Robyn Exton is the founder of HER, the world’s largest brand for LGBTQ womxn & queer people. HER builds products and experiences that connect womxn in the way that works best for them. The app is home to 7 million people across the world, with dating and community connections, and their online events have hosted over 10,000 people this year. With content, events and communities, HER is opening up opportunities for LGBTQ womxn that never existed before. Robyn, who is originally from Toronto, now resides in San Francisco. We had her answer to our #WomenInspiringWomen questionnaire and here are her answers.
What inspired you for to start your own business?
A combination of factors all kind of stumbled in together at the same time which led to the lightbulb moment. I was using this terrible lesbian dating website that made me feel miserable every time I opened it, and I had also been working with a dating business as one of my clients and been so inspired by Grindr and what they were building. I wanted to make a pride-full platform in the same way for queer women. It began on the App Store in 2013, and it’s been growing rapidly ever since.
What differentiates your brand/product from the rest?
We prioritize the experience of lesbian and bisexual and queer people in everything that we do. From the moment you load the app, it should be screaming gay at you so you know that your experience is understood and is top priority in this space. We celebrate all parts of your queerness and make you feel utterly accepted and at home.
Do you have a life motto?
If you change nothing, nothing will change.
Tell us about the reality of your industry.
Moving to work in tech was one the greatest decisions I could have ever made. There is unending opportunity and huge possibilities in what you can build. It’s inspiring and creative and ever changing. At the same time, it can be grueling, isolating and competitive. There are some deep rooted issues of misogyny that tech is no stranger to. But the tides are turning and there is so much support and infrastructure emerging to support female founders, queer founders to change that. Its an industry that Ill be forever optimistic about and an industry that is truly changing the world.
What’s the one product that’s always in your purse?
AirPods 😉 got to be call ready at any moment.
What is a fact about you that would surprise others?
I won the lottery when I was founding HER – a small win but enough to finish my bootstrap fund goal and let me quit my job.
What changes concerning women would you like to see in 2021
Is it too much to ask for the complete and utter collapse of the patriarchy? Well in the meantime I want to see education and inclusion of transwomen in all discussions around women’s equality.
What advice would you like to give to today’s women?
No one is going to give you a perfect opportunity or perfect moment to take that risk and start that business. You have everything you could ever need inside of you, so take the first step and start creating your change from today.