Real Talk with Female Founders

Real Talk with Female Founders

Hello Gorgeous,

As you know, March is International Women's History Month, so, to celebrate, we thought we'd have a candid chat with two awesome female founders: our founder Pauline Paterson and Yang Liu, the founder of JustWears, a disruptive underwear brand that is changing the way you think about pants.

Get ready for some real talk as we delve into the realities of being a boss lady in today's world!


  1. What unique challenges have you faced as a female founder when stating your brand within your sector, and how have you overcome them?

Yang: “When most people hear about a company that’s helping to solve sweaty balls, they are surprised to find out that it’s started by a woman. Then when you see the humor and fun that has become the identity of our brand, they are more surprised to find out that English is my second language! 

Many of the major brands you can think of today, began as men designing women’s clothes. Back to that time, women didn’t have the same opportunities as men. Although there’s still a gap in the percentage of female founded businesses that start up and get funding, that gap is closing increasingly.  There are now a handful of female founded unicorns (+$1bn companies) to look to for inspiration, and I hope to someday be a role model for future female creators and innovators.

In this business specifically, JustWears is more than creating the most comfortable underwear for men. We are about taking men’s wellbeing issues (like male’s infertility) in a fun, engaging way. For someone who is never shy to ask and listen, I actually think being a woman is a unique advantage in getting men to open up about some of this stuff!

Pauline: As a female founder, one of the most significant challenges I've encountered since launching the brand has been to be taken seriously as a businesswoman from the get-go. Many were surprised to learn that Dr.PAWPAW was founded by a woman; the presence of 'Dr.' led them to assume it was a male-founded brand.”

“At trade fairs, despite being the owner and the driving force behind the brand, I often found myself sidelined. With my husband working at the stand as well, many automatically assumed he was in charge, thinking I was the 'face' of Dr.PAWPAW rather than the founder. Time and time again, people dismissed me and overlooked my authority, thinking I couldn't possibly be the one calling the shots. When I offered help, they'd ask to speak with the 'real' boss, only to realize that I was, indeed, the one running the show.

  1. In your opinion, what are the challenges that women still face to this day when trying to found their own brand?

Yang: “Access to Funding: Women often face difficulties in accessing capital and investment compared to their male counterparts. Stats have shown that women entrepreneurs receive less funding than men, and they may encounter bias and stereotypes when seeking financial support from investors and lenders.

"There are societal expectations and perceptions about women's roles and capabilities, which can affect our confidence and opportunities for growth while navigating the male-dominated Industries.

Pauline: “Time and money. Getting funding, especially for female-led businesses, is a real struggle with today's uncertain investment scene.”

“Time is a real struggle, especially when I was launching the business and I was still working full time, because I didn’t want to risk losing money with two children under five. This meant I was working at Dr.PAWPAW in the evenings once the kids went to bed.”

“Self doubt and confidence are also a big obstacle. It’s harder for women as there is still an imbalance of equality in the business world, which means it’s common for self-doubt to often creep in.

  1. Who is your biggest female inspiration and why?

Yang: “Sara Blakey from Spanx - She's a female badass and she started her business with zero funding. It took 10 years to make her business a huge success in an age where no women wore tights. She broke the social taboo, she put her money where her mouth is by actually supporting females, not just entrepreneurs but women around her because that's her mission she created a tangible product that changed people lives, she made lots of new jobs and she's been doing that successfully for her entire career.

Pauline: One of the women who inspire me the most is Tracey Woodward. Her journey from a tough upbringing to conquering countless challenges, starting out at a beauty counter, where she taught herself to read and write, is incredibly inspiring. She soared to the top, making her mark on household brands like Aromatherapy Associates, and Aveda. No matter what life throws her way, Tracey tackles it all with kindness and generosity. Her endurance, knowledge, and ability to keep going with a smile are qualities I truly admire.

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