Founder Profile

Golde

Trinity Mouzon Wofford

Her line of organic masks and superfood powders is poised for national distribution.

Year Founded
2017
Location
New York, New York
Industry
All Things Consumer
Co-founder
Issey Kobori
Twitter
Data as of Publication on Sep 16, 2019
Company Description

If the Instagram-fueled wellness boom made of “Moon Juice” dusts and diet teas feels like outer space, Trinity Mouzon Wofford is trying to bring things back down to earth. In 2016, the Millennial-minded founder began formulating superfood-boosted powders with powerful anti-inflammatory turmeric that could be mixed with any liquid. A year later, New York City stores began selling her Original Golde Tonic for $29. Soon, Goop, Urban Outfitters, and Sephora.com were calling. Today, Golde’s five powders and facemasks are sold by about 100 stores nationwide, and the company is poised for broader distribution. It’s a strong start for the tiny, bootstrapped operation, which consists of Wofford, her boyfriend, Issey Kobori, and just one part-time employee working out of the couple’s Brooklyn, New York, home. --Christine Lagorio-Chafkin

Dia&Co

Nadia Boujarwah

She created a fashion brand—and a platform—to support a new generation of plus-size consumers and designers.

Year Founded
2015
Location
New York, New York
Industry
Fashion Forward
Co-founder
Lydia Gilbert
Twitter
Data as of Publication on Sep 16, 2019
Company Description

Like many plus-size women, Nadia Boujarwah often felt ignored by the fashion industry. So, she co-founded clothing and accessory subscription service Dia&Co for women in sizes 14 to 32. Its four million users represent 90 percent of U.S ZIP codes. To date, the five-year-old start up has received $95 million in venture funding, with almost half of that coming from a single round last November. Boujarwah uses her company’s success as a platform to advocate for size inclusivity that’s “not just lip service.” In 2019, Dia&Co partnered with the Council of Fashion Designers of America to review grant proposals for their design schools that she would help fund. Her goal: "Ensuring that the next generation of designers are taught the importance of and the skills for inclusive design from the very, very beginning.” --Anna Meyer

ELOQUII

Mariah Chase

Walmart paid $100 million for her cool plus-size clothing company.

Mariah Chase.
Year Founded
2014
Location
Columbus, Ohio
Industry
Fashion Forward
Co-founder
John Auerbach
Twitter
Data as of Publication on Sep 16, 2019
Company Description

As Mariah Chase tells it, she was perfectly happy being a consultant. She’d already co-founded a fashion startup, Send the Trend, which she sold to QVC in 2012. But by the end of 2013, an acquaintance was angling to buy the assets of plus-size fashion brand Eloquii, which was being discontinued. The company would need a CEO, and the first order of business would be to raise money. Chase was hooked. “I’ve been in hundreds of meetings with designers, and [the plus-size customer] has never been talked about,” Chase says. “Yet she’s over half the population.” Chase and her team raised $42 million in venture capital and successfully relaunched the brand before selling it to Walmart in October 2018 for $100 million. Since then, Eloquii has launched collections in collaboration with actor Reese Witherspoon and makeup artist Priscilla Ono, and opened stores in Houston, New York City, and Miami. --Kimberly Weisul

TomboyX

Fran Dunaway

She's liberating gender norms, one boxer brief at a time.

Fran Dunaway.
Year Founded
2013
Location
Seattle, Washington
Industry
Fashion Forward
Co-founder
Naomi Gonzalez
Data as of Publication on Sep 16, 2019
Company Description

As adults who identified as tomboys, Fran Dunaway and Naomi Gonzalez craved a fashion brand with androgynous tailoring. So in 2013, the two launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $75,000 in 30 days for their own business, TomboyX. For a year, they hawked button-down shirts, polos, and blazers with mild financial success. The real breakthrough then came when a customer service call keyed them in to the potential market for unisex boxer briefs. The first launch of their signature underwear sold out in two weeks, and company revenue tripled in six months. A two-time Inc. 500 honoree, TomboyX has since grown to more than 35 employees and $10.4 million in annual sales while expanding from underwear into swimwear and bras. The co-founders are now married, and together have raised more than $17 million in venture capital, with more than one million pairs of underwear sold. “Most brands like to tell people how to be cool, but we feel that you’re cool the way you are,” says Dunaway. “We’re not for everybody, but we are for anybody.” --Zoë Henry

Maisonette

Sylvana Ward Durrett

With $15 million in capital, she’s curated a one-stop-shopping site for upscale kids clothes.

Year Founded
2017
Location
Brooklyn, New York
Industry
Fashion Forward
Co-founder
Luisana Mendoza Roccia
Data as of Publication on Sep 16, 2019
Company Description

“Whether you're shopping for yourself, for your groceries, or for your dog, there's some sort of curated, online, one-stop shopping solution,” says Maisonette co-founder and CEO Sylvana Ward Durrett. “We as parents--my co-founder and I--sort of scratched our heads when we realized this didn’t really exist in the kids world.” A former assistant to Anna Wintour and one-time editor at Vogue, Durrett has made it her mission to streamline the process of shopping for children’s luxury clothing. Maisonette was founded in 2017 with kids clothing, accessories, furniture, and toys from a discriminating roster of designers. The company raised $15 million in capital during its Series A in 2018 and is on track to hit 300 percent year-over-year growth later this year. --Tim Crino