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Meet the female founders behind your favourite stores

Meet the female founders behind your favourite stores

At Stockland Marketplace, we stock a diverse range of products from unique retailers who all have their own stories to tell. Many of these retailers are businesses run by powerful female founders who are dedicated to amplifying the voices of their community and providing customers with high-quality products they’ll treasure for years to come.

Whether they’re designing floral fashion, testing new tea flavours, or providing educational (and fun!) toys for our little ones, these women are constantly developing products to enrich our lives and make the world a better place to live in. So, to honour them all, we’d like to introduce some of the innovative female founders we’re working with here at Stockland Marketplace. Every one of these women have their own inspiring stories to tell, so without further ado, meet the women behind some of your favourite retailers here at Stockland Marketplace!

Introducing Amanda from Baby Presents


Product captions: Baby Presents Al.ive Body Baby Gentle Pear Duo $64, Baby Presents BIBS Soother Dummy $20, Baby Presents Replay Divided Plate Small $8.60.

What inspired you to want to open your business? I had struggled to find the perfect special occasion baby gift for friends and family to celebrate precious milestones so in 2012 I created Baby Presents as an online store - a one stop shopping experience for busy parents needing to purchase a keepsake baby present.
In 2018 we opened our first retail store at Stockland Point Cook providing customers a location to touch and feel the products. I am committed to ensuring you get an “aaaah” moment every time your Baby Presents gift is opened. My goal is to deliver the most trending bespoke range of special occasion and celebration gifts for babies.

What’s inspiring to you? Inclusion for all regardless of age, background, skill set or disability.

Who are some other women in your community that inspire you? My mum who passed in 2021 was a massive inspiration and supported me opening this store. My teenage daughter is also inspiring by showing me that kindness begins from within, and to always think the best of everyone. My staff who treat every customer with the utmost respect and the business as if it’s their own also inspire me every day.

Introducing Bella from Honest Paper


Product captions: Honest Paper Daymaker Stationery Flannel Flowers Blank Letter Writing Stationery Set $14.95, Honest Paper Double Satin Light Ribbon 25m $25.95, Honest Paper Staedtler Triplus Fineliner $3.

What inspired you to open your store? When I was a little girl, I used to think gift wrapping was the coolest thing! My mum would teach me how to fold and wrap beautifully, and I thought it would be pretty cool to be paid to gift wrap. When I met my friend Gabi, we realised we both had the biggest love for stationery and so we created Honest Paper. Now we not only get to gift wrap for a living, but also create wrapping supplies so others can enjoy their wrapping too.

What have your customers told you they love about your store? Our customers love the tactile experience of our products. They (like us) love the feeling of good paper and we love to help them discover planning and wrapping tools to improve their everyday life.

What advice do you have for other women who may want to start their own business? My best advice to other women wanting to run their own business is to really figure out what you want from the business, and then figure out what you'll want after you achieve that first goal. It's so much easier to pursue a goal when you only have one main goal to work toward. Figure out what you want in terms of workload, financial gain, and family — make the business work for you!

Introducing Laura and Sarah from Clothing The Gaps


Product captions: Ilan Style Kulkul Star Box $149, Sobah Combo Pack $48, WARNDU Warndu Mai Good Food Cookbook $45.

What inspired you to start your business? From the very beginning, we’ve always known the influence of merch with a message. We’ve been creating pieces that connect people and spark conversations to inspire change for almost ten years. We first joined forces as public health practitioners at the Victorian Aboriginal Health Service in 2014, and we were passionate about using merchandise to incentivise and inspire the Aboriginal community to come together and shake up their health and wellbeing at our programs. We had this wild and ambitious dream that one day, we’d be able to sell enough merch to support the delivery of our programs.

Fast forward to now, and we’ve created one of the most recognised Aboriginal streetwear labels in the country, Clothing The Gaps. We’ve pivoted and adapted our health promotion skills to include other important messages to create conversations and unite Indigenous and non-Indigenous people through fashion. We’ve seen the impact of fashion to influence and create social change for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Communities when people are essentially walking billboards.

We’ve always been inspired by the strength and resilience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and communities. This will forever be at the heart of why we went into business and how we will continue to be inspired into the future.

What have your customers told you they love about your business? Our supporters often share how our store is more than just a ‘retail space’. They appreciate our commitment to providing a culturally safe Blak environment and a place where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people (Mob) can connect — not just with our products but also with their cultural identity. Some of the ways we do this is by being intentional about our employment – all our retail staff are Mob, and their Mob names are proudly displayed on their name badges to encourage connection. We also offer a 15% Mob discount as another way we continue to centre and keep Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and the heart of what we do.

Our shoppers love that we label our products as being either 'Ally Friendly' or ‘Mob Only’. For our non-Indigenous shoppers, it means they can be comfortable and confident in their purchase.

What’s the most fulfilling part about running your own business? We’ve never felt more self-determined than we do in business! The fact that we are independent and can use our platform to fuel social change through education and advocacy is what keeps the fire burning in our bellies. We’ve loved creating opportunities for people to wear their values on their tees, decolonise their wardrobes, and foster important conversations in society. Our tees connect people, change the way spaces feel, and make Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people feel seen and heard.

Introducing Kerrie from Gracie's Boutique


Product captions: Gracie's Boutique Cinnamon Crochet Earring $24.95, Gracie's Boutique Organic Ligurian Honey Hand & Nail Creme 100ml $29.95, Gracie's Boutique Tayla Cement Sculpture $14.95.

What inspired you to open your store? I started the business because I was inspired by my eldest daughter Gracie who is on the spectrum with ADHD and deals with learning challenges. She loves art and celebrations, so we wanted to find a way to give her real-world experience.

What do you love about your store? We do our best to support our community — I regularly buy from 18 local makers, and we also source products from the broader Victorian area and across Australia. We have 6,500 lines of product at any given time, but in low quantities, so customers see something new each time they visit online or in-store.

What advice do you have for other women who may want to start their own store? If you're not online, you're not part of the local conversation, and people will likely move on to something else. We started as an online business, so we were quick to place our focus there. Many customers who visit online are local, but they don't necessarily buy online — they look and then buy in-store. Some of our younger buyers are the opposite, but to me, it's essential to offer both options to our shoppers.

Want to fill your home with pieces from these female founders? Explore their products right here on Stockland Marketplace and add your favourites straight into your shopping cart. Then, simply have your haul delivered straight to your door or simply Click and Collect!

For more everyday inspiration, updates on the latest trends and exclusive offers, register now as a Stockland Marketplace Member to receive regular updates, and latest news and products on Stockland Marketplace.

This information has been provided by our Stockland retailers. All reasonable care has been taken to ensure that the information is correct at the time of the content going live. However, no warranty is given as to the accuracy of that information. The information may change from time to time without notice. Stocks are limited and only available while stocks last with individual retailers. Products may vary from location to location. Prices may also change without notice. Please contact our retailers for more information.