As we celebrate International Women’s Day this month, I’m so proud to see so many amazing women being recognized for their accomplishments in 2022. Through my work founding Create & Cultivate (a media company providing content, community, and curated events for ambitious women) and as the host of the podcast Work Party, I have been fortunate enough to encounter some of the most amazing women who are changing the game across all industries – from wellness and beauty to fashion and lifestyle to tech to philanthropy. These women are the reason that I have started my latest endeavor, New Money Ventures, a $20M venture capital fund to help launch, build and scale early-stage startups with a focus on dynamic category disruption with female leadership.
In honor of IWD each year, Create & Cultivate publishes our annual C&C 100 list of forward thinking women. Today I’m spotlighting several of this year’s honorees for TCM who are lighting up the wellness, design and lifestyle spaces.
Dixon | Rivera
Beatrice Dixon | The Honey Pot Company
Beatrice Dixon has dedicated her career to creating feminine care products that are not harmful to women or to the planet. After dealing with health issues that plague millions of women, Beatrice used her expertise in pharmaceuticals, retail and natural food, along with wisdom from her ancestors to create The Honey Pot – a plant-based feminine hygiene line. In addition to creating amazing healing products, Beatrice has broken down barriers as a woman of color in entrepreneurship. She became one of the first 40 women of color to raise over $1M in VC funding, and has built her company to become a nationally recognized feminine and sexual wellness brand, available in major retailers including Target, CVS and Whole Foods.
Babba Rivera | Ceremonia
Babba is such an inspiration to me and a fellow multi-gig founder! After working in high-level marketing roles at Uber and Away, she launched her own marketing agency, bybabba. Through working with some of the best and brightest new brands on the market, Babba found her desire to create a brand that represented women like her, who are often overlooked in the market. A Latinx immigrant who grew up in Sweden, she often found herself in an overlooked category — especially within the haircare industry. Babba created Ceremonia haircare, a clean hair care line rooted in Latin ritual and tradition, made with ingredients from Latin America. While not officially an NMV portfolio brand, I am an angel investor in Ceremonia, which Babba led to over $100,000 in revenue in the first quarter alone!
Merril | Rutherford
Ashley Merril | Lunya
In the era of sweatpants and comfort dressing, Ashley Merril has managed to carve out a true niche in the market and provide some of the highest quality essentials for elevating rest through clothing and bedding. As the founder of Lunya and Lagho, Ashley has created the most premium sleep and loungewear on the market that make people feel confidently comfortable. In addition to conquering the sleep market, Ashley is championing the advancement of women through her impact investing firm NaHCO3.
Chrissy Rutherford | FWD JOY
Chrissy Rutherford is a fashion industry veteran and is such a bright light. She has worked in fashion and lifestyle media for 10+ years, and has always used her platform to champion inclusivity, diversity and meaningful change. After leaving her post as a fashion editor, she co-founded 2BG consulting with another industry vet, Danielle Prescod, to advise and educate brands, influencers and key players in the industry on anti-racism and how work towards a more inclusive mission for their brands. This past year, she’s launched one of my favorite newsletters, FWD JOY, a bi-monthly newsletter that is dedicated to mental health and self-discovery. To get your bi-monthly dose of wellness and mental health resources from Chrissy, subscribe HERE.
Jessica Yellin – News Not Noise
The news has never been more prevalent than the past few years, and the rise of social media and content platforms have led to an influx of voices within the news industry. Veteran journalist Jessica Yellin has flipped the script, utilizing her expertise from her award winning career to present what she calls “service journalism”. Jessica’s platform ‘News Not Noise’ provides straightforward and succinct information that can be trusted, and helps viewers figure out what noise to leave behind.
Wasserman / Sarinana
Claire Wasserman | Ladies Get Paid
Claire Wasserman is the embodiment of women supporting women, an amazing entrepreneur she has dedicated her career to championing others for the greater good of not only women, but the economy as a whole. Claire founded Ladies Get Paid, a career development platform dedicated to providing education, resources, community and support that contributes to professional and financial development for women. Through this work, Claire is dedicated to closing both the leadership and wage gap.
Julie Sarinana | Color Dept.
Another entrepreneur across multiple avenues, Julie Sarinana has made a name for herself as an expert in the fashion and lifestyle industry — from her OG fashion blog, Sincerely Jules, to her collections with powerhouse brands like Bandier, Julie has cemented herself as a key player in the market and a successful entrepreneur. Her foray into beauty was inspired by her love of self-care, which she often expresses through her nails. Julie launched Color Dept. in 2021, a sustainable, vegan, non-toxic nail polish line that marries elements of wellness and design.