This week our Big smallTalk series continues with a conversation with Marta Ferro, CEO of Pink51. Marta is a longtime mentor, colleague and friend of mine who I started collaborating with and learning from over a decade ago chatbubbleswhen we served on the Board of Directors for Step Up Women’s Network in Los Angeles together. Marta shares my passion for driving community impact and social change, and heads up Starfish Impact, where I am proud to be part of her team to support some incredible work underway with non-profit organizations, foundations, and individuals. Pink51 is a shopping portal that harnesses the collective buying power of women to grow businesses with women in leadership, while supporting some incredible non-profit partners, too. Today, we learn more about the path that got them here, with some great insights along the way. Thanks, Marta!
BIG SMALL BRANDS: TELL US ABOUT THE INSPIRATION BEHIND PINK51. WHERE DID YOUR “BRAND STORY” BEGIN?
MF: The inspiration came from Ann Lawrence, Pink51’s Chief Visionary Officer. She was planning to buy a new purse that also doubled as a diaper bag, and realized that it was quite difficult and cumbersome to know if the money she was spending was supporting a female-friendly business or not. As she thought about the issue, she realized the importance of transparency
within companies in their strategies to promote women in leadership (and ownership). She then brought the idea to me and we realized that the “pink movement” (like the “green movement”) was necessary in today’s economy.
BSB: IS THERE A SPECIFIC STORY BEHIND YOUR NAME/LOGO?
MF: Yes—thanks for asking. We wanted to take back the word “pink” and evoke a stronger, more nuanced feeling and brand. The “51” stands for the fact that we women are 51% of the population who spends 85% of the consumer dollars, yet are significantly underrepresented in business leadership (C-level and Board of Directors percentages). The conversation about the name leads to a conversation about the movement which is very purposeful.
BSB: WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE A “PINK BUSINESS”?
MF: Pink51 defines a “Pink” business as one that has 50 percent or more female ownership, a female CEO or two female senior-level executives, or a board membership that is 20 percent or more female. Currently almost 1,000 businesses can be found on the site including nationally and globally recognized companies like Nordstrom, Target, The Honest Company, AHAlife, Best Buy, Gaiam, Paper Source, and Pam+Gela. We have new Pink businesses joining us every day.
BSB: WHAT ARE SOME OF THE GO-TO RESOURCES OR TOOLS YOU LOVE USING TO HELP YOU GROW YOUR BRAND?
MF: I love how amazing social media can be as a tool to help you find your tribe. We want to surround ourselves with women who are passionate about change and empowering women. We believe that Pink51 can change the economy and build businesses where women are in leadership. Twitter, Facebook and Instagram have been amazing platforms to connect with other women who share our vision.
BSB: WHAT HAS BEEN THE BIGGEST LESSON THAT YOU’VE LEARNED IN THE PROCESS OF LAUNCHING YOUR BRAND? IS THERE A KEY PIECE OF ADVICE YOU WOULD OFFER TO OTHERS?
MF: One key piece of advice I have for others is to build a team of experts and believers around the vision. It is very difficult to be successful and an expert at everything by yourself. Ann had a great idea, and together we started developing it and also building the Pink51 team, partners, and community. We knew that we needed to include a lot of talented and passionate people because this is a movement that requires a large community to become successful.
BSB: THANK YOU, MARTA!
Shopping for Social Change: A BigsmallTalk with Pink51
by Big Small Brands
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