Meet the Women Defining Wallet Feminism
March 18, 2019
Dough Co-Founders Anna and Vanessa are revolutionizing your wallet power. Dough makes it easy to support women by shifting your purchasing power towards women owned businesses. Obviously, we’re obsessed with the vision and wanted to know more about the entrepreneurs behind this venture rooted in such an important mission.
In this feature, Co-Founders Anna and Vanessa share their early careers, inspiration for founding Dough, and advice for your early career.
Q: After graduating college, how did you launch your career? What field did you enter?
Vanessa: After graduating at the height of the recession with 130K in student debt I had a choice to make: work or attend a masters program at Pratt in NYC. After sending out a few resumes for entry level graphic design positions, I was lucky to get an interview at a travel company. During the interview it was a requirement I knew how to create flash animations, which I didn’t. I was determined to get the job so I went home and designed a website in flash that night. The next day, I sent my animations to the team and was hired immediately. From there I had a mindset to always be curious and learn. I soon jumped to the agency side where my work expanded to UX (user experience) and the brand side of design. Eventually I explored the strategy of how each section of a business operates together. Soon after, I joined the start-up world and never looked back.
Anna: I had started working in politics my senior year of high school and had continued managing campaigns throughout college. I always thought I would go the politics route and had applied to Harvard Law with that expectation. However, I quickly realized that the part I loved about campaigning was organizing people around a mission and the aspirational idea of creating change. Instead of pursuing corporate law, I found myself drawn to the startup world where you could create a company that could both impact individuals and have an impact on the world. I was fortunate enough to launch my first company right out of law school and have been passionate about the intersection of profit and purpose ever since.
On founding Dough
Q: What sparked the idea for Dough?
Anna: I had previously started X-Factor Ventures, a female founded venture fund to back women entrepreneurs. During this time I was getting increasingly more frustrated by the number of women who had incredible ideas and great businesses but were told they needed more traction before they could get funding, even though they were raising specifically to get the funds to grow their companies.
Vanessa: Anna and I were catching up over coffee one day, talking through her experiences fundraising and my experiences being the only woman on tech teams. Coffee turned into late night texts about articles surrounding the issues women face in business. These conversations led us to decide that this was a problem we wanted to tackle.
Anna: We both knew the power of cause based commerce from our experiences working together on my last company. These past experiences helped us realize that we could unite the wallet power of women through Dough.
Q: How do you see Dough trailblazing the e-commerce industry?
If every woman in the US spent $20 a month at a woman owned business we’d drive over two billion dollars towards female led companies, every month. With Dough, we’re making it easy to discover and shop from awe-inspiring women. By driving dollars to women owned businesses, we’re using our wallets to give women the dough they deserve.
Q: What is your current progress with Dough and what are you most excited for in the future?
We’ve built an ever growing collective of women owned businesses which can be discovered via our website today and feature founders and their products on our Instagram daily. We’re currently in hustle mode and are baking up some top secret things launching later this Spring. We just doubled our team, moved into our new office, and are excited to share what’s to come.
Q: What is your advice to aspiring businesswomen launching their careers?
Vanessa: Always be curious and be on a never ending journey to learn simultaneously. Be kind and be yourself.
Anna: Don’t wait until you have all the answers to jump in. A significant amount of launching a career (or a company) is just figuring things out and building as you go.
What did you think? Let’s chat. Comment below!
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