I love going into stores owned and managed by women. I feel a kindred spirit, though I have never worked retail.
There are two in our town that are my particular favorites. One is a lovely bakery that also serves as a tea shop (The Polka Dot Pound Cake.). It is a simple store, friendly and cheery, one of those places that makes you smile when you open its doors. Lisa, the owner is a baker and a mother, roles that are not mutually inclusive. There is an easiness about her. Before she takes my order, she asks about the family, wants to know how we are faring and is generally interested in our well-being. I am content even before I take my first sip of a calming cup of tea.
On the other side of town, another Lisa owns a specialty shop (Vine & Branches) that focuses on olive oils, with more choices than I can quickly count. It is a wandering store, one that you walk into to replenish your bottle of olive oil and come out with spreads, crackers, and taste treats that you didn’t know you needed. She has style and grace coupled with a genuine concern for the delivery man who carries the heavy packages into her store.
While their businesses have been hit by the current Covid-19 crisis, they both remain optimistic and creative. Lisa, our baker, has ‘afternoon tea to go’—all the trappings of a proper tea party that you bring home and serve. Lisa, our store owner, personally delivers her offerings. She brings her fellow farmers market vendors’ products into her store, creating an outlet for them and potentially new foot traffic for her.
I believe women bring more of themselves into their ventures–their personality, their caring, their ability to make lemonade out of lemons. Bravo to my Lisas and all the other women entrepreneurs who share their passion and commitment.