Women of Complex: Our Favorite Women-Owned Businesses

A list of our favorite women-owned businesses chosen by the women at Complex. Find everything from brick & mortar shops to new online businesses.

Women of Complex   Women Owned Businesses
Complex Original

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Women of Complex   Women Owned Businesses

The Beyoncés, Rihannas, and Kylie Jenners of the world stand out as some of today’s most recognizable business women. These women have managed to find countless ways to multiply their millions of dollars and grow their consumer market. But celebrities aren’t the only women making waves in the business world. Plenty of everyday women have launched successful businesses all over the US—and that’s not an easy task. For starters, women are least likely to receive business loans, leading to less than 20 percent of all business ownership, according to a 2019 report from the US Census Bureau. From that number, almost 100 percent are small business owners.

In support of Women’s History Month and the millions of female entrepreneurs who provide exceptional services and products, the women of Complex are highlighting our favorite women-owned brands and companies. We have everything from restaurants, bookshops, boutiques, and jewelry stores to salons, bakeries, and more.

Check out our list, and support a women-owned business this month and every month.

Founders: Helena Barquet, Fabiana Faria

Address: 37 Orchard St., New York, New York

WebsiteComing Soon

Helena Barquet and Fabiana Faria have created a vibrant escape in the Lower East Side with their gifts and housewares store, Coming Soon. With meticulous eyes, the pair have curated and produced a range of products that can fit any aesthetic. From cult favorites like the Lex Pott Twist Candle and HAY Color Crates to low-key gems like Cold Picnic rugs and Gaetano Pesce glassware, Coming Soon has a lot, and it’s hard to walk out empty-handed. —Alessandra Maldonado (Coordinator, Content Operations)

Founder: Rony Vardi

Address: 219 Bedford Ave., Brooklyn, New York


Founded by Rony Vardi, Williamsburg, Brooklyn’s Catbird is exactly what any Millennial or Gen-Z-er would want in a jewelry store. Ethically sourced diamonds and gold. Pieces hand-crafted in the shop’s Brooklyn studio. Unique, delicate, and subtle styling you won’t find in a national chain. And while Catbird may not be the least expensive option in the city, the jewelry is beautiful, timeless, and worth every penny. —Jocelyn Carrington (Director, Content Operations)

Founders: Noëlle Santos

Address: 131 Alexander Ave., Bronx, New York

Website: The Lit. Bar

The Lit. Bar, which opened its doors in 2017, is the only bookstore currently serving the Bronx. Founded by Noëlle Santos, the cozy establishment encourages you to stay awhile. At this local gem, you’ll find community-wide gatherings for those who love to get lost in a good book. If you’re visiting alone, feel free to have a read while sipping on your vino of choice. —Katherine Santana (Manager, Content Operations)


Founder: Natalie Cosby

Address: 405 Tompkins Ave., Brooklyn, New York

WebsiteStacked Yoga

Founded and owned by Natalie Cosby, Stacked Yoga is a yoga studio in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, on Tompkins Avenue, a stretch dubbed “Black Girl Magic Street” because so many Black women have opened businesses there. The studio celebrates people of all sizes, shapes, colors, and abilities. It’s a small and intimate studio where everyone is like family… and people love it. —Endi Piper (General Counsel) 

Founder: Maria Herron

Address: 323 Linden St., Brooklyn, New York

WebsiteMil Mundos

Mil Mundos, founded by Maria Herron, is a bookstore on a mission to keep and build the community in Bushwick, where gentrification becomes more apparent every day. It provides a space for those seeking empowerment through literature, offers events, and celebrates Black, Latinx and Indigenous heritage. Maria volunteers for Bushwick Ayuda Mutua, a local charity born out of the lackluster government response to COVID-19, and has made Mil Mundos a hub for the organization. —Bitna Kim (Creative Project Manager)

