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this week ~ Women’s Business Day
september 18, 2015

You can never become #1 by chasing #1. You can't run fast enough. You have to do something new.
new design
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Fortune just released their 2015 list of the most powerful women in business. Mary Barra came in at #1 for the 2nd year in a row as the chief exec of General Motors. Sitting at #6 on the Fortune 500, GM is the highest-ranked company in the list's history to have a female CEO. How many of the 500 have women at the helm? 23. That's one less than last year.

Oracle's Safra Catz was one of 2 newly appointed female head execs. Today, the longtime software company CFO is steering the future of cloud computing while making room for more front-women at the top.

Here are stories of trailblazers in the business world ~ leaders who've directed industry-shaping brands + innovators whose ideas speak beyond their sector.


Marjorie Husted
the PR pioneer

Marjorie Husted_newsletter

"Greater recognition means greater strength."
source it! Marjorie Husted

~ a Minnesota girl who majored in home economics {+ German}

~ a longtime creative director for Midwest milling companies Washburn Crosby + General Mills

~ the first businesswoman named Woman of the Year by the National Women's Press Club

Betty Crocker was Marjorie Husted's brainchild. She gave the famous fictional homemaker a face. And, a voice. Setting out to create a personality that would bring her brand to life, Marjorie commissioned the first portrait of Betty in 1921 + launched a Betty radio program in 1924...the US's first on-air cooking program!

Marjorie’s work to boost brand recognition was so successful that by 1945 Betty Crocker {an imaginary person} was dubbed one of the best-known “women” in America...second only to First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. Besides endorsing readymade products that greatly simplified women’s lives, the General Mills icon became the go-to kitchen companion when Marjorie put out the company’s first picture cookbook in 1950. Eleven best-selling editions later, its distinctive red cover can still be spotted in thousands of homes today.

Though an advocate for home economics, Marjorie was not a homemaker herself. She worked her way up to VP status at General Mills + founded her own consulting firm. Discover more about the career of the creative director who made Betty a household name...

Marjorie Husted

Angela Ahrendts
the fashion-forward tech exec


"Emotional electricity has a powerful way of uniting ordinary people, their collective spirit to do
extraordinary things."

source it! Angela Ahrendts

~ a small-town Indiana girl with big ambitions

~ a merchandising + marketing student who learned the retail trade working for Donna Karan + Liz Claiborne

~ an executive influencer who regularly makes Forbes’ list of the world’s 100 most powerful women

Angela Ahrendts honed her winning executive strategies as a CEO at Burberry. Appointed in 2006, she silenced doubters of her ambitious vision for the slumping company by taking it to a historic high ~ more than tripling its revenue while transforming the iconic British brand into a global fashion powerhouse. Her incredible success saw Angela dubbed an honorary Dame by the UK’s Department of Business.

Apple took note of Angela’s ace leadership across the pond, bringing the fashion exec to Silicon Valley in 2014 as a senior VP. While the leap to tech may seem like a stretch, Angela sees Mac ~ with its attention to quality + design ~ as a natural fit. Under her guidance, the hardware giant launched its first foray into wearable tech. No surprise, Angela has made sure the Apple Watch combines functionality with high style...even partnering with Hermes for the latest chic edition.

Angela’s secret to success as a leader? Fostering creative collaboration that relies on emotional IQ as much as on skills or reason. Hear more of her tips for uniting 21st-century teams around shared passions...

Angela Ahrendts

Megan Grassell
the 19-year-old CEO

Megan Grassell_newsletter.jpg

"If the worst answer someone can give you is 'no',
then you should not be afraid to ask for what you want or need."

source it! Megan Grassell

~ a Wyoming high school skier who used her savings from summer jobs to launch a startup

~ a budding entrepreneur named to TIME’s 2014 list of most influential teens

~ a Middlebury student whose business is more than paying for her college tuition

Two years ago, Megan Grassell was at the mall helping her younger sister pick out her first bra. After rejecting a heap of padded push-ups + underwires, laces + leopard prints, Megan decided that tweens deserved more options. At age 17, she started her own game-changing brand ~ the first company to produce bras designed by girls for girls. As of her senior year, Yellowberry had gone from being a hobby to a full-time job.

Developing her first comfy + colorful prototypes with the help of a local seamstress, Megan launched her line in 2014 with a successful crowdfunding campaign. It took a while for people to take the teen founder seriously, but today her biggest problem is back orders. With a new collaboration with retailer Aerie, Megan’s apparel is now reaching “little sisters” nationwide.

Megan’s company is doing good business, but it’s also transforming an industry with a lifestyle brand built on empowering girls + creating a supportive community. Yellowberry’s message? "You don’t have to rush to grow up." See more of the mottos that are inspiring a generation of "berries"...

Megan Grassell

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Quotabelle news   who said it?

We were looking for guides to good business to share in this week’s Quotabelle newsletter. Notably absent among the lists proclaiming “best business books ever”? Texts by female authors.

It’s the same gap we’ve discovered in our ongoing research. When scouting out words about principles of courage, leadership and honor, rarely do the thoughts of women come up.

That’s why we’re proactively fixing the quote supply problem. To share ideas, you have to be able to find ideas.

"I have built a career and a life out of being myself." 
"I'm not a mogul. I hate that title because I'm still very much a work in progress." 
"We entrepreneurs are loners, vagabonds, troublemakers. Success is simply a matter of finding and surrounding ourselves with those open-minded and clever souls who can take our insanity and put it to good use." 

from our #citeseers
Business tips from #2 + #3 on Fortune’s MPW list...

Values make an unsinkable ship. It isn't about size; it's about the value you provide

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