WHM: Female Founders & CEOs Who Leave Us In Awe (Part 1)
Women’s History Month is well underway, and we at Awe are so proud to reveal some of the incredible female-founded brands that we have partnered with for March. Not only do they inspire us, they also empower us to always strive to be better. Their stories are incredibly motivating and uplifting, and we’re honored for the ability to spotlight them on The Goddess Voice, via email, and on social media. As a female-founded brand ourselves, we acknowledge the leadership skills, risk-taking ability, and sheer drive and determination it takes to start your own business as a woman.
Today, we are profiling Karen Young of OUI the People and Murphy Perng of Matter of Wine. We’re sure you will find much inspiration in reading these founders’ stories.
Remember to also shop our International Women’s Day collection for an empowering piece that will give you strength and motivation to seize the day, every day. On March 8, 100% of proceeds from this collection will benefit the American Nurses Foundation.
Get to Know: Karen Young of OUI the People
Karen Young founded OUI the People because she wanted to provide an alternative to the beauty industry’s messaging that people had to strive for perfection. Beginning with a high quality razor blade for women, OUI has expanded to include other bodycare products in its range. However, its mission to celebrate people’s complexities without resorting to language that makes them feel less than holds true. In a world that is still hyper fixated on “fixing” perceived flaws and looking filtered IRL, OUI the People is doing revolutionary work.
Awe: Do you think people feel pressure in today’s society to look a certain way and that they need to cultivate certain beauty rituals to feel that they belong? Do you think OUI and similar brands can help mitigate this pressure?
KY: We (OUI) as a whole, deserve much better than what the previous decades of beauty have given us -- so much of what we SHOULD be (perfect, flawless, not allowed to age...), rather than embracing ourselves as we are. We began with a razor made for women, but the intent is to give everyone the option to simply feel great in their skin. Embracing the spirit of rebellion, we push back against conditions that make people feel less-than, and lean into products and messaging that nourish you and your body.
Awe: How is OUI working to help shape new beauty language while still reinforcing the importance of having a beauty ritual?
KY: There is an aversion to words like perfecting, flawless, anti-aging in the ethos of OtP. Brands that emphasize improvement are essentially saying there's something wrong, but we are here to champion one's journey in their beauty ritual. We can embrace beauty without touting perfection, and we can speak to rituals as a means of caring for oneself in a crazy and busy world. I'm thrilled to see more brands get on board with that messaging.
Awe: What does it take to start a business and how can people overcome the fear and uncertainty that comes along with entrepreneurship, even if they have an excellent idea?
KY: It takes courage and tenacity to start and grow a business. Courage we can all grow, but tenacity is harder. Showing up time and again through the tough times isn't easy. It helps to be passionate...about your product, idea, message, customers. The rest will come but you'll get good people on board when you start with passion, and you'll have the ability to come back to it time and again if you're tenacious.
Get to know: Murphy Perng, Founder of Matter of Wine
Murphy Perng initially started Matter of Wine as a blog in 2018. It wasn’t long before it became a wine experience service. In 2019, Murphy and her team quickly established partnerships with art studios and sailboats to host Wine & Watercolors and Sip & Sail events. As her business grew, Murphy found that the biggest challenge was to navigate choppy waters during the uncertain and unprecedented times of the pandemic. Two years into the pandemic, Matter Of Wine’s business is split between virtual and in-person tastings. Murphy is also extremely knowledgeable about wine and enjoys imparting this knowledge to others.
Awe: Why do you think wine education is especially important? Does it make tasting wine more enjoyable?
MP: A little wine education goes a long way. Wine is so much a part of our daily lives. We think about it when we’re grocery shopping, selecting a wine for date night, pairing wine with food at a dinner party — the list goes on. Knowing a little something about the grape variety you’re enjoying or the winegrowing region in which your wine was produced will elevate every single one of these experiences. There is no doubt that wine education makes wine tasting more enjoyable. When you’re able to understand what you’re drinking and have the ability to communicate it, you feel a deeper connection with wine.
Awe: Wine is ancient. But in the U.S., interest has skyrocketed in recent years and shows no signs of stopping. To what do you attribute all this wave of interest in wine?
MP: Since the wine boom of the 1960s, overall interest in wine in the United States has been steadily growing. In the past six decades, technology and winemaking experience have improved the quality of American wines. Participation in international competitions has legitimized our winemaking industry, lending credibility to it on the world stage. Whereas once upon a time, wine was a “European” beverage, wine producers in the U.S. have managed to make wines with a distinct identity that consumers know and love.
A variety of factors have allowed interest in wine to remain strong. In recent years, there has been a focus on both living healthy and living in an environmentally responsible manner. Generally speaking, wine is perceived as healthier than its counterparts: beer and spirits. Wine can also be made using sustainable practices that protect the earth. Additionally, the wine industry has done a good job of bringing itself into the digital age. Wine merchants have created positive online shopping experiences and taken part in the sharing economy, making wine easy to access.
Awe: For Women’s History Month, we are profiling you and other amazing women founders. Who are some women in your life that inspire you?
MP: Many female figures in the wine industry have been inspirational to me, from Madame Clicquot, who is not only credited with the invention of a myriad of winemaking processes but also giving Veuve Clicquot its remarkable identity, to Jancis Robinson, who never truly worked in the service sector of the wine trade, but found her own way through the world of wine to become one of foremost wine writers in the world. However, the woman that inspires me the most is the woman that has spent the better part of her life by my side — my mother. Her adaptability, tenacity, and drive, have enabled her to build an extraordinary career while raising two passable children. Watching my mother grow into herself while enabling us to do the same has helped me develop my own perspectives on how to make both work and life meaningful.