Women-Owned Business

. March 1, 2016.
WOB-CUR-16

There's no shortage of exciting businesses in Washtenaw County, and some remarkable women are running the show. Below are some of our favorite women doing innovative, creative things in the business world. Get ready to get inspired.

Janette Rook

The Eyrie
50 E. Cross St., Ypsilanti
734-340-9286 | theeyrie.net

What is your business and what do you do?

The Eyrie is an art gallery and gift shop featuring over 220 Michigan artisans’ work including photographs, greeting cards, jewelry and accessories, paintings, pottery, blown glass, handmade candles, soap and more.

How many years have you been in business?

Almost 3!

What woman inspired you?

Mary “Mother” Jones.

What is your favorite off-day activity?

Hiking the Potawatomi Trail.

What is one thing that makes Ypsilanti such a great place to own a business?

The diverse collection of warm and interesting people.

Dominika Wozniak

FitPoint
250 W. Eisenhower Pkwy. #130
734-531-9958 | fitpointa2.com

What is your business and what do you do?

FitPoint is a brand new fitness studio offering a variety of group fitness classes, personal training sessions, and private Yoga and Pilates sessions. We are a one-stop location for people who are seeking variety and high quality instructors. We have fitness classes, four types of Yoga classes from Basic yoga, to Slow Flow, Power Yoga to Yin Yoga, and we also offer Beginner and Intermediate Mat Pilates. We have brand new locker rooms with showers and towel service. Our goal is to provide a wide variety of classes with the utmost quality in customer care. 

What woman inspired you?

I was a professional tennis player and since I was little girl my role model has been Steffi Graff. She was (and still is) such a champion. She is the only woman in tennis history to have won a Golden Grand Slam (all four Grand Slam Tournaments and the Olympic Gold medal in one year). She is a hard worker and fighter who never gave up. She overcame many obstacles in her personal and professional life and was always very diplomatic.  Now she is mother of two and I have always looked up to her as my role model.

What is one surprising thing about you?

I have travelled the world on the Pro Tennis Tour and I’m fluent in three languages: Slovak, English and Spanish.  I can also speak and understand Czech and Polish.

What is one thing that makes A2 a great place to own a business?

The people I’m surrounded by love to be part of the community and do things together to get and stay fit. That’s what is great about Ann Arbor. Everyone comes from different backgrounds and they have unique stories to tell. I love that Ann Arbor is so diverse. People can meet and connect with other very interesting people while working out or taking Yoga classes, and they become part of a community while doing something good for themselves.  

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

I have been lucky to have many smart women (and men) around me. One thing I have been told over and over is to do what you love! And I love helping people to be healthy and fit! One of my recent favorite quotes: ‘Do the best you can until you know better. Then, when you know better, do better,”  — Maya Angelou. 

Nawal Motawi

Motawi Tileworks
170 Enterprise Dr.
734-213-0017 | motawi.com

What is your business and what do you do?

I am the founder and owner of Motawi Tileworks.

How many years have you been in business? 

It will be 24 years in March.

What woman inspired you?

Mary Chase Stratton, founder of Pewabic Pottery.

What are you most proud of?

I am most proud of how I was able to incorporate open book management into my company and educate and empower my employees to create the operating budget so successfully that we quadrupled our net profit in just one year!

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

Creating a great company is as good as creating a big company.

 

Pam Lloyd-Camp

Boyd’s Retro Candy
954 Phillips Ave., Toledo, Ohio
419-720-7386 | boydsretrocandy.com

What is your business and what do you do?

I own a candy store where we sell candy the way candy used to be sold in an old drug store or at the department store candy counter.  Customers can purchase by the piece or by the pound.

How many years have you been in business?

This will be our 10th year in business.

What woman inspired you? 

My Grandmother inspired me.  She always worked hard.  She had a sister who was a Confectioner at 15302 Blackstone Ave., at the corner of Fenkell Ave. in Detroit.

What would your theme song be?

“I Want Candy”

Where would you like to  be in ten years? 

I’d like to expanded our business to a second location in a not too distant city.

Melissa Mueller

Vis-a-Vis
320 Miller Avenue Suite #171
734-213-7455 | VisaVisA2.com

V2 Heart-Crafted Cosmetics Small Batch Skincare
844-619-0032 | V2FromA2.com

What is your business and what do you do?

I’m the owner of Vis-a-Vis! We’re a full-service salon and spa where excellent customer service is our ultimate goal. We want our guests to feel as at home in our space as possible. I’m also the founder of our in-house skincare line, V2 Heart-Crafted Cosmetics. Our products are based in nature, made in small batches, and produced right here in Ann Arbor.

How many years have you been in business?

Vis-a-Vis has been in business for five years, while V2 Heart-Crafted Cosmetics has been in production for around three.

What are you most proud of about your business?

Being an employer! I take a lot of pride in the fact that we employ and provide health benefits for over 25 people at Vis-a-Vis. It gives me great joy to be able to provide a space in which others can succeed.

What is one thing that makes A2 a great place to own a business?

Its diversity. There is something for everyone in Ann Arbor. I love that people come from all over the world to live here even if it’s for a short time.

What is your favorite off-day activity?

Marathons (the Netflix kind)!

