Celebrating a new era of impact this women’s business month
Over 13 million small businesses are owned by women in the US, which employs over 10 million people. And that number only continues to grow with more and more women leaning into their passions and their purposes and jumping headfirst into creating a business. They’re creative, agile, resilient, determined, and more than ready to learn as they go and they’re paving the way for the next gen to be inspired and see what’s possible.
To mark National Women’s Small Business Month, we’re proud to celebrate just some of the women business owners, entrepreneurs and side-hustlers from our community whose work, creativity and impact can be an inspiration for all.
Get to know the incredible women
Daisy Romero | El Cholo’s Kid, Handwoven bags created by Mexican Artisans
Based in: San Diego, CA
The fruits of my labor
I love seeing my bags out in the wild and having a community that supports what I do. It’s the greatest reward.
The non-negotiable business tools I use
I’ve been using Adobe products since college, and now with Adobe Express everything is so easy! I use it for everything, I create the art for my emails, I use it to post on social media, I create packaging in the app, and I remove backgrounds for product pictures. It really is a huge part of my business — Adobe Express genuinely makes everything so easy and accessible.
I am inspired by people around me who are following their dreams, and trying to live their lives in a way that is authentic to them.
Why it’s so important to have female representation
It’s helpful in building a community, and it inspires others who see themselves in us to start their own businesses.
“We all bring our own experiences to the way we grow our brands and businesses, so opening doors to more people allows those who identify with us and our values to support those with whom they align.”
What’s coming up next
I’m very excited for the future of El Cholo’s Kid. We are in the process of opening our first retail store (details tbd!), and there are a lot of partnerships on the way. It’s been a rough year for ecommerce in general, but I’m excited for the future of my brand.
Mallory Rowan | Director at Seyer Group, Founder of Sellonsocial
Based in: Ottawa, Canada
I love that I get to give people the courage, permission, and tactical know-how to make even the smallest of changes in their life to enjoy it more every day. Nothing makes me happier than receiving a message from someone who has made a change because of me... and if it’s starting their own business or taking control of their finances, even better!
From a back-end perspective, I love the flexibility my business provides. I’ve always been someone excited by change and allowing myself to build that into my business has been so freeing. I’ve essentially built my business in a way that it’s okay when I get bored of something in it instead of feeling guilty for not finding my “one thing”. To know each year may look entirely different from the last is such a fun feeling for me.
Tips, tricks and tools of the trade
I use Adobe Acrobat to handle my contracts as a creator and business coach, and to collect feedback from my team when I have multiple voices required for a project.
As a creator, [the collaboration] is such a helpful way to provide comments back to the brand in a professional manner that keeps us on the same page, and I love that you don’t have to have an Acrobat account to view the comments or make your own. It’s been my go-to method for signing contracts on the go to keep my projects moving forward!
I get my inspo from...
Anyone who isn’t afraid to do things differently. Lately especially I’ve found myself inspired by those who are able and willing to shut off the noise of what’s traditionally expected of them and decide to approach it on their own terms instead.
I really believe this is the year of Barbie and I love seeing any women doing what they do best, on their own terms!
Why female representation is so important
"When you don’t see yourself in spaces, it automatically adds a massive hurdle to getting started.Seeing representation of any kind (queer, Indigenous, disabled, Black, any minority or marginalized group) helps inspire current and future generations to know that they do belong in these spaces."
I believe women are absolutely incredible leaders. We talk about a woman’s intuition, and I really do believe women have so much to bring to the table in business. From innovations in product design to choosing to run their workplaces in a new way, we all benefit when we have diverse voices leading us.
An unlikely path
I never thought I’d be an entrepreneur because I didn’t see examples like me. I didn’t have a drastically new, innovative product idea, and I didn’t have any clue how to get started. But I took it one step at a time and I was able to get to where I am today: an entrepreneur for nearly 9 years, self-employed full time for 7 years, a real estate investor, content creator with a community of 120,000+, and a $1M net worth before my 30th birthday. If you know in your gut you want to give business a go, there’s no turning back. You’ve got this!
JeeIn Youn | Co-Founder of The Girls’ Club
Based In: Chicago, IL
Being able to engage with my followers has been one of the things that I love most. Social media allows you to reach and engage with all kinds of people around the world - that’s what I love the most about being in the social media space. The opportunities that have come as a result of the work that I do, I’ll never take for granted. I’ve connected with one of the brightest Ivy-league students wanting to break into top tier firms. I got to do a practice case interview with him. But I’ve also connected with a student from South America who had never heard of “LinkedIn” before. I got to teach her how to create a LinkedIn profile. I love how I can connect and empathize with such diverse people through my social media presence. It really broadens my perspective about life
Tools to run my business
Adobe Acrobat is the backbone of how I run my content business (mainly, ad partnerships). My two favorite uses are:
- The E-Signature tool allows me to easily, digitally sign my contracts (even on the go!)
- The Comments tool allows me to efficiently co-work with my brand partners on various documents that need feedback from both ends.
I get inspiration from...