Founders: Robert Boyle, Jes Dwyer

Address: 177 Grand Stt, Brooklyn, New York

WebsiteNice Tattoo Parlor

Tattoo shops can be intimidating. Nice Tattoo Parlor aims to change that. A quiet, inviting space, this women-owned-and-operated parlor feels more like a friend’s chill apartment. The shop and artists-in-residence are as unique as their styles, kind, and about their business in a way that eases first-timers into the process and spoils long-time tattoo fans. COVID has changed things, so when you find the right one, plan accordingly, pack a snack, and enjoy the experience. —Olga Encarnacion (Senior Video Producer)

Founder: Shemmicia Riley

Address: 170 E. Hanover Ave., Cedar Knolls, New Jersey

WebsiteBeauty… And Then Some

Shemmicia Riley began her career at 10 as a braider. At 18, she discovered her love for hair and that her true talent was making people feel good. And that was the goal behind Beauty… and Then Some, a private salon suite where clients can get her full attention. It specializes in protective styles and chemical processes, among other types of styling. Shemmicia also produces and distributes Buttah, her own amazing line of shea butter, and sells brand-name products like Design Essentials.—Hollann Sobers (Sr. Director of Integrated Development & Programming Operations) 

Founder: Angela Bisanti


bambooYOGA is built on community, with the understanding that “everything is connected.” Yogis of all ages, backgrounds, and experience levels challenge you mentally and physically while building a strong base grounded in the respect of the practice. Instructors are there not only to get to know you, but to encourage and inspire you. COVID has made the practice and workshops virtual, but the support and community are still apparent in each class. —Jessica Boiardi (Senior Director, Revenue Operations)

Founder: Kristina Maccaro

Address: 190 Christopher Columbus Dr., Unit 4C, Jersey City, New Jersey

WebsiteLove Lane Salon

Love Lane Salon stems from founder Kristina Maccaro’s dream of a “non-salon.” A great salon experience is more than just amazing hair—through gender-neutral services, her team brings communication, knowledge, passion, and incredible talent that leave you feeling and looking your best. Love Lane also partners with @greencirclesalons to recycle 95 percent of its beauty waste, and it aligns with brands that share its commitment to environmentally conscious practices. —Bianca Calpo (People & Culture Associate)

Founder: Yunice Kang

Address: 618 Moulton Ave., Suite E, Los Angeles, California

Website: SANSO

SANSO is a plant and design studio created by Yunice Kang to inspire others to grow greenery and build environments that nurture and rejuvenate us. At the Frogtown LA shop, a curated selection of rare plants come together with their planters and vases, all of them handmade in the studio. SANSO cultivates community around plants by sharing information, collaboration, and experience. —Rosy Huang (Creative Project Manager)

Founder: Sunshine Foss

Address: 51 Buffalo Ave., Brooklyn, New York

Website: Happy Cork

Even during a pandemic, Sunshine Foss, the owner of Happy Cork, is passionate about providing her customers with an amazing experience in her Brooklyn shop—which carries the largest selection of Black- and minority-owned wine and spirit brands I’ve ever seen, alongside a range of accessories made by POC. Follow Happy Cork’s Instagram, too—it hosts great virtual tastings with wine producers. It’s impossible to leave this store without a case or a smile. —Tiffany Tran (Line Producer, Brand Partnerships)

Founders: Sarah Sanneh, Carolyn Bane

Address: 166 S. 4th St. Brooklyn, New York

WebsitePies ‘n’ Thighs

The comfort food at Brooklyn’s Pies ‘n’ Thighs—which includes some of the best chicken and mac ‘n’ cheese you’ll find—is everything it should be: warm, heavy, filling. The spot’s owners, Sarah Sanneh and Carolyn Bane, have mastered the art of savory and sweet, and have been doing it for 15 years. Support, share, and enjoy this wonderful spot! —Shirley Lim (Executive Assistant/Social Media Coordinator)

Founders: Sherry Younge, Adrian Younge, Andrew Lojero

Address: 5611 N. Figueroa St. Suite 2, Los Angeles, California

WebsiteThe Artform Studio

The latest iteration of The Artform Studio is a hair salon with a record store and bookstore in it. It’s the brainchild of expert hairstylist Sherry Younge, her husband, Adrian Younge, and music manager Andrew Lojero. Located in Highland Park, it is an essential stop for culture seekers and music lovers alike. Whether you’re looking for a new hairstyle or jazz record, or flipping through the pages of a Nina Simone biography, you’ll definitely find something you want here. —Rosy Huang (Creative Project Manager)


