Sandra Bullock, Paige Mycoskie, and Emma Grede
ILLUSTRATION BY STEPHANIE JONES FOR FORBES
From a Venice Beach-inspired fashion entrepreneur to a famous actress to an artificial intelligence whiz, meet the newest members to join Forbes’ list of the country’s most successful entrepreneurs, executives and entertainers.
The stock market rout of spring 2022 caused some real reverberations but fortunately didn’t hold back a crop of successful women entrepreneurs, executives and entertainers. Seven newcomers joined Forbes’ 2022 list of America’s Richest Self-Made Women, building fortunes in industries from technology to fashion to banking.
The newcomers range in age from 27 to 80 and hail from five states. Each is worth at least $215 million, the cutoff to make this year’s list of 100 women; together the newbies are worth a combined $2.3 billion, Forbes estimates. The best known is superstar actress Sandra Bullock, who has spent more than three decades in front of the camera in hits such as ‘Gravity’ and ‘The Proposal,’ and at age 57 is still making millions for starring roles in movies.
Also new to the list is 80-year-old Betsy Cohen, one of the first female bank CEOs in America, who in recent years has invested in multiple financial firm SPAC mergers and acquisitions.
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Three newcomers successfully tapped stuck-at-home-during-the-pandemic consumers. Paige Mycoskie found millions of customers for her Aviator Nation, an American-made clothing company known for selling retro-looking rainbow-striped hoodies for $190 a pop. The brand blew up by outfitting entertainers such as Jennifer Lawrence, Jay-Z, Robert Downey Jr. and Selena Gomez; sales jumped from $70 million in 2020 to $110 million in 2021. Rachel Drori, aiming to change the frozen food industry through her plant-based food delivery company Daily Harvest, also secured investments from multiple sports idols and a celebrity chef. Emma Grede, the first Black woman investor on ABC’s Shark Tank show, was a founding partner and is chief product officer of Kim Kardashian’s shapewear and loungewear firm Skims, among other entrepreneurial ventures.
Gallery: The Newcomers On Forbes’ 2022 List Of America’s Richest Self-Made Women
Two of the richest newcomers on this year’s list earned their fortunes through technology—one who is deeply involved in the burgeoning field of artificial intelligence and another whose company took off with the rise of personal computers. Lucy Guo, age 27, cofounded Scale AI in 2016; venture investors valued the company at $7.3 billion in 2021. Guo left Scale in 2017 but held onto a stake of just under 6%. Patricia Gallup cofounded computer reseller PC Connection in 1982, when most Americans didn’t own personal computers. She and her cofounder started with $8,000 in savings and turned it into a publicly-traded firm with $2.9 billion in sales last year.
Here are the newcomers on Forbes’ 2022 list of America’s Richest Self-Made Women:
*Net worths are as of May 13, 2022.
Net worth: $440 million
Source: Artificial Intelligence
Guo debuts thanks to a nearly 6% stake in artificial intelligence startup Scale AI, which was valued by private investors at $7.3 billion in 2021. She studied computer science at Carnegie Mellon University but dropped out to become a Thiel Fellow; while working at Q&A website Quora, she met Alexandr Wang, with whom she cofounded Scale. The pair made the Forbes Under 30 list in 2018, the same year Guo left the company. She cofounded earlystage venture capital firm Backend Capital in 2019 and in April 2022 launched startup Moment, which she describes as a “web3 platform for creators.”
Net worth: $360 million
Source: IT reseller
In 1982 Gallup founded PC Connection, a computer reseller based in Merrimack, New Hampshire, with David Hall. The two backpackers had met while working as support crew on the Appalachian Trail. They used $8,000 in savings to launch the company, catching the growing PC market. It went public in 1998 and reported nearly $2.9 billion in sales in 2021. Now called Connection, its clients include small businesses and public sector departments. She has a 27% stake and serves as chairman.
Net worth: $360 million
Grede is the CEO of Good American, the size-inclusive fashion brand she launched with Khloe Kardashian in 2016. She is also a cofounder of plant-based cleaning brand Safely with No. 93 Kris Jenner and a founding partner and chief product officer of No. 16 Kim Kardashian’s Skims, for which Grede’s husband is CEO. Raised in East London by a single mother, Grede started a paper route at age 12 and saved her pennies to buy fashion magazines. She founded marketing agency ITB Worldwide in 2008 and is the first Black woman to serve as an investor on the popular ABC series Shark Tank.
Tim Pannell for Forbes
Net worth: $350 million
Source: Meal delivery service
The former Gilt Groupe marketing executive started frozen meal delivery service Daily Harvest in 2015, funding it with $25,000 from her savings. She began making smoothies on weekends in a commercial kitchen leased in the New York City borough of Queens, paying her teenage nephews $20 a night to deliver them in Manhattan. Pregnant with her first child, she pledged that she wouldn’t quit her day job until orders from strangers outweighed friends and family’s purchases fivefold. It took two months. In November, Daily Harvest, which now sells frozen bowls, parfaits, flatbreads and more, raised $100 million from private investors at a $1.1 billion valuation; Drori owns an estimated 35% stake. Celebrity investors include Gwyneth Paltrow, Serena Williams, snowboarder Shaun White and chef Bobby Flay.
Guerin Blask for Forbes
Net worth: $350 million
While working at a surf shop in Venice Beach in 2007, Mycoskie founded Aviator Nation, the company selling 1970s-inspired smiley face-branded pricey sweats that took off during the pandemic. The company hit $110 million in sales last year and has expanded to 17 retail stores across the U.S., including a fitness studio in Los Angeles. Mycoskie has never taken outside investments for Aviator Nation and relies solely on growing lines of bank credit.
Net worth: $230 million
Source: Banking, investments
A lawyer by training, Cohen founded Philadelphia-based Jefferson Bank in 1974, becoming one of the first female bank CEOs in America. She sold Jefferson in 1999, then founded Delaware-based bank The Bancorp, which she ran as CEO until the end of 2014. More recently, she and her son Daniel have completed SPAC mergers with seven companies—including financial advisory firm Perella Weinberg Partners, which began trading on the Nasdaq in June 2021.
MIKE MARSLAND/GETTY IMAGES
Net worth: $225 million
Bullock owes her fortune to more than three decades in front of the camera, appearing in blockbusters over the years such as Speed (1994), Gravity (2013), and Ocean’s 8 (2018). In youth-obsessed Hollywood, she has defied the odds by notching some of her biggest roles—and heftiest paychecks—after age 50. (She’s now 57.) She reportedly nabbed $20 million for her latest movie, this year’s The Lost City. She owns more than $60 million of real estate, including a townhouse in Manhattan, a Beverly Hills mansion and a Malibu estate.
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