International Women’s Day 2020

Design & Innovation is one area in the UK where you don’t often hear about women disrupting a market with a new idea or a new product invention. We spoke last year in a post celebrating women in design saying that about 70% of our clients were female – this figure is pretty much the same for this year and we are so inspired to see how many women actually wanting to improve a market by launching a new product and how they want to solve a problem and provide a solution – whether that be in the lifestyle/health, children’s & baby market or even to help people deal with how much pollution they breathe in on a daily basis.

To celebrate International Women’s Day 2020, we have featured below in this post a few of our female entrepreneurs who we have had the pleasure of working with over the past 12 months. Some can’t put their name or face to a product yet due to their projects being top secret but we thought it would be a good idea to shine a spotlight on some of them. Hopefully this inspires other women for the future of product design. #IWD2020

Look out for these women in the next year or so, we have no doubt that both their products and their businesses will be ones to watch.

Firstly, let us introduce Cupple – this duo from Kent were one of our first clients when we launched back in 2018. Be sure to check out the website and sign up to alerts as Cupple look to launch their crowdfunding campaign in May 2020.

Names: Amanda and Eve
Product Idea: Cupple: A bottle with a twist
Website : www.cuppleup.com

How & Why you got into design/product innovation

“We are cousins who have lived and worked in various different countries.  In 2018, when we both returned separately to the UK, we were dismayed to see the huge amount of rubbish accumulating in hedgerows and roadsides.  This, combined with a growing awareness of the damage caused to our land and oceans by a throw away economy full of single use plastic, provided the motivation  to set up our business.  We wanted to do more than just pick up rubbish. We wanted to help people change their habits, become less wasteful and make better decisions for the environment.

Initially, we have concentrated on the two most discarded single use plastic items in our lives today:  plastic drinks bottles and disposable coffee cups.  We worked with Aetha to find a convenient way to have both hot and cold drinks on the go and to offer people an alternative sustainable option to reduce their waste footprint.  And so Cupple was born. A combination of a double walled lidded coffee cup and a 500ml water bottle – considered, convenient and stylish.
We believe that everyone is responsible for the future of this planet.  We hope people will #Cuppleup with us to make a difference.”

Second up, meet Kate. Kate is local to us down here and a resident of Bournemouth, UK. Kate approached us about a product that is something we know is a problem for a lot of women around the world.


Name: Kate Taylor
Product Idea: Solution for breast asymmetry
Website: n/a – it’s coming! But in the meantime, there is a Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/breastasymmetry/

How and Why you got into design/product innovation:

“A few years ago I was looking into a business idea centred around selling shoes separately (rather than in a same size pair) for people with shoe size differences, but quickly realised from talking to many of my friends that shoes weren’t an issue – bras were! I started learning all I could about bra design and lingerie and discovered that bras and women’s breast care products are still largely engineered by men, which means many aspects of the designs of these products have been considered without the realistic bodies of women, or how they use these products and the challenges they encounter, in mind. The product I came up with was so innovative and new that conventional lingerie designers quickly reached the limits of what they were able to help me with, and I realised what I needed was some product development and engineering expertise which led me to a great partnership working with Aetha. The product is now in the final stages of prototyping and I’m so excited to be able to bring it to market soon with Aetha’s support.”

Up next, is Susie. Susie had a strong idea which we knew other parents would appreciate. She struggled with buying single use plastic toys for her kids when she became a mother and so decided to do something about it.

Name: Susie Page
Business/Product Idea: Twin Toys – 3d printed recyclable children’s toys
Website: www.twintoys.co.uk

How and Why you got into design/product innovation:

“I wanted to combine my experience working in sustainability and environmental roles with my new experience of being a mum, and accumulating plastic toys over time to make a more circular model of toy making thats not mass produced, but 3d printed in small batches and returnable end of life.”

Lastly, meet Carina. Carina started with us at the end of 2019 and she is working to design a fashionable yet functional air filter solution


Name: Carina Cunha
Product Idea: Nosy – a wearable air filter that is both fashionable and more effective than face masks
Website: www.benosy.com

How & Why you got into design/product innovation:

“The “Aha” moment came to me when I was stuck in the London tube during rush hour 6 months ago. I was in the central line, 90 feet below ground with tens of thousands of people, sharing the same air, and exposing myself to disease and pollution without means of effectively protecting myself. During that hour stuck underground (and every rush hour for the last 7 years), I just kept on wishing that someone, somewhere would create a device that would filter out air pollution in the same fashion that noise cancelling headphones block sound pollution and sunglasses block UV rays. 

For weeks after this incident, I researched possible alternatives to protect myself against pollution and disease when commuting. I tried all the products in the market and found nothing that actually worked. Instead I was horrified to learn how dated the technology of face masks actually is.

After creating a number of prototypes myself, I have hired Aetha to help me finalise Nosy. We are now in the final stages of development of our functional prototype. I am targeting a launch on kickstarter within the next couple of months (so watch this space!) and working on raising seed investment to make Nosy, not just into a product, but create an entire new line of wearable technology. If you are interested to learn more about Nosy, feel free to reach out!”

We have a number of other clients who are made up predominately of a female workforce or have female board members; including SENTI, MAJO CANDLES, AQUAPAC, TREEKIT, NLG and many more. Let’s hope 2020 brings even more women into design and if you do have an idea and don’t know who to talk to, by all means get in touch.

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