Female Founders - Lisa Kelly, Oya Goods - Matchstick Creative
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#FemaleFounders: Lisa Kelly, Oya Goods

Sustainability. We’re sure you’ve come across this word many times scrolling through Instagram or watching YouTube videos. It’s definitely a hot topic at the moment, and for good reason. Consumers are becoming more aware of the environmental consequences of fast fashion; a lot of them aren’t willing to invest in the problem anymore. 

Oya Goods was founded out of Lisa Kelly’s passion for creating ethically made, environmentally friendly products. Lisa produces baby clothes, home decor and eco-friendly gifts.

Let’s find out how Lisa became an inspiring female founder.

1. Why did you start your business? What spurred you on?

I began my career as a fashion designer. But my experience in the industry soon opened my eyes to the damage that fast fashion was having on the environment. Seeing the effect that the fast fashion industry had on the world around me was what inspired me to start my own business. I decided to leave my role as a designer, and I have been working on my own brand ever since. Oya Goods is a representation of what I believe in: Earth-friendly goods, slowly made. Worthy of care and passing on. 

2. What are the unique challenges that you have faced as a female founder?

Coming from the fashion industry I would say that I definitely faced competition from other females within the industry. It’s a dog-eat-dog environment especially as cuts were being made weekly; your neck was on the line so the competition was fierce. I hated it! However, since starting up alone, I have met and formed relationships with other female entrepreneurs. Even with people in the same line of work, I have found nothing but support and willingness to help each other; it’s refreshing!

3. What were the 3 steepest learning curves in your first year in business?

  • Listen to your gut- advice from others is only advice
  • It’s a long game- good things take time
  • If it takes less than 5 mins, do it now.

4. What is your favourite thing about founding your own company?

Having the scope and freedom to build and create a brand that reflects my beliefs.

5. What is the best business advice you have been given by someone else?

If you’re told what to wear and what time to show up to your job you’re not free.

6. Do you ever suffer from Imposters Syndrome? If so, how do you tackle it and move forward?

Yes, all the time! Being so close and involved in the business, it’s easy to overlook the achievements and progress I’ve made. So Imposter Syndrome can creep up. But reviewing your progress lets it sink in a little more… you think to yourself “Yeah, I did do that”!


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#marchmeetthemaker PRODUCT RANGE… . Sustainably + slowly made goods for motherhood.

A post shared by Oya Goods For Motherhood (@oya.goods) on

7. What’s the best book on business you’ve read?

Do/Purpose: Why Brands with a Purpose Do Better and matter more by David Hieatt. The next one on my reading list is Let My People Go Surfing by Yvon Chouinard.

8. Tell us about another brilliant businesswoman that you think our readers should know about

Niccy Iseman from Type & Story. We met whilst working at Ted Baker HQ, since then she’s gone on to found her own business.

9. What advice would you give to yourself if you were starting your business now?

The only thing holding you back is yourself.

10. If you had a marketing budget of £1,000 what would you spend the money on?

My plan for the next few months is to photograph a look book of my goods to showcase at upcoming expos and to pass on to potential stockists. I’d use the money for that, so I’d have content for digital marketing.

Feeling inspired?

We hope you enjoyed learning about Lisa’s journey to founding Oya Goods. It’s amazing to see a female founder spreading awareness of the dangers of the fast fashion industry. 

If you’d like to check out more interviews with badass businesswomen, we got to chat to Kate Stewart founder of Vitality Homes. Already read that one? Take a look at our interview with Amy Collins, founder of Pinhead.

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