THE INVENTION OF BEAUTY – THE LEGACY OF EILEEN FORD AND FORD MODELS

October 16, 2014 THE INVENTION OF BEAUTY

Jeth Weinrich is a Canadian documentary filmmaker, music video, and commercial director. He has been working on the film The Invention of Beauty (also known as The Ford Project) for almost six years now. He has travelled from New York to Europe, all over the U.S. and into Canada collecting conversations with everyone from Rene Russo to Quincy Jones on the life and times of Eileen and Jerry Ford. He shot in Houston and New York city, and upstate New York with Eileen herself, and has some of the most original and rare footage of this incredible woman and her family.

He is one interview away from finishing the film. Christie Brinkley will be the last stop on his journey. Rene Russo will narrate the final film and he will have it done by March next year. However, he has to get to New York to shoot a few more interviews, the most important being with Christie Brinkley herself. He has a bit of his own money already, but he is trying to raise a small amount of money through Fundme.com to make sure he has enough to get these last interviews. Then he will be locked in a room for three months editing.

In the fashion and beauty world, there’s Anna Wintour, but before she ever existed there was Eileen Ford. She single-handedly created what the modeling world is today. Both her and her husband Jerry Ford, founded Ford models in 1946. Jerry Hall, Christie Brinkley, Rene Russo, Kim Basinger, Janice Dickinson, Lauren Hutton, Veruschka, Ali MacGraw, Brooke Shields, Candice Bergen, Suzy Parker, Carmen Dell’Orefice and Jean Shrimpton are just some of the models that became household names around the world.

Let’s help get this film funded! It’s important that women like Eileen Ford are acknowledged and celebrated as one of the world’s female innovators and game-changers of an entire industry.

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MEET ADI TATARKO, ONE HALF OF THE POWERHOUSE COUPLE BEHIND HOUZZ

October 15, 2014 POWERHOUSE

“We’re not typical founders,” says Adi Tatarko, poking at a paper-plate lunch of diced tomatoes and cucumbers. “We’re simple people. We don’t come from privileged backgrounds.” The chief executive officer of Houzz is doing her best to dodge any discussion of the economic gains that she and her husband, Alon Cohen, have created with their home design website. He’s mum on the topic, letting her talk while spearing some falafel with his plastic fork.

Just five years after starting Houzz at their kitchen table, the two Israeli immigrants have produced one of the top 200 Web properties in the U.S. If you’re a homeowner looking for dreamy new ideas for your kitchen remodel or if you’re a designer wanting to drum up business, Houzz may well be your happy place. Each month Houzz draws more than 25 million visitors to its endlessly shoppable photo galleries, more traffic than retailing giants such as Nordstrom, Gap and Staples enjoy. Venture investors, betting that Houzz will capture big chunks of the $300 billion global design and decor market, now value the company at more than $2 billion. To the founders’ professed astonishment, their combined stake of nearly a third of the company puts their combined net worth meaningfully north of $500 million.

In Silicon Valley’s bro-coder culture, it’s rare to find a female executive at the top, let alone a couple who started dating in the 1990s and still share takeout lunches most days of the week. Among venture-funded companies, only 13% have a female cofounder, Pitchbook reported last year. Even when funding occurs, women-led startups often make do with less capital than their male-run counterparts. Yet Tatarko and Cohen have raised more than $200 million in venture capital, including a $165 million whopper of a round negotiated earlier this year. Tatarko runs Houzz with a style that makes no apologies for her gender or her nontechnical background. Instead, she blends razor-sharp strategic thinking with down-to-earth gestures that help rally other people to her way of doing things.

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INTRODUCING WEST (WOMEN ENTERING AND STAYING IN TECH) MENTORSHIP PILOT

October 13, 2014 MENTORSHIP PILOT, Uncategorized

Companies across the industry are working hard to close the gender gap in Computer Science, both in educational pipelines and in the current workforce–but we’re just getting started. The fact remains that while the number of open jobs in CS is expected to explode to 1.4 million in 2020, the U.S. Census Bureau found that women’s representation in tech occupations has actually been on the decline since the 1990s. Tech is looking for new ways to get women interested in CS and to stay in technical roles as they advance through their careers.

