Recent Articles

Women We Love

Who: Ivanka Trump, author, designer, real estate scion, CEO and founder of the Ivanka Trump Collection, principal of Ivanka Trump Fine Jewelry, wife, mother, and now lifestyle entrepreneur. Why: For creating the ultimate destination for women who work.
 

Wanted: Women Entrepreneurs

Ernst and Young released a report earlier this year stating that while women start businesses at 1.5 times the rate of men and are at least half-owners of 46 percent of privately held firms, only 2 percent of women-owned businesses in the U.S break $1 million in revenue. However, a recent study by French bank…
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What to Expect for Black Friday Weekend

Normally we at RSR go out on Black Friday and share our perspective on what activity on that special day may mean for the retail season overall. But increasingly, the "season" has already begun by the time we get to the Friday after Thanksgiving, whether because some retailers open on Thursday now instead, or because online shoppers are savvy enough to pick up gift deals well before Black Friday gets here. So instead of offering my take on how the season looks based on how Black Friday does, here's some predictions for the big retail weekend itself.
 

Food52’s Amanda Hesser on How to Do Content and Commerce Right

In last week’s Inner Circle, I highlighted Amanda Hesser, the co-founder and CEO of Food52. Specifically, I covered Hesser's tips for starting a business, which she discussed at the OPEN for Women: CEO BootCamp in New York City earlier this month. This week, I focus on how Hesser has been able to blend content and commerce…
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How Normal is Doing Something Extraordinary

I had heard briefly about Normal, the manufacturer/retailer of tailor-made 3-D printed premium earphones, before its CEO and Founder Nikki Kaufman took to the stage at PSFK's Future of Retail Event in New York City on Nov. 14. But after hearing about the company in more detail, I was riveted.
 

Food52’s Amanda Hesser on Starting a Business

In last week’s Inner Circle, I wrote about a Q&A session with Diane von Furstenberg that took place during the OPEN for Women: CEO BootCamp in New York City. This week, I thought I’d discuss some of the insight I gleaned from another speaker at the event, Amanda Hesser, the co-founder and CEO of Food52,…
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Inspirational Thoughts From the Makers: Women in Business Documentary, Part 2

In part one of this two-part series about the "Makers: Women in Business" PBS documentary, I reviewed the profile done of Spanx Founder and Owner Sara Blakely. In the second and final part of this series, I focus on the documentary's profile of Rent the Runway Co-Founder and CEO Jennifer Hyman. In 2009, Hyman, along…
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Wal-Mart Invests in Women Employees Across the Globe

Women have traditionally been under-represented in manufacturing and factory jobs, with those positions typically filled by “more physically able” men. This is particularly true in some of the poorer countries around the world that manufacture goods for pennies on the dollar, including India, Bangladesh and China, among others. In fact, it’s rare for women in those countries to have jobs outside of the home at all.
 

GoldieBlox Releases ‘Anti-Barbie’ Action Figure

Over the last two years, Debbie Sterling, founder of toy company GoldieBlox, has made a dramatic impact on the “pink aisle.” With a business plan to create engineering-friendly toys for young girls, Sterling was able to raise over $150,000 in just four days on Kickstarter for the startup. Video marketing has helped propel GoldieBlox from fledgling startup into a recognizable brand. Following a highly publicized dispute with the Beastie Boys over its Super Bowl commercial — GoldieBlox used the group's hit song "Girls" in a parody toy video — GoldieBlox is back with a new viral ad.
 

Think Local, Act Global: An Interview With Ann Wang of Enrou

Enrou is a central marketplace for fashionable products that empower communities around the world. In a retail environment that's dancing on the line of using charities as a marketing strategy and actually supporting them, enrou's business model is based solely on helping others. Which is probably why it won Forbe's 30 Under 30 $400,000 Pressure Cooker competition in Philadelphia last month. Twenty-three year old co-founder and CEO of enrou, Ann Wang, sat down with WIRLC to discuss the brand's mission and how it plans to expand it's impact over the next few years.
 

Life Lessons From Diane von Furstenberg

Yesterday I attended a great conference, the OPEN for Women: CEO BootCamp, which was held in New York City. The event, hosted by American Express OPEN, the small business division of the financial services company, was designed to teach women entrepreneurs the fundamental pillars for successful ventures: confidence, competence and connections. A highlight of the…
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Why There Are So Few Multicultural Women Retail Leaders ... And How to Change That

While white women are making slow but steady progress rising the retail ranks, multicultural women are more likely to find their careers stalling out, according to a new report released by the Network of Executive Women (NEW). The report, Tapestry: Leveraging the Rich Diversity of Women in Retail and Consumer Goods, co-authored by Ancella Livers,…
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Inspirational Thoughts From the Makers: Women in Business Documentary, Part 1

I was lucky enough to recently come upon a great documentary online called "Makers: Women in Business." (It also aired on PBS on Oct. 28.) The six-part Makers documentary series, a joint project between PBS, AOL and filmmaker Dyllan McGee, is about the women's movement and female pioneers. The Women in Business installment offered insights…
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Why Don't CPG Companies Hire More Senior-Level Women?

