Women's History Month Showcase: Highlighting Women Founders & CEO's in Louisiana

Women's History Month Showcase: Highlighting Women Founders & CEO's in Louisiana

Happy Women's History Month! The month of March we are celebrating and highlighting women entrepreneurs here in Louisiana. We have reached out to women entrepreneurs across the state and hear their answers to these two questions:

What has been your experience being a women entrepreneur specifically?

Who are the women who inspire you and how do you learn from them? 

"As a woman entrepreneur, I'm here. I take up space and that space is important! I am always reminded that I can be more than any one person or society says I can be, based on limitations they ASSUME I have for being a woman! My mother, grandmother, aunts, and their friends, were key in showing me how village-mindset can be a catalyst to opening doors, minds, hearts. Having a few close women around may be all you need in your life to change its direction! 

I’ve had more women support me in my founder journey than judge me or tear me down, and I wouldn’t have been in business as long as I have now, without the women in this world who pave the way, sacrifice with me, and also those who create these AMAZING programs, giving back in so many ways.

I admire too many women to count, but the ones that stand out have always been the ones who wear multiple hats well - like PIONEER, wife, mom, sister, owner, investor - but who also just have the biggest hearts and spiritual base. From them, I’ve learned to share, love, build, press on, value myself highly, and stay true to my unique gifts. "

-Arielle Brown

Founder of Bea's Bayou Skincare @beasbayouskincare

"As a woman entrepreneur, I've encountered both challenges and opportunities unique to my gender and race. Navigating male-dominated industries has required resilience and determination, but it has also empowered me to break barriers and inspire other women to pursue their entrepreneurial dreams.

Black women in STEM have inspired me because they have overcome significant obstacles and barriers to achieve success in fields where they are often underrepresented. Their resilience, determination, and groundbreaking contributions serve as powerful examples of what can be achieved through perseverance and excellence. . Learning from their experiences and successes reminds me of the importance of persistence, authenticity, and the limitless potential of women in business."

-Lo Williams-Thomas

CEO & Founder of Zenistry Labs / STEM Unlimited Global Impact: 1st Cosmetic Lab & Manufacturer in Louisiana


“I am a 10 year full time entrepreneur, but more excitingly, I am a woman entrepreneur. The feeling is indescribable, because the journey has been nothing short of amazing. Entrepreneurship has allowed me the opportunity to literally fulfill my ultimate dream of creating a life that allows me the freedom and flexibility to do what I want, when I want, how I want. Along this journey I have crossed paths with many phenomenal women entrepreneurs who's stories align with mine, and others with greater depth that has inspired me in many ways. The future will forever be FEMALE and I’m super grateful to have been born a WOMAN!!!”

-Lauren Lewis

Founder of The Cosmetology Institute @tcinola @laurentheeducator

"My experience as a woman entrepreneur has been both adventurous and challenging. It can be difficult to find harmony in managing both the wants and needs of my personal life with the wants and needs of my business. Both are important to me so I have learned to pace myself and not allow either one to overtake the other. I am most inspired by women who have found success in being authentically themselves and have forged paths that don’t necessarily fit the norm yet work perfectly for who they are. These women have taught me that it is okay to pass on opportunities that don’t align with my mission."

Diana Davis, MBA

Founder, CEO at Brown Ribbon Exchange


"This has been an experience like no other. I have been faced with a whirlwind of emotions, challenges, wins, accolades, waves of fear and rejection. But I am forever resolute in my determination to be the change I want to see, to make a difference and to create legacy.

The women who inspire me are those that I aspire to duplicate their levels of tenacity, selflessness, integrity and relentlessness; those two phenomenal women are my mother and grandmother. I learned that anything worth having is worth working for, that there’s no such thing as a free lunch, that working for it makes you appreciate it more and that consistency is key."

Teneha Brown

CEO at VagiPlug


"Being a female entrepreneur is and has been a constant journey of self discovery and evolution. I am always inspired by my mentor and teacher Dana "ESPRIT Boisseau. Other women who inspire me are spiritual entrepreneurs and teachers such as Ashlina Kaposta, Stevie Wright, Melissa Jacobsen, and Dr. Stephanie Burns. It is through their one on one time, classes, podcasts, and courses that I learn principles and tools for connecting my business to my own personal evolution."

Shanda Domango Brown

Founder of Domango Training


"As a black woman, minority-owned business owner, and a single mother of three, my entrepreneurial journey has certainly been filled with challenges. However, it has also been profoundly rewarding, as it allows me to set a positive example for my children and advocate for the importance of self-care while serving others through my business endeavors. One woman who has always inspired me is my grandmother, Natalie Love. Despite facing societal barriers, she fearlessly pursue her passion as an educator, owning her own Daycare, Nat’s Learning Academy, during a time when it was uncommon for black women to do so. Her resilience taught me the invaluable lesson that obstacles should never deter one from pursuing their dreams."

