Meet the Women Behind 7 of Our Favorite Start-Ups
It takes guts to start your own company. Let us rephrase: It takes a strong, determined and fearless personality to start your own company. So it’s no wonder that these seven start-ups have pretty remarkable women at the helm. Meet them below and then keep your eyes peeled, because you’re about to see them everywhere.
Jen Rubio and Steph Korey of Away Travel
If you haven’t come across these minimalist suitcases taking over Instagram and airports everywhere, allow us to introduce you to Away—the travel company that prides itself on lightweight, durable and affordable luggage. Created by two former Warby Parker execs, Jen Rubio and Steph Korey, the company has quickly made its mark on the industry by generating more than $12 million in revenue within its first year. Psst, Away recently launched duffels and we suggest you act fast before they sell out for summer.
Katerina Schneider of Ritual
When CEO and founder Katerina Schneider was pregnant, she went on a mission to toss any products with ingredients she couldn’t get behind. (See ya, drugstore deodorant.) She soon realized there wasn’t a brand she trusted when it came to vitamins, so she went ahead and built her own. Schneider believes better health begins with better ingredients, which is the foundation for her subscription-based start-up Ritual. Not only are these multivitamins packed with the nine most essential nutrients for women’s health (think folate, omega-3 and vitamin B12), but they’re also visually appealing (and smell like mint) making the act of taking vitamins more fun.
Jessica O. Matthews of Uncharted Power
While working on a class project at Harvard, Jessica O. Matthews helped invent an energy-harnessing soccer ball (yes, really). It was then, at the ripe old age of 22, that she realized there was a white space in the field of renewable energy and her company, Uncharted Power, was born. Nowadays, Matthews works primarily with large corporations and governments throughout Africa to help power developing communities using a proprietary microgeneration system known as MORE (Motion-based, Off-grid, Renewable Energy). This system harnesses energy from motion, like vehicular and pedestrian traffic, to bring electricity to areas off the grid. In other words, Matthews is a force to be reckoned with.
Marianna Hewitt and Lauren Gores of Summer Fridays
For beauty influencers and longtime friends Marianna Hewitt and Lauren Gores, launching a skin care brand felt like second nature. So much so that in less than three months, their Summer Fridays Jet Lag Mask has become the best-selling face mask on Sephora and has taken over Instagram feeds. The reason behind their seemingly overnight success? The fact that Hewitt and Gores know how important it is for a product to not only work but also be “photogenic” while doing it. Everything about the Jet Lag Mask tube was carefully thought out: It lies flat so it won’t roll all over; the aluminum body keeps a perfect shape; and the brand’s name runs horizontally so it can be seen from any angle. Case in point: If a product is pretty, it will be shared.
Nahema Mehta of Absolut Art
Ever wanted to buy a piece of art but felt totally intimidated by the process? Nahema Mehta has made it her mission to change that. In 2011, at just 25, Mehta started her own business, Art Remba, which allowed members to rent pieces from galleries and artists. While speaking at a conference, she was approached by Absolut Vodka about an offer to leave her own start-up. Wait, vodka and art? Well, not exactly. The spirits mega brand wanted Mehta to become the CEO and co-founder of its first brand extension known as Absolut Art, a company that travels the globe sourcing the perfect pieces to deliver straight to your walls, framed and all. Nearly four years later, Mehta is successfully fulfilling her dream of bridging the gap between artists and collectors, and we can’t wait to see what’s next on her Rolodex.
Christiane Lemieux of The Inside
Home decor extraordinaire Christiane Lemieux recently launched a direct-to-consumer furniture company called The Inside. Her goal? To help people design for themselves. Since every single piece is made to order from 3-D imaging and digital printing, there are zero inventories, leaving The Inside with a very small footprint and very little waste. Oh, and the shipping is free within the U.S. We see a velvet mid-century bench in your future.
Michelle Cordeiro Grant of Lively
Coming from lingerie powerhouse Victoria’s Secret, Michelle Cordeiro Grant knows a thing or two about undergarments. Dissatisfied with the current market, she decided to create a whole new category. Enter Lively, a “leisurée” line of bras, underwear and swimwear that combines elements of high style and comfort. But Lively is more than just the products it offers—the company wants to empower and enable women to live the life they love. That’s a movement we can get behind.