America’s Richest Self-Made Women
It takes a lot of dedication and hard work to become a multi-millionaire or billionaire. In this world, having money means having power. These women have a lot of money, which also means that they have a lot of influence. All of them are using their influence to make a world a better place for female entrepreneurs, and that is definitely something to celebrate. Keep reading to find out how much the CEO of Facebook is worth now, and who the world’s youngest billionaire is. Who run the world? Girls.
Taylor Swift – $320 Million
Believe it or not, Taylor Swift is actually one of the least wealthy self-made women on this list with a net worth of $320 million. Still, $320 million isn’t small potatoes. Taylor made her fortune through music. Her Reputation album sold 2 million copies in its opening week, making it the top album of 2017.
Taylor makes most of her money from touring, but she’s also made money through endorsements. Just to give you an idea of how rich Taylor Swift is, this woman owns two Dassault private jets.
Kit Crawford – $850 Million
Kit Crawford is a self-made woman worth $850 million dollars. That’s a big jump from Taylor Swift’s $320 million. Kit and her husband Gary Erickson own 80% of Clif Bar, a company that makes delicious energy snack bars.
They also run Clif Family Winery in Napa Valley and own the venture firm White Road Investments. Clif Bars and Luna Bars are both owned by the same company, and the bars are sold in 14 different countries.
Kylie Jenner – $1 Billion
In 2018, Kylie Jenner became the youngest billionaire in the world. This boss lady definitely got a head start from her famous family, but she’s made millions all on her own with her sharp business sense and passion for makeup.
Kylie owns 100% of the successful makeup brand Kylie Cosmetics. Her products sell out almost immediately after they’re released. When her holiday collection dropped in 2016, Kylie made a cool $19 million in just 24 hours.
Weili Dai – $930 Million
Weili Dai is the co-founder and president of Marvell Technology Group. She is currently worth over $930 million. Her semiconductor company is not to be confused with Marvel, the one with all of the superheroes.
Unfortunately, Dai was forced out of her own company in 2016 due to an accounting investigation. She still has a 4.5% stake in the company and she’s invested money in real estate. She wasn’t found to be guilty of any fraudulent activity.
The next woman on our list has donated over $220 million to charity.
Christel DeHaan – $940 Million
In 1974, Christel DeHaan cofounded a timeshare business called Resort Condominiums International with her then-husband Jon. Jon and Christel got divorced in 1987 and Christel got half of the company. She then bought the other half from Jon. In 1996, DeHaan sold RCI for $825 million. She is now worth $940 million.
She has given over $220 million to charity, mostly through Christel House, her education nonprofit.
Anastasia Soare – $1 Billion
Make-up mogul Anastasia Soare has made a fortune through her cosmetics company Anastasia Beverly Hills. The company is best known for making very popular eyebrow products.
Sales took off after Anastasia’s daughter Claudia started promoting the brand on Instagram. The company now sells more than 480 products in over 3,000 stores. Anastasia is worth over $1 billion. Thick, lush eyebrows are back in style and people are willing to pay lots of money to get the look.
Neerja Sethi – $1 Billion
Neerja Sethi is the vice president of an IT consulting and outsourcing company called Syntel. She and her husband come from humble beginnings and started the company with just $2,000. In the first year, they made just $30,000 in sales.
In 2017, the company made $924 million in revenue. At the moment they have over 23,000 employees, 80% of whom work from India. Neerja Sethi is now worth around one billion dollars.
Carolyn Rafaelian – $1 Billion
Carolyn Rafaelian is America’s richest jeweler. She is best known for founding the bangle brand Alex and Ani in 2004, which she owns 80% of today. Carolyn named her jewelry company after her two older daughters.
Carolyn was born into the jewelry business. Her parents were children of Armenian immigrants who made costume jewelry. Carolyn is now worth over a billion dollars and she has bought more than 30 properties, including a 60-room mansion in Newport, Rhode Island.
Sara Blakely – $1.1 Billion
Sara Blakely is the founder of Spanx, the shapewear brand that has become the king of all shapewear brands. Blakely used to be a door to door fax machine salesperson before she started her own company. Now Spanx sells its undergarments in 65 countries and Blakely is worth over $1.1 billion.
Blakely sometimes appears on Shark Tank as a guest judge. On the show, she invests in startups, especially those with female founders like Biena Snacks and Alice’s Table.
Alice Schwartz – $1.3 Billion
As of 2019, Alice Schwartz is 92 years old and worth over $1.3 billion dollars. In 1953, Alice and her husband launched Bio-Rad Laboratories with only $750 in savings. The company makes products that are used in pharmaceutical manufacturing and lab research.
