Despite enduring the association of women with domesticity throughout much of world history, various women have nevertheless been major entrepreneurs and innovators even before the Sexual Revolution of the twentieth century. No, I am not referring to such infamous practices as the so-called “world’s oldest profession”, i.e. prostitution, as examples of female entrepreneurs and businesswomen, but rather a number of unique professions that may be unfamiliar to our readers were started by women. As such, this list covers a broad range of businesses founded by fascinating females! Incidentally, despite the title, this list does not necessarily imply that we think all of these businesses are frivolous or not worthwhile ventures. On the contrary, while some are perhaps not exactly necessary for human civilization, others are actually quite intriguing and collectively they demonstrate the inventiveness and creativity of women from Australia to the United States of America.
10. Anger Room
This is the way this list begins, not with a whimper, but a BANG! Welcome to the Anger Room! Donna Alexander has found a partial cure for those with anger issues. At a Dallas strip mall, she opened a business in which people can get their inner Hulk on. Clients are allowed to choose from a variety of destructive objects ranging from baseball bats to tennis rackets to go to town on non-living items from computers to televisions in scenes reminiscent of the one in Office Space where the film’s “heroes” get revenge on some frustrating office technology.
If you are looking for some things to bang to pieces, you can make reservations at Anger Room.
9. Baby Bangs
Speaking of “bangs,” now, I am sure like most everyone, you have had just about enough of seeing the same run-of-the-mill bald or almost bald babies, right? Thankfully, Lisa Campbell of Missouri took her profession as a hair-replacement and make-up artist to another level when she founded Baby Bangs! Her company manufactures hair-extensions exclusively for baby girls in different designs and colors, because, well, why not? With that said, perhaps your concern with your young ‘uns is not their appearance, but their behavior. That leads us to number 9.
To doll up your baby girl, visit Baby Bangs.
8. Professional Spankers
Yes, you read right! Believe it (because it is true) or not, but on at least two occasions in North American history women actually founded businesses in which they agreed to physically discipline other people’s children for a fee. First, former teacher Maude Kelly of Toronto, Canada received coverage in various American newspapers in 1905 for sending out private circulars notifying parents that she corrects children for a reasonable consideration and is ready at all hours to visit homes where her services are required. Kelly said of her profession, “There is no harm in a woman taking a child across her knees. I am not unduly severe, but I make my patients smart, even though I whip some of them through their clothes.” In 1956 and 1957, 48-year-old grandmother Mrs. Frances Dodge of East Boothbay, Maine received even more coverage, this time internationally, from American and Canadian newspapers and magazines for starting up a similar business. She first submitted an ad to her local newspaper: “Old Fashioned Mother will spank children. . . Your home or mine. . . . Many satisfied clients. … All service confidential.” She charged $1.00 for a “half dozen well-directed strokes right on the target”. We are not aware of this twentieth century business still existing, but I am curious readers, how many if any of you would like to see it make a come back in the twenty-first century?
Women have played a maternal role for others’ children in much of human history, whether it be as wet nurses, babysitters, or governesses. Yet, in researching businesses and organizations started by women, I found it fascinating that on at least two instances women specifically worked as disciplinarians rather than doing such deeds as part of a babysitting or nursing capacity. This particular example is indicative of women wanting to play their instinctual maternal role in society beyond their own family, as well as to set the stage for how many of the businesses and professions established by women are closely associated with aspects of women as strong and dominant forces in society.
7. The Snuggery
The above example of women founding a profession shows women using the more stern aspect of their maternal instinct. That does not preclude other women focusing on the more nurturing side of things. Enter The Snuggery! World traveler and mother Jacqueline Samuel, who earned a university degree in Brain and Cognitive Sciences, decided to share her nurturing side with others by working as a professional snuggler in a non-sexual, comforting way. Jacqueline and co-snuggler Colleen believe that physical touch can help men and women relieve stress and thus, well, “feel good”! The business has already received the attention of such mainstream news services as CNN and from Google searches appears to be quite popular, with claims that Jacqueline alone snuggles with up to thirty men a week, including with veterans. Just as the professional spankers demonstrate the maternal aspect of women helping to guide people, the professional snugglers reflect the maternal aspect of women as comforters, a role we also see with regards to female nurses.
To learn more about The Snuggery, check out their website at The Snuggery.
