The Exciting Growth of Women-Owned Businesses in Austin

It’s no secret that women are taking over the business world. Reports say that Texas has seen the number of women-owned businesses increase by more than 116 percent between 1997 and 2015. Texas alone has the second-best performance of any state in the nation in that time period. Women are continuing to succeed by showing the world their authentic, creative and wonderfully unique selves; especially in the Austin area. This is why Austin ranked 14th in the number of women business owners in 2016. In Austin alone, which has experienced an enormous business boom in the last few decades, you can see that many women-owned businesses are not only growing, but accomplishing substantial success.

Women are powerful. They are divine. They are warriors! Here are some prime examples of successful women-owned businesses to reaffirm the belief that women-owned businesses are increasing in a substantial force that can’t and won’t be stopped. Check out some of the women-owned businesses that have left their mark in Austin:

1. Kendra Scott Design 

Kendra Scott is a prominent accessories designer and CEO of Kendra Scott Design of Kendra Scott Design who started her now multimillion-dollar company with just $500 in 2002, making jewelry out of a spare bedroom in her home. She sold her jewelry to local stores and opened her first store in 2010 in Austin. Now, her jewelry is available in over 800 stores internationally. Her brand continues to live and breathes its core values: family, fashion, and philanthropy. This attitude is what drives her and Scott says that her eCommerce business ships more product in Austin than anywhere else.

2. TOPS/Nature’s Treasures 

A life full of adventures and a multitude of careers and moves later, Karen Richards started Texas Office Products and Supply (TOPS) in 1996 with a credit card. She began buying boxes of leftover supplies from downsizing companies and slightly used office furniture at State of Texas liquidation sales. Now, the company buys truckloads of extra office supplies from distribution companies and reselling them to the public at a discounted price. An offshoot company was born from TOPS, “Props by TOPS,” which sells and rents scenic properties to move production companies. Though successful and gaining some fame (the infamous red stapler from Office Space came from her company), this wasn’t Karen Richards’ most exciting entrepreneurial adventure.

Nature’s Treasures began as a part-time gig in San Diego, where Richards sold jewelry. Now, Nature’s Treasures is a super-cool, one-stop Rock, Mineral, Fossil & Metaphysical store in central Austin. You can find unique natural stone jewelry, original gifts and home/office decor there. Due to her life-long entrepreneurial success and multitude of careers, Karen Richards is routinely listed among the area’s most successful women-owned businesses.

3. GTS Technology Solutions 

(Formerly known as ARC Government Solutions and Austin Ribbon & Computer Supplies, Inc.)

After a career of working in the Texas State Capitol in Austin working under State Representative and later Speaker of the House, Tom Craddick, Laura Grant stepped in as GTS Technology Solutions’s owner and Chief Executive Officer only in the last few years. The company, which opened in 1984, provides a full range of technology solutions, services, and staffing to support customers’ IT needs. After diving in as owner, Laura Grant worked on rebranding the company, which has been the technology partner of choice to government, education, and private entities. The new leadership and ownership under Grant has continued down the route for success, as the company reported revenue of $110 million in the fiscal year of 2014.  

4. Moreland Properties, Inc. 

Emily Moreland started Moreland Properties, a highly successful real estate company, in 1986. Her top priority both then and now, is to provide the support her agents and their clients need. A true warrior, Emily still finds the time and energy to give back and is very involved in the community. After 8 years in the real estate field, she decided to dive in at a time when owning this type of business was basically a “man’s game.” She wanted a company, she states, that “built relationships, gave back to the community and loved the Austin area as much as she does!”

These are all prime examples of why the Austin Chamber of Commerce says that over 20% of its businesses are now women-owned firms. Here are some other examples of women who are making great strides and following in the footsteps of these leading business pioneers. In a competitive business environment, you truly need a product, service, or brand that stands out from the crowd. Korey Howell knows how exciting it is for women-owned businesses in this area to introduce themselves to the world because Korey Howell Photography is Austin’s leader in corporate headshots.

Need something that enhances your brand and sets yourself apart from the crowd? Book an appointment today for a photography session OR introduce yourself to the world with a This Is Me video!

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