The group of women at Mani's on Fairfax look like any other girls in Los Angeles, Chicago or New York. Each is stylishly dressed as they chatter across the table at the outdoor café, a Hollywood industry hot spot known as much for its high profile customers as its signature breakfast. Only, instead of talking about the celeb they met the night before or the weekend's trip to the mountains, they're sharing top level contacts and insight to help the start-up companies each has founded.
Once in a while, one of the four Blackberry on the table will buzz, prompting everybody to grab theirs.
It's a scene that plays out in my world constantly as a woman entrepreneur, and among hundreds of women across the U.S. Call it a sort of "girls club," it's a underground network of women entrepreneurs and high level executives who work together, play together, and are doing whip smart, amazing things with their own companies in business. Lunches and get-togethers spark brainstorming sessions, a single call can open up doors at companies and top VC firms.
It's not like Sex and the City at all, unless Carrie took a cue from Mr. Big, quit her day job, launched a start-up, sold it, and then launched another again.
It's all part of a big boom that has been growing across the country: The new modern women's entrepreneur. Women who aren't just interested in taking a slice of the corporate pie, but owning the pie, the bakery and the manufacturing company that supplies it -- and are making it happen. Fueled in part by strong mothers from the Working Girl era of the 80s and power women role models like Oprah Winfrey, and Hilary Clinton, women today are more driven than ever.
Only this time around, we don't just want to work at a company. We want mogul status, and we're working for it.
I've been watching the trend develop since I first became an entrepreneur with my then-start up, Stylediary. One by one, more women would join the fold and the numbers have seemed to grow every year. In the past twelve months alone, I can think of thousands of women-owned companies that have launched. They join women like stylist Niki Shadrow, and SavvyAuntie.com's Melanie Notkin, who've hit the top of their game, and aren't stopping there.
It's not just limited to adults, either. A new show launched by SNL's Amy Poehler highlights accomplished tweens, and several of my own projects focus on inspiring entrepreneurial girls. Even business is noticing with VC firms, sponsors, M&A and many more tapping into the new power girl trend. One common trend? Empowerment.
Smart is the new sexy, Arianna Huffington style .