First things first, we need to brag a little. Our founder Amanda Andereck has been chosen to be a part of the Female Founder Collective! The FFC is a network of businesses led by women and is all about supporting women. Their mission is to enable and empower female owned and lead businesses to positively impact their communities, both socially and economically. We couldn’t be more honored to be a part of this dynamic and inspirational group of women.
Starting a business is never easy, no matter who you are. You can take all the classes, read all the books, and you’ll still be faced with roadblocks and obstacles that seem insurmountable. When you’re a woman, that mountain gets even harder to climb, but the tide is changing. There’s no longer a question of if women can lead. Women are leading, and the statistics prove it.
Recent studies show that women now account for 40% of the workforce in more than 80 states worldwide and control more than $20 trillion in annual spending. Women own four out of ten businesses in the United States and according to a study by a Boston consulting group, businesses founded by women earn twice as much as those founded by men.
Now, please don’t misread us, we love our male counterparts, but being a female founded and run business ourselves, we have to make a shout out to the sisterhood! The third full week in October is National Business Women’s Week and in that vein we would like to tell you about some female founded companies that we and our founder, Amanda Andereck, admire.
1. The Lip Bar
The Lip Bar’s goal is to challenge the beauty standard. Holding on to the belief that beauty should never compromise health and should celebrate diversity, the founder Melissa Butler started making lipstick in her kitchen. Determined to change the way people thought about beauty, she never strayed from her mission, even after being turned down by Shark Tank! “Our rejection on Shark Tank was not easy, but at that moment, I had to make a decision. And I decided that I would not give someone else power over my dreams.” - Melissa Butler, The Lip Bar founder. Taking rejection and turning it into inspiration is a true sign of a leader. The fact that ALL their cosmetics are vegan and cruelty free put them way over the top in our book.
2. Bobbi Brown
Talk about a power house female founder. In 1992 Bobbi Brown changed the face of make-up forever. After years of seeing make-up that only catered to a select few, she set out on a journey to revolutionize the industry. Bobbi Brown’s 10 original foundation sticks were created with every skin tone in mind, and set the standard for diversity in shades. Not only did she put in motion an industry changing movement, but she also supports other female founders. Bobbi featured SassyBax in her book and is known to “love our bras.” SassyBax feels a kinship with Bobbi Brown Cosmetics. They make make-up that enhances beauty, instead of covering up, just as we make comfortwear that enhances a woman’s body instead of trying to change it.
3. Marah Lidey
Moving away from the beauty industry, we shift our focus to mental health and wellness. Sadly this is often a neglected area of life, even though it affects all of us in one way or another. Marah Lidey, the co-creator of the Shine app along with Naomi Hirabayshi, believe the same thing.
In their own words, “Stress and anxiety can take a daily toll on our mental health, and affects us differently based on our everyday experiences. We were tired of not hearing our voices, not seeing our skin tone and of being overlooked—so we made a space with our reality in mind.”
Unfortunately not everyone has access to mental healthcare and even if they do, getting help or therapy is often stigmatized. These women saw a need in their own lives, communities, and the world, and they answered it. They’ve created tools for coping with depression and anxiety that you can keep in your back pocket and access with the touch of a button. It’s not easy to heal, but knowing you aren’t alone helps.
Here at SassyBax we believe you can’t underestimate the value of a work life balance and a healthy, supportive partnership at home. Ahreum, Dawoon, and Soo Kang seem to agree. These three sisters are the founders and creators of Coffee Meets Bagel, a dating app for people in search of quality relationships. In 2012 Ahreum had just graduated from Harvard Business School, her sisters, Soo and Dawoon, were both thriving in their own respective careers, so why take the risk of starting something completely new? If you ask them, they’d say “We had 20+ years of consumer experience among the three of us, and we decided we would regret it forever if we don't try something on our own now.” Now all they needed was the idea, and they didn’t need to look any further than the dating lives of their fellow millennials. They had noticed that in the world of dating, meeting people had become a massive pain point. Especially for women. As they looked into the industry further they realized that online dating had a real problem. Recruiting and retaining female users. Studies were showing a 65% men/35% women gender ratio, and the gap grew when you calculated in activity level. Men were 2x more likely to be active online and apps than women. This generally meant a substandard experience for everyone involved. So they decided to do something about it. Coffee Meets Bagel is a brand created with female users in mind. The sisters wanted a service women could feel comfortable using. With consistent updates to the app like the #LadiesChoice, it’s the women who are in control. And who doesn’t like an empowered woman?
5. Sofiya Deva
Our last stop on this tour of female revolutionaries is Sofiya Deva, founder of This Same Sky, an artisan-inspired, and powered collection of bandanas and scarves, soon to be expanding to stylish house robes, and a fellow member of the FFC.
Having grown up in a combination of India, New York, and Dallas, Sofiya has always considered herself a global citizen. It became her dream to create a smaller, stranger world. Sofiya is fiercely idealistic and believes that business can be an engine for good. This thought was a driving force for her when developing her company.
Praised as “A feast of elegance” by Thrive Global, This Same Sky aims to help it’s customers live intentionally. The company is rooted in empowerment, and celebrates artisans from all over the globe, promoting interconnectedness, uniqueness, and sustainability. Like SassyBax, This Same Sky is helping consumers say goodbye to fast fashion and hello to longevity.
And there you have it, 5 of our favorite and most inspirational female founders and entrepreneurs. These women remind us everyday to trust our gut, listen to our voice, and never take no for an answer. It’s not always simple to stay inspired and optimistic in the business world, so ladies if you ever find yourself doubting just remember what Maya Angelou once wrote, "I am a woman / Phenomenally / Phenomenal woman / That's me."