What we lack in a female commander in chief, we begin to make up for in female presidents, founders, and CEOs. Since Black History Month and President’s Day happen to fall in the same month, we have compiled a list of female, African-American CEOs making waves in the business world that you need to know.
1. Beatrice Dixon
Founder and CEO: The Honey Pot Company
Beatrice Dixon founded the world’s first plant-based feminine care system with a $21,000 loan and a homemade wash. Today, Beatrice’s products are widely used and can be found in Target, Walmart, Walgreens, and more. In an interview with The Helm, the founder says one thing she learned as a CEO: “I know that anything I put my mind to, I can do. Hands down.”
2. Chari Cuthbert
Founder and CEO: BYCHARI
Sustainably and uniquely made, BYCHARI was founded by Chari Cuthbert with the intention of bringing her style to life through jewelry. With a feature on Elle’s “25 Jewlery Brands to Bookmark on Instagram”, Chari has been able to make a name for herself in the luxury fashion world while making a point to support local small businesses along the way.
3. Jennifer Martin
Founder and CEO: Pipsnacks
Who doesn’t love a simple and natural snack? Jennifer Martin and her brother started Pipsnacks in 2012 with $3,000 in their bank account. Since then, they have received funding from Shark Tank, landed a deal with Whole Foods, and earned their spot on Oprah’s list of favorite things. Jennifer and her team have been providing these thoughtfully created snacks to the world since 2012.
4. Jerrilynn B. Thomas
Founder: Smart Women Partner & Grow Rich
From the start of her career, Jerrilynn Thomas has been committed to connecting and empowering businesswomen. She wrote a newsletter, “Savvy Female Entrepreneur,” and created a networking site, “The Business Diva Network,” before she found her path to Smart Women Partner & Grow Rich, a company that facilitates collaborative partnerships between businesswomen on Linkedin.
5. Karen Jones
President and CEO: Chocolate Chip Association
With a passion for education and service, Karen Jones created the Chocolate Chip Association to support and inspire young girls. Throughout her life, Karen has been volunteering when she could, pursuing an education, and supporting others. With the Chocolate Chip Association, she is able to do all of that for a younger generation.
6. Kilee Hughes
Founder: Six One Agency
Named one of the most powerful Black women in fashion by Hello Beautiful in 2014, Kilee Hughes has made a name for herself in the business world. Not only is she a boss in the PR and brand strategy universe, but she is also an expert in international markets.
7. KJ Miller & Amanda Johnson
Founder and CEO: Mented Cosmetics
With the slogan “Pigment is our Passion,” KJ Miller and Amanda Johnson serve as Founders and CEOs to their vegan, cruelty-free beauty line of non-toxic lipsticks targeted toward women of color. With a background in business from Harvard, these two boss women took their frustration of never being able to find the right product and created an inclusive cosmetics brand themselves.
8. Kyla Wright
Founder: The K’Luxe Experience
More than a cruelty-free, vegan makeup line, The K’Luxe Experience is an entire community in which founder, Kyla Wright, is wholly involved. Kyla transformed her company into a socially-driven endeavor, founding the K’Luxe Scholarship for women of color in the business and cosmetology fields.
9. Lesley Thronton
Founder: Klur Cosmetics
With the vision of “clean, ethical, and inclusive beauty,” Lesley Thronton created Klur. Recently, Lesley was featured in an article in Vogue regarding the success of her brand and her passion for giving back to the Black community during the 2020 holiday season.
10. Nancy Twine
Founder and CEO: Brigeo
Founder and CEO of an eco-friendly hair care company, Nancy Twine has made history as the youngest African American woman to launch a product line at Sephora. She spent the first seven years of her career in finance, but eventually re-discovered her love for eco-friendly, quality beauty products. To top it all off, only four years after her company’s launch, Brigeo made $10 million in annual revenue sales.
11. Precious L. Williams
Founder and CEO: Perfect Pitches
Thirteen-time national elevator pitch champion, Precious L. Williams created Perfect Pitches with the mission to help women perfect their pitches for their brands, businesses, and/or products. Women are powerful and should feel empowered. That is exactly what Precious has done through training with Fortune 100 companies, and she continues to do so through her company.
12. Shontay Lundy
Founder and CEO: Black Girl Sunscreen
The oldest of six kids, Shontay Lundy has never been afraid to lead. She founded Black Girl Sunscreen in 2016 and, within 4 years, became a self-made millionaire. With an emphasis on education, Shontay has made it her mission “to start and continue the conversation for brown and Black women on sun safety with a product they could actually use.”
Read about these amazing women and more female CEOs on Girls Nite Live’s Instagram.