Women Inventors and Entrepreneurs

Women Entrepreneurs, Inventors, Invention, Style Begins Within, Kuhfs Pocket Poppet, Invisibelt, Bumbrella, Skinny Shirt

Style Begins Within by Amy Olson

Who Runs the World…Girls!

Watching the movie “Joy”, loosely based on the rise of miracle mop inventor and entrepreneur Joy Mangano. I couldn’t help but wonder about other female entrepreneurs. What makes a female entrepreneur successful compared to our male counterparts? What skill sets do we posses that help us rise to the top? I wondered…how did these women come up with their innovative product ideas?

Today I have the privilege of introducing you to 6 female entrepreneurs, myself included,
who came up with innovative products to solve a need. All of these talented women
started their companies with a simple, yet innovative idea. An idea that was spawned
from frustrations, annoyances or wants they encountered in their everyday lives that
sometimes left consumers in awe, thinking, “Why didn’t I think of that?”

These women come from different social, economic and educational backgrounds.
Some of us started our companies as stay-at-home moms, while another pursued
her dream after receiving her medical degree. A few of us just started our
companies while others are seasoned veterans knocking it out of the park. We may
differ in many areas, but share passion for our product and the drive to succeed.
Female entrepreneurship is on the rise and studies show that we are:
Creating jobs
Getting funded at a higher rate than ever before
Reporting higher pre-tax profits than some of our male counterparts
Using our strengths to be successful with six times LESS funding than male entrepreneurs
Using the passion for our products to fuel our growth

I asked these talented ladies 5 simple questions.

1. Tell me a bit about yourself.
2. Tell me about your business/product.
3. Why do you think female entrepreneurs are more successful then men?
4. If you had one piece of advice for a female entrepreneur, what would it be?
5. What other female entrepreneurs do you admire and why?

My hope with this article is to inspire other female entrepreneurs to dream big and go for it. If we can do it, you can too!

Amy Olson

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Meet Helen and Karen who created a clever and portable way to ward off the cold with their product called Pocket Poppet. Poppet is expanding its line with one creative apparel idea after another.

Women Inventors and Entrepreneurs, Pocket Poppet, travel cardigan , packable cardigan, invention, H & K The Poppet Company LLC

http://pocketpoppet.com/

1. Tell me a bit about yourself.

My name is Helen Tyler and I am 54 year old. I currently live in Chicago and
am originally from the UK. My original background was in the music industry.
After living in the US for a few years, I started working in the service industry
and dabbled in many entrepreneurial ideas. In 2013 my business partner
Karen Hill-Krolow and I launched H & K The Poppet Company.

2. Tell me about your business/product.

H & K The Poppet Company is the parent company of The Poppet Cardigan
On The Go, Paris Packable Wrap Dress & the Turnaround Tank. The idea for
the Poppet came after a conversation over coffee. Karen had been cold in an
air-conditioned restaurant and was not prepared with a cover up. I often get
chilly and kept a small cardigan in my purse for such occasions. The cardigan
would always get dirty in my purse and didn’t look pretty, but did the job. At
that point I said ‘ someone should invent a cardigan that you can keep in your
purse and it doesn’t get dirty.” After our conversation I went away and made
a prototype using a cardigan, shower curtain ( for the pocket) and put it
together using safety pins. In the meantime, I did endless research to see if
such a product already existed – it did not. I bumped into Karen again the
following weekend and told her that I had been working on a prototype, she
said that she had also been thinking about it and had capital. We agreed to
meet the next morning and after a long discussion, decided to join forces to
create the Pocket Poppet Cardigan on The Go, a stylish , packable and
compact cover up for women on the go. We are expanding our line of ‘ Style
On The Go’ packable clothing by introducing a packable, wrinkle resistant
dress and two -sided tank in 2016.

3. Why do you think female entrepreneurs are more successful then men? What
qualities, leadership skills, time management skills etc. do they posses that
men do not?

