In celebration of Women’s History Month, Ebates would like to give a special shout-out to some of our favorite stores that are run by intelligent, inspiring and empowering women. Without the hard work of these fabulous girl bosses (and our very own), Ebates wouldn’t be where it is today.
The fourth of six children and the first in her family to attend college, Mary Dillon rose through the retail ranks before taking the helm of beauty giant Ulta in 2013. Her focus on diversity and personally understanding the needs of the Ulta woman has not only propelled company growth, but also significantly contributed to the de-stigmatization of affordable beauty in an industry in which luxury reigns. Dillon once ran a marathon — and placed! — just to understand what runners looked for in their workout apparel. Now that’s dedication.
Mindy Grossman is another first in her family to attend college. Grossman, the CEO of HSN, graduated at 19 and decided to forgo law school to pursue her passion in the fashion industry. She’s been killing it ever since — a success she attributes to her lifelong mantra, “Agile is the new smart.” Grossman encourages women to pursue their goals through her HSN Cares program, which supports first-time entrepreneurs.
Katia Beauchamp co-founded the innovative makeup-box company Birchbox with fellow Harvard Business School student Hayley Barna while they were still in school. Early on, the two women struggled to convey their female-oriented value proposition to predominantly male venture capital audiences. Despite encountering rejection after rejection for two years, the women persevered, eventually raising $1.4 million. Their wildly successful business model has since inspired dozens of similar subscription-box companies. Can you say, “girl boss goals”?
Beginning in 2004 with now iconic footwear, Tory Burch built a billion-dollar brand that is internationally synonymous with elegance and originality. She is almost equally well known, however, for her commitment to female empowerment. She launched the Tory Burch Foundation to make financial resources available to aspiring female entrepreneurs. Recognizing that starting businesses takes more than just money, Burch recently launched her #EmbraceAmbition campaign. The site provides dozens of skill worksheets and helpful articles to help women explore their potential.
Karen Katz, the CEO of Neiman Marcus Group, has been pushing boundaries at the mega-retailer since she started as a merchandise manager in the summer of 1985. Now, as its first female CEO, she’s taking Neiman Marcus to new girl boss heights. She was the first head of the company to initiate and support the launch of a nonprofit brand, Akola, in stores. Akola reinvests 100 percent of its sales into empowering women from disadvantaged communities in the United States.