Los Angeles Women Entrepreneurs, Part I

There’s no question that women’s entrepreneurship has hit a tipping point in recent years. Today, women lead one in five startups around the globe.

What’s behind the surge? Largely organizations committed to offering women ongoing inspiration and support to help them achieve their goals, like Lean In and Levo League, both founded by Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer at Facebook.

Several of these women are based right here in Los Angeles, the home-base for Darling Magazine, so we wanted to take a peek into the life of these Achievers and glean advice from their journey. These entrepreneurs represent the spectrum of micro to high growth — including media professionals, stylists, and everything in between — all making critical economic contributions by following their dreams with passion, perseverance, and grit.

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Kerry Benjamin has excelled at closing multimillion dollar accounts with Fortune 500 companies and national retail chains, including Gap, Macy’s, Williams Sonoma and more. She was one of the first 10 employees on Microsoft’s MSN Retail Vertical and helped grow the division to a highly profitable business unit. Kerry loved working in business, but she was also always passionate about skincare.

She took her business skills from her former career and applied them to her true passion – helping people feel and look their very best. Today she is an esthetician and skincare expert based in Los Angeles who is renowned for transforming troubled skin. Having struggled with eczema her entire life, Kerry now personally funds research and awareness about skin conditions and holds advanced certifications from PCA, Envy Medical and Mesoesthetics, as well as the International Dermal Institute.

Kerry develops individually tailored skincare regimens for her clients including many of Hollywood’s top celebrities. She is also known for her signature treatment called The Celebrity Glow which she performs exclusively at Spa Benjamin, her private location in Santa Monica.

Kerry’s Career Advice:

  • Don’t question how you will be successful. Just do something every day to move your idea forward and it will happen.
  • There is no trying, only doing. We learn from our success and failures.

Favorite Quote:
“The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity.” –Amelia Earhart

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Passionate about beauty from a young age, Linda Luu first worked as an apprentice in her mother’s salon and eventually trained professionally as an esthetician in Southern California.

She is known for her precise eyelash technique that places her in a league of her own. She founded Los Angeles’ Luxe Flair Lashes in 2004, where she quickly gained reputation as lash-guru to the elite. Linda’s passion and commitment to every client delivers extraordinary precision and technique that complements their physical attributes and lifestyle.

She also contributes to the Vanir Foundation and a non-profit organization in Lima, Peru helping schools in underserved communities dedicated to promoting math, science, language arts and engineering.

Linda’s Career Advice:

  • Stay true to your passion.
  • Keep the focus on what the client needs most.

Favorite Quote:
“If you can dream it, you can do it.” –Walt Disney

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Originally from New Mexico Roberta Inez is one of Hollywood’s top celebrity hairstylists and makeup artists. She began her career with Redken, and shortly after joining the team was asked by renowned artist Kaz Amor to work for him in Los Angeles, where she studied at Warren Tricommi Salon on Melrose.

Before long Roberta was styling for music videos, television shows, and working directly for an elite clientele. She even traveled with Britney Spears on her 2008 tour across America and abroad. Roberta is passionate about giving back and volunteers for children’s causes all across Los Angeles.

Roberta’s Career Advice:

  • Believe in yourself and the vision you see for yourself. Then, execute it. It takes a lot of dedication but when you’re tired, don’t give up. When you’re fearful, push harder. When you’re weak, stand strong!
  • I learned to watch my mentors in the beauty industry. It always comes back to hard work and to never stop executing your ideas. What has helped me is to take pictures, put notes by them, and write ideas down. This way you have a guideline to go by.

Favorite Quote:
“Si se puede (It can be done).” –Cesar Chavez

Stay tuned for another round of women entrepreneurs, coming up soon!

Images courtesy of the respective women featured.

POST TAGS:

Beth is an author, speaker and the founder of Raintees – the apparel collection that plants a tree in an endangered forest for every item sold. She has spoken at TEDx, The United Nations, universities across the globe and companies like Google. Yasamin is a social media and public relations advisor who helps non-profits, businesses, entrepreneurs, and executives with all phases of their digital media strategic planning as well as implementation. Beitollahi co-created the 'Twitter Powerhouses Series' which debuted in January 2010.

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