Woman-Led Companies That Started in a Basement

Woman-led companies can sometimes feel few and far between. The entrepreneurial spirit is present in people of every gender, but it can sometimes be a bit daunting to look at the entrepreneurial leaders of the world and see only men. However, there are some interesting woman-led companies that got their start in a simple basement. Take a look at some of these high-profile companies that started in a basement, then learn more about the woman-led companies in the group.

Tech and Other Successful Companies That Started in Parents' Basements
Martha Stewart Living

If you’ve ever looked at housewares or home décor, chances are you’ve run across Martha Stewart Living. Martha Stewart has been a household name for decades now, whether for better or for worse. She’s become a billionaire, lost the billionaire title, and become a billionaire again, all through her Martha Stewart Living brand and various other opportunities she’s had available.

The company started in 1976, when Martha Stewart started out running her small catering company from the basement of her Connecticut home. She quickly started to meet people in the publishing industry, leading to publishing her first book of catering recipes in 1982. The company’s had a variety of ups and downs — when she became a billionaire for the second time, Forbes reported she was in federal prison — but the company has stayed strong, trading in 2019 for $175 million.

Melissa & Doug

Nowadays, this company’s most well-known products are toys, which it makes for children of a variety of ages. However, Melissa & Doug didn’t get its start as the significant production it is today. In fact, when it first launched in 1988, founders Melissa and Doug Bernstein were working out of their basement and Doug’s parents’ garage.

Although the company started out selling short films and instructional videos, it moved into toymaking pretty quickly. The very first successful product they made was a fuzzy puzzle, which sold like hotcakes. From there, they quickly realized the importance of educational toy designs — Melissa still leads the design team for every new product. With over 2,000 kinds of toys and a variety of products available, Melissa & Doug has achieved a $400 million valuation.

Boolean Girl Tech

In 2016, Boolean Girl Tech had an incredibly successful Kickstarter campaign. This company, which encourages girls to enter STEM fields, especially the coding field, is a woman-led business that always sets out to inspire and uplift girls who have an interest in a traditionally man-dominant industry. Clearly, this message resonated with other people as well; Boolean Girl Tech ended up with 180 orders, far more than they had initially expected.

This was a problem, however. Obviously, the success of Boolean Girl Tech was great, but there were only two co-founders, and they hadn’t planned for as many orders as they received. With only 60 days to send out 180 orders, what was the beginning company going to do? Co-founder Ingrid Sanden realized they would need more people than just two to accomplish this goal. To fix the problem, they hired some of her 16-year-old daughter’s friends, created an assembly line in their basement, and sent out all orders on time.


The lack of woman-led businesses can feel draining for sure, but that just means you may want to put in the work to make your own woman-led business. If you have a basement, you may have the perfect place to start your own company. You just need to make sure the basement is in a state that would be conducive to a business environment. Remember, maintaining your basement is an important part of staying happy and healthy, which is just one of the reasons you should put some work into making sure it’s a well-maintained area of your home.