Whether signing their signature on major deals or developing innovative business practices, these women are the embodiment of power, substance and finesse. Want to know what it takes to rock a small business, corporation, or multimillion-dollar enterprise? Check out these fabulously savvy black business women who rock.
For Natalia Allen, sustainable fashion is not a trend. In fact, it’s a passion that she turned into a highly profitable business having been tapped by Calvin Klein, Donna Karen, and Quicksilver. Allen’s Design Futurist, a product and design consultancy, creates, designs, and produces environmentally friendly materials using nontoxic production methods.
In a matter of six years, Leah Brown’s A10 Clinical Solutions has experienced radical growth, generating $8.3 million in revenue last year. The drug company performs clinical trials for drug manufacturers. Brown started the company after she lost on uncle to AIDS. Since its launch, Brown has also begun setting up medical walk-in facilities at commuter destinations.
Don Coleman may have built Global Hue from the ground up, taking it to No. 1 on the BE Advertising Agencies list with $483.5 million in billings. But his daughter, Kelli, is poised to take the firm to new heights with an eye for innovation and penchant for growth. She serves as president of Cutting Edge Productions, a broadcast production house under the Global Hue corporate umbrella.
A Website developer, online marketing aficionado and founder of Sistasense.com, a site geared to young women, and MYBBWO.com, a community site for black female entrepreneurs, Henry is a digital Jane-of-all trades. Her online community, My Black Business Woman, boasts 7,000 black female entrepreneurs and aspiring entrepreneurs.
With an eye for fashion, Monique Peanhas made a name for herself creating fine jewelry inspired by indigenous cultures that is socially and environmentally conscious. Her line, Monique Pean Fine Jewelry, was among a handful of elite designers to win a 2009 Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA)/Vogue Fashion Fund (CVFF) award. Her designs have been worn by First Lady Michelle Obama and other celebrities.
Being a single, teenaged mother was not enough to stop Sirena Moore from becoming a successful business woman. Moore took the helm of Elohim Cleaning Contractors Inc., a full-service construction cleaning firm. She grew the company into a multimillion-dollar enterprise, and it continues to thrive, now inking government contracts in addition to private-sector deals.
She describes herself as “Downtown’s Sweetheart.” But she has quickly transcended New York City’s Lower East Side arts scene, becoming a tastemaker, music video director, and designer. In September, Kola became the first female to design sneakers for the Jordan Brand line of footwear. She also flexes her muscle in the director’s seat having created videos for music artists Solange, Kid Cudi, Jadakiss and Justin Bieber.