The Present Is Female: Learn How 4 Entrepreneurs Started Their Companies

The Present Is Female: Learn How 4 Entrepreneurs Started Their Companies
The Present Is Female: Learn How 4 Entrepreneurs Started Their Companies
How and why did you become an entrepreneur? Was it something you always intended for yourself?

Lauren Bush Lauren: "I had this incredible opportunity to travel as a student ambassador with the UN World Programme while I was in college. It’s one thing to read statistics about child hunger, but another to see kids who are unable to live up to their full potential because of something as basic as a lack of food. This experience changed my life and made me want to do something to motivate my peers to help. When I started FEED 10 years ago, I honestly had never even heard of the term 'social business.' The first FEED bag — which featured the number one stenciled on the back to represent the one child the bag would feed for an entire year — started the company's course as a mission-driven brand."

Rebecca Minkoff: "Well, officially, I think the brand’s inception started with the creation of the first bag — the M.A.B. I don’t think becoming an entrepreneur was ever something I made a hard and fast decision about growing up. However, in looking back at my upbringing, my parents made me earn everything. And while this method was sometimes hard as a kid, it was the only way I knew how to operate. I even had to learn how to sew so I could make a dress for my bat mitzvah! Lessons like this are definitely what helped make me an entrepreneur."

Jordana Kier: "I grew up surrounded by business people. My grandfather, Ralph Kier, came to the U.S. from Cuba with his wife and four kids when he was 34. He slowly built a small textile factory into a large company that my dad ended up running. Through them, I grew up hearing stories about building something out of nothing. When I got to Columbia Business School, I got swept away by the excitement of the New York tech community and spent my entire second year interning at Rent the Runway. Experiencing the fast-paced, real-time challenges of acquiring customers, building a brand, and proving a business model helped confirm my desire to build something for myself."

Alexandra Friedman: "Starting a business wasn’t always in the cards for me. I graduated from college in 2004 and went to work at a small consulting firm where I advised private equity investors. After consulting for a while, I decided to move on to the other side of the table and work as an investor, then I attended business school, went back to consulting, and finally found myself at an ad-tech startup called Flurry. I was managing operations, growth, and strategy for its app-analytics product when Jordana and I first met. LOLA was born when we realized all of the other women in our lives wanted — and deserved — a better feminine-care brand and service."

Refinery

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