Female entrepreneurialism has been on the rise for the better part of the past two decades, a trend that is far from slowing down in 2018.
Throughout the past 20 years, women-owned businesses have grown exponentially, providing more than 9 million jobs and generating more than $1.7 trillion in revenue.
With over eleven million women-owned companies in existence, female-led businesses make up about 30 percent of companies around the world—a number that is only going to keep increasing with time. Women of color have specifically emerged as the fastest growing demographic for business owners, making up 58.9% of all Black-owned businesses and experiencing an overall growth of 66.9 percent between the years 2007 and 2012.
To help make it easier to discover independently owned businesses, there are several resources currently in place, such as We Buy Black, Woman Owned and Black Wall Street. Recently, Sean "Diddy" Combs spoke with GQ about how he is working to revolutionize this space, revealing that he is currently creating an app that will help users locate all the Black-owned businesses in every city across the U.S.
With more and more women are influencing the economy, media and politics, REVOLT took a moment to celebrate 10 incredible, powerful and fearless leaders who have built their businesses against all odds, simultaneously inspiring others to do the same.
Founded by Gail Vida Hamburg, Rainworks Omnimedia is the only non-white, non-male owned museum exhibition producer globally. The company produces and curates traveling, transformative art exhibits, and its latest installment is designed to educate others about Black financial empowerment and combat statistics, such as how it will currently take over 228 years for people of color to achieve economic parity with non-POC if nothing is done. Set to embark on a 20-city tour in late 2018 and see over seven million visitors, Hamburg's Eye On Money: Black Finance 360º exhibit is making history in a couple of ways, including being the first-ever Black finance museum exhibition.
The Wrap Life
Founded in 2013 by Nnenna Stella, The Wrap Life has since grown into the premier online destination for authentic African headwraps. The Brooklyn-based, Little Rock native made the transition into entrepreneurship after finding herself both unfilled by her previous job and unimpressed by the lack of options available online while hunting for an alternative to fashioning a head wrap out of a tribal-pattern scarf she had purchased at Target. Her business has since grown to serve a global customer base (reportedly making over $1M in revenue each year), as well as has expanded to include self-care tools, such as sage bundles and jewelry. While speaking with Glamour, Stella shared how for many of her customers, the headwraps (whose fabric is sourced from places such as Ghana and Mexico), represent a link to one's heritage, explaining "It gives you ownership and pride about being African, even if you don't know all the details of your lineage."
Shop the Wrap Life here.
Good Details Gallery
Chicago's Good Details gallery has been taking the art world by storm since it first opened its doors in summer 2016. The gallery has since expanded its reach to include showcasing at the world-renowned SCOPE art fair (both during Art Basel Miami and at the New York installment). Co-founders Pia Johnson and Gary Green joined forces to create a self-declared "multi-dimensional creativity incubator, gallery and artist hub," with a dedicated focus on empowering artists, future entrepreneurs and non-governmental organizations to implement their business and artistic ideas.
Located in the Pilsen Arts District, Good Details represents a variety of artists across mediums, including Shani Crowe, Bryant Giles, Tubsz and E. Lee, with each further exemplifying the gallery's core mission to support diverse perspectives and champion artists from around the world. Together, Johnson and Green do much more than solely run an art gallery, working to cultivate a multicultural platform that is dedicated to supporting and educating others, as well as expanding the pool of engaged buyers.
Learn more about Good Details here.
IMG Agency & Records
Founded by Anastasia Wright, IMG Agency & Records is a female-owned and operated music marketing company and independent record label, specializing in artist development, management, integrated brand strategy and more. Wright, who previously held positions with Sony/RCA and served on the board of directors for the non-profit organization Women in Music, organically made the transition from working for reputed music companies to working with them—a move that was made possible by way of maintaining her relationships and taking her impassioned business acumen with her. From securing unique partnerships for brands and her label's artists alike to hosting panel discussions as the executive director of the non-profit Minds Behind the Music, Wright is a mogul in the making, one dedicated to empowering the next generation of creative entrepreneurs, especially musicians and women, through music.
Learn more about IMG Agency & Records here.