Founder: Fany Gerson

Address: 61 commerce St., Brooklyn, New York

WebsiteLa Newyorkina

If you’re looking for a spot to cool down this summer or are in the mood for something sweet, this is it. La Newyorkina is a woman- and Latinx-owned company specializing in natural and handmade paletas (Mexican-style ice lollies), ice cream, and baked goods. Founder Fany Gerson celebrates Mexico’s vibrant culture through bold paleta flavors such as mango chile, hibiscus, passion fruit, and coconut. This gem of a place will have you going back for more. —Lariza Quintero (Senior SEO Manager)

Founder: Caitlin Mociun

Address: 683 Driggs Ave., Brooklyn, New York


Elegant and unexpected. Mociun is a fine jewelry brand known for its one-of-a-kind and custom-made pieces. Founder Caitlin Mociun designs clean, geometric forms inspired by the principles of the Bauhaus movement. Mociun also carries an array of well-curated home treasures that are as playful and whimsical as her jewelry. —Jessica Salinas (Creative Project Manager)

Founder: Candace Witherspoon

Address: 256 W 27th St., 2nd Fl., New York, New York

WebsiteCandace Witherspoon Salon

Candace Witherspoon founded her eponymous salon—located in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood— to help every client embrace their curls from a place of love. Candace has mastered the art of dry cutting to create the best shape for every client, and carefully handpicks the best haircare products so that your curls may come alive. —Momo Yusuff (Production Coordinator)

Founders: Peregrine Honig, Danielle Meister

Address: 116 W 18th St., Kansas City, Missouri


Birdies is a unique Kansas City boutique for upscale, designer lingerie, hosiery, and undergarments for men and women owned by artists Peregrine Honig and Danielle Meister. It carries women-owned, handmade, and size-inclusive goods from brands like Le Mystère and Evgenia Lingerie. Decor from local artists covers the walls, and a fitting room with full-length mirrors and a chair for a guest makes it a sexy spot to stare at yourself or stop by with your special someone. —Meagan Dexter (Senior Strategist)

Founder: Sarah McNally

Address: 52 Prince St., New York, New York

WebsiteMcNally Jackson Books

Anybody who can name more than one bookstore in NYC will undoubtedly have McNally Jackson on their list. A true New York staple, McNally Jackson Books is an independent shop owned and operated by Sarah McNally. It goes toe to toe with the mailorder giants through curated events, an enthusiastic neighborhood that shares a love of books, and a strong belief in going above and beyond to attract lifetime customers. It’s the McNally magic. —Aia Adriano (Director of Social)

Founder: Pinky Cole

Address: 1542 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd. SW, Atlanta, Georgia

WebsiteSluttyVegan Atlanta

In two months, Pinky Cole went from selling her mouthwatering vegan burgers on Instagram to slinging them around Atlanta in a food truck. A month after launching her truck, she had a brick-and-mortar carryout restaurant with people lined up around the block. SluttyVegan Atlanta is the perfect spot to grab a tasty vegan burger meal—and don’t let the “vegan” name fool you. Regardless of your preferences, the burgers are juicy, delectable, and worth the wait. —Manseen Logan (Features Editor, Life)


Founder: Ikram Goldman

Address: 15 E Huron St., Chicago, Illinois


Chicago’s Ikram takes its name from its owner, Ikram Goldman, a powerful retailer and the woman who once dressed Michelle Obama. The store stocks high-end clothes, accessories, fragrances, and more, and boasts a cafe on its second floor. It’s a historic part of Chicago’s fashion scene and a location you should check out if you’re in the city. —Andrea Keeble (Senior Designer)

Founders: Cristina Morales, Rosemary Monica

Address: 100 E. Walton Street, Chicago, Illinois

WebsiteRMCM Salon

There’s a reason this spot’s hashtag is #notyouraveragehairsalon—because it’s not. Cristina Morales and Rosemary Monica have created the perfect West Coast vibe in this Chicago hair salon. The staff gives the most fabulous cut and color, and every visit feels like time spent chilling with friends. There’s always music and hilarious chatter, and while the salon draws celebrities, there’s no attitude here—just extremely talented women making other women look and feel beautiful. —Wendy Reiter (Senior Director, Brand Partnerships)

