Being a female entrepreneur can offer women a flexible schedule and the chance to follow their passion and interest. Sometimes a business idea is born from a hobby and other times it is fueled by a passion to help other women. It’s impressive to realize the role that female entrepreneurs play in the US economy. According to Fundera by NerdWallet, there are 12.3 million women-owned businesses in the United States that generate $1.8 trillion a year. Those are impressive numbers, especially when you consider that some of those entrepreneurs are also juggling families and other responsibilities. Below are five successful female entrepreneurs and how they created a business from a passion to help others.
Amelia O’Relly, Founder, How to Breast Cancer
Over a 20-year career, Amelia O’Relly climbed the corporate ladder where she held senior executive roles at several Fortune 500 companies. During her career she spent time in various cities around the USA and in Europe. In 2019, she was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer and for more than 18-months, she continued to work and receive treatment. In 2020 she decided to leave her corporate career and start her own business with the idea to helping people work through the patient experience. How to Breast Cancer was launched in 2021 online at www.thebreastcancerguide.com as a one stop resource with easy-to-use tools and practices for successfully navigating a breast cancer journey. Shortly after the site went live, Amelia describes how she knew that she was onto something important. Immediately after launching, emails poured in and comments were left on the site from people she didn’t know. They shared their appreciation for the organization’s work and how much the tools have helped them.
Dora Lau, Founder and President, Dora L. International
Growing up in Hong Kong, Dora Lau’s parents owned a highly successful music recording company. From an early age she was the company’s in-house stylist, involved in creating the artists’ public image and working on their custom gowns for concerts. Dora quickly realized the importance of intimate apparel and foundations and how it made all the difference for how the clothing fit – and more importantly how the person felt when they were wearing the clothing. Also, being a curvy teen, Dora had to search out clothes for herself that focused on fit and comfort.
Quickly her passion turned into a business where she dedicated her life’s work to helping women to feel confident. She is well known for saying, “Confidence is the sexiest thing a woman can wear.” She founded Dora L International to answer the calls of women around the world who were looking for beautiful intimate apparel that is sophisticated, high quality, and comfortable. Dora is always on a mission to research and develop bras that use the latest technologies in fabrics and manufacturing that ultimately help women be their best selves.
Monique Banks and Ariel Banks Baker, Co-Founders, BLUEPRINT
Monique and Ariel are the mother-daughter duo behind BLUEPRINT, a DIY party service where parents download a blueprint and create a magical birthday party for their kids. The idea came from helping to plan more than 3,000 parties and a deep understanding of what truly creates a magical party. They understood how much time and effort goes into planning and the stresses that parents face when they go on social media and see dozens of pictures showing expensive party supplies from fancy cakes to over the top balloon sculptures.
After a year of development, the team came up with an online concept that allows parents to select either custom or pre-designed parties that are available in a dozen themes including Lip Sync Madness, Space, Hawaiian Luau, Fashion Runway, Camp, and more. The company’s saves parents time and gives them control over budgets and set-up. Every party focuses on high energy games and sharing the secrets to making every guest feel included. Feedback from busy moms and dads has been phenomenal, and parents share how each party was memorable and never to be forgotten.
Donna Leah, Founder, Donna Leah Designs
Growing up in New York, Donn Leah spent her time dreaming about the clothes that she really wanted to wear. Styles that had loads of color, shine, and could be worn for a variety of occasions, not just evening events. Little did she know that when she launched Donna Leah Designs, that she’d be fulfilling the wishes of women around the country. Today, Donna is known for her evening wear which embody the energy of Miami, where her brand is currently headquartered. After a few successful seasons of special occasion and formal wear, the designer has branched out into a “Sizzle Series” line of swim cover ups that go from beach to bar scene in minutes. The response to the collection has created a community of fashion lovers that can now fully express themselves.