About a year ago, I purchased perhaps the softest shirt ever known to woman. Surely, it was crafted by my own fairy godmother. Every other scratchy blouse pales in comparison. That’s when I made a vow to only purchase plush, functional products because if a 6-month-old’s bib is cuddlier than my PJs, we have a problem. What hard-and-fast rules do you usually obey when it comes to fashion? No white after Labor Day? Sequins on New Year’s Eve? Vintage for life? Whatever your style, today, wear whatever makes you feel good.
WOMEN IN NUMBERS: 75 Percent
For some women, how we choose what to buy—whether it’s fashion, food or everyday products—might be ruled by whether a company employs ethically sourced components. For others, it might be all about choosing altruistic brands. When it comes to millennial women, they’re more likely to remain loyal to a brand if it has a philanthropic bent. According to a recent study conducted by Forbes and millennial-focused online news platform Elite Daily, 75 percent of millennials expect the brands they love to have a charitable side and give back to society. That means millennials are saying no to CEOs who make a kazillion dollars more than their employees, and no to business models that don’t include a give-back program. It all comes down to the fact that millennials value companies with values.
WOMAN TO WATCH: Andrea Weinberg, Founder and CEO of The Andi Brand
We know so many women who aren’t stingy when it comes to helping others, all while fulfilling their own boss-lady dreams. One such woman is Andrea Weinberg, creator of The Andi Brand, a functional-fashion tote-bag biz designed to support awesome humans. Andrea is the gal who knows what I’m talking about when I say function is nonnegotiable, offering an array of stylish bags that cater to “on-the-go, globetrotting health enthusiasts who refuse to sacrifice style for comfort and ease.”
After earning her master’s degree with distinction from the admirable Duke University, Andrea spent five intensive years researching and developing her virtually weightless, industrial-strength Andi bag, a super-cute patterned nylon tote that combines style with a modern-day gal’s need for functionality. I mean, what other bag can be a yoga-mat tote, purse, gym bag, backpack, beach bag and laptop case all in one? It’s pretty much more awesome than any bag you can think of. The versatility, combined with characteristics like being weatherproof and machine washable, makes this product as unique as they come. The Andi bag can even be transformed into a compact wristlet with a key ring!
Apparently, I’m not the only woman who loves this bag of tricks, as Andrea’s company raked in a six-figure revenue in its first year, and business has doubled each year after that. And considering that stat about millennial women loving brands with a charitable component, the Andi bag may just become a new millennial fave since charitable giving and social responsibility are core tenets of the brand. In fact, Andrea has donated 300 bags filled with necessities like toothpaste, soap, deodorant, notebooks and even positive affirmations to Sanctuary for Families, an organization that aids survivors of domestic violence. Additionally, Andrea works with Girl Scout Troop 6000, a unique group that’s comprised of homeless girls ages 5 to 15 in New York City, helping these scouts earn their innovation badges.
With the mantra “Be good to yourself,” Andrea says the most important attribute a female entrepreneur can have is a positive attitude. We couldn’t agree more!
QUITE THE QUOTE
Thinking of Andrea Weinberg and her goal to make the world a better place through business and philanthropy, let’s conclude today’s On The Dot with a quote from business exec and Pulitzer Prize winner Sheryl WuDunn. She said:
“Women are not the problem. They’re the solution.”
This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.
Head-shot photo by Alessandro Russino.