Christina M. Rice
She created a social wellness community for women of color.
In 2015, when Christina M. Rice was running her own PR firm in New York City--and completely burnt out--she decided to get her yoga teacher certification as a way to relax. But Rice felt out of place; she was the only black woman among the 50 students. “The feeling of being the other in a class of women who don’t look like you can be intimidating,” she says. She launched OMNoire in 2017 to highlight yoga and meditation instructors who were also women of color, and then created destination retreats with the same theme. After revenue grew by 200 percent in 2018, Rice closed her PR business and moved OMNoire to Atlanta. This year she launched OMNoire’s first six-week, virtual retreat, priced at $395, for customers who can’t afford to buy plane tickets or to take time off. --Emily Canal
Her digital health clinic has given two million women access to on-demand health care.
Kate Ryder is helping companies retain their most valuable asset: employees. New mothers who use Maven, the digital health clinic Ryder founded in 2014, are more likely to remain in the workplace, she says. The health app lets women connect with more than 1,500 health practitioners for a variety of services, including birth-control prescriptions, breast-milk shipping, and treatments for post-partum depression. Maven’s data shows that 90 percent of its users return to work on time after having a baby, compared with the national average of 57 percent. Its platform is available to individuals on a per-session basis, and also for companies and health plans looking to enrich their benefits. Snapchat’s parent company, Snap, is already on board. With more than $42 million in funding, Maven has helped more than two million people get access to health care. --Guadalupe Gonzalez
She's bringing her successful Drybar model of providing expensive beauty treatments at a reduced cost to the massage industry.
In March 2019, Alli Webb and her team opened Squeeze, a massage shop that lets patrons book and pay by way of an app, giving them a seamless experience when they arrive for their rubdown at spaces designed by the architect behind Drybar, her runaway-success hair care chain. Webb says she plans to build Squeeze, where massages cost $39 to $129, on a franchise model, "because it's really gratifying to be able to give [entrepreneurs] the keys to the kingdom.” Webb isn’t a college graduate, and that untraditional path is something she hopes will inspire other entrepreneurial women. “There are a lot of different pathways to success,” she says. On the Drybar side, Webb has been focusing on building the product line, adding a mini-brush hair straightener and a quick-dry blowout serum, among other items. Drybar products will be in more than 2,700 retail doors by 2020, including 128 Drybar shops. The company will add some 25 locations by the end of 2019. --Anna Meyer
She's brought a new inclusivity--and a raw candor--to addiction treatment.
Holly Whitaker doesn’t pull punches, especially when discussing her struggles with addiction. “Most people carry these shameful secrets,” says the recovered bulimic, pot smoker, and alcohol abuser. “I think that part of my healing was almost embracing those parts.” Admitting you have a problem is one thing. Telling the suits who are wondering about cutting a check for your startup is another. But that’s what makes Whitaker’s rehab program, Tempest, revolutionary. Rather than treating those with addiction like they’re “sick and a liability,” or imposing a toxic framework “built for upper-class white men,” she combines elements that anyone can pick up and use. For some, that might look like Kundalini yoga and breathwork; for others, it could be tapping a cognitive behavioral therapist. “There are hundreds of things we provide people,” says Whitaker, who has helped 4,000 individuals since launching her eight-week program in 2015. “It’s really a symphony.” --Jill Krasny
She makes vegan cookie dough that's safe for most consumers with food sensitivities.
When Loren Brill was 22, she learned she had Stage II cancer, and started monitoring how certain foods made her feel. Heavily processed ones zapped her energy. She was able to find healthy alternatives to most--except for her favorite baked goods. So in 2011, she began making cookie dough without ingredients like refined sugar and flour, and consumers’ growing appetites for healthier alternatives helped Sweet Loren’s take off. In 2018, Brill released a vegan, kosher, non-GMO, gluten- and nut-free version; sales boomed. That August, she discontinued her original recipe to focus on the one that the greatest number of people could enjoy. Sweet Loren’s, which is on the shelves in more than 10,000 supermarkets, booked $6.4 million in revenue last year and clocked in at No. 114 on this year’s Inc. 5000. “I can turn this negative thing that happened to me into a positive,” says Brill. “Nothing feels better than reaching millions of people and making them happy.” --Emily Canal