Meet six women entrepreneurs who are changing the creative game

Banner image of female entrepreneurs.

Despite the highlight reel that social media portrays, starting and running a business isn’t all glamour or ease. The time, money, and resources poured into building a dream can’t be downplayed — and the effort is compounded when we think of underrepresented and marginalized groups.

Accessible creativity is at the heart of our mission at Adobe, which is why we’re committed to showcasing and amplifying and celebrating the work of female entrepreneurs this Women’s Entrepreneurship Day, November 19, and beyond.

In this article

  • Inspiring the next generation
  • Meet the entrepreneurs
  • Providing the tools for standout content
  • Why support women entrepreneurs?

Although women entrepreneurship is growing — women make up 49 percent of new US businesses started in 2021 — obstacles remain and cutting through the online presence clutter can be difficult, without having the right tools or resources to scale their business — obstacles remain, and men still outnumber females three to one when it comes to business ownership.

Small businesses are the backbone of communities, but the impact of supporting women entrepreneurs is especially profound: according to a Mckinsey Global Institute study, advancing women's equality could help generate up to $28 trillion dollars to the global economy. This all sets the stage for Adobe’s passion to give a platform, provide resources, and offer greater representation for women creators and business leaders.

Inspiring the next generation

To celebrate Women’s Entrepreneurship Day and the incredible work of the Adobe Express Ambassadors, we chatted with six diverse, talented, and high-achieving women creators and business owners.

As we head into a major shopping season, it’s forecasted that 43 percent of consumers want to support independent creatives and shop their local community for the holidays, according to a 2022 Holiday Shopping Trend Insight Report.

Read more to discover where they draw their inspiration, how they use Adobe Express to uplevel their business, and why it matters to spotlight women’s work and their voices — in the digital universe and beyond.

Meet the entrepreneurs

Britney Wang, chef and creator of #Cheescakebao

Image of Britney Wang, chef and creator of #Cheescakebao.

Based in: Los Angeles, California

About my work: I’m an entrepreneur and chef, but some like to call me the Dumpling Queen! I’m the co-owner of Blend Sweet and started my journey in 2016 when I moved from my hometown of Hawaii to Los Angeles to work as a finance analyst. But after I moved, it slowly became apparent that cooking was not just a hobby, and I took the leap to become an entrepreneur and chef. I started by creating a dumpling Instagram, hosting FREE dumpling making classes, then got a job as a line cook, selling dumplings from home and the rest was history.

How I use Adobe Express: To easily create event flyers and menus for my pop-ups. The best thing about it is that I can easily create the same post for different platforms. I can post the event flyers as posts for my social media and be able to take that same post and use it as a thumbnail image or front-page post for my website! As a small business owner, who barely has time for herself, this saves me so much time instead of manually adjusting it.

Why representation matters: When I started this journey alone, I felt marginalized. Especially as a self-taught woman chef in the food industry, you really need to have thick skin. I’ve always been soft-spoken but throughout this journey, I grew a thicker skin because in an industry majority who are male, you can get lost in the crowd. When I first started, I tried to seize every opportunity I could to be able to learn and grow myself, but sometimes that can lead to being taken advantage of or people assuming you might have what it takes. Especially in the Asian community where many of us are stereotypically labeled as soft-spoken. That’s why it’s so important to have representation in any small business. As women, we can all relate to how hard it is to have a voice in this industry. We need to build a community where we help each other by supporting and helping in any way we can. Either it be by collaborating, educating or connecting.

I hope to be able to get to a place where I can at least inspire and motivate women to know that they have a voice and the support to grow.

Where I draw my creativity from: I draw my creativity from my life experiences. I’ve always been a creative person, but I never really accepted it until my mid-20’s. Because in my culture, creative interests were seen as hobbies and not as a career path. But now, my creativity is the reason why I’m able to have a successful business!

