Rebecca Smith, Founder and CEO of Rebecca Ray Designs, incorporates her love of sportsmanship into her luxury leather handbags, accessories and home decor products. Rebecca Ray Designs products are made in America by skilled craftsmen, and reflect Rebecca's love of the vintage feel of America in the early 20th century.
Rebecca began her career as a handbag and accessory designer quite by accident. After a very fulfilling career in the non-profit world, she was looking for something as an artistic outlet. Rebecca holds a Master's in Education but she was always an artist at heart! She is a collector and loves to forage and create. On a whim, she started using her own antique collections of textiles, jewelry and images to create handbags that were as much art as they were utilitarian. When people started trying to buy the handbags right off her arms while she was grocery shopping, she realized she might be on to something. Rebecca’s husband, Derek, encouraged her to pursue the notion of turning the artistic process into a company. She decided to enter a women's entrepreneurial product contest in the magazine Country Living, and her designs were selected as a winner. At that point, she realized that she needed to turn the bag designs into a real company.
Rebecca found that Rebecca Ray Designs allowed her to embrace all the artistic things she loved to do. She named the company Rebecca Ray, as R.A.Y. are her maiden initials and they spell out her father’s name. He has always encouraged both Rebecca and her brother to create and own their own companies, which they have both done. Rebecca never anticipated her small cottage industry would become so large and well branded throughout the country, available in over 300 fine retail locations.
Being a woman and a mother herself, it was always a goal of Rebecca’s to employ like-minded women. According to Rebecca “I have always found that women working for women understand each other - it is like an unspoken mantra. By the very nature of what we do everyday, women have to be multi-taskers who above all else, get the job done. I think that women bring a can-do, cooperative ability to the workplace that is often driven by the concept that things just have to get done and we ask questions - often challenging and changing age-old paradigms in the process.”
Cleave Biosciences, whose CEO is Dr. Laura Shawver, raised $10 million in Series A financing from new investor New Enterprise Associates (NEA), bringing its Series A total to $54 million. Read more in the company press release. Watch Laura talk about women in biotech.
By Taylor Soper from geekwire.com
"Katriona Guthrie-Honea had a great idea. Last year, as a freshman at Ingraham High School in Seattle, she taught herself enough biology to make a molecular model of a gene-specific biosensor — yes, as a 15-year-old. More than 300 hours of work led the teen-whiz to the grand prize at 2012 NWABR biotech expo. (Then she had)... another great idea: Create the city’s first biotech hackerspace — a community space for anyone to test out their scientific endeavors." Read more about the amazing Katriona and her project which needs funding on geekwire.com.
The Women's Venture Capital Fund (WVCF) appointed Beth Horowitz, Michelle Lantow (pictured left) and Susan Sigl to its Board of Advisors. Beth is a Board Member of HSBC Bank Canada and the former CEO of Amex Bank of Canada. Michelle is Chief Administrative Officer for New Seasons Market and was formerly GAP’s VP of Finance. Susan is President and CEO of the Washington Technology Industry Association.
The Women Venture Capital Fund recently invested in Proxio, Inc., the international multiple listing service and global real estate network co-founded by Janet Case (pictured right) who is also the company's CEO. The Women's Venture Capital Fund participated in the company’s $4M Series A funding and joined Proxio’s Board of Directors. See prweb press release.