Issues like workplace harassment, pay gaps, and general discrimination don’t make getting ahead easy for women. So when a woman not only makes it big in her industry but paves the way for future generations, it’s something to share and celebrate.
There are so many girl boss success stories that you probably already know about (Sara Blakely, Sophia Amoruso, and Tory Burch, to name a few), but think about all of the stories you haven’t heard. At The Yard, we’re so happy to have such an amazing community of women change-makers and love seeing how our members and our team inspires one another other.
Read on for four incredible girl boss stories that are sure to inspire you.
1. Frédérique Irwin
Many success stories are supported by the strength of like-minded people around them, and it’s amazing to see so many new communities of female business owners empowering each other to achieve success. One such community is that of Frédérique Irwin’s Her Corner, a business hub and accelerator for women.
The community was founded when Frédérique discovered that 88% of female business owners don’t generate more than $100k in their first year. She vowed to change that, creating Her Corner to offer mentoring and conferences to women starting out in business. Her Corner connects experienced female business owners with aspiring entrepreneurs to give them advice and guidance as they traverse the world of business. Her Corner empowers women to not just start a business but to succeed.
2. Cristi Hegranes
Member of The Yard Cristi Hegranes merged her love of news reporting and social impact when she founded Global Press in 2006. Global Press bridges a connection between underrepresented stories and a broad, global audience. The company employs local women journalists with the intention of producing ethical and accurate story coverage.
In fact, Global Press Institute has trained and employed 205 journalists across 26 developing countries, including Haiti, Zimbabwe, Mexico, Democratic Republic of Congo, Nepal, and Sri Lanka. Together with her incredible team, Cristi combats gender disparity in the media and one-dimensional news reporting.
A 2013 Ashoka Fellow and a 2017 Social Entrepreneur in Residence at Stanford University, it’s evident that Cristi is not only an amazing leader but also values continuous professional development and giving back to support future entrepreneurs.
3. Denise Paredes
In the world of social enterprise, Denise Paredes is something of a whirlwind. Paredes’ business career began in the corporate world. However, through her love of Etsy, she discovered the hand-crafted art of Ecuador. This led her down a rabbit-hole of learning about the country’s rich history and vibrant people. Her research revealed a world of sustainable production methods coupled with products of breathtaking beauty.
This inspired her to cut her ties with the corporate world and take the entrepreneurial plunge. Paredes launched Equal Uprise, using a simple e-commerce builder to create a thriving social enterprise with a focus on beautiful, ethically-sourced products from Tunisia and Ecuador.
Parades’ success eventually enabled her to launch a business development fund for the rural artisans who make the products. In turn, she also worked with the craftsmen and women to help them manage and grow their businesses, lending a hand to even more success stories.
4. Catalina Girauld and Gina Rodriguez
The world of fashion, style, and beauty are rife with images of size zero models, which propagates an idealized standard of beauty. It’s a damaging stereotype that’s hard to shake.
But entrepreneurs Catalina Girauld and Gina Rodriguez weren’t happy with such a stereotype. Tired of seeing page after page of images that inadequately represented the range of women’s shapes and sizes, they fought against the tide with their lingerie company, Naja.
Models of all shapes, sizes, and skin tones fill the product pages, and the brand has been featured in publications such as the Huffington Post and Forbes. Plus, Naja lingerie is made by single women and women heads of households, thus providing these women with above market wages, health benefits, and child education stipends.
But it is Girauld and Rodriguez’s Underwear For Hope initiative that really makes this success story stand out. Aimed at educating and training women from poor Colombian communities, the initiative shares the empowerment to women who need it.
There are so many incredible stories of women making big waves in business. While we might be familiar with the big names, there’s a lot to learn from the new businesses emerging in today’s market.
Get some inspiration from the ladies above and start your own success story!
As an e-commerce solopreneur, Patrick Foster has seen plenty of co-working spaces in his lifetime! Today he writes and edits for Ecommerce Tips, sharing his experience with fellow entrepreneurs looking to make gains in the world of e-commerce. To find all the latest news and articles, find him on Twitter @myecommercetips.