My little sister, JeeMin. She has been my cheerleader since day one, and has always been the very first one to “like” and “comment” on every single one of my TikTok videos. She was the one who told me to “keep going” when I thought my content wasn’t “good enough” or wasn’t “worth it”. She teaches me how to support and celebrate other people’s successes as if they were your own.
Why female representation is so important
It’s important that we, as women, keep showing up so that we can collectively change that stereotype/narrative. Half of the startups in the U.S. are founded by women; yet only 2 percent of venture capital funding in the U.S. is allocated to women founders.
Is there anything specific you want readers to know about you or your business?
I have many people reaching out and asking how to become a content creator: the first question I always get asked is, “Why do you want to become a content creator?” A lot of people don’t have a good answer to that question. I’ve found that those that are genuinely wanting to share their passions will become successful. For anyone who is interested in content creation, I’d tell them to be crystal clear on their “why” — and to discover a “why” that is rooted in impact on others (not themselves).
“If your reason for wanting to become a content creator is self-serving (like you want followers or to make a lot of money from brand deals), you’re not going to make it, long-term.”
Small business owners play many roles and wear multiple hats running their brands. The competitive landscape is crowded — and ever-evolving. Adobe Express helps business owners and creators save time, money, and creative energy. Using the best available AI image generators powered by Firefly, Adobe’s new visual AI, Express makes it fast, easy and fun for anyone at any skill level to design and share standout social content, compelling videos, visually stunning PDFs, digital cards and flyers, engaging book reports and resumes, and more.
Mallory Smith | Owner and Creator of Shop Mal Creates
Based in: Lexington, South Carolina
I love how much my business has evolved! My art grows and improves every single day and along with it, my business gets bigger and more complicated. I've done a lot of fun things that I had no clue this business would lead to, so I'm really grateful for that.
Tech tools I can’t live without
I use Adobe Express for my business marketing — and I use it for every single email blast, when I need to create and post a graphic about a restock, and for my work on Patreon.
I get inspiration from...
Other artists! There are so many people in my community who are doing incredible things. It's hard to watch them and NOT be inspired to make my art the best it can be.
Why female representation is so important
“One of the most powerful sources of inspiration is to see someone who is like you doing big things. That shows young girls and other women that it's possible and you should absolutely go after what you want. That's why we should all be proud of who we are! You never know who is watching and needs that little push to do what they're passionate about.”
Community plays a huge role in my business - along with every other small business. A business doesn't grow without people to support them and I've always been extremely grateful to the people who support me. I'm a one woman show, so sometimes it can get lonely. I spend a lot of time alone in my office working. The main thing that makes me feel less isolated is going on social media and chatting with other artists and people who enjoy my work. It makes a huge difference to have people who understand!
Miranda Wong | Owner of Mando's Bake Shop
Based in: San Francisco Bay Area
What brings me joy
I love that through my business I can touch people’s lives with my art. In all corners of the world, there are people that have my work hung up on their walls, hanging on their keys, and just a part of their everyday life in some way. It’s so cool to connect with people and build a community of sorts without ever having met. And because I donate a portion of proceeds generated from my business, I also love that it allows me to both share my work and do more good in the world beyond a materialistic purpose.
The tools that make it possible
I use both Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Express for creating art as well as simplifying my design process. Adobe Express especially comes in handy when I’m designing new products or packaging materials or looking for design inspiration.
Inspired by other’s success
I’m very inspired by creatives and artists that have made names for themselves. Two artists in particular that really inspire me are Tiffany Tan (also known as Apple Cheeks) and the musical artist and singer, Laufey.
Tiffany is incredibly talented and innovative in both her work and running her business. She’s imparted so much wisdom and perspective on being a creative through her YouTube and social media. She truly inspires me to be creatively brave in this line of work and reminds me to reflect on why I do what I do.
Laufey, despite not being in the same creative field as me, inspires me in a broader, personal sense. I’m inspired by the way she carries herself and expresses herself so openly and sincerely, how courageous and inventive she is in her music, and how passionately she believes in her larger mission of bringing jazz and classical music to a new generation. She reminds me to not put limits on my own creative exploration and to be who I am in my work even if it might not be expected or conventional.
It’s so powerful. This representation is so important as it brings more diverse experiences and perspectives to the table and can affirm young people, like myself, with similar attitudes and contexts, that they deserve to be here and can become who they want to be.
“Seeing female figures running their own business or building their dream career empowers me to create the future I want for myself.”
I’m still figuring things out as I go. That’s kind of the fun thing about running your own business and putting your work out into the world; you’re always going to be learning what works and what doesn’t. It’s a vulnerable and scary thing sometimes, but there is hope in the unknown and it’s exciting to be the one to figure things out. That’s how you make your business or work uniquely yours. I wouldn’t be here, sharing my thoughts and learnings, without community. I owe everything that I’ve accomplished so far to the people in my real life and online who have supported me in my work. Community builds people up to do their best work and be their best selves and it’s a magical thing to feel connected to people who love and support you.