To close out our Women Founders Rock series we are featuring Aimee Kestenberg, founder and designer of her namesake brand. An entrepreneur at heart and a disrupter in the world of fashion, Aimee Kestenberg has redefined the meaning of ‘affordable luxury’. Aimee’s “keep it real” attitude and unique, casual and free-spirited designs have deemed her an industry leader in the world of handbags and accessories.
Aimee's passion for helping all women achieve a life of self-love in contagious!
Aimee Kestenberg | Founder & Designer, Aimee Kestenberg Handbags & Accessories
Tell us something impactful about being a female founder?
It’s funny, so many women talk about being supportive of strong women, but in my experiences I’ve rarely come across women in my career that are truly supportive of successful women. As a female founder, you develop a tough skin and desensitize to a degree because there’s no room for emotion when you’re playing in the big leagues. Perhaps because most senior leadership has always been male dominated where emotional being like women are no welcome but I’m excited to see change as women become more of a force than ever before in this world. I’m dedicated to creating a sense of ‘REAL” talk when it comes to female empowerment and making sure women realize that much of the time we can be each others worst enemies sometimes without even realizing the impact of ones energy, words or actions towards other women. I’ve always found myself thinking, if I were a man, no one would think twice about my strength and straight forward outlook, but as a female leader you are easily placed into the bucket of being a B****. It’s time women don’t just talk about supporting each other, but actually truly embody what that means in an actionable way so we can truly create change and continue to uplift and inspire all the women who have worked so hard to get there. Don’t talk about it, be about it.
Tell us why you are devoted to helping women through your business?
Women are amazing creatures. Our abilities are endless and yet so many of us are raised and designed to be totally selfless. Becoming a working mom was one of the hardest transitions of my life. I struggled immensely between trying to find ‘balance’ as my company rapidly grew and my mental and physical health rapidly declined. As the eldest of five siblings, I’ve always carried a self-inflicted responsibility of taking care and being the rock for my parents and sibling and as such have taken on that role in my own family and at my company. It’s a lot. Working moms make sacrifices everyday and I believe that with the gift of strength, creativity and foresight I posses, its my duty to help others live their best life. I want to share what I’ve learned with the many women that support me to help support them and to hopefully make their lives a little easier. Self-love is an art, it takes a lot of work and understanding of why it’s so important and how to go about it when you’re not a millionaire like most. I’m passionate about helping all women achieve a life of self-love that sticks.
Talk to us about working with women and why supporting women is so important?
I love men, most of favorite people are men (my son Max and husband Sean lol). But I was raised to believe that as women, you always need to be able to support yourself. Independence is freedom. Everyone deserves to live a life of freedom. Financial independence is an important part of equality and in a day and time where modern world society is constantly changing I just feel that it’s important as a women to have a degree of financial independence, especially as mother. It also takes a lot of pressure off relationships. My dedication towards supporting women with the tools and education to thrive internally will allow them to have clarity on there wants, needs and how to make it happen.
How do you/does your organization support working women?
In many ways, we employ many women, partner with many female founded and run organizations and more recently we have actively aligned the Aimee Kestenberg brand to embody supporting women globally to thrive through a series of mentorships, collaborations, partnerships and philanthropy.