Featured Female, an all-women’s market run by women of all ages, allows ladies to get together once a month to sell goods, homemade or wholesale.
What started out as a small girls’ night idea during the pandemic has become an official public marketplace with more than 6,400 followers on Instagram and around 50 vendors at each event.
Two years ago, Lauren Wenn, the founder of Featured Female and a native of Orem, hosted girls’ night in her home, and continued in other random places. As her group grew, she said she was inspired to expand.
Wenn said she wanted 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 feature individual women and their stories,” she said.
According to Wenn, her time as a photographer also allowed her to work with other females who were moms, students and working women of various jobs. These women were also self-business starters. She wanted a place to highlight and support their work. She said, “we should put together an event.”
Wenn’s vision of Featured Female has helped Christina Olson, a local sourdough baker, a mother of four children and owner of bake shop O Bruka. Olson applied for Featured Female after a friend told her about it while she was working at a farmers market. “I started because I want to make bread and I want to let people know it is okay to eat bread,” Olson said.
Featured Female also helps first-time business owners. Jess Law, a single mother and owner of Basil Village, started her business of nature-inspired dolls with Featured Female. “I make dolls because they bring people joy and they are fun. I like to learn about nature and share that with the world,” Law said.
Law also said it’s important for first-time business starters to believe in themselves. “For women who want to pursue business, you have to believe in yourself and give it a go,” Law shared. “What is the worst that can happen? If you have something special to share with the world, people respond to that.”
There are young vendors at the Featured Female market too, like Hailey Johnson, the 19-year-old owner of Handmade by Hailey. She is 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 am focusing on my jewelry and building my business,” Johnson said. “My goal is to be able to support myself.”
Wenn said her start-up business is what she does on the side.
“I am actually a realtor. That is my full-time job,” Wenn said. “I have always been more of an entrepreneur. I’ve always wanted to be my own boss.”
Wenn also said creating has been a huge part of her life. “Being able to put something out into the world that is beautiful and fun, it has always been a goal of mine. It’s nice to be able to accomplish that here at Featured Female,” she said.
According to Wenn, Featured Female is hoping to expand its market next year by having a two-day event every other month to accommodate the growing number of vendors and customers. Their next market event is on Saturday, Oct. 22 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.