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Founder Feature: Shilpa Yarlagadda

Who can forget that 80s anthem, Wrapped Around Your Finger, by The Police? Well, Shilpa Yarlagadda, founder of Shiffon Co., has some trouble recalling it. She wasn’t even born when it was released in 1983. But she’s created something really wonderful, really uplifting, and really beautiful to wrap around your finger. (Kind of a nice change from the decidedly creepy vibe in the song…sorry, Sting!)

Shiffon Co.’s signature piece is the Duet Pinky Ring, a beautiful band to wrap around your little finger to show support, both figuratively and financially, for other women. The rings feature a diamond-and-sapphire or diamond-and-diamond duo, symbolizing the relationship of paying it forward. Shiffon donates up to 50% of profits from the sale of Duet Pinky Rings to fund female empowerment grants via its nonprofit arm, the Startup Girl Foundation.

Shilpa founded both Shiffon and Startup Girl while an undergrad at Harvard. She is a passionate advocate for gender equality and believes there is an opportunity to advance that cause with a socially conscious fine jewelry company.

As she explained to a reporter at Coveteur, “Every time the Startup Girl Foundation provides a seed grant for a company, it gets a very small percentage of equity in the company it has funded. Since this equity is held by a nonprofit, it can one day be converted to cash flow and fund the next generation of entrepreneurs empowering women. Essentially, the companies we are funding through the foundation are also paying it forward.”

Beautiful rings, bright vision, and a better world…we can wrap our whole arms around those!

Erika Szychowski

Erika Szychowski is the CEO/Founder of Good Zebra and the Founder of The F Project, a social impact project to raise the profile of female founders through collaborative commerce.
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