Mar 09, 2016
Female Business Owners Thrive at Ward
It doesn't take more than a quick glance through the shop windows at Ward Village to realize that female entrepreneurs have created a thriving climate for new businesses in this rapidly expanding slice of the city.
Compared to just a few decades ago, it's staggering to see just how far we've come: In the past 20 years, the number of women-owned businesses have grown by more than 54 percent in the United States, totaling well over 8 million ventures. And this month, as we celebrate International Women's Day (a day meant to reflect on the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women) it's uplifting to hear that more than 30 percent of businesses in this country are currently founded and owned by women.
At Ward Village, these statistics are reflected in the vast variety or female-founded storefronts that encompass our growing neighborhood. One of Ward's latest retail additions, Flotsam & Co., opened their doors in Ward Warehouse just last week. The store's founder, Karen Sawicki, carries an eclectic collection of jewelry and other inspiring items that reflect her passion for design and diving. In fact, many of her pieces she stocks in her charming space are composed of shells she finds while diving. When the opportunity arose to manifest her passion into her own brick and mortar store, Sawicki dove right in. The result was an awe-inspiring feeling that she'll carry with her forever.
"It's hard to describe the feeling of opening the doors at Flotsam and Co. for the first time. It's almost surreal," she says with a chuckle.
I've worked very hard to get to this position, and to see it all come together is a feeling I'll never forget. I feel very proud. If another young woman is interested in starting her own business, my only advice would be to do your homework, be passionate about your product and merchandise, and be prepared to work really hard.
Five years ago, Tiare Teiti launched in Ward Warehouse under the ownership of Ida Teite. The storefront, which stocks a vibrant mix of Tahitian pareos, skirts, dresses, and other sunny items, didn't come without countless hours of hard work, sweat, and determination.
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