All-Women’s Market Featured Female, an all-women’s market run by women of all ages, allows women to come together for four hours once a month to sell goods, whether homemade or wholesale.
What started as a little girls night out idea during the pandemic has grown into an official public marketplace with over 6,400 followers on Instagram and around 50 contributors at each event.
Two years ago, Lauren Wenn, the founder of Featured Female and a native of Orem, hosted a girls’ night out at her house and continued it in other random places. As her group grew, she said she was inspired to expand.
Wenn said she wants a place to create an event where people can come to share their work but also support the community outside of their business. “We wanted to show individual women and their stories,” she said.
According to Wenn, her time as a photographer has also allowed her to work with other women who have been mothers, students, and working women in a variety of professions. These women were also self-employed. She wanted a place to highlight and support her work. She said, “We should put an event together.”
Wenn’s vision of Featured Female was helped by Christina Olsen, a local sourdough baker, mother of four and owner of O Burka Bakery. Olsen applied for Featured Female after a friend told her about it while she was working at a farmer’s market. “I started because I want to bake bread and let people know it’s okay to eat bread,” Olsen said.
Featured Female also helps first-time business owners. Jess Law, a single mom and owner of Basil Village, started her nature-inspired doll business with Featured Female. “I make dolls because they bring people joy and are fun. I love learning about nature and sharing that with the world,” Law said.
Law also said it’s important for entrepreneurs to believe in themselves. “Women who want to do business have to believe in themselves and try,” Law shared. “What’s the worst that can happen? When you have something special to share with the world, people respond to it.”
There are also young sellers in the featured female market, like Hailey Johnson, the 19-year-old owner of Handmade by Hailey. She’s taking a break from college and hoping to build her jewelry business. “I did a semester at Salt Lake Community College, but right now I’m focused on my jewelry and building my business,” Johnson said. “My goal is to be able to take care of myself.”
Wenn said her start-up business is what she does on the side.
“Actually, I’m a broker. It’s my full-time job,” Wenn said. “I’ve always been more of an entrepreneur. I always wanted to be my own boss.”
Wenn also said that creating was a big part of her life. “Being able to bring something beautiful and fun into the world has always been one of my goals. It’s nice to be able to achieve that here at Featured Female,” she said.
According to Wenn, Featured Female hopes to expand its market over the next year by holding a two-day event every two months to accommodate the growing number of vendors and customers. Their next market event will be on Saturday October 22nd from 10am to 2pm