The all-female market helps women in business and the community

Lauren Wen, founder of Featured Female, talks about helping and inspiring women in business. (Anna Latour)

All Women’s Market Featured Female, an all women’s market run by women of all ages, allows women to gather once a month for four hours to sell goods, homemade or wholesale.

What started as a little girl’s night out idea during the pandemic has turned into an official public market with over 6,400 Instagram followers and about 50 vendors at each event.

Two years ago, Lauren Wen, the founder of Featured Female and a native of Orem, hosted a girls’ night at her home and continued to other random places. As her group grew, she said she was inspired to expand.

Wen said he wanted a place to create an event where people could come to share their work but also support the community outside of their business. “We wanted to showcase individual women and their stories,” she said.

According to Wen, her time as a photographer also allows her to work with other women who are mothers, students and working women of various professions. These women have also started their own businesses. She wanted a place to highlight and support their work. She said, “We have to organize an event.”

Olson holds up his sourdough bread. Featured Female is an all-female marketplace run by women of all ages. (Anna Latour)

Wenn’s vision for Featured Female helped 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 working at a farmer’s market. “I started because I want to make bread and I want to let people know that it’s good to eat bread,” Olsen said.

Lo holds her nature-inspired doll, the purple frog. Featured Female is an all-female marketplace run by women of all ages. (Anna Latour)

Featured Female also helps first-time business owners. Jess Lowe, single mom and owner of Basil Village, launched her nature-inspired doll business with Featured Female. “I make dolls because they bring joy to people and they are fun. I like learning about nature and sharing that with the world,” Lo said.

Lo also said it’s important for first-time entrepreneurs to believe in themselves. “For women who want to go into business, you have to believe in yourself and give it a shot,” shares Lo. “What’s the worst that could happen? If you have something special to share with the world, people respond to that.”

Jewelry Maker, Haley Johnson (Anna Latour)
Haley Johnson is the owner of Handmade Jewelry. Featured Female is an all-female marketplace run by women of all ages. (Anna Latour)

The Featured Female market also has young sellers, like Hailey Johnson, the 19-year-old owner of Handmade by Hailey. She is taking a break from college and hopes to build her jewelry business. “I did one semester at Salt Lake Community College, but right now I’m focusing on my jewelry and building my business,” Johnson said. “My goal is to be able to support myself.”

Wen said her startup is what she does on the side.

“I’m actually a broker. This is my full-time job,” Wen said. “I’ve always been more of an entrepreneur. I always wanted to be my own boss.”

Wen also said that creating is a huge part of her life. “Being able to release something into the world that is beautiful and fun has always been my goal. It’s nice to be able to achieve that here at Featured Female,” she said.

According to Wen, Featured Female hopes to expand its market next year by organizing a two-day event every month to accommodate the growing number of vendors and customers. Their next market event is on Saturday 22 October from 10am to 2pm

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