6. The Other World Kingdom
If snuggling is just not good enough for you, then The Other World Kingdom (OWK) may have been more up your ally! Someone calling herself Queen Patricia I became “absolute ruler” of the Other World Kingdom (think Exit to Eden) following its founding in 1996 and subsequent opening after two years of construction costing £2 million. Located in the Czech Republic, the business is also considered a full-on micronation ruled as a matriarchy with its own currency, flag, passports, and police force to boot. Women could become citizens, whereas men were classed as either “subjects” or “slaves”. The Other World Kingdom was on a site of about 7.4 acres with a track, lake, and Queen’s Palace, including a library, throne room, gym, torture chamber, and….wait, what? A torture chamber!? In any case, no other such dominant/submissive facility of that extent exists in the world at the time. The property ultimately sold for around eight million euros in 2008 and the OWK is now an internet club.
This queendom’s site is not safe for work: OWK
5. YourNovel.com and U Star Novels
If real-world snuggling or whatever you call what went on at The Other World Kingdom is too much for you, you can always vicariously live out your fantasies through literature! Kathy Newbern co-founded YourNovel.com with her husband in 1992. Their company allows clients to “star” in racy romance novels for $49.95 (paperback with no photograph) to $99.95 (hardback with a photograph). Clients can choose the location and theme of their novel and even supply a photograph of themselves for use on the cover. Newbern has authored or co-authored at least twenty of the currently available novels. The company has already received mainstream media coverage from The Washington Post and USA Today, among many other widely read and distributed national and even international newspapers.
You can also find a similar service in Katie Olver’s U Star Novels, which offers categories from classic romance to even vampires for those who wish they starred in the True Blood or Twilight novels, but don’t!
Some people like to snuggle up with a good book, others with a good pillow. Nevertheless, not all pillows are created equal. Enter the Wuvit! The name references how a child might say “love it” and refers specifically to pillows designed for children with such designs as a sleeping bear’s head. Okay, seems normal so far, but here is where inventor Kim Lavine got creative: the pillows are also microwavable! Her idea was that kids wanted a nice, warm pillow to snuggle with and so designed a small pillow that could be heated up to provide warmth for sleeping children. The idea was so successful that Lavine is now a best-selling author and millionaire.
To visit her website, go to http://www.kimlavine.com/.
3. CitiKitty and Litter Kwitter
Now, we of course reckon that a good number of our readers would rather have actual live animals (perhaps not bears, but still). The problem is unlike most pillows, even the microwavable kind, living things have to pass waste on occasion. Unfortunately, dogs you have to take outside and cats have those nasty litter boxes. How much easier would it be if they just followed their human owners’ example and did their business in the toilet? Rebecca Rescate of New York has attempted to answer that question with her company CitiKitty. She has purportedly invented a training device that teaches cats to use the porcelain throne. After a period of time, the cat is trained and the device no longer needed.
Oh, and America does not have the monopoly on toilet training cat businesses founded by women. Jo Lapidge of Australia has similarly founded Litter Kwitter in 2005 to accomplish essentially the same task as CityKitty. LitterKwitter does also retail in THESE United States of America and has already sold over 500,000 units.
Now, if only they go do the same with dogs…
2. DNA Products, LLC
One thing that separates humans from our pets, or at least most pets not owned by certain eccentric types, is that humans wear undergarments. Given which parts of our bodies these articles of clothing cover, they do have the tendency to at least occasionally get dirty, which requires cleaning or in the case of trips, having to lug around unwashed underwear. Founded in 2001, New York City’s Danita Harris (I don’t believe she is any relation to TopTenz.net owner Shell Harris), provides disposable underwear for traveling men and women. These are not to be confused with “diapers”, but rather are regular underwear intended to reduce energy costs and save the traveler time by eliminating the need to wash and dry regular underwear in addition to having to carry around already worn underwear throughout a trip.
Try these on for size, after visiting DNA Products Online.
1. U.S.E.D. Bags
Finally, we go from concealed clothing to an external accessory! But first, a quick question: When have you NOT wondered what to do with your used seatbelts? Proud Canadian Betty Funk has not only asked, but has answered that same question. Her solution is to recycle them as purses! The premise actually accomplishes a number of things. First, it recycles material and as such is arguably good for the environment. Second, the seatbelt made straps are quite strong. One customer has apparently even used one to serve as a makeshift tow rope. The strength also provides women with strong defense weapon against would be attackers who might not want to get clocked by a sturdier than usual purse.
To purchase you wife or mother or some other lady in your life one of these designer purses, examine U.S.E.D. Bags.
By Dr. Matthew D. Zarzeczny, who has also written Banned from the Internet.