19 Female Founders Who Kicked Ass In 2017


Image via The Unrefined

Is your Instagram feed saturated with hard-bodied wellness bloggers and bikini-clad influencers? Sure, we appreciate these influencers (abs like that take work) but also want a feed that draws inspiration from trail-blazing female founders running companies in finance, fashion, fitness, and beyond, who also might not be as prolific on the ‘gram. Inspiring, entrepreneurial women like Sallie Krawcheck of Ellevest, who is working to close the gender investing gap, beauty and branding genius Emily Weiss, or social entrepreneur Catherine Mahugu.
This list is as long as it’s inspiring, which is why we’ve been working on a breakdown of our favorite ass-kicking business women in business. Keep scrolling!

Sarah Levey

The last two days have been a whirlwind. I took a 7 am flight out of JFK (delayed) to LAX. Went straight to a fitting for three hours (I’m bigger than wardrobe had in mind ) didn’t get to see my babe @laurapolko and left doubting myself. . . . . In order to keep the jet lag at bay I forced myself to get to the studio. I’m so glad I did. Between the meetings, the shoots, the endless emails it’s hard to remember how lucky we are… @thesamgarcia gave me the most perfect class that prepared me for the long day ahead. . . . . I’m tired, but I feel great, excited about all the things and ever so effing GRATEFUL for the opportunities I have been given. Mostly that I have such an incredible family in my @y7studio tribe. So here I am in all my exhausted, sweaty, post savasana cry (a GOOD cry) sitting on the floor. Now I’m off to LAX for that redeye… ✈️ #family #y7studio #atribecalledsweat

A post shared by Sarah (Larson) Levey (@sarah_levey) on

Sarah Levey is the woman who brought us Y7, the original hip-hop yoga studio. Sarah and her husband, Mason, couldn’t settle on a yoga studio in New York that fit their vibe, so they did what any badass entrepreneur would do, and opened their own. Y7 is different from the average yoga studio on ClassPass: there are no mirrors, lots of candles, and each class is practiced to hip-hop tracks.

Alyce Tran

A compact duo // love these shades

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The most under-the-radar girl boss, ever, Alyce (pronounced Elise) is the founder of international fashion accessories powerhouse, The Daily Edited. This year, TDE hit milestone after milestone, launching stores in capital cities across the world. Alyce keeps a low profile on the brand’s Instagram account @thedailyedited, but look closely and you’ll see the occasional peek of her initials AT. Don’t miss her Instagram stories, during which Alyce speaks on industry panels and snaps gorgeous behind-the-scenes content at sparkly fashion events.
Follow @thedailyedited and @alyce_tran

Danielle Duboise

Alongside her cofounder Whitney Tingle, Danielle Duboise created the sleekest—and probably the healthiest—food delivery company in America; Sakara. She’s a champion of plant-based eating, is a master when it comes to branding and content marketing, and is dog mom to an adorable Australian Shepherd (who also features heavily on her Instagram account).
Follow @sakaralife and @danielleduboise

Sallie Krawcheck

After Sallie Krawcheck was done kicking ass as a boss on Wall Street, she co-founded Ellevest; a digital financial advisor exclusively for women. Her goal is a worthy one: To close the gender investing gap in the U.S. Krawcheck was listed by Forbes as one of The World’s Most Powerful Women in 2005, and she’s been raking in similar accolades ever since. By combing through her Instagram feed you’ll be directed to interviews, events, and advice that will help you manage your money better.
Follow @sallie.krawcheck

Catherine Mahugu

Social entrepreneur Catherine Mahugu was listed on the Forbes 30 Under 30 last year for her work cofounding Soko. Soko, meaning “market” in Swahili, is an online store connecting Kenyan makers of jewelry and accessories directly to buyers worldwide.
Follow @katemahu

Lorna Jane Clarkson

Happy Easter everyone … let the chocolate eating begin! #chocolate #itseaster #lornajane

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Australian fitness mogul Lorna Jane Clarkson is the founder of activewear line Lorna Jane. She’s also an active healthy eating and fitness advocate, and the author of several books on the topic. her fifth and newest book, Love You (pre-order here) talks about how to run a successful business, mastering your own potential and just staying healthy no matter how busy life gets.
Follow @ljclarkson

Emily Weiss

Being a girl.

A post shared by Emily Weiss (@emilywweiss) on

If you haven’t heard the name Emily Weiss, you definitely know Into the Gloss and Glossier—the booming beauty businesses she founded. Weiss is a former fashion assistant who launched Glossier several years after creating Into the Gloss, which is now seen by 1.5 million eyeballs every month. The beauty brand recently raised a $24 million Series B round.
Follow @emilywweiss

Lara Mead

Thanks @missbish for my feature today. Inspired by Californian Living, hard not to be!

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You can spot Mead’s activewear brand, Varley, at all the top stores: Bandier, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman, Anthropologie, Carbon 38, Revolve—you get the picture. She created the luxury athleisure line in 2012 with her husband, Ben, after returning from a vacation in California; they wanted to capture the laid back Los Angeles lifestyle. Varley’s biggest fans include Joan Smalls, Alessandra Ambrosio, Lily Collins, and just about everyone in the Kardashian-Jenner family.