Founded by Joy Victoria Clarke, the Mahogany Mary Event Group is an event marketing agency specializing in the curation of bespoke cannabis experiences. Prior to entrepreneurship, Clarke previously developed consumer-focused activations and press events for reputable brands across the automotive, fashion and wine/spirits industries. Her 2015 move to Los Angeles inspired her to create her own company and apply what she had mastered in the experiential marketing space to the rapidly emerging cannabis industry.
Through offering a variety of event planning/consulting services, organizing workshops and cultivating creativity among like-minded marijuana users or enthusiasts, Clarke has mastered the art of both combining her passions with her livelihood and giving back to the community. She donates 5% of her net profits to Dharma Yoga LA, an organization bringing high-quality yoga to underserved communities. Mahogany Mary's next event, Empower Her, is taking place on April 8in Los Angeles and will focus on educating women about enhancing the sexual connection between oneself through the use of cannabis and yoga. Use promo code _MahoganyMary_for a discount on ticket prices.
Learn more about Mahogany Mary here.
The Lip Bar
The Lip Bar, founded by Melissa Butler, has kicked off 2018 with an exciting new development, with its products now being sold in Target stores across the nation. Based in Detroit, Butler turned her frustration with the beauty industry into the momentum needed to launch her own lipstick line, focusing on inclusive representation/imagery and affordable pricing, all without compromising quality. In addition to her products being vegan and cruelty-free, the Lip Bar is dedicated to challenging beauty standards and the status quo, encouraging women to embrace their own authentic individuality even when its different than what the media may be portraying. After an appearance on Shark Tank helped amplify her audience (and crash her website!), Butler has since expanded her business to include a retail location, as well as helped encourage Target to partner with her three years later.
Shop the Lip Bar here.
Coco and Breezy
The name Coco and Breezy doubles as both the eyewear company founded in 2009 by twin designers Corianna and Brianna Dotson and the moniker for their work as recording/visual artists, DJs and influencers. While their early designs captivated the fashion world (impressively launching at the age of 19 after relocating from Minnesota to NYC), their commission for Prince helped elevate their future-forward brand to a new level. After creating the custom "third eye" sunglasses the late legend famously wore on SNL in 2014, the duo has since gone on to collaborate with companies such as Hershey's, Cîroc, Adidas, SIX:02 and more.
Shop Coco and Breezy here.
Posh Candle Co
Founded by Tay Watts, Posh Candle Co. is a multidimensional candle company drawing inspiration from pop culture. With candles featuring sayings such as "Bad and Bougie," "Be Humble," "Boss Girl Magic," Watts' creations are conversation pieces that are both undeniably Instagrammable and environmentally conscious, as well as are hand-poured in Los Angeles utilizing recyclable glass jars and 100% soy-based wax. Since launching, her product line has expanded to include incense, smudges, gift sets and a monthly subscription box. From unique fragrances to smart, personable branding, Posh Candle Co. makes for the kind of gift where it's hard not to buy one for yourself too.
Shop Posh Candle Co. here.
The Six Figure Chick
Cici, better known by her alias as the Six Figure Chick, is a brand and Instagram strategist who has (naturally) built an impeccable following on social media, using her platform to educate both individual clients and companies alike on how to best market their brands. From teaching branding and social media strategies on Instagram Live to offering more formal classes/workshops, the Six Figure Chick has the game figured out and is selflessly dedicated to helping others build their own businesses up too. Cici offers a variety of classes online, covering everything from Instagram growth to eBook writing to email marketing, as well as shares gem after gem of inspiration and wisdom on her Instagram page, often drawing from her own personal experiences quitting her minimum wage job, combating cancer and becoming her own boss. A must-follow for entrepreneurs, aspiring or established.
Learn more about the Six Figure Chick here.
Christian Omeshun is a fashion brand founded by Atlanta-based designer A'Shontay Hubbard. Each design is custom made, ensuring that every look will best fit the specific body type of the client it was tailored for. With a focus on offering modern, sophisticated options for plus-sized women, Hubbard is helping revolutionize the industry as an independent designer, all while empowering women to embrace their bodies and stand out with confidence. CO offers true-to-size fits, something that has long been a breath of fresh air from the frustrations that come with shopping as a curvier woman. In addition to creating custom, handmade designs, Hubbard often is tapped to share her journey on panels, with her next speaking engagement taking place at the Crusade of Curves 2018 in North Carolina April 5-8.
Shop Christian Omeshun here.