Discussion with Sustainable Fashion Founder Anne Marie Johnson

Anne Marie Johnson - founder of Bitter Grace

This October 24, 2021 Fortune article shares an interview with Anne Marie Johnson about the founding of her sustainable fashion company, Bitter Grace, and the company’s first few years in business. During the discussion, she shares that the goal of her company is to present a holistic approach to help women align their external selves with their inner selves in order to be as authentic as possible. Johnson also discusses strategic decisions that enabled the company to grow throughout the pandemic and where she sees the company heading in the next five years.

Offering Free Childcare Slashes Turnover At Small Business

Headshot of Starr Edwards, founder of Bitchin' Sauce

In this article from Fast Company, Starr Edwards, founder of Bitchin’ Sauce, shares how offering free childcare augmented retention and hiring, especially during the worst of the pandemic. Edwards shares, ” Everyone touts work-life balance—and this is one of the most essential forms of that. Can you care for your family and work at the same time? If people can find ways of doing that, whether it’s subsidizing outside care or doing it internally like we have, I think ultimately it’s in the company’s best interest.”

Interview with Yael Vizel on the $200MM sale of Zeekit

company logo for Zeekit

Yael Vizel is the founder of the startup, Zeekit, which uses artificial intelligence to enable customers to try on clothes via a virtual platform. Vizel is also one of the only Israeli women to seal a nine-figure exit deal with an acquirer (in this case Walmart). This article shares a fascinating interview with her as she discusses the deal and also the ins and outs of being an entrepreneur.

Interview with Michelle Tunno Buelow of Bella Tunno

Bella Tunno company logo

This interview in Medium is one of a series entitled “Second Chapters: How I Reinvented Myself in the Second Chapter of My Life.” In this piece, Michelle Tunno Buelow shares stories from her journey to found and launch Bella Tunno. Bella Tunno is a baby accessory brand on a mission to end childhood hunger. For every product sold, Bella Tunno donates at least one meal to a hungry child. To date, Bella Tunno has donated more than 5.5 million meals. 

In the interview, Michelle Tunno Buelow shares the importance of finding and embracing your purpose in life. She also outlines some key attributes that have enabled her to succeed as an entrepreneurs: her resilience, ability to be comfortable with the uncomfortable and overall scrappiness. She discusses her battles with imposter syndrome as well as the importance of being able to “fail forward”. Wonderful lessons and insights from an inspirational entrepreneur!

Podcasts For Women in Business

Women's feet in sneakers - walking outside

If you have found yourself doing more walking/jogging during COVID – either because your gym is closed or you are just looking to get out of your home for a bit – perhaps you have started listening to more podcasts.

Here is a list of the top 35 “women in business” podcasts. Each podcast listed includes information on how often new episodes are dropped, the number of followers/subscribers and what year the podcast originated. Definitely worth scrolling through if you are looking for something new to put on your listening list!

Pandemic Results in More Women Launching Businesses

black business woman at laptop writing a note

According to this article from Time, in December 2020, America lost over 140,000 jobs – and all those jobs belonged to women. It’s no surprise, that the Washington Post just reported that this has likely been partially responsible for the “pandemic-fueled rise in female entrepreneurship”. This Post piece highlights stories of women who either saw changes in the economic landscape that encouraged them to launch their ventures or were forced to pivot and turn to entrepreneurship because of job losses and stay-at-home orders.

Link to Webinar – Starting a PPE Company During A Pandemic: Lessons Learned

Little Lives PPE company logo

In Spring of 2020, Dr. Gabrielle Page-Wilson, Dr. Samira Brown and business executive Alexandra Stanton, launched Little Lives PPE, a Black and woman-led company changing the personal protective equipment (PPE) landscape for American families and communities.

In this webinar, Dr. Page-Wilson and Ms. Stanton discuss the challenges of launching a PPE company during the COVID pandemic and how the business and product lessons they learned can apply to any aspiring entrepreneur who is thinking about launching, managing, or scaling a business during this unprecedented time.

Link to Webinar – Black Entrepreneurship: Overcoming Adversity and Staying Focused

Screenshot from Black Entrepreneurship panel on Zoom.

Click this link to access “Black Entrepreneurship: Overcoming Adversity and Staying Focused”. In this webinar, a panel of Black entrepreneurs in various stages of their startup journeys will share their experiences, the adversities they’ve overcome, and the resources and organizations that have provided them the support, connections, and opportunities they needed.

The panel was moderated by Marquita M. Qualls, Ph.D., Executive Director of Entrepreneurship Programs, The National GEM Consortium and the panelists included Shila Nieves Burney (Founder and Managing Partner, Zane Venture Fund), Hakim Weatherspoon (Associate Professor, Cornell University; and Co-founder and CEO, Exotanium) and Titus Calloway (Founder and CEO, BlackLaunch LLC and ReLo)

This webinar was coordinated by Black Entrepreneurs in Training (BET). BET is a Cornell program dedicated to inspiring, informing, and initiating the next wave of black student entrepreneurs and is supported by the Center for Regional Economic Advancement at Cornell University (CREA).

Women-led Company “Little Lives PPE” Makes Kid-Sized Face Shields

Child wearing a face shield

Sending children to school is challenging enough during a pandemic – parents don’t also need to worry about how their younger children will manage masks and hygiene to stay safe.

A startup called Little Lives PPE has created a face shield that can be worn by children as young as two and is designed to sit comfortably on a child’s face throughout the day, ideally on top of a mask. Little Lives has partnered with a manufacturer in Rochester, New York, which has been mass-producing adult face shields throughout the pandemic. Little Lives masks are currently selling for $7 on their website.

Little Lives PPE was co-founded by Samira L. Brown, MD, Gabrielle Page-Wilson, MD and Alexandra Stanton.

Interview with Jessica O. Matthews

logo for Uncharted Power

Jessica O. Matthews is the CEO and founder of Uncharted Power, a full-scale renewable energy company. The initial goal of the company was to create a smarter energy grid for sub-Saharan Africa (Matthews is a dual citizen of the U.S. and Nigeria) but the impact of natural disasters such as flooding and wildfires on the US energy grid encouraged Matthews to broaden her focus and create a more global solution. Read more about this incredible entrepreneur in a July 14, 2020 interview in Politico.