Honoring Women in Business

This month's women in business feature profiles six entrepreneurs doing what they love.


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When you own and run your own business, there never seems to be enough time to get everything done, and you’re under constant pressure to work nonstop. That describes me, though I am able to strike some balance with the extracurricular things I love, including animals, the outdoors, and exercise.

Since I don’t have children, I am ever amazed at the women entrepreneurs and working mothers who deftly manage their often high-stakes careers alongside duties that range from maintaining relevancy with their partners and their families to chauffeuring kids around while taking up the reins of the school PTA or filling in on a last-minute fundraising committee for their favorite charity.

For the Women in Business section, starting on page 26, this issue highlights six high-energy overachieving women entrepreneurs who include a vintner, a disparity consultant, a STEAM program founder, a children’s clothier, a health care consultant, and a toy company founder. For these women, their businesses grew out of jobs in related fields or areas of interest. They followed their passions to invent businesses for themselves that reflect their personal, professional, and societal philosophies and goals and haven’t looked back since. Three — Kiki Chen, Chris Wachira, Liana Hans — have strong Alameda bonds, while Eleanor Ramsey, Leigh Rawdon, and Zahra Kassam are Oakland-centered. They are bold, smart, committed, and making their own way doing something they love. See what guides them in their successful business practices.

Also, in this issue, we have a little fun with style. Personal style most often manifests as the clothes people wear, and that notion intrigued freelancer Annie Crawford. She visited a few hot spots around town to find some stylishly attired locals and then polled them on where they shop, how they get their look, and what motivates them to wear the clothes they do. Photographer Lance Yamamoto met the subjects around town in urban Oakland spots for their portraits. See what they put together for “The Fashions Seen,” page 32. Crawford summed it up this way in her intro: Everyone has a style story. What’s yours?

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