There is a slower, gentler and more profitable way of running your business. Welcome to Female Owned.

Female Owned is the newsletter and community where we change how we think, feel and talk about small business and freelancing, and kick productivity culture and hustling to the curb.

Female Owned is here to empower and support you to create a slow, gentle and profitable business—whatever that looks like for you. A business that fits around your life, your humanness, your needs and desires.

I’d love to have you on board 💌

Join the revolution and subscribe to Female Owned 💪🏻

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Female Owned is more than just a newsletter. A paid subscription gives you a community that will make you feel supported, empowered and intentional as you craft your own slower, gentler and more profitable business. Upgrade to read the full archive of behind-the-scenes posts, participate in our Accountability Club and our popular mini-mastermind.

As a paid subscriber you’ll get access to the community of Female Owned right here on Substack, where you’ll be surrounded by other small business owners, freelancers and artists also wanting to do business differently. You’ll benefit from my support as well as the community’s, as you navigate making money, planning for time off, pitching to podcasts, running a business alongside illness and more.

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Female Owned is the newsletter that shows you that there are different ways of doing business.

Yes, I’m in!

Community favourites

How I deal with feelings of time scarcity

Lessons, surprises and what’s next: reflecting on six months on Substack

My 2023 financial and business goals: a behind-the-scenes look

One year later: reflections on sixteen months without social media

What would it mean to root into trust in your business?

Six lessons from two years without social media

What living with mental illness means for my business

The most annoying business advice I ever received

I’m a recovering productivity ninja. I’ve stripped my life of productivity hacks, the need to be busy and the habit of overwork. I now live my life in technicolour, with space for my needs and desires outside of my business.

Though not a rebel by nurture, I now enjoy stepping away from and questioning the norm.

I have 19 years of experience mentoring people from all walks of life and have been running my own business for five years.

I have a PhD in English literature and am a published author and speaker. Although I’ve left my academic career, I continue to love writing.

work with small business owners on the things that have made the most difference in my own life: setting up marketing channels away from social media; restructuring their business to allow for more rest; planning and prioritising and creating the business they crave.

check out the mini-course


I never go anywhere without a book (here’s what I’m reading).

I have a stash of at least ten different kinds of tea (and am something of a tea snob). My favourite is strong, milky earl grey in the morning and fancy green tea in the afternoon.

I’m an introvert who fell in love with working with people.

I own and take care of 120+ houseplants.

I grew up on the coast and am always longing for the sea.

Yoga and Pilates have made me fall in love with moving my body.

I love dark chocolate (92% is my sweet spot).

Why small business owners, freelancers and artists love Female Owned 💌

“Your materials are brilliant and very meaningful. You have helped me to take some important steps to this week, and there’ll be more to come. I can already feel the difference and I can’t wait to start putting your advice into action!” — Natalie Warner, knitwear designer, teacher and writer

“Your newsletter is one of the few newsletters I immediately open and read” — Alice Hibbert, jewellery designer

“I just received your latest email and it was a lovely read” — Sarah Phelps, letterpress and stationary designer

“I love your emails, thanks for sharing such thoughtful topics.” — Jo McCarthy, mentor for creative online shop owners

“Loved this, you have such a calming presence even via email.” — Jen Wright, slow business mentor

“I have read and subscribed to many business coaches newsletters and Astrid's stands out as useful, unique, and wonderfully relevant in a time when women especially are encouraged to just do more, hustle harder, and burn ourselves out. Astrid has a different approach, one that embraces ease and intuition and I love that.” —

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More resources

✨ Find out more about me and my work mentoring small business owners on my website. I’m always happy to chat about whether we can work together (no strings attached)—send me a message through my website, or an email at astrid [at] astridbracke [dot] com.

🎉 My mini-course Substack for small business owners, freelancers and artists is a gentle, non-overwhelming approach to making Substack work for you—both as marketing and an additional stream of income.

💌 All of my favourite resources—my own and other people’s—for running a slow, gentle and profitable business.

🫶🏻 I’m all about growth through community and love collaborating! If you’re up for collaborating in any form, or want to ask me to give a workshop in your community or membership (yes please!), do get in touch!

Subscribe to Female Owned: Small business without the hustle

The online place for small business owners and freelancers who refuse to hustle. Resources, strategies and community to empower and inspire you.


Tea-drinking, book-reading, houseplant-collecting small business mentor with a PhD in English Lit. Writes 💌 Female Owned and loves running a hustle-free business. 🔖 Check out my mini-course Substack for small business owners, freelancers and artists↓