Founder: Juliet and Justine Masters

Address: 101 Edgecombe Ave, New York, NY

WebsiteThe Edge Harlem

Sisters Juliet and Justine Masters are New York natives who have lived in Harlem for 20 years. Their restaurant, The Edge Harlem, is an ode to the community and pays homage to the neighborhood’s spirit by honoring those who came before. The building that the restaurant resides in was a meeting place for key figures of the Harlem Renaissance, including Langston Hughes. Its creative menu reflects the siblings’ British and Jamaican heritage, spiced up with a healthy dose of NYC. —Krystle Douglas (VP, People & Culture)


Founder: Lariza Quintero

Website: FOR WMN

FOR WMN is a Latinx-owned online store and social media platform dedicated to empowering women of color. Founder Lariza Quintero (who, full disclosure, works at Complex) wanted to create a vehicle through which to celebrate women and highlight the power of fashion. With pieces like double-chain hoop earrings and eccentric eyewear featuring adornments like pearls and metal hardware, the brand is an accessory head’s dream. Outside of providing women with cutting-edge accessories, FOR WMN is dedicated to connecting and working with women in the creative space through BIPOC-led campaigns and collabs. —Alessandra Maldonado (Coordinator, Content Operations)

Founders: Nana Eyeson-Akiwowo, Marcia A. Cole

Website: Fourth Phase

Fourth Phase, a one-for-one afterbirth care box, was created by Nana Eyeson-Akiwowo and Marcia A. Cole to help new mothers heal, feel, and be heard. The Black-owned, woman-led company supports new moms who have given birth vaginally or surgically with a curated Fourth Phase Afterbirth Box of certified organic, phthalates-free, non-toxic, cruelty-free, sustainably sourced products. The Fourth Phase website offers real-life stories from new moms and vetted advice from doulas, midwives, and OBGYNs. For every box purchased, Fourth Phase donates similar afterbirth care products to new mothers experiencing homelessness in the US, as well as new mothers in Sub-Saharan Africa, via charitable partners Passion Meets Purpose and African Health Now. —Katina Lee (Head of Branded Content)

Founder: Sahra Nguyen

WebsiteNguyen Coffee Supply

Though Vietnam is the second-largest exporter of coffee in the world, Nguyen Coffee Supply (led by Sahra Nguyen) is the first-ever Vietnamese-American-owned business to import green coffee beans, which Sahra fresh-roasts in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Sahra’s passion for sharing her culture through coffee is apparent to anyone she meets—and the coffee is good. Nguyen has a great variety of roasts and innovative products (like a steeped coffee bag that lets you make coffee the way you make tea). I have a cup every morning using a traditional phin, which brings back memories of my grandparents reading a newspaper and slow-brewing their coffee. Not only is the coffee ethically sourced, the brand gives back to a host of social justice initiatives. —Tiffany Tran (Line Producer, Brand Partnerships)

Founder: Maggie Ranmu Xue

Website: Us Two Tea

There’s a lack of Asian-owned tea brands in the US. Maggie Ranmu Xue’s Us Two Tea—with its farm-to-cup Taiwanese tea—is changing that. It’s the most aesthetically pleasing tea I’ve ever had, and the brand’s gift sets make amazing gifts for friends and coworkers. Also, its variety of teas beats anything you’ll find in your local supermarket. It’s hard to choose a favorite, but pairing the Baozhong tea with any type of seafood is a game-changer. —Tiffany Tran (Line Producer, Brand Partnerships)

Founder: Tammy Huynh

WebsiteOmni Bev

Some days I like to slow roast coffee, and others I just like to crack open a bottle from the fridge. Tammy Huynh, the woman behind Omni Bev, must feel the same way. Omni Bev is billed as the first-ever bottled Vietnamese cold brew beverage brand, featuring 100 percent single-origin coffee grown in Da Lat, Vietnam, and bottled in California. While purists might love the traditional “Good Morning Saigon” blend, I’m also into Omni’s innovative coconut matcha coffee. I can’t offer a better testimonial than this: Our production crew LOVES when this is offered on set. —Tiffany Tran (Line Producer, Brand Partnerships)