I don’t know if female entrepreneurs are always more successful than men,
but I do believe that women possess the ability to multi-task more efficiently.
We also tend toward working from the heart and naturally network and
share ideas, sources and information with other women. If we can’t find what
we are looking for many of us will create out of need. After all ‘ Necessity is
the Mother of invention.’

4. If you had one piece of advice for a female entrepreneur, what would it be?

My one piece of advice for a female entrepreneur would be: Make sure there
a need/market for your product and does it solve a problem. Really
investigate how much your product will cost to make, what your profit
margin and wholesale costs will be and can you make this a viable profitable
product. It takes a LOT of painstaking research, time, passion, hard work,
networking, brainstorming and support to get a product to market. Really
think about what you have, how you can make it if and can you make a living
doing it ( if this is your desired end result).

5. What other female entrepreneur do you admire and why?

I really admire Lori Greiner from Shark Tank. She has made something out of
nothing, continues to invent and re-invent. She seems to have achieved
balance in her life and through the success retains her passion and drive.

To learn more about Poppet click here: http://pocketpoppet.com/

March 09, 2016 by Amy Olson

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Meet Julie Kalimian, creator of The Skinny Skirt, a unique alternative to wearing a traditional button down shirt under your clothes. SkinnyShirt eliminates the bulk and gives you a smoother, skinnier and polished look. Julie and The SkinnyShirt were featured on ABC’s Shark Tank. She did an amazing job presenting her company while staying calm, cool and collected under the pressure of The Shark Tank. I have two of these shirts and you won’t believe the difference they make in your appearance

Skinny Shirt , Julie Kramer

1. Tell me a bit about yourself.

My name is Julie Kalimian. I am the mother of 4 kids ages 12, 11, 9 and 8. I am the CEO and Founder of SkinnyShirt. I live in Old Brookville, New York. Until my first child was born I spent 15 plus years working in publishing and in Manhattan.

2.Tell me about your business/product. What is it, how did you come up with the idea, what problem does it solve?

I love the look of a crisp white button down shirt , but I hate the bunchiness and bulk. So, one day while getting dressed I thought if I combined my favorite Cami with my favorite button down I could eliminate the bulk and achieve the polished look I love. SkinnyShirt lets you look smoother and slimmer than if you were wearing a traditional button down shirt.

3. Why do you think female entrepreneurs are more successful then men? What qualities, leadership skills, time management skills etc. do we posses that men do not?

I do not know if female entrepreneurs are more successful then men, but I will say many of the skills I gained during my corporate working life coupled with my skills as a mom are a great combination for entrepreneurship . When I was working as VP of marketing for Newsweek magazine I learned that identifying goals was seminal to achieving them. Early on as a mom I learned that you cannot do everything. Likewise, when you launch a company you do not have a big staff to delegate tasks. So, being able to identify the priorities and not focus on the other stuff is really key to launching a start up business.

4. If you had one piece of advice for a female entrepreneur, what would it be?

Go for it! I do not think that you ever regret trying to launch a business. My friend, Gillian Segal, wrote a book recently entitled Getting There. The book is a series of interviews with the world’s best business people. They all failed before they succeeded. I have learned so much since I started my business. I would not replace that for anything.

5. What other female entrepreneur do you admire and why?

I admire my friend Kathy Kramer. She started Invisibelt. Her generosity with contacts , ideas and support makes me admire and respect her in new ways all the time. She is a great example of someone who truly enjoys others success as much as her own.

Learn more about SkinnyShirt: http://www.skinnyshirt.com/

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Meet PJ, creator of the Wrapperoo, a multipurpose hair and beauty towel with over 31 different uses. The Wrapperoo is designed to be an absorbent hair towel for when you get out of the shower and then transforms into a waterproof and heat resistant styling cape.

Pj McGuire, Wrapperoo

1. Tell me a little bit about yourself.

I’m a single girl living it up in the heart of downtown Chicago. This is the complete
opposite of my childhood where I grew up in a small Ohio town with my amazing
parents (who have been together since Jr. High School) and awesome older brother.

