As taboo as it may be to say in today’s culture, I don’t think of myself as a feminist. During my career as an entertainment journalist, I worked in an all-female office for many years. If there is one thing I can tell you I have noticed it is that women are good at producing results and juggling many responsibilities in and out of the work place simultaneously. Earlier this month, I was selected to participate in a two-day intensive for female entrepreneurs, Project Entrepreneur, where I met female business owners from across the country. In its second year, the event was sponsored by UBS and the Rent the Runway Foundation and featured speeches by Sara Blakely, founder of Spanx and Rent the Runway founder Jennifer Fleiss. In each session business experts led us through real-world business hurdles like funding, supply chain management, and branding. Most helpful for me was a workshop with Josh Builder, CTO of Rent the Runway, in which he spent two hours going over the best ways for non-technical founders to manage technical projects and employees. After spending the past few years in the classroom doing MBA case studies, it felt so refreshing to focus on current business problems and solutions from women across the country. Here is a look at some of the female-run businesses that caught my eye.
I was there representing my company which I have been working on for the past few years at UCLA Anderson. We are currently developing a mobile app which matches your taste to give you personalized restaurant recommendations so you won’t have to wade through Yelp reviews of random strangers. We were recently featured on the UCLA Anderson blog and you can follow us on instagram @diningconnoisseur.
One of the cutest ideas I’ve heard, Parihug is basically a set of stuffed animals to be shared by loved ones who are apart. The connect devices respond to hugs and set off vibrations in the partner toy letting your loved one across the world know you are thinking of them. Kickstarter here.
The founder developed a compression vest which makes sleeping more comfortable for those with chronic back pain after she herself suffered an injury as a college athlete. https://www.curepedic.com/
Simple and sexy low-rise stockings with a comfortable waist-band similar to that of lacies. http://www.loho.us/
Lawgood is platform to search for and review lawyers. They have lawyers on call who will review contracts under 8 pages for a flat fee of $50 in a matter of days. http://lawgood.io/
Shop or Not
This company will text you cool featured local products from across the country each week which you can purchase via text. https://toshopornot.com/
Lace & Liberty
Offering a new way of shopping for wedding gowns, this company lets brides choose multiple top and skirt choices which are sent to their home for trial. From there, the bride’s measurements are taken and a dress is custom-made to her specifications and style for a fraction of the price of the typical gown. The designs are beautiful, and the price point is amazing for a bespoke gown. https://www.laceandliberty.com/
This athleisure line features tons of zippers making it easy to care for post-surgery patients yet allowing them to wear clothes they feel comfortable in. https://www.reboundwear.com/
Buzzies are an anxiety-reducing wearable which uses Bi-Lateral Alternating Stimulation Tactile (BLAST) stimulation to give the user a gentle vibration that affects the brain and alters the body’s fight, flight or freeze response. https://buzzies.com/
This company will repurpose flowers from your special event and donate beautiful arrangements to a non-profit of your choosing so the flowers don’t go to waste after your event events. http://www.repeatroses.com/
A few of my other favorite companies recently started by female entrepreneur friends of mine
You can reserve a box of stylish one-piece bathing suits sent directly to your home for try-on. The direct to consumer model gives customers American-made high quality swimwear at a price point around $100. https://andieswim.com/
Cat lovers unite! This cute accessory line has everything from laptop cases to tongue in cheek tank tops emblazoned with “show me your kitties”. The company is committed to supporting rescue and adoption related causes which makes it all the better. #AllCatsMatter