Croydon Girl Power – female owned Croydon businesses

Join us in honouring International Women’s Day as we shine a spotlight on some of our favourite female-owned businesses in Croydon town centre.

Over the last century, the Borough has been home to a rollcall of female innovators and creators.

From the trailblazing Amy Johnson CBE (who was the first woman to fly solo from London to Australia) and the pioneering Dame Jane Drew (one of the first female architects in the UK) to the Academy Award winning actress Dame Peggy Ashcroft (who maintained her status in the British acting elite for decades) and the musician Jacqueline Du Pre OBE (who is still regarded as one of the greatest cellists of all time), Croydon’s ladies have made an impressive mark on society.

Perhaps, it’s the innovation and creativity shown by these women, that has helped foster a culture of entrepreneurialism in the Borough today. Whilst there’s still more work to be done, it’s encouraging to see a range of female-owned businesses thriving in Croydon’s town centre.

In celebration of International Women’s Day, we’re highlighting a few of our favourites…

Fashion Meets Music

Owned by sisters Lizzy and Dennica, Fashion Meets Music is a local brand with an international reach.

Through a unique blend of events, concerts, pop-ups, and workshops, FMM showcases emerging designers, artists, and musicians.

By providing a starting point and platform for those pursuing careers in the fashion, art, music, or entertainment industries, FMM events have become great scouting opportunities for talent representatives.

Their “retail space with an events state of mind” is located in Centrale Shopping Centre, but the nature of their pop-ups means they can be found at locations across the city.

Keep an eye on their socials for info on upcoming events or head to the shop to buy from the latest independent brands they’re showcasing.

Unit 64, Centrale Shopping Centre, Croydon, CR0 1TY

The Venue on Middle Street

Best friends (and Croydon girls) Karen and Hina love a good party. So it made sense that they went into business together to run a venue that brings the celebrations to them.

The Venue on Middle Street is a listed building that can host events of all sizes across 3 floors – from baby showers, birthdays and weddings to photoshoots, private dinners, and Christmas parties.

Centrally located (just off Surrey Street) the ground floor sets the tone for this unique space, with quirky features including an original red telephone box and a clock that runs on backwards time.

Upstairs on the middle floor, a banging sound system, party lights, separate bar area and a spacious dance floor are ideal for parties. At the top of the building, a light and airy, beautiful loft space, is perfect for simple wedding ceremonies or anything that requires a calming and elegant feel.

3-7 Middle St, Croydon, CR0 1RE

Riff Raffs

Local girl Claire is a great example of someone who has embraced the concept of being the change they want to see.

After lockdown, she took a bold decision to take on a closed-down stationary shop on George Street and bring something a little different to the high street.

Since opening in October 2022, she has brought together a bunch of fellow Croydon fanatics to create a relaxing space by day and a party place by night.

Well connected with local DJs and artists, Claire’s decision to turn the downstairs into a vintage and vinyl shop (run by the Cronxdon himself) has provided a further incentive for music fans of all generations to visit.

Riff Raffs has become a hub for local creatives – from illustrators, graffiti writers and lyricists to DJs, rappers and beatmakers.

But those not in the know, shouldn’t be put off. This creative crowd is one of the friendliest we’ve come across – offering a warm welcome to new visitors. 

28 George St, Croydon, CR0 1PB

Atara

We love a business journey with a good back story. And Atara Nailbar, has a great one.

It’s owned by Lhaki who grew up in the Himalayan town of Kalimpong, nestled between India, Tibet and Nepal.

It’s a region where a sense of community plays a huge part in everyday life and where fun and hospitality combine to create spirited social hubs. The lively salons and cafes of these hillside towns and villages are warm and welcoming places for locals to laugh and relax.

Having left her career in the civil service and graduated from the London School of Beauty and Makeup, it was this atmosphere that Lhaki was determined to re-create when she set up her own salon.

Atara prides itself on providing first-class treatments and unparalleled customer care. Lhaki’s fun-loving approach sees the team serve up coffee and cocktails whilst caring for Croydon’s cuticles!

250 High St, Croydon, CR0 1NF

The Oval Tavern

As a born and bred Croydon Girl (who went to school at Old Palace) Esther wears many hats.

Alongside being Land Lady at The Oval Tavern, she is one of the founding members of Croydon Pride and has played a key role in delivering the Croydon Mela.

She was also a Director at Made in Croydon (a non-for-profit set up to support the Borough’s creative community) and she’s the Green Party Councillor for Fairfield.

Through these myriad roles she’s earned a well-deserved reputation for supporting local performers, businesses, and community events.

Her network of connections and unique understanding of the local landscape play a huge part in making The Oval Tavern the success it is.

This cosy, family-friendly venue has a genuine community atmosphere which manages to combine the traditional with the quirky.

Whilst serving up tasty home-cooked pub fare (with a bias towards a Vegetarian diet), The Oval Tavern also plays an important role in Croydon’s live music scene (with the outdoor stage delighting punters over the summer months).

131 Oval Rd, Croydon, CR0 6BG