I have a love for learning and knowledge and because of this, it’s made me a very open minded and insightful person. I love to travel, experience new things, people, and places. This makes me a chef who creates dishes pulled from her unique personal experiences in life. To be able to use food to connect with people and creatively create content to tell a thoughtful story to further bridge that gap online and globally. These are what drives me to do what I love to do what I do.

Kitaya Palaskas, founder of Kitaya Palaskas Studios

Image of Kitaya Palaskas, founder of Kitaya Palaskas Studios.

Based In: Melbourne, Australia

About my work: I am a multi-disciplinary craft-based designer, and the founder of Kitiya Palaskas Studio. It’s a full-service creative agency specializing in prop and installation design, content creation, public art/event design, illustration, and creative workshop facilitation, with a focus on traditional handmade techniques reimagined in contemporary ways. I have over 12 years of experience crafting for global brands, providing unique and tactile design solutions that help them stand out from the crowd.

How I use Adobe Express: Adobe Express is my go-to for quick, beautiful marketing assets to promote my services and products online. Whether it’s a well-designed social post to share a new blog article I've written, a cover for a new DIY reel, or a new thumbnail for my latest YouTube episode, I love just being able to jump on and remix my templates to create something cohesive and colorful for my brand.

Why representation matters: Women representation — especially women of color — is so important because we're notoriously underrepresented and undervalued. In the craft/design/DIY industry particularly, there is still a small representation of women and women of color in high-level positions and influence to look up to and learn from. When I was starting my business, I didn't have any role models who looked like me, doing what I did, and sadly we're still very few and far between. It's my goal as a proud woman of color in the craft and design space to encourage more diversity in my industry by showing up and speaking out.

I’m inspired by: Bright colors, clashing patterns, glorifying everyday items and turning them into art, traveling, old signs, nature (especially flowers), retro craft books, thrift shopping, and adventuring.

Abbey Eilermann, founder of Daily Disco

Image of Abbey Eilermann, founder of Daily Disco.

Based In: St. Louis, Missouri

About my work: I’m an artist, content creator and business owner of Daily Disco — an accessory and custom embroidery label based out of my sunny studio in St. Louis. My team and I create one-of-a-kind colorful embroidered jackets and embroidered pieces that empower individuals through self-expression and design.

How I use Adobe Express: I use Adobe Express to streamline the process of creating content, my e-commerce website, and marketing materials so I can spend more time doing what I love: stitching!

Why representation matters: I am really passionate about supporting women-owned businesses. I think women are extremely creative, innovative, and deserve a seat at the table as entrepreneurs. Every time you support a woman-owned business you are investing in the financial success of women, helping close the wage gap, and empowering women.

What creativity means to me: Creativity to me is all about play. I do my best work when I am having fun and not setting rules for myself.

Jessica Molina, Award-Winning Illustrator and Designer

Image of Jessica Molina, Award-Winning Illustrator and Designer.

Based In: Dallas, Texas

About my work: I'm an independent artist who helps brands bring their projects to life through a mix of bold lettering, beautiful illustrations, and vibrant color palettes. My work has attracted a wide range of clients, from local to global, and spans industries including editorial, books, murals, greeting cards, apparel, social media, and more. I often use my work as a tool to express myself on topics that I care most about, such as mental health, running a creative business, and women’s rights and empowerment.

How I use Adobe Express: I use Adobe Express to create social media content, such as Story templates, Story Highlights, and Reels covers. I also use it to create assets that promote my business, such as short, animated promo Reels and short pitch presentations for potential clients.

Why representation matters: As the saying goes, “you can’t be what you can’t see.” It’s important for all of us to see someone who looks like us pursuing their dreams so that we can see ourselves doing the same. Women are underrepresented as business owners for now, but that can change with more visibility.

Who Inspired me to start my business: I was most inspired by fellow lettering artist Lauren Hom (@homsweethom), who I discovered on Instagram and connected with online and then in-person.

Nina Hüpen-Bestendonk, Creative Content Creator

Image of Nina Nüpen-Bestendonk, Creative Content Creator.