Alice’s husband died in 2012, but Alice is still on the board of Bio-Rad and her son Norman is chairman and CEO. This woman has created a legacy for herself and her family. In this photo taken in 1952, Alice is front and center. At the time, Bio-Rad has just purchased a 1,600-square-foot Quonset in Berkeley, California.
Eren Ozmen – $1.3 Billion
Eren Ozmen is the president and majority owner of Sierra Nevada Corp., a private aerospace and defense company. She’s now worth over $1.3 billion dollars. Eren’s company’s Dream Chaser spaceplane was chosen by NASA to take cargo to and from the International Space Station starting in 2020.
Ozmen and her husband bought the company in 1994 when it only had 20 employees. They turned the company into a multi-billion dollar enterprise.
Jayshree Ullal – $1.4 Billion
Jayshree Ullal is the president and CEO of Arista Networks, a computer networking firm. She’s been involved with the company since 2008. Ullal was born in London and raised in India. She is now one of America’s richest female executives with a net worth of $1.4 billion. Ullal owns about 5% of Arista’s stock.
She’s a shining example of what you can achieve with a sharp business sense and a smart investment plan.
Gail Miller – $1.4 Billion
Gail Miller and her husband Larry turned a single Toyota dealership into a $4.7 billion enterprise. She is now worth $1.4 billion and she serves as owner and chairman of the board of the Larry H. Miller Management Corporation.
Gail and Larry bought the Utah Jazz NBA team in 1986 for $22 million, and Gail still shows up to Utah Jazz basketball games. In 2018, Gail published a book called Courage To Be You: Inspiring Lessons From An Unexpected Journey.
Peggy Cherng – $1.4 Billion
Peggy Cherng and her husband Andrew own the Chinese fast food chain Panda Express. Peggy has a background in engineering, but in 1983 she left her engineering job to help her husband open Panda Express’ first location. It proved to be the right move.
Now there are over 2,000 Panda Express locations and Peggy and Andrew also own stakes in other chains like Urbane Cafe and Uncle Tetsu. Peggy is now worth over $1.4 billion.
Katie Rodan – $1.5 Billion
Katie Rodan is a business savvy dermatologist who has started not one, but two successful companies. Rodan founded Proactiv with her longtime business partner Kathy Fields. The duo sold Proactiv to Guthy Renker and Nestle in May 2016 — largely so they could focus on their anti-aging skincare company Rodan + Fields.
Rodan is now worth $1.5 billion. Medical school can get you pretty far, but combine that with a strong understanding of business and the sky’s the limit.
Jin Sook Chang – $1.5 Billion
Jin Sook Chang is the co-founder of Forever 21. She came to America in 1981 and started working as a hairdresser. Three years later, she and her husband used $11,000 worth of savings to open a small clothing store initially called Fashion 21.
She is now worth over $1.5 billion. She was able to send her daughters to ivy-league schools and now they both work in merchandising at Forever 21.
Sheryl Sandberg – $1.6 Billion
Sheryl Sandberg is the chief operating officer of Facebook. Now worth over $1.6 billion, she is a major reason why Facebook has been so profitable in recent years. Sandberg is the author of the best-selling book Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will the Lead. The book talks about business leadership and development as well as issues with the lack of women in government. The successful book helped spawn the Lean In Foundation, a nonprofit that supports female empowerment.
Sandberg is the perfect example of a successful woman who wants to empower and lift other women up in their careers and beyond.
Thai Lee – $2.1 Billion
Thai Lee is the CEO of SHI International, an $8.5 billion IT provider company. SHI International has over 17,000 customers including Boeing and AT&T. Lee herself is now worth $2.1 billion.
Lee grew up in South Korea and she moved to America for high school. Lee went to Harvard where she earned her MBA. She worked for big companies like Procter & Gamble and American Express before buying the company that became SHI.
Elaine Wynn – $2.1 Billion
Multi-billionaire Elaine Wynn is also known as the “Queen of Las Vegas.” In 2018, she became the largest shareholder of the publically traded company Wynn Resorts. She’s now worth $2.5 billion.
Before 2018, Elaine’s ex-husband Steve Wynn owned most of the shares of Wynn Resorts, but Steve stepped away from the company amid sexual harassment allegations and Elaine took over his shares. Elaine is a powerful woman and she’s clearly making money moves.
Doris Fisher – $2.7 Billion
Doris Fisher is the co-founder of the Gap and she’s now worth $2.7 billion. She founded the clothing company with her husband Don in 1969. Since then, the company has grown into a multi-million dollar enterprise.
