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Ladies is bosses too: 8 woman owned businesses to support in 2018

Today there are a few industries where women entrepreneurs thrive. It’s certainly hard to be taken seriously as a woman in the corporate world, especially when it comes to the subject of business, a traditionally male-dominated space.

And though this has been an issue for a long time, one thing remains for sure; the past couple of years have brought boss women who are surpassing previous expectations and breaking barriers for female leaders.

From the obscure to the inventive, these women have taken over their line of work, and switched things up for us all using their brains, charisma, and creativity — their way.

Jane West

Marijuana has had a rapid growth over the past couple of years. With so many women finding comfortable seats in top executive positions in the Marijuana industry, it was only a matter of time before female luxury cosmetics became a thing.

I am thrilled to announce the launch of @shopjanewest’s new equity crowdfunding campaign on @joinrepublic… ⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ This launch is especially meaningful to me because we built @shopjanewest to be a company whose ownership reflects our audience. We believe there’s a seat at the table for anyone who wants it. Crowdfunding makes it possible to democratize this incredible movement and shift the status quo. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Help us reach our goal of raising $1M by 4/20! Click the link in my bio to visit our pitch page and subscribe for updates – we’ll be sharing our progress along the way. Join us and be part of the most important new industry to emerge in our lifetime! #investinjane

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As the co-founder of Women Grow and her eponymous line of cannabis-generated products, Jane West is the driving force between women and the cannabis industry today.

Her product line features a range of luxe accessories designed to meet a woman’s everyday needs. Her products are reshaping the idea that women and marijuana don’t go together, removing the stigma we’ve placed on the two.

Afro Girl Fitness

The daily posts on Afro Girl Fitness are just what you need on a day of low motivation.

They follow women of color throughout every stage of their fitness and health journey, with a placed focus on progress of a woman going through or coming out of maternity.

The Instagram page posts daily fitness motivation as well as beauty tips and life  tutorials.

“People ask me all the time why are you still single? And my answer is simple: because I’m supposed to be. Gods timing is perfect ” #morninginspiration . Via:@breenylee – This is the first year in my life (out of the 10 years I’ve been single) that I’ve actually TRULY been content being single, like really really content not just saying it because it’s the right thing to say. Two years ago I literally said with my mouth “I need a man to be happy” and I believed that with my whole heart. I said I’m only happy when I’m talking to someone. My bestie and sister tried to convince me but I wasn’t trying to hear it, I was like “It’s okay for you to say because you’ve both got a man” I didn’t want anyone to convince me that being single was okay, that it was a “great time to focus on yourself “ heck I’d been doing that for 8 years!! Can I just have a moment to be upset without being told how I should or should not be feeling?! Those feelings were real!!! But I’m not gonna lie that was the unhappiest and loneliest time of my life, looking back I’m cringing because I can’t imagine thinking like that right now. But it’s real and some of you are probably where I was at… The problem was I was simply tired of being alone, bringing home the bacon and frying it myself, not having anyone that supported my dreams and giving so much to other people and getting nothing back. I was beyond drained and I was draining myself even further by being so hard on myself. I didn’t truly understand self-love I really thought I did but when that lonely season hit me, it all went out of the window. In hindsight what that season has taught me is even though I want a man I don’t NEED a man, Nobody ever died from being single lol (debatable) But what I do NEED is Self Love and Gods love; Actually internalising how much God loves me and in turn being able to give myself the love, care and attention that I so desperately craved from others. People ask me all the time why are you still single? And my answer is simple: because I’m supposed to be. Gods timing is perfect . #commentbelow if you can relate to her experience as a single person. . #getyourmindright #valentines2018 .

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Originally founded in 2015 by Estella, a mother of four who wanted to document and share her experiences with the childbirth process. AGF seems to have grown overnight.

AGF began on Instagram in 2015; it is an exciting movement that strives to inspire and promote a fitness lifestyle for black women all over the globe. Whether you are just starting on your fitness journey and haven’t got a clue, trying to lose weight, trying to gain weight, or you are a seasoned fitness enthusiast looking for a bit of extra motivation and inspiration; Afro Girl Fitness is the right place for you

“pregnancy weight was/is the HARDEST to get rid of” Via::@omg_kdja – TBT••• (2 years) I’m not sure what it is but for me, pregnancy weight was/is the HARDEST to get rid of. It’s like it kinda just sticks to you and doesn’t want to let go . As much as you are in a hurry to get your sexy back firstly you have to remember to be kind to yourself ✅ I had post natal depression with both my sons, which at first I didn’t realise but it also wasn’t helped by comparing and rushing myself before I was ready to make a change. 2nd: Don’t let society dictate how you should look or feel ✅ 3rd: Don’t compare yourself to these celebrities or IG people who snap back after like 6 weeks. #postpartum #pregnancyandbeyond

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Afro Girl Fitness also supports your diet by posting healthy meal suggestions and is open to the discussion about the topics of relationships, motherhood, and spirituality.

Danielle Guizio

Danielle Guizio’s ascendence in the fashion world was no mistake.

The social media OG shares the realization she had that changed it all for her in an interview with Cosmopolitan.

“I was 23 at the time and I just realized that life was so short that you have to just stop being scared of the world and go out there and do it. I realized that there is no time to waste, every day is so beautiful.”

With $800, she created the DG line, designing and selling her own clothing via the internet, something she’d been working on for years, but never took seriously enough to start a company before.