Marilyn Richason

Dessange Paris
206 S. Fifth Ave., Suite 300
734-996-5585 | dessange-international.com

What is your business and what do you do?

The name of my business is Dessange Paris salon and spa. We are a franchise based in Paris with over 500 salons worldwide. 

How long have you been in business?

I have been a salon owner for 38 years and have also enjoyed working as a hairdresser during that time.  

What woman or women inspired you?

Early on, Gloria Steinem, Patti Smith and later Ellen Degeneres.

What is one thing that makes A2 a great place to own a business?

I love the diversity of Ann Arbor’s people, art, music and food. It’s a great place for all types of businesses and for anyone with an entrepreneurial spirit.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

I like the zen saying from a dear old friend: “Before enlightenment, chop wood and haul water, after enlightenment, chop wood and haul water.” My advice to anyone who asks; be patient and never quit!

Diana Sheldon

A2 Yoga
​2030 Commerce Blvd.
734-216-4006 | a2yoga.net

What is your business and what do you do?

Our business is A2 Yoga. For over 13 years we have continued to provide authentic, traditional Yoga and Nia classes (over 35 weekly classes and four free donation based classes) as well as customized massage therapy.

What woman inspired you?

My sister, Ana Patricia Hough, the founder of A2 Yoga. With yoga, Ana has overcome and corrected severe scoliosis, which used to cause her massive migraine headaches. It is amazing what she started, and now as a sister duo, what we continue to house at A2 Yoga for the community and well-being of our students.

What are you most proud of?

Last year was amazing in terms of support, love, and encouragement following my breast cancer diagnosis and treatment as a young woman. As a small business owner, when tragedy strikes, it can be very scary not to know if your business will continue to run and operate if you're not able to fully be present on a regular basis. To know that the studio ran smoothly and continues to be a part of the community during my illness thanks to the wonderful staff, teachers, and students is heart-filling.

What is one surprising thing about you?

I am adopted. I think my non-traditional upbringing has taught me a lot about perseverance. It is that which I tap into when times are tough. 

What is one thing that makes A2 a great place to own a business?

Having grown up in Ann Arbor, the city has grown and changed quite a bit since I was a kid. But the one constant is that it is an educational hub here in the Midwest. It opens up the mind and creates possibilities for people which, in a way, is similar to what yoga/nia does on a intimate personal level.

Paulette Brown 

Manager

Ann Arbor PTO Thrift Shop
2280 S. Industrial Hwy.
734-996-9155 | a2ptothriftshop.org

What is your business and what do you do? 

We are a non-profit that raises funds for Ann Arbor Public School students. I am the Manager of the shop and work with our Board of Directors, an Executive Director, and an amazing staff of over 30 people.

What woman inspired you?

Hands down, my Mother, and she still does every day; thanks Mom!  My sister gets equal billing. She will forever be my HERO.

What are you most proud of?

Family and friends for sure. Also that I’m fortunate to learn new things and meet new people every day.

What would your theme song be?

Oh, that would depend on the the mood of the day, but long live that lewd, lascivious Rock ‘n Roll!

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

Value everyone and trust yourself.

Elaine Cash

Treasure Mart
529 Detroit St.
734-662-1363 | treasuremart.com

What is your business and what do you do?

Our business is resale consignment of antiques, collectibles, jewelry, household items and furniture, including  lamps, rugs, artwork and mirrors.

How many years have you been in business?

We have been in business since 1960 — 56 years!

Name one woman that inspired you.

My mom, Demaris Cash, was a huge inspiration to me.  She had the guts and foresight to open this business at a time when most women were stay-at-home moms.

What are you most proud of about your business?

I am most proud that we are still a thriving, popular business and that we have helped many thousands of customers dispose of items that they can no longer use. 

Favorite off-day activity?

Cooking and gardening, both help relieve stress.

Irene Thompson

Collected Works 
303 Detroit St.
734-995-4222 | collectedworksannarbor.com

What is your business and what do you do?

I am the owner of Collected Works, a women’s clothing boutique in the Market Place Building right by the Farmers Market on Detroit St. As a small business owner, I do anything that needs to be done for the business.  I wear a multitude of hats.

How many years have you been in business? 

I have been in business in Ann Arbor since 1977. 
I started on Liberty St., moved to Main St. and settled here on Detroit St. in 2000.

What woman or women inspired you?

I have been most inspired by the women from my childhood.  First, my mother, by her sense of style and detail and color. And by the mom of my childhood friend, who taught me so much about art and creativity, and taught me how to play the piano!  My Dad was a small business owner in Detroit in the ‘50s and ‘60s, so that is probably in my blood too.

What are you most proud of?

First, I am proud of my talented adult children, Nik, Michael and Kristina Thompson, and delighted by my five grandchildren. Professionally, I am proud that my small business has thrived for 38 years with the help of my excellent husband and excellent staff.  Retail is not for the faint of heart, but my customers make it a lot of fun.

What is one thing that makes A2 a great place to own a business?

I am grateful for the community that has supported Collected Works.  Ann Arbor doesn’t want to look like everyone else (both the city and my customers!), and we go out of our way to support local businesses that lend such a flavor to the city. I am proud when customers bring visitors to our city into Collected Works.  Ann Arbor “gets” me and what I have been doing all these years.  I am the happiest woman in A2.  I get to work at Collected Works every day.

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