With about 200,000 women-owned businesses, Los Angeles ranks second among all US cities in the sheer volume of female entrepreneurs. Today on Women's Entrepreneurship Day, our hats are off to these owners in L.A. and abroad.
While it's been a tough couple of years for all entrepreneurs, many have engaged their ingenuity and resolve to thrive through the chaos and rise from the ashes stronger and wiser. That kind of persistence and bravery is what we're celebrating here and now.
So in honor of Women's Entrepreneurship Day, we've rounded up some of our favorite women entrepreneurs in L.A., from women in fashion and food to medicine and tech. Scroll ahead to get to know the trailblazers who are worth emulating and are setting the tone for an equal, feminist future.
Sophia Amoruso, Founder and CEO of Business Class
Toy poodle-lover and L.A. resident Sophia Amoruso is the founder and CEO of Business Class, a New York Times bestselling author, and a serial entrepreneur. She's paved the way for countless women with a vision by founding and scaling brands and businesses, the most recent of which being Business Class, a 10-week course for entrepreneurs, freelancers, and creatives. Since 2020, Business Class has amassed a community of over 1,500 founders around the world.
Prior to that, she founded Girlboss, a digital professional community for women that Fast Company dubbed "The LinkedIn for Women." Girlboss Radio, which Amoruso hosted herself, has gained over 20 million downloads. Her 2014 New York Times bestseller #Girlboss, which chronicles Amoruso's life, included her experience as the founder of the $30 million fashion empire Nasty Gal. The book was adapted into a television series produced by Charlize Theron on Netflix in 2017. Stoppable? We think not.
Katherine Power, CEO of Clique Brands
Katherine Power is CEO of global media and consumer brands company Clique Brands, which boasts international fashion company Who What Wear – known for its content sites and line of clothing and accessories – career podcast Second Life, hosted by Clique Brands co-founder Hillary Kerr, and Who What Wear sister company Versed, a clean skincare line with 19 products all under $20 L.A.-based Who What Wear also has offices in New York City, London, and Minneapolis, and counts Amazon, Greycroft Partners, BDMI, WndrCo, and others as key investors.
Power's founding portfolio also includes minimalist beauty brand Merit Beauty and vegan wine company Avaline LTD (which she founded with Cameron Diaz). Power has taken traditional industries and redefined them with data-led business models that cater to the modern era and focus on inclusivity, sustainability, clean ingredients, and accessibility. For that she's been celebrated for her innovations on Fast Company's "Most Innovative Companies" list, Fortune's "40 Under 40 list," and Adweek's "Creative 100," and as one of Inc.'s "20 Young Entrepreneurs to Watch."
Websites: Meritbeauty.com, Versedskin.com, Drinkavaline.com, Whowhatwear.com, Whowhatwear.co.uk
Jessica Alba, Founder of The Honest Company
No Women's Entrepreneurship Day list would be complete without Jessica Alba. The Dark Angel and Honey star founded household products company The Honest Company after recognizing the world's need for a go-to brand that offers cleaner products and ingredients. Alba believes that you shouldn't have to choose between what works and what's good for you.
Born in Pomona and raised in a traditional, Catholic, Latin-American family, Alba has considered herself a feminist since the age of five – a pivotal year for her given that's when she also fell in love with acting. During her childhood, Alba overcame a multitude of illnesses that later inspired her to create The Honest Company and products that were free of toxic ingredients like petrochemicals and synthetic fragrances. Just a few years after launching in 2012, the company achieved unicorn status. In May, The Honest Company went public, trading under the ticker HNST.
Belinda Wei & Alice Cherng, Co-Founders of Dear Bella Creamery
Belinda Wei and Alice Cherng are Taiwanese-American co-founders of Dear Bella Creamery, a premium, plant-based creamery in Hollywood. Serving L.A.'s tastiest vegan ice creams, soft-serve, sundaes, and floats in seasonally inspired flavors, the duo met in 2015 and formed a lasting bond. Since launching Dear Bella Creamery in 2017, originally known as Coco Bella, they've added an array of options to their menu and branched out from solely using coconut-based milk (hence the name change). What makes Dear Bella Creamery a cut above other creameries is that its ingredients are gluten-free, all-natural, and locally sourced, plus Wei and Cherng make nearly everything from scratch. The cherry on top: The duo dreams up one-of-a-kind flavors inspired by their cultures and upbringing. Think Taiwanese pineapple cake-flavored ice cream, mango sticky rice-flavored ice cream, Phillippine-inspired ube ice cream pie, and more.
Location: 1253 Vine St. #12, L.A., 90038
Hours: Sunday to Thursday from noon to 11 p.m. and Friday to Saturday from noon to midnight
Dechel Mckillian, Founder of Galerie.LA
Dechel McKillian is a celebrity stylist and founder of Galerie.LA, a downtown-based boutique that features a selection of sustainable fashion from emerging brands around the world. While traveling with musical artists like the Black Eyed Peas, Dechel witnessed the negative social and environmental impacts of fashion. Since then, she's made it her mission to create the highest quality of sustainable fashion and to bring socially conscious fashion to the masses. McKillian is perhaps most passionate about linking urban movements, entertainment, and music with sustainable design and fashion.
Location: Virtual or by appointment at the Long Beach Showroom
Hours: Monday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Therese Tucker, Founder and Executive Chair of BlackLine
Therese Tucker has been busy shattering gender ceilings – she's the founder and executive chair of BlackLine, the L.A.-based software platform for accountants that tends to the more complicated or repetitive tasks in the industry. BlackLine earned $352 million in revenue last year and anticipates hitting $410 million this year. The company is currently worth $1.5 billion and received first place in G2's Best Finance Products of 2021 ranking. It was also among Fortune's 50 fastest-growing women-led companies in 2016.
What's more, BlackLine went public last year, turning Tucker into the only female founder-CEO running a public tech company in the world. She studied computer programming in the early 1980s despite the fact that the program and industry were not welcoming toward women. Today she continues to inspire countless young women to pursue careers in male-dominated fields like tech.
Krista Berlincourt, CEO and Co-Founder of Kenshō
It's a given that the girl who learns to ski before she could walk, learns to rock climb at five, and learns to raft at six would one day grow up to accomplish amazing things. Enter: Krista Berlincourt, the CEO and co-founder of Kenshō (Japanese for awakening to one's true nature; a starting point for a lifelong journey of self-transformation). Berlincourt was taught from a young age that plants are medicine so she utilized her adventurous upbringing and background in strategic advertisement and start-ups (having also worked at Microsoft and Simple) to co-found the L.A.-based health platform.
Kenshō is a guide to natural medicine and helps make it accessible, though it doesn't mean to tear down Western medicine or to prop up traditional medicine. Providing users with specialized wellness services from surfing to acupuncture, the company has raised $1.3 million and is backed by top investors like CrossCut Ventures, Female Founders Fund, and Evolve Ventures. Prior to creating her own company, Berlincourt worked in public relations at venture-backed Simple.