Got a Problem? A Woman Entrepreneur Can Solve It

By Aleah Balas

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The old adage, “If you want something done, ask a busy person,” takes on a new meaning when that person is a woman. These leaders are a testament to the core tenets of entrepreneurship and innovation, bringing a level of creativity and problem-solving to their respective industries to create solutions. They’ve embraced the challenge of taking on a problem and turning it into an opportunity. 


Here are five Canadian women founders who are achieving remarkable success by taking a problem and building what can only be described as a perfect solution.

Woman in a lime green blazer holding a can of Barbet.

The Problem: New research shows alcohol has numerous negative effects on the body in the short- and long-term


The Solution: Barbet 


Last year, the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction came out with new alcohol consumption guidelines, making the sober curious even more so, and the rest of us more curious than before. While stints like Dry January have grown in popularity, the idea of reduced alcohol consumption has become a larger conversation, even for those who can enjoy it casually. 


In fact, last year, the non-alcoholic category experienced a 62 percent increase in 2023 over 2022, making it among the fastest-growing subcategories across the marketplace, with even the LCBO highlighting the popularity of no- and low-alcohol options. 

Andrea Grand and Katie Fielding sitting on a wooden bench and a box of Barbet behind them. They are smiling into the camera.
Barbet founders Andrea Grand and Katie Fielding.

Barbet was founded in 2021 by sisters Andrea Grand and Katie Fielding before the craze began and sought to provide bold, full-flavoured drink options that matched up evenly against cocktails, not as a compromised alternative. 


After Katie stopped drinking following an intense seizure, she was peppered with the question “Why aren’t you drinking?” at every social gathering. Not only is it a personal question, but it can feel uncomfortable and invasive. That’s when the sister duo decided to create something that would shift the question from “Why aren’t you drinking?” to “What are you drinking?”


Ultimately, they realized that what matters most isn’t a beverage’s alcoholic content, but its capacity to elevate a mood or moment. 


This has changed the game for those looking to pursue a reduced alcohol lifestyle and those who are sober for whatever reason. Barbet is actively removing the stigma around drinking and making it delicious while they’re at it.

The Problem: Social media has created a world where outfit repeaters cannot exist.


The Solution: The Fitzroy 


Outfit repeating has long been a faux pas, especially when it comes to events where the right gown should be as memorable as the evening itself. But the age of social media has brought a new sense of anxiety as looks are archived for much wider audiences to see than those who saw it IRL. This has contributed to the explosion of fast fashion as consumers constantly seem to need more and more looks.

The Fitzroy founders Angela Pastor and Julie Buczkowski

Sure, a sustainable alternative could be to become an outfit repeater and wear the same incredible gown time after time. But a much better option is renting a look, having a showstopping outfit for a reasonable price, and then getting to do it all over again without filling your closet and emptying your wallet. 


The Fitzroy practically invented the idea of a rental market in Canada when it opened nearly a decade ago in 2016. As the nation’s leading dress rental service, it offers an elevated and meticulously curated collection of designer dresses, jumpsuits, two-piece suits, and accessories. The owners, Angela Pastor and Julie Buczkowski, tediously source and select pieces from around the world, making them available to those across the country looking to get dressed up. 


With rentals, they bring luxury to every budget, allowing those who would never be able to afford these gowns the opportunity to live in luxury and feel their best.

Laptop computer screen and mobile phone screen showing the Willful website and estate planning process.

The Problem: People die, but don’t like to think about dying.


The Solution: Willful


As they say, there are only two guarantees in life: death and taxes. Yet, why are people constantly surprised by both? Studies have shown that nearly 1 in 2 Canadians don’t have a will, which can put an additional burden on loved ones at an already difficult time. This issue was brought to the mainstream during the pandemic, and also with celebrities like tWitch passing unexpectedly without end-of-life planning, as well as Aretha Franklin, whose estate has only recently been settled after years of legal debate.


RELATED: How Tech is Breathing New Life Into the Business of Death 


Willful was founded with the mission of helping people create the legal documents they need to protect and provide for their loved ones by using technology to provide simplified end-of-life planning. The platform makes it easy, affordable and convenient to get your affairs in order, taking away virtually any excuse not to.

Erin Bury wearing a willful t-shirt and black jeans. She has her hands in her pockets and is standing against a white brick wall.
Willful founder Erin Bury

Founder Erin Bury understands that planning for death isn’t exactly fun, and it makes a lot of people very uncomfortable. The process of crafting a will can be so daunting, and people often don’t even know where to start. Unfortunately, it is inevitable that you will need a will, and having a plan means protecting your family. 


Before Wilfull, you’d need to make an appointment with your lawyer and have a long set of steps in the interim, many of which require in-office signings. Now, you can quite literally create your will from your couch, with the most comprehensive online estate planning service that emphasizes affordability, ease of use and peace of mind.

Bathroom shelf with multiple beauty products and a box of Marlow tampons that say "Organic cotton tampons" on the cover.

The Problem: The multimillion-dollar menstrual product industry doesn’t cater to all women.


The Solution: Marlow 


Marlow was founded in 2021 by friends Nadia Ladak, Simone Godbout, Kiara Botha, and Harit Sohal over a conversation about just how annoying periods are. That spiralled into a mission to positively transform the way that women experience their cycles because, after all, it is a very regular occurrence. They cater to the concerns of real women that were previously uncatered to in the multimillion-dollar “feminine hygiene” industry.

Marlow founders Simone Godbout, Kiara Botha, Nadia Ladak, and Harit Sohal embracing each other and smiling on a couch, looking into the camera.
Marlow founders Simone Godbout, Kiara Botha, Nadia Ladak, and Harit Sohal

The group has created the first lubricated tampon, coining it to be the world’s smoothest tampon. It’s not just about the product—a huge part of their brand is acting like the big sister that many women don’t have, educating consumers in an approachable and comfortable way. They have dove headfirst into informative content, claiming that no topic is TMI (Too Much Information), adding to the overall essence of their solution to the larger problem of feeling unheard. 

Two pairs of hands stretching a pair of black Sheertex stockings.

The Problem: Pantyhose that actually last for more than one wear. 


The Solution: Sheertex 


Most women have at some point in their lives been let down by pantyhose. It’s like they were made to be broken, and the numbers back it: over 2 billion pairs of pantyhose are thrown away each year. Until now. 


Sheertex was founded in 2017 by Katherine Homuth, creating the ultimate solution to the pantyhose problem. It took years for her to discover the right fibre for the product, and it has paid off for women around the world, who now have confidence that they won’t be let down (by their tights, that is). 

Katherine Homuth sitting in a black dress and Sheertex stockings on a stool set against a backdrop with cacti surrounding her.
Sheertex founder, Katherine Homuth

Perhaps the best part of Homuth’s founding story is that she created the invention after being repeatedly told it wasn’t possible. With a lot of hard work and innovation, she and her team created a miracle knit, a proprietary manufacturing process, and created the holy grail of hosiery. The product is so revolutionary that traditional machinery couldn’t handle the super-strong knit – so they built their own manufacturing facility from the ground up. 


Durable clothing, in any form, is a massive eliminatinator of textile waste. The longer our clothes look and feel great, the longer we are able to wear them and don’t need to replace them—especially for hosiery, which can’t exactly be donated or reused. Sheertex tights are made from a knit that is made to be re-worn, snag-free, over and over again, replacing countless pairs of drugstore single-wear throwaways in the process. 


As we navigate the complexities of the modern world, these women are exemplifying that the future is not just female—it’s intelligent, creative, and empowering.