hi! we’re kate and melanie.
My husband and I were traveling in Nashville and looking for a place to grab lunch. I remember at the time I really wanted to find a restaurant owned by a woman, to use my dollars to support another woman directly. But the moment when I needed it, there was no easy-to-use resource to guide me. When we sat down in a restaurant, it occurred to me that an online directory of women-owned and women-run businesses didn’t readily exist. Thus, DirectHERy was born.
I was raised by a single dad. As he tells it, he saw that all these other people were applying to law school who were no smarter than him, and he thought, Why not me? And he went for it. This question has become a mantra in my life and a movement in my work. When I moved to Madison, Kate was one of the very first people I met, and we soon developed an amazing friendship. Her authenticity, her creativity, her sincere commitment to women and people who don’t have a voice -- it’s contagious. So when she asked me to join her in founding DirectHERy, I thought, Why not me? Why would I not be the one to do this? It was an easy decision to join her, and it was the right one.
We started DirectHERy because we believe it should be easy to find and support businesses owned by women.
Kate Fletcher Heaney
Hailing from the small ski town of Girdwood, Alaska, DirectHERy’s founder Kate Fletcher Heaney grew up surrounded by strong and inspiring women, including her mother Lizbeth and sisters Rosey and Beth. Kate’s parents worked tirelessly to support all three as they pursued their dreams to compete as professional athletes. The inner strength ingrained in Kate – along with her drive and competitive spirit – fuels her passion for entrepreneurship and the new business savvy she possesses today. Kate began her career in event management and over the last decade has started a number of small business concepts.
A self-declared feminist and women’s rights advocate, Kate longed for an easy and accessible way to support women-owned businesses in her community. She started DirectHERy to galvanize women business owners and provide an online, “one-stop-shop approach” to find and support them. She currently resides with her family in Madison, Wisconsin, volunteering there for various causes, as well as in her home state of Alaska. In her spare time, Kate loves traveling, being in nature, watching live music, and spending time with her husband Patrick and their three wild children.
Melanie Bean Galle
DirectHERy’s COO and co-founder Melanie Bean Galle grew up outside Seattle. Her career spans two decades in media and marketing, including time at Expedia, Microsoft, and nearly 10 years at NBC News’ msnbc.com and The Today Show. She loves the energy of community in everything from her Saturday yoga class to the shared excitement in the audience at a concert and wants to build that sense of community at DirectHERy. She sees DirectHERy as her way to build something of significance. Melanie’s six sisters and three daughters drive her passion to empower women in their work and in the world.
Melanie lives in Madison, WI with her husband Chris and their three daughters. In her spare time, she digs hot yoga, reading, and binge-watching political dramas.