By Ashleigh Braun
The Honest Company: Jessica Alba
Jessica Alba created The Honest Company, a startup committed to producing eco-friendly household and beauty products, in 2011 after testing a baby detergent that caused her to break out in a rash. She wanted to create trusted products free of chemicals, and that’s exactly what she did. Today, the company is valued at more than $1.7 million and counting.
Spanx: Sarah Blakely
Sarah Blakely was inspired to create Spanx, revolutionary body-shaping undergarments worn by women everywhere, by her own needs after she cut up her pantyhose to create the slimming effect she wanted under a pair of pants. After launching Spanx out of her apartment in 2000, she became the world’s youngest self-made female billionaire in 2012 with annual sales around $400 million.
S’Well: Sarah Kauss
Sarah Kauss was satisfied working in consulting and real estate until she learned about the world water crisis at her five-year Harvard Business School reunion. She decided to create S’Well bottles– reusable water bottles that are environmentally sound and fashion forward out of her apartment, and as of 2016, it has topped $100 million in sales with bottles being sold in more than 65 countries.
Proactiv: Katie Rodan and Cathy Fields
When Katie Rodan and Cathy Fields first began their dermatology residency program at Stanford University, they never imaged the empire they would create together. After becoming frustrated after a long day of treating patients, they had the idea to create an acne product they wished they could prescribe. Many years later, they created Proactiv, a revolutionary skincare system that reportedly brings in more than $1 billion in sales each year, in addition to their Rodan + Fields skincare line.
Birchbox: Katia Beauchamp and Hayley Barna
After meeting at Harvard Business School, Katia Beauchamp and Hayley Barna created Birchbox, a monthly subscription service, with the goal of improving the beauty industry and making it more customer friendly by enabling women to try new beauty product samples. Today, Birchbox has more than 800,000 subscribers and has produced more than $96 million in annual sales.