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Success Stories from Women-Owned Businesses

Tiesha King started Thrift Witch in 2018 in the REO Town Marketplace. Business has been so good for the store specializing in dark art  products that she relocated to Old Town and outgrew her first store there within a month.

From Old Town to REO Town and DeWitt to Mason, women-owned businesses have had similar success stories.

King runs a show series called the Dark Art of Michigan out of the Avenue Café. Between shows, people would ask how to contact the artist who makes the baby-head candles.

“I was kind of brokering deals before I opened the store,” she said. “One of my many mentors is Ted Stewart at Metro Retro, who pushed me to open my first little space.”

King advised women considering opening a business to do two things: find a good tax accountant and take care selecting a landlord.

King is now mentoring two woman-owned businesses in a small-business incubator located next to Thrift Witch.

Dr. Jennifer Whitman owns DeWitt Chiro. She interviewed at many practices in the Lansing area before she met with a female chiropractor in Holt who worked for another practitioner before opening her own office. She suggested Whitman skip that step.

“She encouraged me — and convinced me — that I had all the knowledge and skills to start my own practice, and so I did,” she said.

The main challenge she faced was time.

“I became a mom soon after starting my practice and now have three children,” Whitman explained. “Splitting time between the office and home left little ‘me time,’ but I am glad I powered through those tough years to get where I am today.”

She said any woman considering opening a business needs to do the homework.

“Seek guidance and coaching from someone who has done what you desire to do,” she said.

Celeste Hude owns Victorian Tailor in Mason’s Maple Street Mall. She has been a tailor for 35 years and said business grows yearly. Owning a business is in her genes.

“Most in my family have had their own businesses, and I had this idea to try it,” she said.

She’s been in her current location for 14 years. Hude said one challenge is getting enough hands-on help, noting she has between one and three staffers who come in and spend a few days sewing.

She advised any women aspiring to own a business to simply rip off the Band-Aid.

“I would tell them just to go ahead and do it,” she said. “You can’t sit around thinking ‘I should do this, or I should do that.’ Find a way to make it happen.”

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