Women in Business: Holiday Gift Guide 3

Women in Business: Holiday Gift Guide 3

Welcome to the third Women in Business: Holiday Gift Guide. Check out the first and second posts here.

The response these last few weeks has been fantastic! I hope you’re all getting to know about these fabulous products while learning more about the dynamic, talented and creative women behind them.


Please help spread the word about these beautiful items by sharing with friends and family in person and on social media. Let’s all support women-owned businesses this holiday season and always!



Today’s first Woman in Business is fashion designer, Stella Carakasi of the women’s clothing line by the same name. Stella Carakasi creates a beautiful line of wearable, modern and unique clothing that I adore!

I had the pleasure of meeting Stella several times. The first time I actually got the chance to sit down with the very busy executive and interview her. You can watch part of that interview here. 

All of Stella’s designs are created from start to finish at their Berkeley location, including patterns and samples which are sent to select manufacturers overseas that Stella Carakasi has longstanding relationships with.

I find Stella’s line fun to wear, made with high-quality materials and always with an extra something special – a fold here, a tuck there, and I am crazy for her asymmetric hemlines.

I was first introduced to Stella Carakasi last summer and am now a loyal fan. Some of my favorite pieces are the The Shape of Things to Come Dress that I wore to a charity event recently, the Sublime Sweater that I have loved wearing this holiday season, and of course I can’t forget about my Look Sharp Leggings that I wore to Stella’s trunk show at La Brocante in Sonoma.

Just last week, Stella Carakasi released their mid-season collection. Talk about gorgeous clothes.  This collection is so fresh and modern looking!

Stella Carakasi is offering readers 10% off total purchases (not just first time purchases and full-price items, everything!) until December 31st, 2014. Use code WOMENINBUSINESS at checkout.




Shari Gottesman, owner of Perfect Formula, worked in her family business for over 15 years, creating nail care and lacquer products for some of the biggest cosmetics companies in the world. Shari realized that there still wasn’t a formula out there for the kind of strong, beautiful, natural nails that she knew were achievable for anyone.

Shari created a revolutionary product line using her years of experience and new formulations and technologies. Perfect Formula can now be found on QVC and Sephora, as well as on the Perfect Formula website.

Perfect Formula has saved my nails. I naturally have thin, peeling and weak nails. Add in a good six month’s worth of shellac nail polish and my nails were a sad disaster. My nail beds were painfully sensitive and unsightly.

A friend told me about Perfect Formula and gave me bottles of their Daily Moisture, Pink Gel Coat and Manicure Booster to try. After a few weeks, my nails began to recover and now they have never looked healthier or felt stronger. I am a devoted Perfect Formula user!

Perfect Formula also makes beautiful, fashion-forward nail colors, nail tools and a variety of kits that make ideal holiday gifts.

Shari is offering readers 15% off using the code WOMENINBUSINESS until December 31st, 2014.




Lisa Walsh is Founder and CEO of Persolé. She is also a longtime friend of mine.

Persolé is a California-based company that caters to skin-conscious, fashionable consumers – both women and men – with its line of vibrant, Italian-crafted, UPF 50+ personal sun umbrellas.

Multi-functional, Persolé is designed to keep you cool and protected from the sun in hot weather and dry when it rains.

Persolé’s double-layer Italian sateen canopy is rated UPF 50+ (the highest protection available for fabric) blocking out 99.7% of harmful UVA/UVB rays. It’s also 100% waterproof and has a sturdy fiberglass 12-ribbed canopy that withstands gusty wind.

Eye-catching handles are crafted from genuine bamboo, Lucite, and metal with Swarovski crystal embellishments. The statement-making fabrics add interest and style to any outfit from jeans and a t-shirt at the kids’ soccer game to a formal event.

Persolés have no snap or strap to keep them closed, instead Lisa came up with the clever and fashionable idea to close them with a fabulous bracelet. See Tamera Beardsley’s recent post and see how she styled both the Persolé and the bracelet.

I own three Persolés and frequently use them for both sun protection and rain protection. They are an everyday accessory that I always get compliments on.

You know who else carries Persolés? Celebrities such as Jane Fonda, Gwen Stefani, Nancy O’Dell and Jane Seymour, just to name a few.

Lisa is generously offering readers 25% off Persolés until the end of December, 2014. Just use the code WOMENINBUSINESS at checkout.




Carolina and Mercedes

I met Carolina Anda and her mother, Mercedes well over a year ago while shopping at V Marketplace in Napa Valley. I had never owned a genuine Panama hat and wanted to add one to my wardrobe. I bought one from their shop, Montecristi Panama Hat Company, and was struck by the Anda’s warmth, their vast knowledge about hats and their high quality and classically stylish items.

Later, when I blogged about my Panama hat, Carolina came across the post, contacted me and we reconnected. Since then we have become fast friends. Bill and I were even asked to play models for their website. Such fun!

The Anda family is from Ecuador, as are Panama hats (which are surprisingly not from Panama). They opened their Napa Valley shop and online store over two years. Each day they devote their time to growing their business, providing excellent and friendly service to their customers.

Along with a variety of Panama hats that range in price from $89 to nearly $5000, they carry hats ideal for Derby day, felt wool hats for fall and winter and capes, shawls and wraps. They also sell handbags from Ecuador.

The Anda family is offering readers 10% off on any purchase on their website plus free shipping from now until the end of the month. Just use code WOMENINBIZ on their site (notice this code is different from the others due to space restrictions on their site).

If you happen to stop by their shop this month, located in Yountville, just tell them Adrienne from The Rich Life on a Budget sent you and get 10% off!




I will be back with the fourth and final Women in Business post next Friday.

Make it a rich day and happy Holidays!



Disclosure: While I have been given items from the above business owners – a Persolé (I bought two of them myself), Perfect Formula nail care, many hats, and several Stella Carakasi pieces, I approached these women in business to be part of this gift guide, not the other way around. I stand behind every product featured here and in other Women in Business posts. I know these products are fantastic, because I own them and use them! All opinions are 100% my own, as always.


  1. December 13, 2014 / 5:13 am

    Admirable women and worthy products. I’m going to check them out now…

  2. Kathy
    December 13, 2014 / 4:10 pm

    Another group of great companies and I love my Monticristi hats. The SC collection looks great.

  3. December 14, 2014 / 11:36 am

    I love those hats, Adrienne. That camel one looks great on you. And the purple fedora is so wonderfully vintage looking. Sadly…what I don’t need are more vintage hats that I don’t wear. I love to look at them on others, though.

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