American Business Women’s Day is celebrated every year on September 22. This is a special day to focus on the accomplishments and contributions of women in the workforce and recognize the impact of their businesses.
According to the National Association of Women Business Owners, there were over 11 million women-owned firms in the U.S. alone as of 2017. Here are 4 companies you may not know were founded by women:
This popular photo-sharing website was founded in 2003 by web design consultants Caterina Fake and her business partner, Stewart Butterfield. The site hosts tens of billions of photos and has helped change the way people capture memories on camera. Yahoo acquired the company in 2005 and independent photo firm Smugmug took over in 2018.
Sara Blakely earned the title of youngest female self-made billionaire thanks to her innovative designs with Spanx. It all started when she snipped the feet off of a pair of pantyhose to have a smoother shape under a tight pair of pants. The lightbulb went off and from there, Spanx has gone on to create a line of more than 200 products in various stores, as well as a retail chain of their own. Celebrities such as Oprah and Gwyneth Paltrow helped catapult Spanx to fame and Blakely regularly donates a portion of her wealth to charitable causes.
Most commonly known for their best-selling kids’ snack Goldfish, Pepperidge Farm was started in the 1940s by Connecticut housewife Margaret Rudkin. She started by making preservative-free breads to help with her son’s allergies and went on to create a brand that became a household name. She sold the company to Campbell’s in 1961 and retired in 1966, but her snack cookies and crackers continue to be a hot item in every grocery store.
Maxine Clark was inspired by a friend’s daughter after a shopping trip who suggested they make their own stuffed animals at home when they couldn’t find what they wanted in the mall. Her first “theme park factory in a mall” opened in 1997 and today, there are over 400 Build-a-Bear workshops around the world.
If you know a woman in business, be sure to show your appreciation for them this month and every day!