There are more female founders today than ever before. In fact, in 2019, 28% of new business owners were female, compared to 49% in 2021. These women-owned businesses employ 9.4 million people in the United States and generate nearly $2 trillion in revenue. Serial entrepreneur Sarah Bowmar is one such female founder, but she didn’t stop with one business; her portfolio includes seven across four different industries.
At a time when female founders still face significant challenges as entrepreneurs, how did Bowmar defy the odds? Here are some of her secrets.
The Road to Entrepreneurship
Sarah Bowmar has always been passionate about health and fitness. She began competing in fitness competitions in 2011 and achieved national qualification. In fact, she met her now-husband Josh at the 2014 Arnold Classic in Columbus, Ohio. Together, they became certified nutrition specialists and ISSA fitness trainers. Bowmar also became an AFPA-certified prenatal and postpartum trainer in 2020 to give targeted fitness advice to women. Sarah also holds an MBA in marketing and gained valuable experience in digital marketing.
Her first venture into entrepreneurship was when she joined her husband in a combined online coaching business, Bowmar Fitness. Recognizing the need for healthier, cleaner products, they founded the clean, nutrition-focused companies Bowmar Nutrition and APEX Protein Snacks in 2018 and 2020.
Shortly after meeting Josh, he introduced Sarah to his love of nature and, specifically, bow hunting. While Josh has bow hunted since childhood, hunting in and of itself was new to Sarah, but she was quickly hooked. Today, the two are avid bowhunters and go on hunting expeditions worldwide together. In 2020, they founded Bowmar Archery, where their branded archery gear and supplies, such as their patented nose button, can be found.
But Sarah is also a mom. One who’s passionate about helping parents find solutions to help their children sleep better, so she also founded the clothing line Wild Acorn. Then went on to launch an exclusive limited-edition jewelry line, Brack and Pine, and most recently, OAK Fit activewear for women.
Aiming for Success
With companies across such vastly different industries as fitness and nutrition, archery, clothing, and jewelry, many have asked the serial entrepreneur, “What’s the link?” For her, empowering women, supporting healthy living, sharing a love of nature, and leaving a positive footprint are the common threads. While those common threads drive her, Sarah’s secrets to female founder success in any endeavor she takes on include the following.
She has staying power – Many of the same traits that led Sarah to success in fitness competitions can be applied to entrepreneurship as well. There’s the focus, the discipline, and the willingness to work hard, learn, and dedicate the time to making each business a success.
Take her two businesses, Wild Acorn and OAK Fit, as examples. Sarah is an avid activewear consumer and recognized needs in the industry, and set out to create pieces that will empower every woman to “weather your storm.” To do that, she worked with a design team and spent years perfecting every piece to ensure they were the perfect fit for every body type while giving women the confidence they needed to conquer every day and the comfort required to want to wear them all day long.
As for her Wild Acorn clothing line, when Sarah realized her newborn was sleeping best in her bamboo sleeper, it launched her down a new path to learn more about babies’ sleep patterns and habits. As a result, she became a Baby-Led Sleep™ & Well-Being Specialist and started the line as a passion project to help parents find solutions to promote better sleep for their babies. Wild Acorn offers a wide range of products for children up to age five that are comfortable, hypoallergenic, moisture-wicking, and antifungal, ensuring they stay cool, dry, and comfortable throughout the night.
She is a brand herself – Sarah doesn’t just start these businesses and step back. She’s the face of them and, as such, is a brand herself. Sarah connects with her audience in a real and relatable way. She and her husband, Josh, also candidly document healthy eating and workout tips on their Bowmar Fitness YouTube channel, as well as bowhunting tips on their Bowmar Bowhunting channel. In fact, they now have over 2 million followers combined across all of their social media platforms, plus over 377,000 YouTube subscribers. Moreover, their podcast, “The Bowmar Show,” has had nearly half a million downloads since its inception in 2019.
She doesn’t just sell products; she empowers a lifestyle – It was Sarah’s passion for fitness and nutrition that started it all, and all her businesses work to empower a healthy lifestyle, to which nutrition and staying active are key. Bowmar Fitness offers programs, knowledge, and guidance validated by current research and science to optimize results. Bowmar Nutrition and Apex Protein Snack elevate that fitness journey with protein powders, pre-workout supplements, and protein-rich snacks that are high-quality and minimally processed.
Bowhunting fits perfectly with empowering a healthy lifestyle as well, not only because you have to be active, have cardio endurance, and be able to recover quickly to bow hunt, but also, the Bowmars provide healthier food for their family this way, and state they haven’t bought processed meat from the store in years.
She lives her brand – Sarah truly practices what she preaches, and that authenticity always resonates more with consumers. Through her social media platforms and podcasts, Sarah describes her fitness journey, favorite products, and bowhunting travels, as well as her love for and inspiration from nature.
A prime example is her bowhunting posts. Since hunting is typically male-dominated, she approaches her posts from an education perspective to bring light and new people to the space, specifically women. The impact has been profound in that women regularly reach out to her, saying they are inspired to hunt to provide food for their families or introduce their kids to archery because of that content.
Not only does Sarah want to leave a positive footprint, but she encourages others to do the same by advocating for ethical hunting methods, actively promoting the use and production of cleaner, healthier products, and giving back. She and Josh have even established their own non-profit, Kids in the Outdoors, to give children from urban areas a chance to spend time in nature during fun-filled outdoor activities.
Whether as a nutrition specialist, fitness trainer, prenatal/postpartum trainer, social media influencer, podcast host, author, or bowhunter, Sarah Bowman is an entrepreneurial force from which all current and future female founders can learn.