Doris served as the company’s merchandiser from the day the first store opened until 2003. She has three sons and they are all also billionaires, but they did get a bit of a head start.
Judy Love – $6 Billion
Judy Love and her husband Tom opened their first gas station in 1964. Since then Judy and Tom made a series of good investments and now Judy is the executive secretary at Love’s and the chairman of the Love Family Fund. She is worth a staggering $6 billion.
In 2017 the company experiences a rise in revenue and the opened 36 new locations. All of Judy and Tom’s children work for the company.
Oprah Winfrey – $2.5 Billion
It’s no secret that Oprah Winfrey has a lot of money. How much money, you ask? Around $2.5 billion. Oprah started her career working in radio. She moved on, eventually getting her own talk show, and then building a media empire. She launched her own channel, she’s been a brand ambassador, and she’s signed a deal to create original programming for Apple.
There’s no denying that Oprah is a powerhouse.
Johnelle Hunt – $2.8 Billion
Johnelle Hunt and her late husband founded the company J.B. Hunt Transport Services in 1969. The company started with five trucks and seven trailers and now it’s one of the biggest transportation companies with $7.2 billion in sales. Hunt is now the company’s biggest shareholder. She has a 17% stake in the company and she’s worth $2.8 billion.
Johnelle doesn’t keep all that money to herself though. She has donated a ton of money to various charities as well as six acres of land to build an outdoor amphitheater in Arkansas.
Meg Whitman – $3.5 Billion
Meg Whitman is best known for being the CEO who took eBay from $5.7 million to $8 billion in sales. It took her ten years, but she managed to achieve the impossible. After working for eBay, Whitman was the CEO of Hewlett-Packard from 2011 to 2015. She’s now worth $3.5 billion.
In 2018, she became the CEO of NewTV. Hopefully, she’ll be able to do for that company what she did for eBay.
Jessica Iclisoy – $330 Million
When Jessica Iclisoy was pregnant in 1990, she became concerned about the harmful chemicals in baby formula and baby products. She started mixing formulas in her kitchen with more natural ingredients.
In 1995, she officially launched her company, California Baby. Her products are now being sold in places like Whole Foods and Target and Jessica is worth over $330 million. Never underestimate a mom on a mission.
Up next, the “epic” CEO worth a cool $3.7 billion.
Judy Faulkner – $3.7 Billion
Judy Faulkner is the founder and CEO of Epic Systems. Epic Systems is a medical record software provider. Judy started the company in her basement in Wisconsin and now it’s the most trusted medical software company in America. It’s used by top medical centers like Johns Hopkins and Mayo Clinic. Judy is now worth $3.7 billion.
Faulkner has already been charitable with her wealth and she plans to donate much more of her fortune to great causes within her lifetime.
Marian Ilitch – $4.3 Billion
Marian Ilitch and her husband Mike co-founded Little Caesars Pizza in 1959. Since then the company has completely taken off and Marian is now worth $4.3 billion. The company alone brings in $4 billion in annual sales and since Mike passed away, Marian has been the company’s largest shareholder.
Marian also owns the Detroit Red Wings and MotorCity Casino Hotel. Mike owned the Detroit Tigers and that team is now in a family trust.
Diane Hendricks – $4.9 Billion
Diane Hendricks is the co-founder of ABC Supply, one of the largest roofing and windows wholesalers in America. She founded the business with her late husband 36 years ago and she’s been the chairperson of the company since 2007. Diane is now worth $4.9 billion.
The company now has more than 700 locations and it’s made over $9 billion in sales. Hendricks sold custom homes before meeting her husband, Ken, who was a roofer.
Lynda Resnick – $2.4 Billion
Lynda Resnick is the marketing genius behind the Wonderful Co. It’s a snack and drink company that has made over $4.2 billion in sales. Lynda owns the company with her husband, Stewart.
While you may not recognize the Wonderful Co.’s names, you definitely know some of the brands under its umbrella, like Fiji Water, Pom Wonderful and mandarin Halos. Lynda is now worth $2.4 billion. I bet it was her decision to hire the Fiji Water girl at the 2019 Golden Globes.
Kathy Fields – $1.5 Billion
Katie Rodan founded Proactiv with her business partner Kathy Fields who is also now worth $1.5 billion. Kathy fields is also a dermatologist. These two clearly work well together because they were able to make a fortune and remain friends in the process.
Proactiv wasn’t the only skin care line these two built together. They also created a brand called Rodan + Fields. There’s enough room in the skincare industry for a whole bunch of successful women.