IIC Partners, an independent international consulting agency, released a study of reporting that while women are still the primary decision makers for consumer purchases, only 25 percent of senior executives at a majority consumer product and retail companies are female. Within the retail industry alone, 64 percent of companies polled said their senior executive team was less than 25 percent female. This percent was mirrored in companies of all sectors and sizes showing the average senior executive team across the globe is 75 percent men to 25 percent
 

Don't Fall Off the Glass Cliff

Much has been made about the lack of women in C-level positions at Fortune 500 companies — and in particular, retail companies. Less has been made about the fact that on the rare occasions women ascend to these top positions that they’re more likely to be fired than their male counterparts. The phenomenon has been termed the “glass cliff” by a pair of psychology professors — Michelle Ryan, Alexander Haslam — who did research on the subject.
 

Is Egg Freezing a Perk for You?

Earlier this month, news came out that two Silicon Valley giants, Apple and Facebook, offer women employees a game-changing perk: it will pay for them to freeze their eggs. Facebook recently began covering egg freezing, and Apple will start in January, spokespeople for the companies told NBC News. The companies offer egg-freezing coverage under slightly different terms: Apple covers employees’ costs — as well as the female partners of employees — under its fertility benefit, while Facebook covers it under its surrogacy benefit. Both companies will pay up to $20,000 in benefits.
 

Is a Tech Company and a Retail Startup One in the Same?

In today's evolving retail world, It seems the line between a start-up and a technology are blurred. "I think while there is a difference between a technology company and a start-up, we're a hybrid of both" said Hayley Barna, co-founder of Birchbox to a room full of entrepreneurs at Forbes 30 Under 30 Summit in Philadelphia last week.
 

Rose Hamilton of Pet360 Talks Retail Leadership

In this video interview, Melissa Campanelli, co-founder of the Women in Retail Leadership Circle, discusses retail trends and leadership advice with Rose Hamilton, executive vice president and CEO of Pet360, an online resource for pet parents.
 

Container Store CEO: ‘Women Make Better Executives Than Men’

Kip Tindell, the founder, chairman and CEO of The Container Store, a company that sells storage and organization solutions, has been making some audacious statements as he promotes his new book, “Uncontainable: How Passion, Commitment, and Conscious Capitalism Built a Business Where Everyone Thrives.” Among them: that women make better executives than men. With roughly…
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Things Remembered Names WIRLC Board Member Lisa Gavales President, CEO

Things Remembered, an omnichannel retailer that sells personalized gifts, has named Lisa Gavales as its new president and CEO. Gavales, who will begin at the company on Nov. 10, replaces Michael Anthony, who has been with the company for the past eight years. Anthony will remain with Things Remembered as the chairman of the board.…
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BaubleBar's Amy McDowell on the Power of Peers

For BaubleBar, an online retailer founded in 2011 by Amy Jain and Daniella Yacobovsky that sells high-quality jewelry at an affordable price, peer influence is a powerful selling tool. "We understand that the best style guidance for consumers comes from peers," said Amy McDowell, vice president of digital marketing at BaubleBar, who spoke on a…
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WIRLC Launch Party: How Naama Bloom Creates Customer Engagement

A highlight of the Women in Retail Leadership Circle launch party last week was the showing of a viral video ad called “First Moon Party,” that features a tween girl who fakes getting her period — to disastrous results.
 

WIRLC Launch Party: A Fireside Chat With Robin Domeniconi

At last week’s Women in Retail Leadership Circle launch party, Melissa Campanelli, co-founder of WIRLC, sat down with Robin Domeniconi, Rue La La’s Chief Marketing Officer, to discuss her thoughts on everything from brand storytelling, smart hiring techniques and linear thinking versus creative thinking.
 

Welcome!

The Inner Circle is the weekly e-newsletter of the Women in Retail Leadership Circle (WIRLC), a unique, members-only networking group that offers enterprise-level women in the retail industry a place to learn, connect and grow. WIRLC offers members the opportunity to share best practices, discuss industry issues and find inspiration on how to conquer challenges…
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Retail With a Greater Purpose

This article originally appeared in Retail Online Integration, the Women in Retail Leadership Circle's founding brand. Jewelry and design have always been a part of Carolyn Rafaelian's life. Her father, Ralph, opened a jewelry manufacturing business in 1966. It was there that Carolyn developed her love of design. In addition to designing pieces for her…
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