Women in Retail Leadership Circle’s latest report, The New Next Gen: The Women Who Have Transitioned Their Careers for a Successful Second Act, highlights women leaders who have reinvented themselves and their careers after the age of 40. We wanted to further highlight and celebrate the women of color featured in the report. These women have successfully transitioned their careers later in life.
Sheilisa McNeal-Burgess, Founder, Fria
Fria is a new lifestyle brand committed to developing next-generation, wearable cooling technology designed to address overheating during menopause. McNeal-Burgess launched the company when she was 50. When McNeal-Burgess first came up with the idea of “cooling jewels,” she had no idea that it was going to be a life-changing endeavor. At the time she just wanted relief from the misery of hot flashes, and she wanted to create a beautiful, discreet way to address them without taking anything that was going to alter her biology and the natural progression of aging. McNeal-Burgess was inspired by a problem that needed a solution, and that solution could help the millions of other women who were also trying to manage the misery while still pursuing their life goals. McNeal-Burgess didn’t know how she was going to do what she had envisioned, but she knew she had to try.
Karyn Calabrese, Owner, Karyn’s Inner Beauty
Calabrese made her first career shift at the age of 39, when she switched from modeling to becoming a restaurateur, holistic teacher and spa owner. Then at age 70, she started her second career with the launch of Karyn’s Inner Beauty, a center that provides a sacred space for the balancing of the body, mind and spirit. Calabrese was the only one in Chicago who sold wheatgrass, and people thought she was crazy. But that didn’t stop her from sharing her craziness with the world. She opened the first raw vegan restaurant in the Midwest. Now, in her newest endeavor, Calabrese understands that issues are always sure to come, but what’s important is maintaining a strong and determined spirit.
Sheena D. Franklin, Founder and CEO, K’ept Health
K’ept Health is a first-of-its-kind modern digital dermatology and skincare clinic for all women, no matter skin tone or skin condition. Franklin started thinking about the overall concept of the company when she was 37, and started working full time on the business right after her 40th birthday. She was inspired to start K’ept Health as a combination of wanting to have more autonomy as well as see her vision of advocating for women manifest into reality.
Jaswant (Jessie) Kular, Co-Founder, Co-Owner, Executive Chef, Jaswant’s Kitchen
Jaswant’s Kitchen is a producer of 100 percent natural Indian seasonings and easy-to-follow recipes. Kular had studied home economics and completed a Master’s Degree in foods and nutrition. When her children went away to college, she realized she had the time to do more, and she felt compelled to use her knowledge to help people in some way. Kular decided to follow her dream and use her knowledge of foods and nutrition to give back to the community in some way — at the age of 60.
Dr. Roshini Raj, Founder, Tula Skincare
TULA Skincare is the leading clean clinical skincare brand powered by probiotics and superfoods. It was founded by Raj when she was 42. As a practicing gastroenterologist, she was inspired to start TULA after studying probiotics for over 15 years and witnessing firsthand the powerful health benefits her patients were experiencing after incorporating probiotics into their treatment. After uncovering research finding that probiotics have a proven ability to soothe and calm skin inflammation, TULA was born.
Mei Xu, Founder and CEO, Yes She May
Yes She May is an online shop for well-designed products in fashion, wellness, beauty, and home from women-owned brands. Xu enjoyed a very successful career in consumer products since her 20s. She had been a CEO since 26, and wanted to try something different. Before too long, she found herself working to mentor women business owners. In order to start anew, Xu leaned into her curiosity and watched for new trends. Being a Chinese American also means she was constantly being exposed to the culture, lifestyle and business shifts in both countries.
In this report, you’ll learn more about the stories of these incredible women, as well as many more! Be sure to download it here!