Frances Love Harris

Founder/CEO of Peace of Serenity Massage & Wellness


"My experience being a woman entrepreneur has been one of reward and intense learning. Navigating this space isn't just about delivering what you offer to the world, but how well you execute, manage relationships, set boundaries, and continuously show up for yourself and your clients. Some of the women that inspire me are Issa Rae (I love how she never let limits set by other people define her. She continues to press on and make amazing work. She's such a game changer!), Marina Williams (She's a creative photographer that does amazing work and has built a community teaching other photographers how to unlock their creative side within their work. She inspires me to never stop creating.), and Viola Davis (What a powerhouse she is!!! I'm claiming that one day I'll get to work with her. Until then, she'll keep inspiring me to keep working towards all of my goals.)"

Jordanne D. Guerin

Owner of Jordanne Guerin Photography, Photographer, Videographer, Social Media Manager


"My experience being a woman entrepreneur has been both rewarding and challenging. I'm proud of all I've accomplished with my business and helping my community. However, being a Black woman entrepreneur can be very stressful at times. We are always expected to show up for everyone else. 

My grandmothers’ inspired me. They were both beautiful, talented, and kind Black women. I've learned from both of my grandmothers that being a service to others can be wonderful, but as Black women, we also need rest and telling others "No" sometimes is needed."

Jasmin Pierre

Founder of The Safe Place App


Founder & CEO of Pleroma LLC"In the dynamic journey of entrepreneurship, I've learned that timing is a delicate balance; taking action promptly is crucial, yet there's grace in recognizing that sometimes, waiting can also yield its own wisdom and value. This philosophy was profoundly influenced by my soon-to-be daughter-in-law, Arielle Brown, whose gentle support and embodiment of excellent business practices have been invaluable. Her approach, characterized by an admirable blend of tenacity and courage, has not only inspired me but also served as a guiding light in navigating the complexities of entrepreneurship. It's from her that I've learned the importance of fostering relationships with successful professionals, appreciating the mutual growth and guidance that comes from encouraging others as they launched their business ventures."

Gerri J. Hobdy

Founder & CEO of Pleroma LLC

@theMissingpieceappStepping into the world of technology as female entrepreneurs comes with its unique blend of challenges. The resilience we've found to be required to navigate this space is immense, as it demands constant innovation, assertiveness, and the tenacity to break through barriers that traditionally have held women back.

One of the women who inspired me on this journey is Sabrina Short, the visionary founder and CEO of NOLAvate Black in New Orleans, LA. Sabrina exemplifies what it means to be a trailblazer in the tech industry, creating a platform that elevates the black tech community here.

Similarly, my late mother, Phyllis Oliver, who was a dedicated Special Ed teacher and mentor for over 30 years, and a symbol of selflessness and dedication. Her unwavering commitment to uplifting others and her relentless pursuit of excellence, irrespective of the obstacles she faced, has been instrumental in shaping my entrepreneurial spirit."

Nikki Carney

Tech Founder of Hopedealers.io & @Missingpieceapp


"My experience as a woman entrepreneur has been particularly challenging due to juggling the responsibilities of being a mom of four, but it has also been immensely transformative and empowering. The journey has taught me resilience, adaptability, and the importance of embracing vulnerability as a strength. I am deeply inspired by the incredible women in New Orleans, including Arielle, Alana Scott, Victoria Masters, and Dr. J. I learn from them through observation, asking questions, and fostering genuine relationships. Their guidance and support have been instrumental in navigating the complexities of entrepreneurship and personal growth, teaching me the value of community and shared wisdom."

Kourtney Rincon 

Tech Founder of Hopedealers.io @Missingpieceapp  


"Overall, my experience as a woman owning her own business has been pretty great. I’m appreciative that the conversations surrounding women owned brands is letting it be known that we don’t receive as much money or as many opportunities to receive funding as men. With the conversation happening more and more, I’m noticing that more opportunities specifically for women are becoming available. A few women who inspire me are Laina Rauma because she stays true to her vision and bets on herself, Tasha Land because she is the queen of building successful businesses, Anna Miya because she spearheads the intentional brand partnerships of many women owned brands, Ebone Allen because she understands her audience and how to cater to them, and Arielle Brown because she supports and spotlights other women in business and is a voice for many women in the South no matter what stage she is on!"