Founder: Tawni Fears

WebsiteThe Tawni Logues

Tawni Fears, founder of The Tawni Logues is a communications professional who prides herself on creating strong relationships with her clients. When I used her services for the first time, I was impressed with how quickly she was able to assess problem areas in my body of work and provide clear and concise feedback. She quickly set and beat her own deadline, and even provided additional resources to assist with some of my basic editing needs. Whether or not you’re in the market for resume tips and building or a forrmal biography, I definitely recommend Tawni Logues’ work.—Deidre Davis (Director of Recruitment)

Founders: Malene Younglao, Tracy Allen, Zandra Haywood, Denée Pearson, Brianne Hayes , Ebony Cooley, Lindsey Williams, Juliana Worrell, and Winnie Clark


HiiPizza is a platform dedicated to showing the world that Black women can seed and nurture meaningful, healthy sister-friendships without all of the drama and toxicity depicted in popular media. Founded by Malene Younglao, Tracy Allen, Zandra Haywood, Denée Pearson, Brianne Hayes, Ebony Cooley, Lindsey Williams, Juliana Worrell and Winnie Clark, the platform celebrates sisterhood by creating content and programming from which all women can find inspiration to support their own sister-friendships. HiiWear is an extension of that ethos—a comfort wear/athleisure brand founded by some of the same women that the “day to night, hii-energy, hii-achieving” girl is proud to wear because we embody all of her core values: sisterhood, women’s empowerment and, of course, our secret ingredient… Black Girl Magic. —Krystle Douglas (VP, People & Culture)


Founder: Najah Bey

Website: Mason Cookie

Najah Bey is the founder of and baker at Mason Cookie. This tasty venture was simply a fun idea in conversation that, through faith, and with the support of the Los Angeles community, evolved into a small business. Mason Cookie is known for crafting cookies with great taste, amazing texture, and quality natural ingredients, all while being mindful of allergies. Each batch is handcrafted, baked to order, and made with love. The packaging is creatively rustic and playful, with personal touches. —Deidre Davis (Director of Recruitment)

Founder: Heather François

Website: Les Madame Francois

At the onset of the pandemic, some of us got into meditation, yoga, and even online shopping to release some of the anxieties around the unknown. At the end of the summer, a close friend, Heather François, announced she had used her down time during the pandemic to create Les Madame François, a luxury skin care line that won’t break your bank. Her ethos is simple: “We don’t need to spend a fortune on skin care products to achieve beautiful skin. We deserve the best! You can have beautiful products that are effective and still feel luxurious.” I’m always happy to support a longtime friend, but even more than that her products—like the Action C Serum and Madame François Crème de Nuit—work. My skin feels smooth and hydrated, which is often challenging in these cold months. —Lindi DeGrant (Senior Manager, Partner Solutions)

Founder: Maia Williams

WebsiteThe Eventologist

Planning an event can be overwhelming. Founded and owned by Maia Williams, The Eventologist is a full-service event planning company that will do all the work for you, which means handling handmade deserts and cakes, custom decor and gifts, 360 camera booths, and more. What makes Maia so special is that she is completely self-taught—via YouTube tutorials and her mom’s famous Christmas parties as a young girl. These experiences are what make all that she does so undeniably special. Every crafted piece or event is done with so much love that you can see and feel it in all that she touches. —Krystle Douglas (VP, People & Culture)

Founder: Devan Cupid

Website: Cupid Athletics

A few years ago, as more recognizable faces flooded the market, I became more conscious of where I was buying my athletic wear. I realized that I wanted to support more small and women-owned businesses. So when I found out about Cupid Athletics, a woman-owned, family-run business that uses local craftsmen to help create its designs and everyday people to model them, I knew I had to support it. The gear is comfortable and durable, and you get hands-on customer service directly from the owner, Devan Cupid. Not a bad combination. —Deidre Davis (Director of Recruitment)

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