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Name: Georgene Huang & Romy Newman

Business: Fairygodboss, Inc.

Location: New York, New York, U.S. 

Industry: Professional Services

Reason for starting: Romy Newman and I used to work together as executives at Dow Jones, where I was head of Institutional Product and Romy was head of Digital Advertising for The Wall Street Journal. When I was looking for a job while 2-months pregnant, I realized there weren’t any good online tools and career communities for women to learn about potential employers from a woman’s perspective. We did some market research and built a product to confirm our suspicions and hence, Fairygodboss was born!

Related: 4 Tips for Growing Your Business

How do you define success? Success at Fairygodboss occurs on three different levels. At the individual level, whenever a woman is helped by the crowdsourced data and opinions on our site, we feel successful. At the enterprise or employer level, whenever we have been part of creating transparency for the current and/or future workforce or improving the benefits or policies at a company, we feel successful. At our own company, we feel successful whenever we’ve grown our company’s user base, customer base and/or revenue. Luckily these days we’re doing all three!

Biggest success: Getting past the first year, launching a site that is growing every month in terms of the number of women it reaches and getting our first employers on board feels like short-term success because we’ve hit a bunch of business milestones we set out for ourselves. That said, there’s not a lot of time for complacency because that means our next milestones are ahead!

What is your top challenge and how you have addressed it: Michael Bloomberg says in his book about starting Bloomberg LP that the second year of your business is always the hardest because a lot of the “vision” you may have had in the first year when you feel that anything is possible — is harder to hold on to. If you’ve been successful in your first year of business, you have a bunch of hard-nosed realities to deal with ranging from operational logistics, customer and user pressure, and other things that leave much less room from grand visions and force you to stare down reality.

Related: 18 Start-Up Mistakes Every Entrepreneur Should Avoid

Who is your most important role model? I think Romy and I would both say that our parents have inspired us. My father is incredibly committed to constant improvement in his business and has a work-ethic that I’ve never seen anywhere else. Romy’s mother, likewise, has had an incredibly long and successful sales career at a time when female role models were rare in the business world. We’ve both been incredibly lucky to have these family examples for us in starting our own business.


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Edited by The Story Exchange