Who is Hilary Rowland?

Entrepreneur Hilary Rowland

Hilary Rowland

In a two-dimensional digital world, I’ll do my best to give you an idea of who I am.

  • I’m a country girl at heart, living a city girl’s life.
  • My father is a professor of philosophical thinking and ethics, and has passed along those two strengths (obsessions) in me.
  • I was a dork in high school (kinda still), and had a hard time fitting in.
  • I’m very happily married to my soul mate (they exist!)
  • I wish that the world were like Shallow Hal, and that people’s outer representations would reflected how much love and empathy they have in them.
  • I have green eyes with a ring of amber, and I’d love to use that eyelash enhancing stuff, but I’m afraid it’ll turn my eyes completely brown.
  • I love animals and know that my life wouldn’t have been the same without my super lovable cats. (Rescue, don’t buy!)
  • I have way too much clothing, though I bought it almost all on eBay. I love a bargain :)

I’ve been an entrepreneur since I was 14. I run a number of businesses and am working on several new ones. Yeah, it’s a lot, but my brain is always running and if I wasn’t super busy I’d probably be bored silly. Read more

In a Nutshell, for those in a hurry…

Hi! My name is Hilary Rowland.

I’ve been an entrepreneur my whole life — since I was a teenager.

Active Projects:

I launched the first ever online magazine back in 1994/95. It’s called Urbanette Magazine. Starting in 2013, Urbanette went into print (twice yearly). I founded Urbanette magazine when I was 14 years old because, as an equal rights activist, I wanted to help educate and inspire women on the critical issues of self-esteem and female leadership. In keeping with these goals, I decided to turn Urbanette into the first 100% volunteer-run magazine, and donate 100% of our profits to Women in the World Foundation, as the charity’s values and goals are exactly in line with ours.

Part-Time or On-Hold Projects:

In the mid-90′s I invented online casting and portfolios. New Faces® was the first portfolio or talent database online.  More than half a million models, actors and photographers added their portfolio to the site within the first five years. To this day it helps models and actors network and freelance.

In 2009, I started one of the first social enterprises on the scene, before people realized how effective it is to mix business with charity. I’m really happy that trend caught on! It’s called Project Migration and we sell fashion accessories and apparel to raise funds for water and medical supplies to aid those living in extreme poverty. It’s got some pretty cool supporters, like Sting, Richard Branson and Adrian Grenier.

In my spare time I’ve always had a passion for travel, so I started Pearls & Pocket Squares, which is a guest experience consultancy firm for luxury hotels and resorts.

Be The Kindness is a monthly Think Tank I started. I’m getting some of the greatest entrepreneurial minds in the country together to focus on innovative solutions to improve the lives of animals around the world. All ideas are welcome!

Past Projects:

For a while I also had a pop-up contemporary photography and art gallery in SoHo, NYC, called SoHo Loft Gallery. 100% of profits from the gallery went to fund the growth of Project Migration. To be honest, I had no idea it’d be so tough to sell photography! It was a fun venture though, and who knows – maybe it’ll pop-up again at some point. For now, it’s just online.

Future Projects:

As if all that wasn’t enough work, I’ve got a few other projects on the go (I’ll let you know when they launch)… I’m looking for Python programmers at the moment, so hit me up if you are/know one!

If you want more than that, I wrote a more about my life and career here.

Q&A with Hilary

Were you the kind of kid who sold lemonade on the sidewalk?

My brother and I actually did sell lemonade! I think we were about four and five years old. When I was twelve, my brother and I set up a booth at a sidewalk sale in Port Hope and sold grape vine wreaths and crafts that we’d made – I think our crafts were probably pretty primitive but we sold out and were written up in the local paper.

Where do you think you got your business sense?

From my mom who is a marketing genius and a creative problem solver. I think creative problem solving is an important skill because it’s transferable to almost any business or situation. My mother is an entrepreneur and my father is a writer, so they both work for themselves. I’m glad they instilled me with that same entrepreneurial drive. Read more

My History, How & Why

MY MOTIVATION

My mother is an artist and my father is a well-known author and PhD professor of ethics. Both worked in television news when I was young and were interested in technology. Consequently, in 1994 I got hooked up to the Internet. At the time I read a lot of fashion magazines and was interested in the fashion & entertainment world. My attitude was “Hey, if other people can make Web sites then so can I!” I was lucky enough to have interests that lent themselves well to the medium of the Internet, and fortunately I was able to recognize that… Read more

Be The Kindness

be-the-kindnessI sometimes have a hard time understanding humanity. Humans, as well as animals, are capable of such compassion and kindness, but when it comes to helping people or animals we’re not physically close to — that we don’t actually see on a regular basis — the unfortunate truth is that few people choose to act on (or even let themselves feel) that compassion.

There are many exceptions to this phenomenon. I am one. That is why I’m vegan, and why I’ve been putting together a group of great thinkers who are also compassionate and kind. Together, our goal is to come up with game-changing ideas to help animals around the world live better lives.

I just started a Facebook page for our little Think Tank, which you can check out at www.facebook.com/BeTheKindness

I’d love to hear suggestions, so please feel free to comment on our page or below.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” - Margaret Mead