By: Lauren Leavitt
The influx of women that are becoming CEOs or business owners over the past ten years is extraordinary. Entrepreneurial endeavors amongst Gen X, Gen Z, Millennial, and Baby Boomer women have skyrocketed in the past couple of years. Thus, giving men in business a run for their money. According to the Small Business Trends survey results, “thirty-one percent of all small business or franchise owners are women, who are up from 27 percent last year. Over half of those women business owners are Gen X (born between 1965 and 1980). Baby Boomers (1946 – 1964) account for 31 percent, while 17 percent are Millennials (1981 – 1996). Gen Z, born in or after 1997, makes up one percent”(Guidant, 2021).
Savage X Fenty, Spanx, Glossier, and Rent The Runway are all examples of highly profitable women owned and operated brands. There is a common trend that a lot of these brands share: almost all of their products and services are designated for women’s consumption. These brands focus on celebrating fearlessness, confidence, and inclusivity. Many women-owned brands maintain a significant focus on curating products specified for women by women (Guidant, 2021). That’s what makes consumers so much more inclined to buy from these brands.
A great example of this is the fall of Victoria’s Secret. Eighty-three-year-old Les Wexner owns Victoria’s Secret. For the past couple of decades, Victoria’s Secret had a cult following, boasted 6 ft. models, and had little to no diversity amongst their models. This standard was consistently followed by Victoria’s Secret and other similar brands until Rihanna’s lingerie brand, Savage X Fenty, came into play. The first Savage X Fenty show premiered at NYFW in September of 2018. The Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show was a spectacle of glitz rendered outdated and
out-of-touch by its failure to reflect evolving attitudes about beauty and inclusion. The final Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show was in 2019. (Bhattarai, 2020) The downfall of Victoria’s Secret brand was a culmination of the decline of shopping malls, the Wexner-Epstein connection, the overtly sexual marketing, the rise of athleisure, and rising competitors in tune with consumer wants. (Bhattarai, 2020)
At this time, entrepreneurial women realized that there might be a significant market share up for grabs due to the out-of-touch business practices that were once popular. In light of Victoria’s Secret downfall, countless women-owned businesses have dominated the fashion and makeup market. Kate Hudson opened Fabletics, a yoga and athleisure wear brand, for a good
bargain. Savage X Fenty debuted a lingerie line and clothing line, which is now worth over $1 billion. Glossier created makeup products for Gen Z and Millennial women that are natural and easily accessible. These brands are just a minute fraction of the blossoming companies that are widely popularized.
Business practices between men and women are dissimilar. MoneyUnder30 identified four key factors that make this possible. The first is the fact that women set achievable sales goals. Women also prioritize collaboration and, in turn, recognize that slow and steady means success. Finally, women have excellent time management skills (Parets, 2019). These differences that women harbor cause their businesses to have a loyal consumer market and a cult following. In the foreseeable future, women will likely dominate the fashion and makeup market if they haven’t already done so.
“2021 Women in Business Trends.” Guidant Financial, www.guidantfinancial.com/small-business-trends/women-in-business/.
Bhattarai, Abha. “5 Factors That Led to Victoria’s Secret’s Fall.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 21 Feb. 2020, www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/02/20/5-factors-that-led-victorias-secrets-fall/.
Parets, Robyn. “4 Reasons Why Women-Owned Businesses Succeed.” Money Under 30, 21 Mar. 2019, www.moneyunder30.com/why-women-owned-businesses-succeed.