The Future of NFTs, As Told by Women Building It

These women kept building during the bear when the NFT market bottomed. Here's what they think about the future cycle.

The Future of NFTs, As Told by Women Building It

As Women’s History Month is coming to a close, we wanted to highlight an important issue.

In an industry that embodies the future of financial and artistic independence, it's surprising that only around 13% of project founders are women. When it comes to NFTs, female creators account for just 5% of the sales.

This isn’t just a gender gap issue, however, as this hinders mass adoption, too.

Luckily, there are successful, culturally significant projects that are bringing more diversity into the space, making NFTs appealing to more audiences.

We talked to the women behind 8 great projects to see what the future holds for NFTs.

Shannon Snow; World of Women

World of Women is known for its engaged community that supports the project’s mission regardless of the floor price—something many OG collections can only dream of. Shannon Snow is its COO, and while she does leverage an extensive background from Google and Meta, it’s her sense of sorority that drives its holders to grow and prosper together.

That, and of course, numerous members perks, cool innovations like the project’s social platform Patio, and legendary IRL events like the WoW Gala. Weathered by the brutal bear market, the WoW team prefers to keep their focus on building above other things. “The only way to create the future we want to see is to build it”, Snow says.

If WoW keeps building like it has, it’s a future worth waiting for.

Sara Baumann; Women and Weapons

Carrying a charismatic influence in the NFT space, Sara “Sparky” Baumann is a name to remember. An American-Iranian artist and entrepreneur, she highlights the importance of IP and self-representation through her Women and Weapons collection.

"I think the future of NFTs is in how people want to represent themselves in digital universes, or in the IP becoming cultural symbols,” Baumann told Rarible.

She firmly believes NFTs can empower women and non-binary individuals, but warns that mass adoption will only arrive once the barrier for entry becomes lower, and the UX becomes sharper—luckily, that’s exactly where the space has been heading with L2s and easier bridging.

Varvara Alay; Flower Girls

Meet Varvara Alay, an artist making waves in the NFT world with her unique style, popularized by the Flower Girls collection. As someone who originally started her artist career outside of the NFT space, Varvara wants to make web3 a welcoming place for everyone, especially young artists.

Having raised over $600,000 for children's charities, she’s building for a world where more people have a chance to experience the freedom and opportunities that web3 offers.

"It's not a man's world; it's a world of art,” Alay said in a conversation with Rarible. “Women shouldn't back down because there are more men in the NFT space, but should instead join and embrace its vision”. Through Flower Girls, she shows that keeping an open mind goes a long way—and that art can be a great foundation for a harmonious community.

Lauren Ingram; Women of Web3

When women in tech help each other, it helps the entire community. Lauren Ingram knows that. Ex-Meta and UN Women UK delegate, she started the Women of Web3 community precisely to allow for more growth in this young industry. Her podcast, workshops, and IRL events break down the complex world of blockchain for others who, like her, feel pulled into this fascinating fast-paced industry.

As to what tomorrow holds for the NFT space, Lauren points out that we’ll only reach wider adoption once the general audiences see it as more than just a "number go up" experience:

“There is such an amazing opportunity to build or participate in (NFT) communities, and once we move away from the hyperfinancialised model of today, it will become very normal for everyone—including our parents—to own NFTs.”

Leah Ibrahim Sams; Power of Women

Designer-turned-NFT artist Leah Ibrahim Sams continues the fight for women's equality in web3. In our space, she’s mostly known for creating the Power of Women artworks, bringing the diversity issue into conversations, and always showcasing a unique sense of fashion. In her view, the fashion and web3 worlds will soon collide—in fact, that process has started already.

“Seeing so many big brands enter the space in the last couple of years is an exciting sign of what’s to come,” she said. “Many luxury brands are now looking to blockchain technology to authenticate and log the provenance of luxury fashion and goods with physical and digital twins. I hope this will become more mainstream in the coming years.”

Maggie Love; SheFi

SheFi is one of the biggest projects onboarding women into web3. The cohort-based online educational program is led by mentor Maggie Love, who not only introduces blockchain tech to thousands of women and non-binary folks, but also inspires them to take an active role in the industry.

Like many other champions of women in web3, she has advocated for diversity time and time again. The way she does it, however, is what sets her apart. SheFi cohorts include live instruction, hands-on demos, a jobs board, and an active Discord community (or café, as Shefiers call it). That effort is bound to have a strong impact on the future of web3, one SheFi scholar at a time.

Maliha Abidi; Women Rise

A talented artist, Maliha Abidi brings her hunger for social justice into the NFT space. In her PFP collection Women Rise, over 40% of holders are first-time NFT minters, which, if you ask us, is living proof of why representation is key to encouraging diversity.

Maliha's art vividly reflects her Pakistani heritage, and her projects aim to inspire and uplift girls across the globe. Maliha’s team at Women Rise believes that a more welcoming future in NFTs means creating opportunities for people from different backgrounds— which is why they use their earnings to help girls get an education and to support artists with various programs.

Lisa Mayer; Boss Beauties and BFF

Through Boss Beauties and BFF, Lisa Mayer is on a mission to introduce the next 1 million women and girls to the web3 world. Boss Beauties became the first NFT brand to be displayed at the New York Stock Exchange, not to mention its collaboration with the one and only Barbie on its RaribleX-powered initiative.

Lisa's vision for the future of NFTs is one of greater adoption. This month, Boss Beauties launched a new book, Boss Beauty: Inspiration to be Everything You Want, embodying Lisa’s mission to educate, connect, and empower women in web3.

Now united, Boss Beauties and BFF are stronger in reaching and educating people outside of the NFT bubble. BB’s book, matched with BFF’s rich educational NFT blog and Perk Shop, is on the way to bridging the web2 and web3 worlds together.

🎙 Join Lisa Mayer in Rarible’s WE ARE WEB3 X Spaces series next Wednesday, April 3rd, at 12 pm ET and get the chance to win one of 10 Boss Beauties' newly launched books.