Our Two Favorite Titles: CEO and Mom
Proof you don’t have to choose!
Mother’s Day is this weekend and we think mothers of every kind deserve all the praise in the world! As a mom to a rambunctious little 2-year old, I know it’s not always easy (but oh so rewarding). This got me thinking about TapOnIt’s very own mother, Katie Wilson. Katie is our founder and CEO, but she is also a Mother of two. Six years ago as a single mother of a 12 and 10-year-old, she quit her job to launch a tech start-up!! We truly admire that this super mom did not let any obstacles stand in her way, and made her dream come true.
The title of CEO used to dominantly belong to men, but today we’re seeing more and more females as founders, CEOs, and in other executive roles. Plus, many of these badass women are doing it while having and raising children! Below are a few examples of strong women who proved that with hard work and believing in yourself, you CAN have it all!
Sara Blakely, Spanx Founder and Mother of 4
Sara came up with the idea for Spanx when she was getting ready for an event and wanted an undergarment that wasn’t bulky, didn’t show lines, was comfortable, made her appear slimmer, and could be worn with open-toed shoes (unlike pantyhose). She decided to cut the feet off of a pair of pantyhose and found that she had come up with something that women would want! Fast forward, Sara became the world’s youngest female self-made billionaire. She has four children. Lazer, born in 2009, twin boys, Charlie and Lincoln born in 2014, and daughter Tepper born in 2016.
Fun Fact: Sara Blakely wrote her own patent!
Jennifer Hyman & Jenny Fleiss, Rent the Runway Founders and Mother of 5 collectively
Rent the Runway is a pretty brilliant concept. Members can rent the outfit of their dreams for an event, hold onto it for a number of days, and then send it back in a pre-paid envelope.
The idea came over Thanksgiving break, when Jennifer’s sister wanted something gorgeous to wear to an upcoming wedding, but didn’t want to drop an obscene amount of money on a dress she’d only wear once. Jenn returned to Harvard Business School and shared an idea with her friend, Jenny. What if women could rent designer gowns for a fraction of the retail price? From that moment on, Jenn and Jenny had their concept: Rent the Runway, a “Netflix for dresses”.
In just four years of business, Rent the Runway went from 0 subscribers to 3.5 million users. “Rent the Runway has been named the ninth most disruptive company in the world together with Airbnb, SpaceX, and Uber”. The company currently does more than a hundred million dollars a year in revenue, and it is still growing.
Today Jennifer is mom to two daughters Aurora and Selene. She was 9 months pregnant with her second child when RTR hit “Unicorn Status”! Jenny is a mom to three kids; two daughters, Daniella and Julia, and a son, Jake.
Fun Fact: Rent the Runway offers its employees 12 weeks of paid parental leave and two months of flex time upon their return to work; in 2018, it expanded those benefits to its hourly workers at its warehouses and retail stores.
Katia Beauchamp, Birchbox Founder and Mother of 4
Birchbox is a monthly subscription service that delivers personalized beauty samples. Birchbox was created with one key goal in mind: make it delightful for women who aren’t obsessed with beauty to find the best products. Katia was confused by the sheer volume of products in the market and didn’t enjoy the experience of shopping for beauty.
Before Katia founded Birchbox, she worked in finance and quickly realized that even though she was climbing the ladder, it just wasn’t fulfilling. She felt like a token woman in a male-dominated field, and that led to a realization.
The idea for Birchbox developed while she was still in Harvard Business School. Katia and her roommate, Hayley Barna, started out of their apartment in 2010, and in just 6 years the company grew into a billion-dollar business.
Katia is a mom to 4 children. Son, Niko, twins, Guy and Alec, and daughter, West. While pregnant with her fourth baby she spent 100 days in the hospital on bed rest due to being high risk and pregnancy complications. Still, work didn’t stop. She was able to host live meetings and calls from her hospital bed and continue business as normal (as possible).
Fun Fact: Katia describes new moms at Birchbox as her secret weapon!
Whether you’re CEO of a billion-dollar company or CEO of your life, keep up the hard work, believe in yourself, and keep dreaming!