Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Brilliant Earth
Beth Gerstein started out as a biomedical/electrical engineer and satellite architect, and now spends her days selling the romance of sparkly baubles. She offers Earth-friendly, ethically sourced jewelry while running a profitable online business. Gerstein and her cofounder, Eric Grossberg, met as students at Stanford Graduate School of Business (later receiving their MBAs in 2003 and 2004, respectively) and launched Brilliant Earth in 2005. They bootstrapped the business, which has been profitable since its first year of operations, and now donate 5% of profits to improve African communities harmed by the diamond industry. She talks about refining your pitch until it resonates, making a difference even when you are small, and bootstrapping as a way to force you to focus on consumer feedback.