CEOs Share the Life-Altering Advice That Changed Their Careers

Seventeen percent of startups are founded by women, but in 2017, female-founded companies only got 2% of venture capital dollars. These stats reflect a 50% increase from where we were a decade ago, so some progress has been made, but we've still got a ways to go. Here at Clique Brands, we're eager to discover and support female-founded, -owned, and -operated businesses—after all, our company was founded by two trailblazing women

To honor these women, we're launching Female Founded, a new editorial series that shares the stories of those who launched their own businesses and how those businesses are changing the game. Here, you’ll discover who these women are, find out what they've accomplished, and see how they incorporate pieces from our own Who What Wear collection at Target into their boardroom power looks. 

In the coming weeks, we'll be spotlighting Ariel Kaye of Parachute Home, Brooklyn Decker and Whitney Casey of Finery, Kori Hale of CultureBanx, Alli Webb of Drybar, and our very own Katherine Power and Hillary Kerr of Clique Brands Inc. For a sneak peek of the upcoming series and a glimpse inside the minds of some of the most inspiring and successful female founders of today, read through their advice to their younger selves, their favorite books, and more. 

Winnie Au

Ariel Kaye is the CEO and founder of Parachute Home, a luxury bedding and bath linen company backed by tier 1 VCs, angels, and strategic investors.

Ariel's advice to her 12-year-old self: "Don't sweat the small stuff.' When you are so invested in building something, it's challenging to do anything but obsess over every mistake, delay, or piece of criticism. Wasting energy on every small detail hinders momentum. Keeping a positive, solutions-minded attitude and focusing on the big picture is imperative to moving forward."

Her most-used emoji: "The red heart is currently in my number one position. Classic, right?"

Her go-to drink order: "Water on the rocks—I have a baby on the way!"

The last thing she Googled: "Car seats."

Her favorite book: Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

J.D. Salinger The Catcher in the Rye $6
Winnie Au

Brooklyn Decker is the co-founder of Finery, an iOs app that melds styling and organizational tools with financial management for your wardrobe. 

Brooklyn's advice to her 12-year-old self: "You can say no. There's a generous power in the word 'no.' Enjoy the bumps along the way, they’ll make you stronger."

Her most-used emoji: "The sobbing one. I use it when I’m really happy."

Her go-to drink order: "I always order the house's favorite. Second would be a spicy margarita."

The last thing she Googled: "How to descale a coffee machine."

Her favorite book: Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole

John Kennedy Toole A Confederacy of Dunces $10

Whitney Casey is the co-founder of  Finery, an iOs app that melds styling and organizational tools with financial management for your wardrobe.  

Whitney's advice to her 12-year-old self: "Trying to be perfect is not a waste of time, but it is a waste of emotional energy. Do the hard work to the best of your abilities and keep getting better. It doesn't need the fret and worry of someone not thinking it is perfect to come with it. If you did your absolute best and worked your absolute hardest, it will be perfect."

Her most-used emoji: "The meteor emoji."

Dining in vs. eating out: "Order in without talking to anyone [using] Seamless and Postmates."

The last thing she Googled: "'Who is Kiki?' (Thanks, Drake)."

Her favorite book: The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton

Edith Wharton The House of Mirth $5
Winnie Au

Kori Hale is the founder of CultureBanx, a media company that delivers business, finance, tech and pop culture news to redefine content for Black professionals. She describes it as "the perfect amalgamation between Bloomberg and Black Enterprise for a new generation of savvy leaders."

Kori's advice to her 12-year-old self: "I would simply tell her don't ever settle for less than you deserve, and remember all you need is one yes. [And] don't be afraid to try new things (like eating sushi)."

Her most-used emoji: "Face Palm emoji"

Her go-to drink order: "French martini."

The last thing she Googled: "What time is it in London?"

Her favorite book: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Paulo Coelho The Alchimest $12
Winnie Au

Alli Webb is the founder of Drybar, a game-changing retail chain salon for affordable, high-quality blowouts. Founded in 2010, it now employs over 3,000 people across the country. 

Alli's advice to her 12-year-old self: "Don’t worry, It’s all gonna work out the way it’s supposed to."

Her most-used emoji: The woman shrugging. 

Dining in vs. eating out: Going out. 

Her go-to drink order: Almond milk latte. 

The last thing she Googled: "2018 midterm elections."

Her favorite book: Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

Elizabeth Gilbert East Pray Love $7

Get to know the first female founders in the series over at Who What Wear, and stay tuned for the full features to come. 

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