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Powerful Philly Women Talk Philanthropy, Business and How They Get it Done

Trailblazer winner Mary Dougherty sits in her Manayunk boutique. Photo by Theresa Regan.

Pop the hood on Philadelphia company LAGOS and you’ll find more than fine jewelry. The company ethos established by founder Steve LAGOS 43 years ago—have integrity, show strength and be smart—bleeds into everything they do, from the jewelry design to their customer service at their Rittenhouse boutique to their community involvement.

That’s why LAGOS sponsors Philadelphia magazine’s Trailblazer Awards, given annually to an accomplished leader in the region, the Trailblazer, as well as an up-and-coming woman who has already made an impact in her community, the Luminary Leader. Like LAGOS, the Trailblazer Awards celebrates women who are passionate, inspirational visionaries. Meet the inspiring 2020 winners below.

Trailblazer Mary Dougherty

This year’s Trailblazer, Mary Dougherty, is the epitome of the LAGOS spirit. A fashion guru and business maven, Dougherty started her career 30 years ago as an independent wholesale representative traveling up and down the Northeast corridor.

“I’ve just always wanted more,” she says. “I didn’t always know what more looked like, but I trusted my instincts.”

Eventually, she was tapped to become a representative for Nicole Miller, a post which allowed her to open her Manayunk boutique, now ranked among the top boutiques in the city, in 1994. Nicole Miller and Philly turned out to be a good match. The store exploded in popularity from its opening night.

“We would sell out over the weekend, and I would put in a reorder on Monday,” she says. “We weren’t on sale the entire year.”

As she gained success, Dougherty also found ways to give back to the community through mentoring other rising business leaders and supporting local causes.

“People don’t just come in here to buy something,” she says. “I had a woman who came in because she was giving a TED talk and wanted advice on what would look good on a stage and be appropriate. Another was going to the Academy Ball; another was the hospital executive and wanted to feel more professional. I told her what I tell all of my clients: I want you to be focused on your job—I’ll worry about your closet and make sure you look fabulous.”

Learn more about Dougherty’s story here.

Emily Kramer-Golinkoff, the founder of Emily’s Entourage, is the first-ever winner of the Luminary Award. Photo by Theresa Regan.

Luminary Leader Emily Kramer-Golinkoff

In 2011, Lower-Merion native Emily Kramer-Golinkoff and her mom decided to start a one-year fundraising campaign to help find a cure for cystic fibrosis (CF), a progressive genetic disease that causes thick mucus to build up in the lungs, leading to life-threatening infections. While groundbreaking new medicines are giving the 90 percent of patients with the most common mutation of CF new hope, those treatments won’t help patients like Emily, who suffer from a rare mutation called the “nonsense mutation.”

“I was reaching advanced-stage disease, we were running out of treatment options, and there were tons of other people in the same boat as I was,” Emily says.

They were hoping to raise $50,000 over the course of a year. They raised more than $40,000 in a week. That fundraiser has since turned into Emily’s Entourage, a volunteer-driven foundation that’s raised more than $6.8 million for high-impact research on nonsense mutations of CF. The hope is that enough money invested smartly will create life-saving breakthroughs and a cure within Emily’s lifetime.

“We’re driven by the fact that there’s 10 percent of the CF population that deserves realistic hope and a better future,” Emily says. “And with a vested interest, with skin in the game, we’re willing to do whatever it takes.”

Learn more about Emily’s story here.

LAGOS is the perfect jewelry to buy yourself to commemorate a special occasion or a career milestone. To learn more about LAGOS, visit lagos.com or stop by the shop at 1735 Walnut Street Monday through Saturday, 10 am -7 pm or Sunday from 12-6 pm.