Kayla Bell

Founder + Creative Director of Arrow + Phoenix 


"My experience being a woman entrepreneur has been a great one when it comes to feeling like I belong. Initially, there was a time when the voice of women was not celebrated or elevated but I personally feel that in my position as Founder/CEO I've been given space to bring my unique voice and experiences to the table!

My mom is a woman who inspires me because I've witnessed firsthand the sacrifices she's made to ensure that I had a fighting chance at life. I learn from her selflessness, humility, and presence of simply being!"

Ameka Coleman  

Founder/CEO at Strands of Faith


"As an entrepreneur, I've been able to challenge myself to create. This has led to more pivots that eventually helped me refine my brand, my why, and my community. I'm inspired by the women who don't take no for an answer—those who don't give up because the door is closed. From them, I've learned that when you walk with purpose, you're guided to the right doors that open for you with ease."

Kristen Dufauchard

CEO/Founder of aKrewe NOLA


"Being a woman entrepreneur is challenging but extremely rewarding! I’ve felt most empowered as a woman and business owner when I see what I’ve been capable of creating and building. It’s also so rewarding to see the direct impact my work has on helping other businesses increase their profits, grow their audience and share the impact of their work. 

I’m inspired by women who have traveled a similar road ahead of me or even alongside me. These women motivate me because they prove what’s possible, show me what is next and model the way forward. 

Casey Ferrand

Publicist, Author, Media Coach


"My journey as a woman entrepreneur has been an incredible odyssey of growth and opportunity. The connections I've forged with people from all corners of the globe are nothing short of extraordinary, gifts I would never have received had I remained within the confines of traditional employment. As a woman in business, I've been blessed with access to specialized opportunities tailored specifically for women, opening doors I never knew existed. 

The woman who has ignited the flames of inspiration within me is none other than my mother, Marilyn McWilliams. She is the vibrant energy propelling MaryMac's Doggie Retreat forward, and the very reason why I proudly bear her name in my business. From the earliest moments of my life, I watched in awe as my mother, alongside my aunts, fearlessly pioneered businesses and initiatives that breathed new life into our community. 

Though she may no longer walk among us, her spirit lives on within me, a guiding light illuminating my path each day. Her legacy of resilience, innovation, and unwavering determination continues to shape my journey, instilling in me the courage to chase my dreams with unyielding fervor.

In their footsteps, I find the courage to carve out my own path, knowing that with determination and resilience, the sky is truly the limit."

Courtney D. McWilliams

Founder of MaryMac’s Dog Retreat


"As a licensed cosmetologist and female entrepreneur, my path has been filled with challenges, victories, and personal development, navigating through barriers. Despite the obstacles, I take great pride and joy in establishing and growing my own business, fostering an environment that empowers individuals to embrace their beauty and boost their confidence. The women who inspire me the most are my mother and grandmother. They taught me resilience, hard work, and compassion through their actions and values. Their stories of overcoming challenges and their unwavering support shape me into the person I am today."

Rolexis Schinsing

Owner of Glam Me Over Beauty Studio


"My experience as a women entrepreneur in the health, wellness, and fitness space has been and continues to be the biggest life lesson I'm learning every day! Starting a business for me was truly exciting and fulfilling!

I'm a creator, so doing all the planning and designing was the best part of opening my healthy cafe. It was simply putting the stretch I held onto for two years and the vision that serves a purpose into reality! Even in its fulfillment, there was so much to learn. I learned aspects from being on time to managing finances. Entrepreneurship is like how people speak of marriage. When you are in a marriage, you learn something new every day about yourself and your spouse! Nevertheless, it's been an amazing journey, and I know I'm making a difference in my community and customers' lives daily! As a woman entrepreneur, when it comes to who inspires me, I would say every woman who took a chance to make a vision into reality!"

Raycheal Mason

Transformation Coach


"My name is Ifáṣemílóore (née Amber) and I’m the founder of Òòṣàdíyà Wellness LLC. We create safe spaces for all to practice meditative life movement, mindfulness, sound healing, and more in order to align with self, with a focus on historically marginalized groups. Since becoming a woman entrepreneur I’ve enjoyed building community, pushing myself beyond the limits I’d unconsciously placed upon myself, and becoming friends with “failures” because they give me the chance to adapt and evolve.

A woman entrepreneur that inspires me is chief Ìyálóde Oje Ifáṣeyì Bámigbálà-Arẹ̀sà. I’ve learned from her that most importantly good character is the foundation for a good life. She encourages me to push myself beyond my self-imposed limitations, to dream bigger and push myself further."


