Instagram Academy ‘25 Under 25’ finalists announced

Alisha Elliott, Head of Policy Programs - Australia & New Zealand – November 5, 2021

We are pleased to announce the inaugural ‘25 Under 25’ list of up-and-coming female entrepreneurs, in partnership with Are Media. We were thrilled to see a diversity of businesses being created by entrepreneurial young women from across the country, and we’re proud to support them through our first Instagram Academy.

The ‘25 Under 25’ will receive exclusive access to the Instagram Academy, an exclusive digital accelerator program which includes digital training, advertising grants and 1:1 advice from Instagram’s sales teams. The program also includes exclusive mentorship from some of Australia’s leading business women including Lilian Ahenkan from @flex.mami, Sianna Catullo from @clothingthegaps and Grace Brennan from @buyfromthebush. Grace Brennan founded Buy from the Bush on Instagram in 2019 and has experienced first-hand the opportunities for economic prosperity through digital platforms like Instagram – 97% of Buy from the Bush business owners are women, compared to the national SMB average of 34%. A report published in 2020 found that a total of $5 million in revenue was generated for featured businesses, connecting them with new customers in Australia and overseas and the experience has also encouraged 45% of female entrepreneurs to learn a new technical skill. 

Women business owners can benefit the most from training, highlighted in a report in 2020 which found whilst women-owned businesses were more likely to close throughout the year, younger and female business leaders were more likely to adopt or increase their usage of digital tools. That’s why we are we’re thrilled to partner with Are Media to offer these ‘25 Under 25’ young women the opportunity to take their brands to the next level and ensure Instagram is a dynamic platform where Australians, and in particular, young women entrepreneurs come to build their creative business.

The winners selected for this year’s ‘25 Under 25’ list are:

SHADIE BY EA is a Black woman-led brand that provides ethically made premium intimates and essentials for women of all skin tones and sizes. Despite not having any fashion experience, Esther started the label to help other women she knew couldn’t find intimates that matched their skin tone, and has since received praise from women all over Australia.

  • Stephanie Weiss, Arula, NSW

Founded in September 2019 in Sydney, Arula 3D prints external breast prostheses for women who have had single or double mastectomies, using 100% Aussie materials. Stephanie knew many people who’d experienced breast cancer, and heard from many of them that the breast prostheses used post treatment didn’t suit everyone. So Stephanie used her background in product design and software development to design a way to innovate breast prosthesis that suited more womens’ bodies.

Consent Labs is a female-founded and youth-led not-for-profit that empowers young people on consent, harassment and assault.  Angelique is passionate about providing the modern, inclusive sex education that young people want through engaging and evidence-based workshops. Having worked with schools and tertiary institutions across Australia, Consent Labs has educated over 10,000 people.

Embrace Your Frizzique is a platform designed to educate and empower those with curly and textured hair on the many ways that they can love, nurture and reconnect with their tresses. Founded in 2015 by Zarah Garbrah, Embrace Your Frizzique strives to create an accessible community designed to diversify the beauty industry in Australia by providing industry knowledge, education and soon to come products tailored for all curl types.

Sarah left her corporate job and returned to her chemical engineering background, working with her university thesis advisor to create the world’s first oat cream cheese free from nuts/soy/coconut. It’s artisanally crafted without any fillers/starches/gums using traditional dairy cheese making methods, and is currently available at cafes and restaurants.

After working as an international interpreter straight out of uni, Aimee decided she wanted to start her own business in the digital and creative field and created a suite of online Japanese courses to help people achieve the same level of fluency with ease.

Glam Theory Cosmetics offers high quality, gorgeous makeup tools at an affordable price point with easy guides to help people learn how to apply make-up like a pro. Founder Eliza works as a makeup artist and educator and pivoted during lockdown to keep herself busy.

Oooh Mood is a feminist sexual wellness brand empowering young women to liberate themselves in the bedroom and in life. Bridgette started Oooh Mood as an approachable, fun and friendly brand that seeks to change the conversation around female sexual pleasure.

