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Forbes' America's Richest Self-Made Women list includes Austin faces, plus the woman behind SpaceX

Gwynne Shotwell has been working with SpaceX since 2002, as one of the first 11 employees. (Laura Figi/Austonia)

Women nationwide are getting richer—Forbes reported that the wealth of the top self-made women has soared 31% since last year—and Austin's women are no exception. Out of the top 100 women who climbed their way to the rankings, five have Austin ties.


Austin, and Texas', notable addition Gwynne Shotwell is changing the space-scape of the city as we know it. As SpaceX's president and COO, Shotwell came in 62nd place with a net worth of $460 million.

Shotwell, an Illinois native, is now living outside Austin and Waco in Jonesboro, Texas. She works closely with Austin-transplant Elon Musk, having joined SpaceX back in 2002, and manages the operations of the company that wants to put human civilization on other planets.

Having watched the Apollo 11 launch as a child and the tragedy of the Challenger shuttle soon after she graduated college, Shotwell has a complicated relationship with space travel. In fact, Shotwell wasn't even interested in space until she began working at The Aerospace Corporation, which she later left to become director of the space systems division at Microcosm Inc.

Enter Elon Musk, one of the most celebrated entrepreneurs of her generation, who crossed her path at a Konigsmann launch. A little of her own business advice landed her an unexpected job as VP of sales position at SpaceX.

Shotwell's part in the company has led to a negotiation of the first Commercial Resupply Services contract with NASA, a driving force behind the 50 launches with the Falcon Vehicle and the subsequent $5 billion in generated revenue.

What's next for Shotwell? Besides landing her second year on the America's Richest Self-Made Women list, Shotwell is entering an exciting time for SpaceX. SpaceX's Starbase is nearing completion while the company prepares to send the Super Heavy rocket to space. Plus, the Starlink satellite internet service, which will soon have a factory in Austin, is rapidly gaining popularity with more than 100,000 customers.

Familiar faces on the list include SHI International CEO Thai Lee, who ranked sixth with a net worth of $4.1 billion; Bumble CEO Whitney Wolfe Herd, ranking 21st with a net worth of $1.3 billion; Kendra Scott jewelry founder Kendra Scott, coming in 35th place with a net worth of $800 million; and Advanced Micro Devices CEO Lisa Su, who ranked 52nd with a net worth of $600 million.

Popular

Tito's releases (not so?) ugly sweater line for the holidays, profits to charity

Tito's Handmade Vodka

Show your love for Tito's and for the community this year with a wide selection of not that ugly, uglyish, ugly, uglier, and ugliest holiday sweaters.

There's lots choose from, and plenty of accessories like scarves and socks, plus gear for your dog, too.

All of the items can be purchased online or at the Love, Tito’s Retail Store in Austin, TX. 100% of all net proceeds from online or in-store purchases go to one of the nonprofits we’ve teamed up with.

Click here to see the entire collection in the Tito's store.

Mac and Cheese Fest and Free Art Exhibit
Waterloo Greenway, Good Vibrations Installation


🗓 All weekend

🎨 Creek Show Art Exhibit

Check out this highly anticipated art exhibition with illuminated art along Waller Creek. Tickets are free and the event includes food vendors, dazzling lights, live music, and hands-on activities

All weekend 6 p.m - 10 p.m | 📍Waterloo Park

✨ Mozart's Light Show

This iconic holiday tradition lights up for the first time this holiday season starting this weekend! Reserve your spot for an enchanting light and sound performance, delicious hot cocoa, sweet treats, and some overall fun with your friends or family. The show runs till January 6th.

6 p.m and 9 p.m | 📍Mozart's Coffee Roasters - 3825 Lake Austin Blvd, Austin, TX 78703

🗓 Saturday

🥊 Kickboxing in the Park

This fitness event is free and open to the public. Get your morning started right with a "Fitness in the park" class for kickboxing! The class will be led by certified instructors and is a great way to get a cardio workout in while also honing your self-defense skills.

10 a.m - 11 a.m | 📍 Metz Park

🛍 The Front Market

Support local LBGTQ+ and female artists at this outdoor market with over 150 vendors. Get your holiday shopping out of the way at this event, with vendors for food trucks, handmade goods, raffles, hands on workshops and activities, and more.

11 a.m - 5 p.m | 📍Ani's Day and Night - 7107 E Riverside Drive, Austin, TX 78741

🗓 Sunday

🧀 Mac and Cheese Fest

Did someone say cheese?! If you're like me and always willing to get your hands on a bowl of mac and cheese, then this event is for you. Check out the Mac and Cheese festival happening this weekend to decide which vendor has. the best mac and cheese for yourself, and enjoy the bar with creative cocktails while you're at it. Tickets start at $45.

11 a.m - 3 p.m | 📍Lantana Place - 7415 Southwest Parkway