Founder of Òòṣàdíyà Wellness LLC


"I have cherished every aspect of my journey as a female entrepreneur. There is a distinct quality in a woman who is resolute in all facets of her life, particularly in her entrepreneurial endeavors. I take great pleasure in engaging with young individuals about the path to entrepreneurship and the profound responsibilities it entails. 

In my life, I have been fortunate to be inspired by several remarkable women. One such figure is my godmother, Edith Walker, who achieved the historic feat of becoming the first black superintendent and woman within the Ascension Parish School System. Her reputation for fairness has endeared her to both the parents and students under her care.

Another woman I deeply admire is my best friend, Sevetri Wilson, whom I met on our first day of college. Despite encountering numerous challenges, she has emerged as a trailblazer, notably becoming the first Black woman to secure over $50 million in venture capital for her tech startup, a field in which she had no prior experience. She epitomizes the belief that with determination, anything is achievable."

Tia Whittington

Owner & Founder of H Kyle Boutique

IG: @tiawhittington @shophkyle

"I would describe my journey as a woman entrepreneur in one word, Vibrant. There were many Ups and Downs but each experience cultivated new knowledge and insights that propelled new opportunities and connections. 

And as I look at the women that inspire me, like Fawn Weaver, Monique Rodriquez, Arian Simone, Olamide Olowe, Kim Folsom, The Budgetnista, Quiana Watson, these ladies lead by example, inspiring others to dream big, pursue their passions, and persevere in the face of adversity. 

They remind us that our circumstances do not define us; rather, it is our resilience and determination to overcome them that shape our destinies."

Mink Gaudet

Founder of Million Dollar Chixx


"When I was growing up, I saw both my grandmothers running their own businesses. Today, not only am I an entrepreneur but I am a mom-prenuer. Being a homeschooling single mom while running a successful business, comes with its challenges. The idea of the "work life balance" is tricky. The joy comes however when I can spontaneously take a day or even a few days off without putting in a request to the "boss". 

Though they are no longer with me in this realm, I am continuously inspired by my mother and grandmothers; Strong Black women who did what they had to do to make the best way for their families. I am also inspired by all the Black women who are out here shining. Those who show up unapologetically as themselves while supporting and uplifting others. ."


Founder of Sista Midwife


"Honestly, I wanted to create something I had not seen before. A team of diverse consultants who reflected the communities we serve AND more importantly, who had knowledge and experience of the field. This is the secret sauce of CG Consulting. 90% of our team identifies as either female or a person of color and 100% of the team has a background in K-12, higher education, college and career readiness, or nonprofit management.

I get my resilience from my family. I am who I am because of them! My grandmother, a college graduate and public school teacher, set a bar of high expectations. She and my grandfather put three daughters through school in the midst of racial unrest and poverty. My mother, the oldest of the three, graduated from college and went on to pursue a 20 plus year career as a registered nurse. Both of these women redefined resilience through their commitment to education, work ethic, and service. My mom and grandmother instilled so much in me that I have to dedicate my work ethic, integrity, and badASSness to them!"

Chantelle George

Founder of CG Consulting 


"As a woman entrepreneur in a male dominated financial industry, I’ve learned that you have to do things in your own unique way. What may have traditionally worked for others doesn’t necessarily work for me and the community I’m called to serve. I’m most inspired by my peers, especially my cousins and sorority sisters, who took their gifts to the next level. Many provide services or products that cater to women’s health or self-esteem. I’ve learned from these ladies by witnessing them throughout different stages of their entrepreneurship, especially through resolving unexpected issues."

Desiree Lemelle

Financial Advisor- Edward Jones 

Pastor Mary Brown is

Pastor Mary Brown 

Victory of Deliverance Outreach Ministries

"Entrepreneurship as a woman has been empowering. I knew that the things women were often scrutinized about in leadership was actually our advantage. So at our firm, we lean in to our empathy, intuition, and strength to guide our team to wins.

I LOVE Tracee Ellis Ross and Emma Grede. They inspire me for very different reasons. Tracee is a woman that you only saw on TV but she realized that there was more to her than just that one avenue. Emma is proof that you can be a strong business woman behind empires but also a mother and wife. These believe in being multi hyphenated and leaning into the places that inspire them."

Sherin Dawud

CEO at Nura 


Author: Destiny Patton

Hi! I'm Destiny Patton, a freelance digital marketing specialist in New Orleans, LA. I currently serve as the PR & Marketing Coordinator here at Bea's Bayou Skincare. Having my own freelance business has been a challenging but rewarding introduction to entrepreneurship. A woman entrepreneur I look up to is Quinta Brunson. We are both from Philadelphia and I have been so inspired by her ability to stay true and genuine while conquering network television.

Related Readings

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.