Frustrated by the widening inequality in education and social classes, Darian started We, Future Leaders to bridge these inequalities through 1:1 and group mentoring. Darian has provided employment to 25+ staff and helped hundreds of families since founding in 2020. She is aiming to empower 1 million young people by 2041 to go out and make positive changes in their lives and the world.

Sent is the first candle brand in Australia to offer a customised candle service called The Candle Bar. Customers complete an online quiz to create their own one-of-a-kind scents that remind them of their most cherished memories. Joanne is also passionate about the environment and is adopting sustainable practices throughout her business.

Maih wanted to create a brand to uplift and empower people through an all inclusive clothing brand which was bright and fun. Originally known for its reflective festival outfits, Hysteria has expanded to also make activewear, loungewear and unisex clothes.

Ellie became obsessed with pottery and started sharing her pieces to her Instagram page. Soon people asked Ellie if she would sell her pieces and Elga Ceramics was born. Ellie has based her entire business on Instagram and uses it as a fun way to share her latest work and share tips about pottery and running a small business. 

il Pietra creates natural stone pieces which each possess their own unique variations. Brianna wants to see businesses adopt a sustainable future, and so started selling marble offcuts to repurpose these materials as coasters, trays and other designs. The statement pieces have been picked-up by retailers across Australia.

BitsNBugz sells unique scrunchies and masks with novelty fabrics to help people stand out from the crowd. Roey started her own sewing business in early 2020, finding it as a great way to de-stress and relax from her job as a nurse. 

Emily Turner, Lujuria Studio, VIC

With a mixture of Spray Tanning, education and a passion for helping beauty business owners, Lujuria Studio is a place with the dream of making the Spray Tan industry an educated, relevant and desired space. Emily has developed a product line based on all of the things she thought the industry lacked, and also developed training for both technicians and at home tanners to get the best spray tan.

Moncur Collection is home to handmade earrings that Amanda carefully curates out of polymer clay, a medium that is so versatile to let her creativity flourish. Amanda has built a loyal following on Instagram and ships products all over the world.

Creative studio Ligne Studio specialises in brand designs, offering photography, fashion, art, graphic design and everything in between. Britt goes beyond the standard branding practices to give clients a fully customised and ready-to-launch brand.

Aviana the Label is a chic fashion tights label offering bold and eye-catching styles that are made in Italy. The brand was born in March 2021 with a mission to encourage women to be more confident and fearless with their fashion choices and to de-stigmatise societal fashion expectations.

The brand Molina Suaz is about embodying a quiet but strong confidence. Minimalist and sleek, Molina Suaz products are functional, durable and can be used for any occasion. Gabriela named her business after her biggest inspirations, her grandparents. 

Swimwear label Leni Swims was founded in 2017 by sisters Lucy and Molly Cochrane with an aim to make a carefully curated collection of sustainably and ethically made swimwear. With a focus on styles that are made to last, all of their processes, colours, quality and designs have an emphasis on creating a bikini which sustainably and ethically considers all steps in a products life cycle.

Mikaela works as an artist and musician across a number of mediums, and has built a loyal community on her Instagram account, where she sells her music and art to thousands of fans.

Sapé Fashion is a Sydney-based label making customised African-flavoured power suits for everyone. After posting her designs on Instagram, people loved Philicia’s sharp lines and started requesting bespoke orders.

Alina has spent years perfecting her skills as a nail technology specialist. Over the years she’s worked in health, opened her own salon in the heart of Sydney’s CBD and now teaches others on her nail techniques online.

Allora Curated is a small jewellery business specialising in independent, handmade & thoughtfully curated pieces. Alexia started the brand in Sydney earlier this year with the idea of making jewellery that she could not find anywhere else on the internet.

Moose Cow Fish is an active streetwear brand, combining fashion and function. The brand was founded in 2020 by 20 year old Alex, who struggled to find activewear brands with stylish and groovy designs which were also durable enough to wear everyday without falling apart. 

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