2. Tell me about your business/product. What is it, how did you come up with
the idea, what problem does it solve?

Let’s be honest ladies, looking our best is a messy and time consuming process. All
the make-up, hairsprays, serums, and root touch up for those of us who aren’t quite
ready to embrace the grey hairs. I came up with the idea for Wrapperoo® after
ruining my top one morning with hair serum after my small specialty hair towel
slipped off my shoulders.

3. Why do you think female entrepreneurs are more successful then men? What
qualities, leadership skills, time management skills etc. do they posses that
men do not?

Just last week I had this exact conversation with some of my girlfriends. What we
came up with is that most women aren’t raised to “bring home the bacon.” So,
despite our ambitions we’re quite a few years behind men who are taught to have a
career focused mindset from a younger age. If we start to nurture girls from a young age to pursue their dreams and believe in their talents and creativity, they will grown into ambitious, smart and successful women. Women look at the world, solve problems and multitask in ways that make them perfectly suited to be successful entrepreneurs.

4. If you had one piece of advice for a female entrepreneur, what would it be?

Stay authentic to who you are! Don’t let the desire to make your business wildly
successful cause you to comprise your morals and values or turn into a different
person.

5. What other female entrepreneur do you admire and why?

OPRAH OPRAH OPRAH! There isn’t enough room on this page for me to explain why
I admire her so much. She didn’t come in the ‘package’ that was the norm for her
industry. Despite the negativity, discrimination, doors slamming in her face and
more adversities than we can imagine, she didn’t let any of it stop her. She kept
fighting, broke through barriers and made her dreams come true.

Visit Wrapperoo today: http://wrapperoo.com/

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Meet Tara Gallagher, owner and creator of bumbrella, a unique product that is changing the shape wear game. Brumbrella is a no-squeeze mini panty/slip combination that is comfortable to wear, the perfect base layer and will give you a smooth look under your clothes.

Tara Gallagher, Bumbrella

1. Tell me a bit about yourself.

My name is Tara Gallagher. I am 49 year old single mother from Bay Village, Ohio. I earned my MD from Case Western Reserve University in 1999, but decided to stay at home and raise my 3 children due to family circumstances. I launched bumbrella in March of 2015 after realizing a void in the undergarment market. Understanding the health issues associated with the overuse of shape wear firsthand, I realized there weren’t any modern alternatives to traditional half slips and shaping slips. I designed bumbrella to offer women a fresh, comfortable, innovative alternative that wouldn’t contribute to the health problems that have been on the rise since the advent of shape wear in the late 90s.

2. Tell me about your business/product. What is it, how did you come up with the idea, what problem does it solve?

Bumbrella is a modern 2-in-1 mini panty slip offering women healthy, comfortable coverage. Its lightweight, luxe fabric has an imperceptible, barely-there feeling, allowing clothes to slip away, while smoothing bumps and banishing panty lines. Its comfortable, no-squeeze design is perfect for all day / all season wear; protecting you from overexposure in the sunlight and upwind situations.

3. Why do you think female entrepreneurs are more successful then men? What qualities, leadership skills, time management skills etc. do we posses that men do not?

While men can be more analytical, women can be more creative when thinking about solutions to everyday problems. Women know what other women want and need and are more adept at designing products that will resonate with women. As women, we have the innate desire to nurture, which makes us very well-suited to starting and growing a business.

4. If you had one piece of advice for a female entrepreneur, what would it be?

The best advice I can offer is never be afraid to ask for help and ask questions, do your homework and research. Bumbrella’s success has been possible because I sought out a talented team of like-minded women, each bringing their area of expertise to bumbrella!

5. What other female entrepreneur do you admire and why?

I admire people who passionately believe in their product and refuse to give up or take no for an answer. Sara Blakely, founder of SPANX, was never deterred by naysayers and built her phenomenally successful business with one simple idea. She has been an inspiration to me in many ways.

Visit Bumbrella: http://wearbumbrella.com/

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Meet Kathy Kramer, creator of the genius product called Invisibelt. A sleek smooth belt that eliminates the bulk of a traditional belt, but still gives you the support you need. I love and wear my Invisibelt all the time.