Follow @meadlara

Tyler Haney

Cool to be part of @austinfit body issue talking OV’s mission to get more people moving and feeling good by stripping away the pressure to perform and making activity about doing it for the fun of it. ‍♀‍♀⛹‍♀‍♀‍♀ We at OV believe the future of athletics is not about being there first, but about being there most frequently. If there’s one thing I’m committed to leading in this world it’s getting more people #doingthings because being active really isn’t about working out for the best body or the win – it’s about moving because it’s fun, it helps you think clearly, you can do it with friends, it gives you confidence, it showers you in endorphins and ultimately makes you a happier, healthier, much nicer person. We all could use more #doingthings

A post shared by Tyler Haney (@ty_haney) on

Speaking of athleisure entrepreneurs with world domination on their brand, are you following Tyler Haney yet? She’s the founder of Outdoor Voices, a clothing line for women with very little difference between “their gym-life and their life-life.” Haney started the brand in 2014 while studying at Parsons and has gone on to launch into new categories and raise $22.5 million via venture capital.
Follow @ty_haney

Michelle Cordeiro Grant

Supposed to be packing, but really just want to sit down and read @away new mag!

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Michelle Cordeiro Grant, is the founder and CEO of LIVELY, a new “leisurée” brand offering bras and undies that blur the aesthetic lines of lingerie, active, and swim, and is striking a cord with city-dwelling millennial women. Grant began her career in finance before taking a roll at Federated Merchandising Group, creating brands and product for one of the largest retailers in the world. Then last year she launched Lively, and became one of our new favorite fashion entrepreneurs.
Follow @the_michellegrant

Alaina Kaczmarsika

Kaczmarski graduated from Syracuse University in 2008 with degrees in magazine journalism and psychology, and plans to dominate the publishing industry with a gig at Vanity Fair or The New York Times. That’s not what happened, instead she started a blog which eventually led her to cofound The Everygirl, an online resource for creative, career-driven women that’s since been named as one of the Top 10 Websites for Millennial Women by Forbes and attracts more than a million unique viewers each month.
Follow @alainakaz

Jane Lu

Back to reality and a brand new office #showpo

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Jane Lu calls herself “The Lazy CEO” on Instagram, which says more about her sense of humor than her work ethic. As the founder of Australian-based online store, Showpo, she’s created one of the most formidable new online stores on the planet. To wit: Showpo has a devoted following of more than 1.3 million Gen Y and Z women on Instagram. (Lu herself also has more than 155,000 followers.) She’s also one of the women behind Likeminded Bitches Drinking Wine, a no-BS Facebook group for female entrepreneurs looking for support and guidance from other lady bosses.
Follow @thelazyceo

Babba Canales

Finally suit-weather in NYC

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Babba Canales started New York-based marketing agency, By Babba this year, but earned her reputation as a marketing gun—and landed on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list—while heading up fashion partnerships at Uber. Her feed is full of positive, motivating snaps of this entrepreneur-slash-influencer running her business while traveling the world (and looking damn stylish while she does it).
Follow @babba.c

Bianca Cheah-Chalmers

Day dreamin’

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Australian-in-LA, Bianca Cheah-Chalmers, is the yogi-turned-entrepreneur behind fitness website Amodrn. Down Under, Amodrn (and Bianca) is the go-to for wellness, nutrition, and natural beauty advice and news, and the site is gearing up to diversify their content offerings in the Northern Hemisphere throughout early 2018. Follow Bianca’s feed and enjoy the ride.
Follow @biancamaycheah

Nicola Scruby

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Healthy eating activist and social media queen, Nicola Scruby, is the founder of a burgeoning granola empire, The Unrefined. This year Nicola also launched a new vegan and gluten-free granola brand, NutiiBoost. Watch her Instagram stories for a raw, real, and hilarious behind-the-scenes account of what it takes to run a business and stay healthy.
Follow @the_unrefined

Amy Woodside

If there’s anyone using the internet to make a positive difference in women’s lives, it’s Amy Woodside. Through her platform, OK Real, Amy is bringing women together for mentor circles, career workshops and support groups, panels, and more offline (and some online) events across America.
Follow @ameohmy

Lauren Silvers

Meetings in my favourite place yesterday @glamazon_app @francescatsch

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Australian entrepreneur, Lauren Silvers, is the co-founder of Glamazon App, a clever way to book mobile beauty services to your home, office or hotel. This year she appeared alongside her business co-founder on Shark Tank, where she impressed the judges (and just about every beauty fan in Australia.)
Follow @lauren_silvers

Rachel Drori

Loved chatting with @theflairindex ! ⛓in bio.

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Rachel Drori’s goal is to change the way you think about the freezer aisle. She’s the founder and CEO of Daily Harvest, which started as a smoothie subscription service delivering clean, superfood smoothie ingredients already chopped and prepared for your blender. Now, you can also order healthy soups, bowls, and sundaes from the service.
Follow @racheldrori

Elin Alemdar

All blue. #stylein #styleinfw17

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Elin is the founder behind Sweden’s chicest contemporary fashion line, Stylein—and the queen of minimalist Swedish style. Fun fact, New Yorkers: Elin actually first created the collection while working as a stylist and studying at F.I.T. in NYC.
Follow @elinalemdar

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