Last week, Box, Facebook, and Pinterest are announcing that they have come together to create WEST (Women Entering and Staying in Tech), a one-on-one mentorship program to help more women enter and flourish in these increasingly important technical roles. By bringing experienced women from top technology companies across the industry together, they hope to build and maintain a new kind of mentorship program informed by the kind of work women are doing day-to-day and the most exciting opportunities becoming available in tech.

Mentees for the 2015 pilot of the WEST program will be early to mid-career women in the Bay Area, from those beginning their careers as interns to mid-career women looking to further their growth or take the next step. The pilot will focus on women in engineering, operations, product, design, and web development roles.

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10 FASTEST-GROWING WOMEN-LED COMPANIES

September 29, 2014 GROWING WOMEN

These top 10 companies come from all across the U.S., from Boston to San Diego. They’re leaders in a diverse range of industries, including construction, IT, and retail. And they’re young–the majority have been in business for just five years or less. One such company is already nearing household-name status–among celebrities. Without further ado, here are Inc.’s fastest-growing women-led businesses from this year’s Inc. 500|5000.

 

10. Pure Incubation
3-year growth rate: 2,427.78%
2013 revenue: $4.7 million
Inc. 5000 rank: No. 170

The 10th-fastest-growing company led by a woman is the Topsfield, Massachusetts-based marketing firm Pure Incubation. The company operates two distinct businesses: PureB2B is a lead-generation platform, and MedData Group publishes Medical Product Guide, a vendor search tool for health care professionals. Melissa Changand and chairman Barry Harrigan attribute much of their success to an ethos of transparency–weekly town hall meetings invite open dialogue–and an extremely loyal team. “Company turnover has been nearly zero during the last three years of fast growth,” Harrigan says.

9. Paradigm Mechanical
3-year growth rate: 2,439.54%
2013 revenue: $5.3 million
Inc. 5000 rank: No. 168

Paradigm Mechanical designs and builds mechanical systems for medical, commercial, and government facilities. CEO Melinda Dicharry founded the company in Lemon Grove, California, in 2010. “We work a lot in medical facilities and hospitals as well as occupied facilities that require little to no interruption while we work,” Dicharry says. So Paradigm Mechanical’s coordination between crews and subcontractors must be flawless. Last year, Dicharry’s leadership earned her recognition from the San Diego Business Journal, which named her a finalist in the annual Women Who Mean Business Awards in 2013.…

WOMEN ON IT AND THE EVOLUTION OF A VISION

Back in 2010, upon moving to São Paulo, Brazil, I had a little blog that was first focused on documenting the link between social media and the beauty industry. As great as that was, it wasn’t speaking to my heart. At that time, there was quite an intense focus on the lack of women in tech and all the issues that came with it. It started to bother me, because didn’t people think many of those same issues occurred with women in almost every industry?

That’s when Girls On It was born, although I had not changed the name of my little blog. I just started profiling all the amazing women out there, in every industry, that had accomplished so much and were essentially role models for us. Ann Curry, Arianna Huffington, Victoria Beckham, Ursula Burns, and the list goes on. You see, nine times out of ten, when women are written about in the media, it’s usually quite negative and superficial. So, that was one thing I wanted to change. It was also about interviewing actual women I knew that I felt needed a platform to showcase who they are and the job they do, and/or the business they started. I also wanted to share all types of news that was happening around the world regarding girls and women. Gender issues, equal pay issues, child marriage, the minuscule numbers of female CEOs, maternity leave issues, to name a few.

The other thing was to share and keep up-to-date with all these amazing organizations, sites, and companies that are doing great things for girls and women. Everyone from Step Up Women’s Network to Girl Up, from Women 2.0 to Girl Effect. I feel we never hear enough about them and what they’re doing, unless you either follow them or receive their regular newsletter.

In May 2011, Girls On It was officially launched. I felt the name was right, because I wanted something that was youthful and full of energy, that would encompass girls and women of all ages. So I continued with my vision and went so far as having a launch event (May 2013) and several other events to bring the community of female entrepreneurship and executives together in São Paulo. However, as time went on and I was analyzing who made up my audience, I thought that at the end of the day, women are women, and girls are girls, and I can’t talk about women under the title of girls.

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