Earn Earn

Female Founders are the Future with Julie Wainwright

Haley Paskalides  |  July 17, 2023

Julie Wainwright is one of the few women in history to take a company public - and she's carving the path for female founders everywhere.

Taking a company public is perhaps one of the best days in a founder’s life — but out of the 7,000 companies that have IPO’d throughout history, only about 30 of them have been founded and led by women. One of those female founders is Julie Wainwright — and she’s done it twice

Julie’s adventures in Silicon Valley are the stuff of legend. For more than 20 years, she’s been at the helm of leading tech companies, notably as CEO of Reel.com in 1997 and Pets.com in 1999 before founding The RealReal in 2011 and taking it public in 2019. We also get to hear details about her newest venture — this time in the health space — Ahara.

Julie Wainwright, founder of TheRealReal and Ahara smiles and poses in a black blazer. We explore her journey as a female founder
Julie Wainwright, founder of fashion resale company TheRealReal, and Ahara, a health company offering customized nutrition plans and supplements.

Julie gets candid about her success and struggles as a female founder in tech, and details how her entrepreneurial spirit always served as her guide. 

READ MORE: What Women-Owned Businesses Need To Achieve Equal Access to Capital

At first, Julie says she found entrepreneurship intimidating, but she quickly got over that fear when she realized creating and leading companies was the only way she was going to be happy. “I was really jealous of entrepreneurs, and I think if you’re really jealous of something, it’s because you’re not doing it,” she says.  One day, after shopping for consignment luxury clothes with a friend, the idea for The RealReal was born, “and I just ran with it,” she says, “I knew from day one it was going to work.” 

READ MORE: 10 Inspiring Self-Made Female Leaders And How They Got There

Listen in to hear more about Julie’s incredible story — including details how she secured funding, and the ageism she had to combat. Subscribe to How She Does It on Apple Podcasts, and leave us a review if you’re loving the show! 

Plus, to learn more from a female founder in tech, check out HerMoney CEO Jean Chatzky’s conversation with Ellen Pao, on diversity, inclusion and the future of tech.


SUBSCRIBE FOR FREE: Life is the topic. Money is the tool. Let’s talk! Subscribe to HerMoney today.

This podcast is proudly supported by iShares. BLACKROCK and iSHARES are trademarks of BlackRock, Inc. or its affiliates (together “BlackRock”). The information provided in this communication is solely for educational purposes and should not be construed as advice or an investment recommendation. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily represent the views of BlackRock. BlackRock is not affiliated with HerMoney

Editor’s note: We maintain a strict editorial policy and a judgment-free zone for our community, and we also strive to remain transparent in everything we do. Posts may contain references and links to products from our partners. Learn more about how we make money.

Next Article: