Flamingle: These Female Founders are in a League of Their Own
These five Floridians all launched globally dominating companies—and they were probably wearing heels when they did it.
Blakely, the 48-year-old founder of Spanx, built a billion-dollar empire specializing in body-shaping undergarments for women. Born and raised in Florida, she had the idea of Spanx after getting tired of the discomfort caused by wearing pantyhose in the brutal Florida heat. She armed herself with a pair of scissors and history was made. She has been featured on Shark Tank, QVC and The Oprah Winfrey Show and is a minority owner of the Atlanta Hawks. In 2006, she founded the Spanx by Sara Blakely Foundation, providing funds to charities that empower young women.
Hatcher is the owner of Feverish Ice Cream & Gourmet Pops and has dedicated her time and knowledge to inspiring up-and-coming entrepreneurs through her seminars, technology innovation and college funding. Her vegan-friendly popsicle shop in Miami donates a portion of each sale to her PopPreneur outreach program, which works to teach underprivileged urban youth entrepreneurship skills. She also established BlackTech Week and Code Fever, initiatives to help rid communities of “innovation deserts” by educating black and disadvantaged families about technology.
The founder of Drybar and a 43-year-old mom of two, Webb grew up in Boca Raton and tried several jobs before realizing hair care was her calling. Webb attended beauty school and started her business venture, Straight-At-Home, by giving in-home blowouts via referrals. However, the demand for a business that focused exclusively on hairstyling and drying grew beyond her wildest expectations. Webb went from trekking across town with her blow-dryer in her Nissan Xterra to conquering uncharted hair care territory. Drybar has blown up to a $100 million operation with more than 100 locations.
The co-founder of Sirius Satellite Radio, Rothblatt is the highest paid transgender person and female executive in the nation. When her daughter was diagnosed with a rare type of high blood pressure, Rothblatt created a biotech company to help save her life. She founded United Therapeutics, a medical company experimenting with genetic modification to develop organs for human transplant. Rothblatt, a resident of Satellite Beach, is the author of several books on a wide range of topics and created the first full-size, battery-powered environmentally friendly electric helicopter.
Bond is the chief creative officer, illustrator and co-owner of Rifle Paper Co., an international stationery brand. The 34-year-old co-founded the company with her husband in their hometown of Winter Park in 2009. Bond quickly went from working out of her garage to running an internationally known brand with more than 5,000 stores around the world. The company sells everything from postcards and planners to accessories and home decor, all with a quirky vintage twist. Bond’s illustrations have been featured in partnerships with companies including Keds shoes and Florida-based Corkcicle.