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Newsletter 6.6.19

Not knowing the answer is something we all struggle with, whether it be claiming an opportunity for yourself or choosing an outfit in the morning. In order to find the answer, I've looked up to the many women before me who have done things a little differently or pivoted to something new when they've decided they reached their full potential in one domain. This week's newsletter features stories, interviews, and commentary on how women occupy many different domains in which uncertainty is the norm and being "hard core" often means claiming a stronger personality to make things happen for you instead of waiting for the right moment.

Happy reading,
Maya Frai, Founder of Let's Hear It

The latest news on women.
The Crazy, True Story Behind the Pinky Ring Loved by Nicole Kidman, Michelle Obama and Serena Williams
“Shilpa Yarlagadda was in the middle of figuring out how to launch a fine jewelry business during her freshman year at Harvard when she learned that MIT had better 3-D printers. Yarlagadda’s ambition was to start a company capable of funding other businesses led by women. Reading online that fine jewelry is typically marked up several times the cost of production was her light-bulb moment; if she went direct-to-consumer, she reasoned, she could take half the profits to fund other companies.” WSJ Mag, June 6, 2019
Female-founded Unicorns Are Being Born At An Unprecedented Rate In 2019, Data Shows
“The first female-founded company to gain unicorn status this year was FabFitFun, which sells lifestyle subscription boxes to women. We caught up with the founder, Katie Rosen Kitchens, who has advice for fellow companies on this list: partner with other women. When we do look at the landscape, and categories and fashion, which are obviously female consumer driven, who’s running those businesses today?” she said. “The majority are still older white men.”" Crunchbase, June 5, 2019
For U.S. Women, a Rare Question Mark Comes With a Ready Answer
“'When she steps over the line, she takes on the personality of one of the top goalkeepers in the world,” Dambach said. “You can see the fire in her belly. You can see the fire in her eyes. She becomes that winner that you know is inside her.' Whether the rest of the world sees it, too, will be one of the crucial questions for the United States women’s soccer team as it prepares to defend its World Cup title this month in France.NYTimes, June 5, 2019
Publication features on women and their careers. 
Madonna at Sixty: On Aging, Inspiration, and Refusal to Cede Control

“It’s good to be strong, but again, it’s always about, where’s that strength coming from? What are your intentions? What is the context that you’re using your strength in? Are you abusing your power? Women can also abuse their power. And if that’s also backed up by a lack of intelligence, emotional or intellectual, a lack of life experience, a lack of compassion, then it’s really a bad mixture.”

In the latest long-form feature, the NYTimes interviews the woman who invented pop music. Madonna brings up how she balanced grand influence with concealing her personal life and maintaining her personal hard-core brand while staying grounded through raising a family and philanthropic efforts. NYTimes, May 26, 2019
Mindy Kaling in Full Bloom

“I used to think it was more unfair, but now I realize it’s just what my job is. We are supposed to be and enjoy being the pioneers.” “We” means Kaling and her friend Ava DuVernay. Kaling has been inspired by DuVernay’s work in supporting other black creators. Kaling also worries that things haven’t changed as much as we want to think. “In terms of directors, we still haven’t seen that diversity,” she says. Furthermore, “I doubt anyone asks white men what they are doing for diversity on-screen.”

Kaling, the show-runner, writer, and actor has managed to do more than just survive in the entertainment business—she has thrived, and in one of its most fickle and competitive corners: comedy. Vanity Fair, May 30, 2019
Op-eds and letters on advice, experiences, and inspiration.

Today, even though brands are making more of an effort to appeal to men, women are still the biggest consumers of clothing, with the sales of womenswear valued at $642.8 billion in 2017 versus menswear, which was valued at $419.4 billion. As more women enter the workplace than ever, startups have been developing solutions to reduce the amount of time and money they spend shopping for work clothes.

Elizabeth Segran, "We asked two of our female editors to wear the same thing every day" –– FastCompany

It wasn’t until last year, after expanding into retail, that we decided to raise a series B round of funding. Raising money is never easy. Just 0.2 percent of companies raise venture-capital funding, and just 2.2 percent of those are female-founded companies. But the truth is, it was easier to raise $23 million—seven months pregnant with twins—than it was to raise the first $1 million seed round just three years earlier.

Noura Sakkijha, "I Raised $23 Million While Seven Months Pregnant—Here’s What I Learned" –– Glamour

The LHI Newsletter is sent straight to your inbox every Friday morning. 

Have a wonderful weekend.

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