Young Upstarts

All about entrepreneurship, intrapreneurship, ideas, innovation, and small business.

Ladies, It’s Time: Go Be You

Successful businesswoman

There are articles all over the internet about the marginalization of women and how, even in our advanced society, most of the professional workspace is a male dominated “boy’s club” where women are expected to drop out, become soccer moms and, basically, be reflections of the men and children who surround them.

This is stupid.

We’ve written before about how important it is for women, especially in today’s society, to retain their autonomy and to be their best selves. “Think of your daughters” is often the rallying cry. But you know what? Why not just do it for you?

Two of the first things you’ll learn as a young upstart are that trying to make everybody happy ultimately makes nobody happy and that the people who enjoy the most success are the people who built businesses based on personal passion projects and instincts. In this article, we thought we’d profile a few trailblazers on the feminine side of things.

Sophia Amoruso

Sophia Amoruso is the brains behind NastyGal, a fashion and clothing company aimed at the young female demographic. The company started as an eBay storefront through which Amoruso sold vintage threads she found in thrift shops and at garage sales. She ran the business out of her tiny studio in a rented pool house and, in just a few years, has turned it into a thriving multi-million dollar business that does six figures in sales a day. She documents the process in her book, #GirlBoss.

Stormy Simon

We all know and love Overstock.com and many people have long forgotten the days when it was simply a clothing reseller. It was Stormy Simon who changed the company from a fashion-only store to the online retail empire it is today. She ran their marketing campaigns and encouraged the founder of the company, Patrick Byrne, to include other consumer goods like housewares, entertainment items, etc.

Byrne gets a lot of credit for pushing the company to become among the first to accept Bitcoin but if it weren’t for Simon, bitcoin users wouldn’t be able to use their virtual currency for housewares, electronics or entertainment items that are now available through the site. That’s not bad for someone who started out in the company’s phone sales department.

Sara Chipps

The technology sector, in particular, is notorious for being a straight white boys club. Sara Chipps is working to change that. Chipps is the cofounder of Girl Develop It, a non-profit organization that helps women find and develop careers within the tech world. She is also the very first Chief Tech Officer of Flatiron School (and, by extension, its boutique firm, Flatiron Labs). She is working hard to make the fields of technology, coding and software development open for everyone and her work shows that. Recently profiled in Fast Company, Chipps said that one of her goals is to have “more female developers in the space so they know we’re around and we exist.”

These are just three of the women who are changing things by following their strengths instead of trying to hide their weaknesses. It’s slow going and yes, the boys’ club is trying to fight back but women are steadily and surely catching up—at least in terms of population numbers—in the fields of consumer goods, technology, entertainment and, well, everything else.

Who is your female guidepost in the world of entrepreneurship?


Young Upstarts is a business and technology blog that champions new ideas, innovation and entrepreneurship. It focuses on highlighting young people and small businesses, celebrating their vision and role in changing the world with their ideas, products and services.

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