Kathy Kramer, Invisibelt

1. Tell me a bit about yourself.

I am 46 and live in NYC with my husband, daughter and very large golden doodle, Lucy.

I’ve lived in New York all of my life and can’t imagine ever leaving (although I do love to get out of the city on weekends).

2. Tell me about your business/product. What is it, how did you come up with the idea, what problem does it solve?
I invented the Invisibelt out of personal need. The Invisibelt is a flat, undetectable belt that eliminates belt buckle bulge, black gap and the need to constantly tug up pants. I have a smaller waist and slightly larger hips – so there is always extra room in the back of my pants. Belts are too bulky (I could never wear a fitted top!) and alterations were always a time and money drain!

3. Why do you think female entrepreneurs are more successful then men? What qualities, leadership skills, time management skills etc. do they posses that men do not?

If the product is something personal to the inventor –I think women tend to have a more emotional and passionate connection to their idea.

4. If you had one piece of advice for a female entrepreneur, what would it be?

Don’t spread yourself too thin and try to do everything yourself… it is impossible.
Find others with different strengths than yours and hire them as part time or give a small piece of equity if that’s what it will take to get up and running.

5. What other female entrepreneur do you admire and why?
I think Sara Blakely of Spanx fame is amazing. She believed in her product when nobody else did. Like me, she introduced an entirely new category to woman’s fashion/undergarments.

Learn more about the Invisibelt: http://www.invisibelt.com/

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Amy Olson. The owner and creator of Kuhfs. An innovative company that is revolutionizing the accessory industry. Kuhfs are a sleek and stylish fabric cuff that are designed to accessorize your boots, jeans, leggings, workout pants and capris.
One Accessory…Endless Styling Possibilities.

Kuhfs, amy olson

1.Tell me a bit about yourself.

My name is Amy Olson and I am 44 years old from the Chicagoland area. I am a stay-at-home mom turned accessory designer that launched Kuhfs in 2013. I have always had the entrepreneurial bug and Kuhfs allows my creative side to flourish.

2. Tell me about your business/product. What is it, how did you come up with the idea, what problem does it solve?
Kuhfs is an innovative accessory company that allows women to express their personal style in a distinctive and dynamic way. Our original product launch is called, Kuhfs. A sleek and stylish fabric cuff that is designed to accessorize your boots, jeans, leggings, workout pants and capris. Kuhfs has since expanded its product line to include another innovative accessory called, Scarf Kuhfs. Scarf Kuhfs are a jewelry-like piece designed to accessorize your scarf. I created Kuhfs out of necessity. I was tired of the way my boots looked by the end of the season, but was not in a position to buy another pair of expensive boots. I searched for a product to meet this need but when nothing could be found, I created the product myself. I borrowed my mom’s sewing machine and set out to bring my idea to reality. I had zero experience in the fashion industry, but I did not let that deter me. I took it one step at a time and overcame one hurdle after another. I taught myself how to get my product made, market it and run my own business and for that I am beyond proud.

3. Why do you think female entrepreneurs are more successful then men? What qualities, leadership skills, time management skills etc. do we posses that men do not?
I think female entrepreneurs are more successful than men because our businesses and or products are more often than not problem solving products or ideas. We do not set our goals solely around monetary gains. We set our business goals around solving a common problem our fellow females encounter on a daily basis. We are more passionate about our products because of this. I also think we posses a unique ability to problem solve and over come obstacles in a way men do not. Put a roadblock in front of us and we will come up with several ways to over come it.

4. If you had one piece of advice for a female entrepreneur, what would it be?
Define what success look like for YOUR business, not what others tell you success is. Really sit down and think about it. Your answer to that question will influence and guide all of your decisions and will keep you on track for continued success.

5. What other female entrepreneur do you admire and why?
Cosmetic queen Bobbi Brown. I admire her drive and unstoppable ambition. She has grown her cosmetic company into a nationally recognized brand. She does not let set backs or failures derail her.

Visit Kuhfs to see our entire collection: http://www.kuhfs.com/

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