Marah Lidey and Naomi Hirabayashi: She’s Shining

August 31 - On The Dot
FIRST THOUGHT: Fighting Through It

Ladies, have you caught that awesome new Netflix show Glow? In this totally binge-worthy series, a dozen or so women in 1980s Los Angeles get involved in a glitter- and spandex-fueled women’s wrestling show. The two main characters must work through some serious best-friend baggage along the way. Betrayal, entitlement and narcissism are just a few of the hurdles these women face. And just like those wicked grappling chicks, those of us holding down jobs (even if they’re not of the body-slamming variety) occasionally have to work through some serious BS. Sure, it may not involve neon-colored, 6-inch-high hair, but once you push—heck, even force—through, you’ll totally feel like a goddess fighter, strong enough to take on more challenging matches in the future.


Women aren’t exactly strangers when it comes to dealing with petty comments and discrimination in the workplace. At On The Dot, we’ve featured some powerful, smart women who are kicking some serious butt. And with regard to minority women in business, time has proven they’re definitely on the rise. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership, in 2002, there weren’t even 1 million minority-women-owned businesses in the U.S. But by 2012, that number had grown by an amazing 315 percent to nearly 4 million.

WOMEN TO WATCH: Marah Lidey and Naomi Hirabayashi, Co-founders of Shine

While good gal pals can often turn any frown upside down, they can’t be there for you 24 hours a day. That’s why I’m a fan of Shine, a super-cool, free messaging product that sends you a daily positive text message to help get you through the day. Marah Lidey and Naomi Hirabayashi are the clever women behind this uplifting business, and they’re dedicated to inspiring women to live the good life.

While seemingly simple, Shine is reinventing how women tap into and improve their well-being, employing motivational quotes, research-backed articles and tidbits of encouragement to totally kick-start your morning. And it’s an absolute hit! In fact, when asked whether Shine enhances their daily happiness, 93 percent of users enthusiastically roared, “Yes!”

The motivation to start Shine began with, well, motivation. Marah and Naomi, whose tight-knit friendship and support of each other helped them through some difficult work struggles and self-doubt, decided others undoubtedly needed that kind of support too, so they created the concept for a wellness startup that would make a real and positive impact and elevate important conversations about living intentionally and being your best self.

Since its launch nearly two years ago, these goodhearted gals have boosted the confidence of more than half a million people in 165 countries, and gained funding to the tune of $2.5 million. Users are often 20- to 45-year-old working professionals who are looking for a little extra support to build their confidence and enable their skills to shine.

It’s fair to say that, given their career history, Marah and Naomi were somewhat destined to create such a soul-enhancing biz. They both previously worked for social-good nonprofit, with Naomi expertly creating social-media marketing for accounts like Toms and Estée Lauder for Breast Cancer Awareness, while Marah focused on mobile products and messaging for the nonprofit.

Marah and Naomi say boldness proves essential to success, whether it’s when making decisions or taking risks at work, or sticking up for what you believe in. Sticking to their convictions and working with a commitment to deep positivity has definitely led to Marah and Naomi’s success, and a whole lot more confident women in the world. Shine on, ladies!


Today, take this quote from Lady Gaga to heart:

“Do not allow people to dim your shine because they are blinded. Tell them to put on some sunglasses.”

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.

To learn more about our conversation, check us out at and talk to us @OnTheDotWoman on Twitter and Instagram. We’d love to hear your voice.

Headshot photo by Kim Li

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