Although the battle for equality and recognition will never end, the current generation are now able to participate alongside women who are taking not just steps forward but confident strides, as we see many industries being shaped by female entrepreneurs.
Take a look at the founder of Biocon, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, who’s biopharmaceutical company is ranked highest according to revenues in India. Zhang Xin, also known as the “woman who built Beijing” due to her work in estate as co-founder of SOHO China. And, of course, we can’t forget to accredit Oprah Winfrey, the most famous female entrepreneur in media and entertainment by creating and is still the leading CEO of OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network, co-founder of Oxygen Media, and currently has a net worth of $2.5 billion according to Forbes.
Rollin Rosa is a smoking accessory company created by two Latina women, Vanessa Cardenas and Victoria Ruiz. The accessories include rose-filtered cones, rolling trays, grinders, and clothing merchandise.
There’s this stigma regarding professionals and smoking. There are plenty of professionals, grad students, and leaders who participate in smoking cannabis, live happy lives, are financially well, and can function properly in professional settings, regardless of what many might believe. The two creators of Rollin Rosa are prime examples of this as Cardenas is a professional Digital Marketing Manager and Ruiz has 3 steady incomes aside from Rollin Rosa. The duo wanted to prove the world wrong regarding the notion that people can’t smoke and succeed in life simultaneously.
The business that just launched publicly last July, has now become primal vendors in four dispensaries, Sunnyside, Nu Era, Green Rose, and Mission.
Ashley Galvez created #AshMoves Productions to put Chicago dancers on the map while creating professional opportunities here in our hometown. “We wanted to prove that you don’t need to be signed to a big agency or move to Los Angeles or NYC to achieve your dreams,” Galvez adds.
Galvez started the company from scratch about 6 years ago and is now booking gigs with major artists such as Kanye, Jowell y Randy, El Alfa, Lunay and rising music festivals like Mas Flow and Sueños. While businesswoman, Galvez, does run the backend of the company by herself, she notes that Carol Toledo and Cindy Feliciano have significantly impacted the company as well, as they assist with practices, choreography, and the organization of events.
The proprietor realized she wanted to turn this passion into a career when she found herself losing track of time during training which would last about 12 hours a day, 7 days a week. “Around 2016, we started booking gigs consistently. Artists started directly reaching out to me and I would spend all day in the studio working on the choreography and rehearsing for shows – which sometimes would be booked about 48 hours prior to the show date. I would accept these gigs because I had an amazing team who were all just as passionate about dance and determined to make the company a success.”
Galvez explains that while booking gigs with huge artists is obviously moving in the right direction, it also presents one of the biggest challenges that the company is facing right now. She states, “The expectations are high. If we don’t consistently book something, it makes us and the public feel as though we failed.”
Although there seems to be this pressure lingering, Galvez explains that her and her team are like a sisterhood, “we’d stay in the studio rehearsing until about 3 or 4 AM learning new songs. It is mentally and physically demanding but thankfully, I had a passionate and positive team working with me. We all help each other to push through and continually improve.”
Remember when tie-dying became a trend during the pandemic? Well, girlboss Jaqueline Terrazas converted her hobby into a profitable business, allowing her to bring her creative ideas to life. In just one and a half years, Terrazas received 600 orders for her hand-crafted tie-dye wear. Combining her nickname, “Jaxx” with the word “splat”, Terrazas created SPLAXX.
The pandemic caused many people to become unemployed, making it difficult to maintain a steady income; Terrazas included.
“Everyone was hustling. I needed to find a new way to make money so I began posting about it on my personal Instagram asking my followers if I started making this stuff would they buy it? Instantly, I received so much support and people began reaching out asking for these colors on this type of shirt, etc. With the support of my friends, followers who would repost, and simply by word of mouth the business grew,” Terrazas discloses with a reminiscing smile.
The designer expanded her business to new heights after she realized that her creativity was turning into a monetary demand. Terrazas created an official business account on Instagram for SPLAXX, held a photoshoot with some friends modeling her designs, ran a giveaway that resulted in the account gaining 500 followers in one day, and took off from there. The business went so far as being invited to Colorado for the annual Northside Market Pop-up, was featured in a newspaper for Columbia College students, and collaborated with other local Chicago artists and designers.
All businesswomen before, now, and who are yet to come are an inspiration to all. Whether it’s wanting to start your own business, apply for a promotion, take a leadership role, or make any change you desire – let your voice be heard. Allow your creativity to shine and prosper. Speak your thoughts because your opinion matters. Use the obstacles, barriers and hindrances as motivation to strive for more and to keep pushing forward because whether you realize it or not, you are an inspiration and these are the opportunities fellow businesswomen, leaders and supporters before us fought for.