“I decided that I’m going to do what I’ve been wanting to do for years. I made so many designs when I was younger, I literally had an entire file of them. I didn’t use any of them, but I was like, let’s do this. I dropped out of school because [the brand] was consuming my life; it started to become faster and faster.”

Eventually, she caught the interest of fashion forward celebrities Gigi Hadid and Kylie Jenner, and even worked with Hollywood stylist Elizabeth Sulcer.

Winnie in Pinstripe Sport Set @winnieharlow

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“My first celebrity client was Kylie [Jenner]. I randomly sent her stuff, this was like years ago. I sent it to her office. And a week later it was in the news; it was crazy. And then stylists just started contacting me.”

The best part about Danielle’s line? She recognizes the importance of an online presence and accessibility.

“Being online right now is such a blessing, though, with everything that is going on on Instagram,” she tells V Magazine, “That’s the future: online shopping. We don’t want to go around the world for a t-shirt.” 

Ker-Chunk Games

Ker-Chunk is one of the leading woman-owned and operated gaming companies that is bringing women savior plotlines to video games.

With the recent release of PrinceNapped, Ker-Chunk’s vision continues to grow. Thanks to Molly Proffitt, the CEO behind the operation, Ker-Chunk is already taking huge steps in the right direction.

Recently partnering with Google and Kimberly Bryant, founder and executive director of STEM incubator Black Girls Code, Proffitt has been the motivation of the first game developer barbie.

Talk about progress!

Paydal Kadakia Pujj

Payal Kadakia Pujj is a former dancer turned multi-millionaire through her founded business, ClassPass.

The fitness community brings you together through the power of unified gym courses. People who join have the option of customizing how many courses they take and which studio they’d like to join.

With a degree from MIT, Paydal had already started her career in business, just like her father wanted. But her love of dance took her in a different direction from where she was initially headed after school.

“I was feeling really lost. I still had this great job and my life at Warner, but then I had this crazy life outside of it. You kinda start feeling like you’re lying, and I always feel like if you’re in a place where you’re not being authentic, it’s the time to think about it.”

Though she’s recently stepped down as CEO of ClassPass, it continues to thrive, as does Pujj’s career, from teaching at Harvard Business School to her newly founded SaDanceCompany, we’re excited to see what next steps she’s going to take.

Camel Assembly

Founded by worldwide DJ Yelda Ali, Camel Assembly is a community-based organization that covers a widespread amount of topics and brings women leaders together under one organization.

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Keisha Hannam, the co-founder and writer, shares with Inspirational Women Series the feeling of walking into her first meeting during a New York assembly.

“I remember walking into a hive of forceful energy; a room filled with women who were simultaneously welcoming, overtly creative and pioneering in their fields. Noticing the ease with which connections were made, I decided it was precisely the type of format that every woman in every city needs, especially Hong Kong, where I knew a lot of admirable, ‘boss’ women, who would thrive in a similar environment.” 

Yelda started the platform after she had decided that women needed an easier way to connect with one another. From Miss Bish:

“I wanted to consistently provide them with a time and place where they can build their dreams and collaboratively lead change in the world. In that journey, I somehow created an incredibly organic and powerful support system but also a female talent network.”

No doubt it will continue to thrive and expand into a much wider network of women, with many more programs to go. Definitely keep your eye out for a Camel Assembly near you.

Bottom Up Wealth

Bottom Up Wealth was founded by Alanya Kolberg who recognized the program was needed after her own struggles as a single mother.

“To say we were struggling is a gross understatement. I was having trouble finding reliable transportation to get to my job, which was 40 minutes away. I had recently filed bankruptcy, so financing a vehicle was not an option for me. Every day was a hustle. I was on public assistance and still wasn’t making ends meet. I remember watching a segment on the Today show about how anyone can invest and how everyone should.”

#blackgirlmagic #financialfreedom

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Bottom Up Wealth brings together a community of women who are looking for guidance in financial topics, and the results they promise are big.

“Build wealth with stocks even if you know less about stocks than astrophysics. Set your kids up to be millionaires before they are old enough to work.”

Fertile Girl

Allison Kasirer is the founder of Fertile Girl, which was established in order to help inspire and empower women to take more active ownership and understanding of their fertility.

“[I]t really helped me when I had a miscarriage to talk to other women and hear that they’d been through it, too. It’s one thing to hear the statistics but it’s another to put faces to the numbers so you stop feeling like it’s your fault. I think that’s one of the reasons women don’t tell people when they’ve had a miscarriage — they think it’s their fault. I remember I worried what my in-laws would think, which is so crazy. I thought they’d think their son had married a terrible person. Also, because I made the mistake of telling people as soon as I got pregnant, I then had to tell them the bad news and then I felt like I was burdening them. So being able to joke about it was such a relief.” — @aliwong #wcw . #ttc #aliwong #strong #realtalk #ttctribe #infertility #ttcsisters #ttccommunity #ihadamiscarriage #miscarriageawareness #fertilegirl

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Kasirer was trying to get pregnant with her husband when she became engaged in research over her own habits during her time trying to conceive. From there, the organization flourished and she was able to evolve into a nutrition centered program.

FertileGirl started as an online community for other women on their own fertility journeys and has evolved into a consumer foods brand that just launched its first product, FertileGirl’s superfood nutrition bars. FertileGirl donates a portion of proceeds to Baby Quest Foundation, a nonprofit that provides fertility grants to couples who can’t afford the high price of fertility treatments.

Kasirer’s fertility story ended happily when she gave birth to healthy twins, and her company continues to grow everyday, driving women to speak openly about the beautiful journey that is pregnancy.