one of my bestsellers today.

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Mel young , on starting Flowerdale Valley ($5,000 revenue/mo) full story

14. Michelle Lee (Founder of Paper Saver)

Michelle Lee is the founder of Paper Saver.

  • Revenue: $4,800/month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 0

The Paper Saver started in Melbourne, Australia, in 2015 with the simple goal to reduce paper waste. Designed by my co-founder and partner Jon Yong, he and I are now also parents with the desire for our two young children to grow up in a sustainable world. Driven by this, the Paper Saver aims to promote environmental awareness and sustainable living.

The Paper Saver utilizes your used paper as pages of its notebook, reducing paper waste and helping the environment. Encasing a functionally designed spring steel binder inside, your discarded paper is inserted and folded so you can conveniently write on the back blank sides - no more unnecessary new notebooks as you will have an endless supply of used paper as pages of your Paper Saver! It is currently available in two versions - the Classic Paper Saver (made of faux leather) and the Leather Paper Saver (made of genuine leather).

Since launching in 2015, we have grown YOY on an average of 20%, and are now on a mission to spread the word further with a project on Kickstarter, aimed at creating awareness that anyone from kids to adults can reduce waste and live more sustainably with the Sparkle Paper Saver.

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Michelle Lee, on starting Paper Saver ($4,800 revenue/mo) full story
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Starter Story,   Founder of Starter Story

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