In honor of International Women's Day, we're sharing a local round-up of our favorite women in business who are making waves around the city and inspiring us to reach for our dreams.
1. Cara Ingham and Lisa Santos - Last fall Cara and Lisa successfully funded their Kickstarter campaign to launch Andieanderin, a fashion line of neckties celebrating influential women in history. The goal was reached, production was completed (in the U.S.A.) and the rest is still being written. I am so inspired by this power duo of women and the work they are doing to empower women to continue fighting for social change. (Check out their necktie inspired by Malala, above.)
2. Brittany Hicks - As a denim buyer for Amazon Fashion, Brittany regularly keeps pace with the break-neck speed of fashion and e-commerce. In addition to her work with Amazon, a company who has recently been credited with earning .60 cents on every U.S. dollar spent on apparel and accessories, Brittany also runs a very cool non-profit called GIFT, which stands for Girls in Fashion and Technology. Gift is an organization dedicated to increasing awareness of tech-focused fashion careers and helping prepare students for success in the industry by changing the narrative around what it means to be a woman working in fashion + tech.
3. Kacy Yom - Let's rewind to 2008 when Kacy Yom was first opening the doors of her Ballard handbag boutique, Arm Candy. She had no idea that the experience would secretly serve as market research for her own handbag line. Inspired by the years of feedback from customers on what they loved (and hated) about designer handbags, Kacy decided to launch her own line, merging her personal design inspiration with functional details that modern women craved. Her handbag line is now featured at The Spa at Four Seasons and is available for purchase at KacyYom.com.
4. Suzanne Mills - Noticing a void in Ireland's bridal market, Suzanne Mills launched Myrtle Ivory, a Dublin-based bridal shop that offers brides a unique and highly-personalized dress shopping experience. Suzanne is now based in Seattle and is currently working on a new start-up that involves leveraging her experience in the bridal market using new digital platforms. We'll share updates as they roll in!
5. Jamie Lampitt - Fact: We don't get nearly enough sunshine in Seattle. Also fact: Getting a golden glow from a tanning bed is really, really bad for you. Jamie knew there had to be a compromise, so she launched Rainglow Airbrush Tanning to give women a safe and healthy alternative. Her studio uses an organic, paraben-free tanning solution that provides beautiful, streak-free results for women who don't want to give up their golden glow. AMEN to that!
6. Jennifer Jedda - Not everyone has the chance to get out and explore the globe and that's what inspired Jennifer to launch JJCaprices.com, a site that would ultimately allow her to pursue her global travel dreams while also supporting artisans around the world. On her site, shoppers can find one-of-a-kind treasures, read blog posts about Jennifer's time in each country, and learn the backstories of the brands she supports. Jennifer currently stocks merchandise from 20 countries and gives a portion of the proceeds from every sale to World Vision to help support women and girls in developing countries.
7. Darcy Camden - As the founder of Styled Seattle, Darcy Camden can frequently be found running around the city in heels. In addition to styling consumer clients, she also works with corporate clients including ROOT Sports and King 5. She regularly hosts style segments on New Day Northwest and Q13, and somehow finds time to host (and produce) fashion events around the city.
8. Crystal Southcote - A solid social media presence is an integral part any fashion brand doing business today, that's why companies need trusted resources like Southcote Digital. Founder Crystal Southcote and her husband Nick regularly work with clients to create customized solutions that are both visually stunning and highly effective. I am constantly impressed by their hard work and creative vision. Take a peek at one of the images they produced for Kacy Yom's spring lookbook.
9. Tiffany Troiano - There are many stylists who specialize in hair -or- makeup, but very few who excel at both. Tiffany Troiano of Tiffany Colors definitely fits the bill and been helping clients look and feel their best since 1997. Over the course of her career, she's worked with a variety of local and national brands including DirecTV, MTV, Nordstrom, The Seattle Art Museum, Dolce Vita, Zumiez, and more. She also regularly appears on Q13 Fox for beauty, fashion, and lifestyle segments.
10. Jane Hedreen and Amy Augustine- If you haven't yet visited the flora & henri concept shop in Pioneer Square, drop what you're doing and go right now (or at the very least check it out online). Last spring, when Jane and Amy first started talking about opening a store on 1st and Jackson, we were skeptical, not because we didn't understand their creative vision, but because retail had not yet moved in that direction. Moorea Seal was still doing business in Belltown and their store location was further south than the usual Pioneer Square shopper normally ventured. Fast forward to today and everyone is moving into the neighborhood, including cult-worthy donut shop General Porpoise. Clearly, Jane and Amy were ahead of the curve.
11. Suk Chai - Designer, entrepreneur, local legend. Suk Chai is many things, to many people, but to me, she's an amazing wealth of knowledge who graciously shares her insight to help support other emerging designers. Prior to launching SCHAI, Suk studied at the Fashion Institute of Technology and worked for brands like Liz Claiborne before heading to design collections for Nordstrom's private label. She's a graduate of what insiders like to call "Nordstrom University", and credits the retailer with teaching her the ins and outs of the industry including sourcing and quality control. Suk is an incredible designer and is a true testament to the caliber of designers who are emerging from the Pacific Northwest to share their talent with the world.
12. Lindsey Arnold - Going green doesn't have to mean sacrificing the things you love, which is what inspired luxury beauty-addict Lindsey Arnold to launch the Velvet Report, a platform that educates women about vegan beauty products and lets them shop from an edited assortment of products.
13. Wendy Feller - It seems like a no-brainer but it really wasn't until recently that someone came up with a functional AND flattering raincoat for women in Seattle. Feller is Wendy's response to the unpredictable and often drizzly weather in the Pacific Northwest. Her range includes everything from parkas to trench coats, and according to the website, men's jackets are coming soon.
14. Joyce Poon - When it comes to comes to exploring Seattle-based entrepreneurs who are not only operating a business but growing and scaling it, look no further than Joyce Poon of Noir Lash Lounge. After successfully opening several lash bars in Vancouver B.C., she continued to move her operation down the West Coast and now has locations in Seattle, Bellevue, San Francisco, and Santa Monica.
15. Amy Sarabi - As the Design Director for Zumiez Private Label, Amy oversees 13 brands and regularly travels the globe to source design inspiration. During her early career, Amy was a contestant on Season 7 of Project Runway receiving feedback on her work from the likes of Tim Gunn, Heidi Klum, and Nina Garcia. Amy loves to travel and recently spent two years living abroad in Thailand. During her time there, Amy started a women's empowerment project and taught a local tribe of women how to design, sew, and sell goods to support their village. Amy also worked on an exhibition for the Thai Royal family which involved reverse engineering dresses that French couturier Balmain designed for the queen.