Aetha celebrates IWD 2021 #ChoosetoChallenge

International Women’s Day 2021 – Choose to Challenge:

A challenge world is an alert one and from challenge comes change. So this year International Women’s Day 2021 is focusing on choose to challenge. How will you help forge a gender equal world? Here at Aetha Design, our whole team want to use this day to celebrate our female start up founder’s achievements and take action against bias.

We hear a lot from our female clients that they felt intimidated when first approaching a design agency about a product idea. We are also aware that a lot of women feel insecure when talking about their product idea with a team of men. Especially when the problem the produce is solving is a problem only women encounter. Sophie flies the flag for our female entrepreneurs and makes sure they feel comfortable and engaged during their first meeting with our team right through to when our clients order products from a manufacturer.  So on this day – where we celebrate women and change, we have decided to use this blog post to shine a spotlight on some of our female founders we believe will be household names in the future due to them choosing to challenge the norm. Below are just some of the stories behind our female founders and their product ideas.

Evenly CEO Kate Taylor  – Dorset 

First up is Kate. Kate is an amazing woman with a problem to solve. In fact, she and the team at Aetha Design can’t believe any retailers or brands haven’t tried to solve this issue already. The problem in question effects so many women around the world on a daily basis and causes detrimental effects on women. So Kate founded Evenly. 

Evenly’s mission is to provide effective and innovative non-surgical solutions to the challenges of breast asymmetry, no matter what the cause. Kate’s vision is to educate, support and inspire those with breast asymmetry to embrace their uniqueness and gain comfort and confidence through our products and community.

Like the majority of women, Kate has a difference in breast size but assumed it was an issue unique to her and made do by tightening her bra strap on the one side and doing her best to disguise it in foam cup bras. How was she to know she was in the majority when all we ever see in lingerie advertising are perfectly round, perfectly symmetrical breasts? Suddenly her eyes were opened to the misleading reality all of us have been exposed to and she got to work on creating the perfect solution.

What Kate says about the design process so far between Evenly & Aetha Design:

“Working with Aetha has been a joy since day 1, back in 2018. I spoke to a couple of other design agencies before choosing Aetha and even from those early conversations, I could tell Aetha were the ones I wanted to work with. To start with, they were the only ones with a woman on their team!

The other product designers I had spoken to were all male and I vividly remember an awkward conversation with one, where he got extremely awkward and giggly when I started talking about bras and breasts. I wanted someone to talk to me professionally, to not get flustered by the subject matter and to treat my project as seriously as any other engineering project. Aetha have always done just that. The whole team (male and female) have always made me feel completely comfortable and I’ve always had 100% confidence that they take my product as seriously as all the other incredible projects I know they’re working on.

Their design and engineering knowledge is incredible but they’ve also provided me with a great deal of support far beyond their core product design services.  A year or so ago, I had a real crisis of confidence in my idea and I will never forget how Sophie and Tom treated me with such kindness and understanding. They listened to all my concerns and built me back up, gave me some fresh ideas to consider and encouraged me to continue, which I’m so glad I did. Sophie introduced me to funding available to me through the Arts University Bournemouth and she also encouraged me to apply for Innovate UK’s Women in Innovation awards, which I did and won! I am forever grateful to them for all their support and they’ve been a hugely beneficial part of my personal and business journey. I honestly couldn’t recommend them more highly.”

CoobabyBoo Founder Ethel Sakutukwa  – London

Next up is Ethel. Ethel is a very experienced mid wife and has delivered 100’s of babies. Ethel founded Coobabyboo in 2020 due to a problem she encountered as a mid wife at work. Coobabyboo is a company which creates innovative products that improves the quality of lives of mothers and babies. Coobabyboo is inspired by her experience as a mother to her son and her profession as a midwife for thirteen yearsAs a mother, she faced different challenges which she tried to address by creating authentic products that will make life easier, enabling parents alike to spend quality time with their children, and helping to grow the bond between mothers and babies. Ethel is passionate about improving safety for mothers and babies. She has tried to use her expert knowledge as a midwife to come up with products that work.

What Ethel says about the design process between Coobabyboo & Aetha Design:

“For our first product, we have been working with our partners at Aetha Design Studio. They have great expertise and have been able to deliver projects outcomes within the set timescales. Having Sophie on the team has been a bonus!! Apart from coordinating the project efficiently, She brings in the soft, nurturing and feminine touch to the project. I warmed up to Sophie from the first initial appointment and have felt it easy to speak to another woman. On international women’s day I would like join other women in celebrating our achievements in advancing technology and innovation.”

 

Cupple Co-Founders Eve & Amanda (Kent)

Last but by no means least, the amazing duo who happen to be cousins from Kent who are the founders of Cupple. Cupple is a reusable water bottle and coffee cup combined. You may have seen us talk about them in the past as they launched their Kickstarter campaign in the summer of 2020. They were 100% backed within 1 hour of launching and the Cupple bottles are on their way to the UK (due to be in the UK within the next couple weeks) Aetha Design are massive fans of the Cupple ladies and have been working with them since 2019. They started the company with a desire to help combat single use plastic waste.

The Cupple team looked at the 2 most littered everyday single use plastic objects – plastic drinks bottles and take away ‘paper’ cups (which are actually lined with plastic making them very difficult to recycle) and wondered whether they could create a better, more convenient, more sustainable alternative. Cupple was born.

What Eve & Amanda say about the design process between Cupple & Aetha Design:

“After several months of drawings and homemade prototypes, we had a pretty good idea of what we wanted to create and we also knew that we needed expert help to bring our concept to reality

And this is where we met the Aetha Team, who, from our very first conversation, completely understood what we were trying to achieve and shared our passion for protecting the environment. We very quickly realised that we wanted to work with them and the Aetha/Cupple partnership was born.

We provided a product brief which the Team took and started to produce concept drawings.  We talked more, refined, redeveloped, changed, changed our mind, and I am sure drove the team mad with all our questions, doubts and queries.  But slowly over a couple of months and with lots more conversations, Cupple took its final form, very similar to the version you see now.  And we were introduced to the world of prototypes and 3-D printing which were probably some of our most exciting moments in 2019!

We love working with Aetha, particularly as they bring different skills and outlooks to all our discussions. Tom and Josh, the designers, have been brilliant in producing the Cupple we could only have  dreamt of at the start.  Sophie has been wonderful, a source of constant encouragement and support.  She has acted as our main liaison point, always available to answer questions, explain the design process, spark new ideas and nudge us into taking the big decisions and generally keep the whole project running smoothly.

On International Women’s Day, we are proud to join the increasing numbers of female founders starting businesses in the UK.  We have benefitted hugely from a wide network of strong, supportive, inspiring women and look forward to playing our part in encouraging others to believe they too have the ability to succeed.”

We would like to thank all the female entrepreneurs who #choosetochallenge by innovating and coming up with new products. We LOVE working with you and hope you find us an encouraging and reliable team.

Thanks to all the women who have sent in your business vision, why you started your product and how you have found the design process with our team. We look forward to supporting you all in the coming months.

To find out more about the ladies above please look at their websites below.

Evenly – Kate Taylor (Founder) 

Coobabyboo – Ethel Sakutukwa (Founder)

Cupple – Eve & Amanda (Co-Founders)

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