Would it surprise you to learn that female entrepreneurs who seek funding for their startups receive$33 millionless than their male counterparts? This is despite the fact that over a third of all businesses in the United States are woman-owned, and that those businesses contribute $3 trillion to the nation’s economy.
There’s no denying that women face more difficulties when it comes to running a company, from the start-up phase on through sustaining a healthy, growing firm. Today we’retaking a look at X women who persisted, persevered, and pushed themselves and their startups to greater and greater heights.
Bird + Stone
This jewelry and accessories company asks its customers to “make a statement and support social change” — and backs up that request with its own commitment to causes such as women’s health, environmental protection, LGBTQ+ youth, and racial justice. With statement pieces designed to get the message across – including cuff bracelets, pendants, masks, tumblers, tote bags, and more – Bird + Stone wants to empower women to speak their piece and be heard.
Founder and CEO Elana Reinholtz is listed on the company’s website as “Visionary and Chief Dreamer,” and says that she began her journey to fight injustice by implementing a microloan program that helped female entrepreneurs in Kenya.
One of America’s most enduring icons is Rosie the Riveter, a courageous and capable composite who has come to symbolize women’s power ever since her debut during WWII. Cameron Cruse and Lisa Bradley, military spouses who struggled to find work, decided to invoke Rosie’s name and image when they created this bespoke handbag company.
Starting with a small stock of leather and a commercial sewing machine that they had to put on their credit cards, Cruse and Bradley wanted to help other women who are obliged to relocatefrequently because of their husbands’ military careers. These go-getters now make up a majority of the brand’s employees, called Riveters, who make beautiful leather purses and bags. The company, which was featured on Shark Tank and funded by Mark Cuban, has a retail store in North Carolina and also does a booming online business.
Hayden LA is a women’s clothing brand that caters to the “nomadic, bohemian woman with a distinctive take on fashion,” but it doesn’t stop there. Unlike so many fashion brands, Hayden doesn’t just create gorgeous clothing for models and influencers. Rather, the company has expanded into fashionable but timeless looks for plus-sized woman as well as for the younger set. Hayden Girls, the branch of the brand dedicated to charming separates and outfits for tweens, is different than many other girls’ clothing companies.
One thing you’ll notice about Hayden Girls designs is that they hearken back to simpler times – an era when girls weren’t expected tog be sophisticated or sexualized. The clothing is modest without being stuffy, youthful without being childish, feminine without being revealing. It allows girls to look cute but also to move, play, run, and romp without restriction.
A self-described “skin-specific herbalist,” Laurel Shaffer tapped into her years of experience in botanical farming and mindful wellness to create skincare products that are not just luxurious, but sustainably sourced. While there is no shortage of natural, organic beauty products, thanks to the tremendously popular “self-care” trend, Laurel’s are distinguished by the terroir-based approach the brand takes. Much like great wine and superb coffee are made, quite literally, from the ground up, these skin care products owe their high quality to the soil in which the raw and organic ingredients are grown.
The company also emphasizes the connections between mind and body, outer beauty and inner peace, skin care and self care.
It used to be that standard lunch fare for working women consisted of an overpriced takeout sandwich, a skimpy, sad frozen meal zapped in the break room microwave, or an unhealthy fast-food combo meal. The founder of Modern Picnic, Ali Kaminetsky, set out to change that by designing launching what she describes as a high-end lunchbox.
Kaminetsky began her business by checking out her coworkers’ typical lunches while also examining her favorite purses and tote bags to identify what made them so special. A true melding of form and function, the resulting bags aren’t like anything that has come before. They look like fashionable handbags and function like the picnic basket or bento box of one’s dreams – as a result, more women can get excited about bringing a meal to work with them. This, in turn, allows them to save money and eat more healthfully.
It’s an exciting time to be a female entrepreneur – or even just a female consumer who can take advantage of all these fantastic, forward-thinking companies and products!
Have you heard of any of these companies? What are some of your favorite women-owned businesses? Or maybe you have an entrepreneurial dream of your own! Share your thoughts in the comments below!
Judy Lees is a super-connector with Photographers In Islamabad who helps businesses find their audience online through outreach, partnerships, Wedding Photography, branding and networking. He frequently writes about the latest advancements in digital marketing, digital photography.