This holiday season, Chicago women-owned startup, liftUplift, is helping you put your money where your values are.
For the first time, first year tech startup, liftUplift, an e-commerce marketplace for women makers worldwide, is offering a special shopping day.
“There has never been more momentum around women supporting women, and they control over 60 percent of global spending,” said Corielle Heath, founder of liftUPlift. “The world needs women entrepreneurs, so let’s make it happen. Channel your purchasing power into women building businesses.”
Rather than another Black Friday event, Heath developed, #WOWDAY, which stands for “Women-Owned Wednesday,” on November 25, 2015.
#WOWDAY supporters include Thinx, a women-founded startup that developed super panties, a new solution for women on their periods. Another is Passion Planner, a hybrid journal and planner to help users target and reach their career and personal goals, which was an idea developed by Angelia Trinidad.
“We need the biggest day of consumer spending to make the greatest positive impact,” said Heath.
How to Celebrate #WOWDAY:
In November and on #WOWDAY, follow the hashtag, and share deals on social media, propelling liftUplift’s mission of women empowering fellow women. Browse liftUPlift’s Women-Owned Holiday Guide. New vendors will be added daily.
To participate as a women-owned businesses, use the hashtag, #WOWDAY on social media platforms on November 25 and include Women-Owned Wednesday deals.
Help empower women in a special way by sponsoring women-owned businesses and help increase liftUPlift’s promotional budget for #WOWDAY. Apply to be a #WOWDAY sponsor.
liftUplift: A Catalyst:
liftUpLift launched in September 2015, and everyday acts as a catalyst that empowers female makers and entrepreneurs.
In a separate interview, Heath talked about founding her e-commerce women-owned business marketplace, how she earned support, focused her talents, and is changing the way we can help female entrepreneurs.
The Passion Behind The Idea:
A smiling blonde, Heath, draws you in with her contagious charismatic personality, her spark for supporting women and her business acumen to turn her passion into a full-fledged tech startup.
“I was born to do this,” are the first words Heath tells me,
“I never really worry about failure. I do in the way that everyone does with day to day anxiety. But, so much of liftUplift comes out of myself. I don’t worry that that will be taken away from me.”
Last year, Heath was involved and is still an active member with the tech startup group for women, Ms. Tech. The organization regularly held lunches. Heath went every week, and one week, during introductions, she met Afreen, a computer programming student from India, who offered to share her story with anyone who wanted to learn more about life for women in her country. Heath arranged to interview her for the Ms. Tech blog.
During the interview, Heath found inspiration to start her own business.
At one point, Heath asked her: “What one piece of advice would you offer for other women in tech?”
Afreen replied, “You are not alone. You are merely the first.”
Bringing in a background in social sciences, Heath discovered that women were special and through this interview with Afreen, she wanted to amplify her mission of empowering women by connecting women globally.
Are Women Free?
“A big part of what liftUplift means to me is not about giving women anything other than their freedom and encouragement,” said Heath.
liftUplift is a global marketplace that affects and helps women worldwide. In conversation, we discussed how women were free in some senses, but also held prisoner to other areas like violence and male dependency. Heath discussed the disconnect between women
“[Amercian] women are protected under the law. Here, women have much more power,” said Heath, “We can do whatever we want.”
However, she felt a global tug to help women who are not at the same level as American women.
“I had a Captain America moment,” said Heath, “There’s so much I can do.”
How Did You Start a Startup?
Before building her own company, Heath was working as the US Marketing Director of a tech company, GenXus, which was headquartered in Montevideo, Uruguay.
The day after Heath’s birthday last year, she quit her job, had a birthday party in Vegas, and then came back to Chicago to move forward with her idea to make a marketplace for women makers.
She hired part of the team in Uruguay, a country with vast technological talent.
“I knew from the very beginning that I could do this,” said Heath, “I was all in whether anyone was coming or not. But, I wanted them to come with because it was going to be a party.”
Heath and her team developed their own technology to build an e-commerce and non-profit component of liftUplift and ultimately built it through WordPress when the lead developer quit.
Heath learned how to code on the job sans a computer science background.
Heath shared that her secrets to success are, “Enthusiasm, extreme confidence, boldness, and a very good idea.”
liftUplift officially launched on September 19, 2015, nearly a year after Heath started working on her project.
“My first job as the Founder of liftUplift is to build allies, and right away, I was way more successful than I expected,” sad Heath, “I was overwhelmed with support.”
Currently, Heath is working on her company from home and at the co-working space, The Shift. She quickly learned her strengths and weaknesses and has since made a plan to allocate relationship building and other assignments, as she works on being the visionary of liftUplift.
Visit liftUplift’s Indiegogo Campaign to learn more about the team of women supporting other women.