Based In: Berlin, Germany

About my work: I'm a Creative Content Creator and bouncy ball world champion (not kidding!) based in Berlin. With a diploma in Communication Design, I started my own travel and photography blog, Smaracuja, in 2010 and freelanced as a corporate content creator (videography, photography, illustration and design) for clients in the tourism industry. With the pandemic challenging my job in travel, I decided to open an online shop with my unique illustrations and letterings. Today, I am constantly adding more products to the shop, while resuming world travel.

How I use Adobe Express: I just recently started using Adobe Express for my business and it's been such a time saver! I mainly use it to create quick social graphics for my Pinterest account to promote my products and content. I also enjoy creating freebies for my community, such as phone wallpapers or assets in the Adobe Express library. It's been my mission for years with my doodle workshops to show people that everyone can be creative and it's so nice to add Adobe Express as a tool that supports that.

Why representation matters: A fellow "small business" owner asked on TikTok the other day why only women entrepreneurs refer to their business as a "small business". Since then, I have tried to avoid that term. We own businesses, period. But yes, of course representation matters. For years, I thought I couldn't do it, that it would just be too much paperwork, that I couldn't understand. When I saw my other business stumble during Covid, seeing other women entrepreneurs inspired me to just try and see how it goes. I really enjoy the community vibe between fellow women creative business owners — we’re helping each other out and working against the cliché of envious women competing with each other.

I’m inspired by: Of course, I get a lot of inspiration online and on social media, but the most creative energy and inspiration I draw is from my travels. I love walking the streets of a city, whether it's Berlin or somewhere else in the world and looking at shapes, colors and textures. Museums are a great source of inspiration for me too. The most important but probably the hardest thing is to give my mind the time and space to think and rest, completely away from daily tasks, deadlines and distractions. That’s when ideas can flourish.

“We own businesses, period.”

—Nina Hüpen-Bestendonk

Phoebe Sherman, CEO of Girl Gang Craft

Image of Phoebe Sherman, CEO of Girl Gang Craft.

Based in: Oakland, California

About my work: I am the founder of Girl Gang Craft, which is a community for female-forward artists and entrepreneurs. I teach workshops, courses and curate conferences on topics such as email marketing and social media to help entrepreneurs thrive. I also design the GGC feminist clothing line and host a podcast where I interview women founders and share tips for running a successful, creative business.

How I use Adobe Express: I use Adobe Express in my business in a number of ways: for eye catching graphics, for reel covers, for thank you notes.

Why representation matters: I don't want to work for anyone else, I never have. I want to be in charge of my schedule, my free time, and my finances. That's what motivates me — the ability to completely be in charge of my life, so I can follow my own interests, hobbies, priorities, and create a life that makes me proud. And that's what I want for other creatives, for them to make money doing what they love, and the freedom to do it however they want.

Providing the tools for standout content

Adobe Express: our free web and mobile-based app that offers thousands of unique templates, design assets, royalty-free Stock images, and more to help launch your business and keep it soaring — no design background required.

We’ve partnered with Meta to provide even more resources for diverse communities and support small businesses with the essential tools and resources they need. Together, we take the guesswork out of what it takes to create a business in today's digital world, and share top tips and content along the way to see what’s possible.

Whether it’s through our social series, #womencreatewednesday highlighting women entrepreneurs and small business owners each month or through celebrating Womentorship throughout Women’s History Month and all-year-long, we understand why it’s so important to have greater representation for women creators and business leaders.

Why support women entrepreneurs?

Amplifying women entrepreneurs impacts communities on a grand scale-economically, emotionally and for generations.

Join us in celebrating women creators, artists, business owners and so much more, not only today, but every day. And let us work together to empower and support both established and emerging women with the guidance, inspiration and opportunities they need.

We encourage our community everywhere to share the stories and experiences of women leaders and business owners because we know when #WomenCreate, great things happen.