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Inspiring Women Behind Our Brands

There is a Chinese proverb that says, “women hold up half the sky.” It’s an acknowledgment of their resilience, determination, and essentiality to our world. To honor International Women’s Day, we thought it would be encouraging to ask some of our female founders to reflect on what it means to be a woman. Their expertise showcases a varied spectrum, building brands in vastly different categories from beauty to home goods to apparel. We think the journey of pioneering, supportive, entrepreneurial women, succeeding despite all the hurdles they face, deserves celebrating. So this is us, with confetti poppers, shouting their wisdom from the rooftops.

 

  • What makes you proud to be a woman?

"I'm proud to be a woman that proves stereotypes wrong. That women can be good at finance and math. That women can successfully raise venture capital funding, despite the statistics being abysmal. I'm proud to be a woman that doesn't let anything stand in my way and hopefully inspires other women to reach their maximum potential."

-Sarah Moret, Founder of Curie

 

  • What advantage do you have as a woman?

"We are a team of three female founders, and our greatest advantage is that team. Each of us brings a unique skill set and perspective to each opportunity and challenge. We are incredibly open to each others' perspective and expertise, and as a result, we learn from each other every day."

-Nina Mullen, Co-Founder of Hilma

 

  • What is one of most underrepresented or undervalued qualities in women?

"Many people think women are weak, but actually women are super strong, physically and emotionally."

-Phoebe Yu, Founder of Ettitude

"Brilliance. Women are too often seen as hard working and striving and too little recognized for the sheer genius of their ideas."

-Margaret Coblentz, Founder of Frances Austen

"Empathy. The best leaders have an ability to empathize with their teams, meet people where they are and intuitively inspire from a shared understanding, and, in my experience, this trait is especially strong in female leaders."

-Val Young, Co-Founder of Rec Room

"I think selflessness. Most women are mothers and to be a mother means you are sacrificing a whole array of things that men are not forced to do. From your body to your time and self care all has to be sacrificed for your little ones- which is so beautiful and poetic but often underestimated by society."

-Negar Nadimi, Founder of Ragen Jewels 

"The ability to be both tough and compassionate."

-Dr. Suzanne Saffie-Siebert, Ph.D., Founder of Good Science Beauty

  • What binds women together?

"I think being vulnerable, honest and authentic is what really binds women together. When we let our walls down and be honest, authentic and vulnerable, attributes that are often seen as the antithesis of strength, they often instead can really unite women in empathy and understanding that we’re not all bulletproof. It's really powerful. From my experience, women feel their strongest and most connected when they are not competing against one another but being a source of respite and relief for one another."

-Emory Sittig, Co-Founder of Emory Bee

"Mutual respect and admiration."

-Phoebe Yu, Founder of Ettitude

 

  • What sentiment do you wish upon other women close to you/women of the future?

"Resilience and courage– it takes both to be a woman in the world today because we need to push for ourselves and hold the door open for others."

-Margaret Coblentz, Founder of Frances Austen

"Be kind to yourself and one another; we are all each other’s support system."

-Alexandria Baker, Founder of Féroce Eyewear

 

  • What do you think is your superpower, as a woman?

I think a superpower most women have is to be highly instinctive. I believe we all men and women have an inherent inside voice that whispers to us but it is up to us to really accept that fact and want to listen. Women tend to be generally more intuitive mostly because of our maternal disposition. So I would generally advise all women to fine tune that power because it can guide you and navigate your life in a wonderful way.

-Negar Nadimi, Founder of Ragen Jewels

The ability to see what others need and make it happen.

-Ashleigh Paulk, Co-Founder of Ópalens

 Adaptability. Women have to wear so many hats, professionally and in our communities, that it makes me and other women all-stars at shifting at a moment's notice.

-Dre Taylor Lindsay, Co-Founder of Rec Room

 

  • Who is one of the most influential women in your life?

My friend Cristina is an inspiration to me. She is a mother of twins and a partner to her husband, and she works full time. Any one of those things is all-consuming, and to watch someone close to me work so hard with grace and a smile has made me feel like I can, too. It’s also made me realize firsthand that what women have been doing for centuries is hard as hell, and they’re nothing short of amazing.

-Emily Schildt, Founder of Pop Up Grocer

I am inspired by women who are brave enough to buck norms and break barriers in spite of the odds against them and opposition; the women who have defied convention. Annie Oakley was living in a man’s world, and she looked like she was having a hell of a good time doing it. And I also want to raid her closet!

-Sarah Ford, Ranch Road Boots

My mom! She started her own law firm while pregnant (my dad stayed home and raised us as a stay-at-home dad). Early in her career she was very often the only woman in the room (other attorneys thought she was the secretary), but she never let that slow her down, and she modeled for me that any career path was available for women. And, while her professional accomplishments are many, she continues to make time to mentor younger female professionals, volunteer and serve on boards, and spend time with family. She's shown me that confidence and drive don't have to come at the expense of compassion and generosity.

-Val Young, Co-Founder of Rec Room

 Marie Curie, whom I named the company after. She was the first woman to win the nobel prize, and the only person to win it twice in two different sciences. She was a trailblazer and proved that women can do anything.

-Sarah Moret, Founder of Curie