More businesses in downtown Miamisburg are owned by women than men after the addition of four new shops in the last year.
Women now own 40 percent of U.S. businesses in the United States, but in Miamisburg, 60 to 65 percent of downtown businesses are owned by women, said Miamisburg community development director Katie Frank.
A lack of mentorship can be a barrier to women owning their own business, but in Miamisburg, there’s no shortage of strong women leaders and peers in what BlushN’Grey Boutique manager Katie Hale calls a “tight knit little family.”
BlushN’Grey is one of the four new businesses started. The burst in new businesses was jump-started when Lyndsey Rhodus opened Spoonful, an edible cookie dough shop last April.
When Rhodus moved into her Main Street location, she said women who owned established businesses immediately came to offer support and ideas.
“We know that we’re all women down here, so it’s kind of like we want to see each other succeed in what we’re doing,so just like collaborating on ideas and when we have questions or whatever there’s someone to turn to,” she said.
The community and city have also been supportive, said Megan Castle, co-owner of the recently-opened Sakara Salon.
“They’re really wanting those females to succeed, you know, and I think that’s mainly why we picked Miamisburg,” said Devon Shade, the other co-owner of Sakara. “I mean, it’s welcoming, it’s pro small business, especially women, female-owned businesses.”
It’s good for the town to have diversity in the business ownership, too, Frank said. The new shops have added to the depth of experience in the downtown area.
“Women in this area have been waiting for some change downtown for a long time,” said Ashley Biederman, owner of BlushN’Grey. “…There’s women that have been walking downtown, eating downtown, enjoying downtown for years and years and years, but now they have more reason to come here. We’re all trying to kind of make it more of a destination, all-day spot versus just come eat and go back home.”
And it’s empowering to own their own business rather than work for commission under someone else, Shade said.
While thriving with women owners, the downtown area still is low on retail, Biederman said. She opened her shop to pave the way for more small retailers to open in the area. Since then boutique L&E Co. has opened down the street.
Sakara Salon joins other established businesses owned by women including home decor store M & Co, ice cream shop 3 Dips, Mz. Pickles Sandwich Shop, Curious Styles and Coffee Shop, AmyCakes and Willow Rust.
There are other new businesses and expansions in the works. Germantown creative studio Dabble is planning another location in downtown Miamisburg and there’s been talk of opening more store fronts in the alley, Biederman said.
Current businesses also plan to expand, with Sakara looking to add eyelash extension, massages, waxing, skincare and facials to be a full-service salon, Castle said.
“Just in the next couple years, it’s going to be like exponential growth,” Biederman said. “I mean, I just think it’s gonna be huge…There’s a lot of things that you just don’t know about until you’re down here. There’s a lot of new restaurants popping up. There’s a photography studio. There’s all kinds of stuff.”
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