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"That's gross, I love it." - April Ludgate

Women running Orlando.

Women running Orlando.

Women have been changing the workplace for decades, and it's powerful to see us move beyond being boxed into stereotypes like secretaries, nurses and flight attendants. Now we run the businesses. We own the businesses. We make business happen. While it's still truly a boy's club out there, many Orlando women are being bold for change and altering the status quo at every turn, but that doesn't mean it happens overnight without a fight.

As I've gotten to know several bosses they tell me countless tales of having vendors ask to speak with their husbands, being spoken down to and treated with less respect, being forgotten altogether for a male counterpart, and the list goes on.

Here is a list of some of the ladies making names for themselves every day as they navigate the tricky waters of owning a business in Orlando that you should know about and rally behind. While there are definitely more impressive women to know than this list provides I urge you to seek out businesses owned by the ladies we love and help them continue breaking barriers. Last year WalletHub.com ranked Orlando 50th in the top 100 cities for female owned businesses in the country. We can do better, but only if we create an atmosphere that supports them.

Visit their websites, follow them on their social media channels, and most importantly buy from them before you go corporate.

Gypset Collective

Jewlery designer Owner: Samantha Redding

Call it hippie or gypsy chic, these handmade necklaces, cuffs and other handmade accessories cannot be missed. Neither can her adorable mobile trailer. I continue to be impressed with what this lady is accomplishing at such a young age. Read her story here.

Gypset CO Jewlery Orlando

New General

Coffee Shop + Cafe + Home goods + Decor   Owners: Tracy Liffey and Christine Mitchell

Come for the coffee stay for the Kinfolk vibes, these ladies have created a space that the city fell in love with very quickly. Read their story here

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Sweet Utopian Mylk Bar

Artisanal Mylk & Plant-Based Chef Owner: Ashley Bland

If you listen to your body you'll hear that this is what it's craving. Everything Ashley makes is gluten free, vegan, kosher parve, non GMO, dairy free, and soy free. If you haven't had one of her amazing mylks get one soon and you'll forget all about things that go Moo.

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Project Pop

Culinary Connector + Pop Corn Maven Owner: Chauniqua Major

If you haven't gotten the memo microwaved popcorn is terrible for you. Never fear because Chauniqua has bags of hand-popped goodness for you. All vegan ingredients, no preservatives and just a hint of sweetness from organic cane sugar cane.

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DG Doughnuts

Baker + Doughnut Maker Owner: Amanda Eubanks

She delivered doughnuts to our doorsteps before UberEATS ever did. Exciting things are coming in 2017 for her gorgeous creations. Read her story here

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Bright Light Paper

Illustrator + Card Designer Owner: Elizabeth Farmer

Bringing handmade thought and kindness back into our everyday lives, her illustrations are sure to bring a smile to your face. Read her story here.

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Retromended

Vintage Shop Owner: Brandy Tezak

There is no window shopping here because it's impossible to leave empty handed as Brandy sources some of the most gorgeous vintage pieces you'll find in Orlando. Read about her shop here.

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Paper Goat Post

Gift Shop + Stationary + Event Planner Owners: Megan & Cedar Watson

Bringing the art of snail mail back one card at a time this shop has more eye candy than you can handle. The perfect spot for gifts, a night out at one of their workshops, or where you can let someone else expertly plan your big day.

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Porch Therapy

Floral Designer Owner: Jennifer Crotty

Green pantone dreams and earthy vibes follow you everywhere Porch Therapy leaves their signature green thumb.

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Naked Bar Soap Co.

All Natural handmade soaps + body products Owners: Natasha Byrd-Gaylon & Jennifer Peets

No one keeps it as real when it comes to keeping the funk away during our Florida heat waves with their beautiful handmade soaps and beauty products. Bonus: Once you meet them you'll fall in love and never stop laughing. Read about their shop here.

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Valhalla Bakery +Valkryie Doughnuts

Baker and Doughnut Slayer Owner: Celine Duvoisin

Who knew Vegan anything could be this good! The original square doughnut in Orlando keeps making the city sweeter by a lady that doesn't take NO for an answer. She also handles long lines with more calm and coolness than I ever could. Read her story here

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Press'd Juice

Fresh pressed juice + Smoothies  + Acai bowls + More Owner: Katie Bush

Serving healthy food fresh from her kitchen in the Plant Street Market she keeps us craving real ingredients and makes it look good.

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Go Big Marketing & Go Big Tees (Orlando Shirts)

Marketing Agency + Custom T-Shirt + Promotional Printing: Owner Sue Hanna

It's a family affair here while three awesome ladies work to keep the city outfitted in the best custom appareal while showing lots of city pride.  Read their story here

Photo courtesy Orlando Shirts
Photo courtesy Orlando Shirts

The Wandering Wonton

Chef + Catering Owner: Sarah Monroe

Taking her Cambodian and French roots into the kitchen and serving up dish after dish that leaves our mouth watering, all while she wanders the city to feed us all. Also my all time favorite coffee date & sounding board. Read her story here.

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Alchemy Salon

Hair Salon Owner: Corinne Gammichia

One of Orlando's most popular salons and for good reason. There is talent behind every chair making clients feel brand new every time we visit. 

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The Guesthouse

Bar + Good Times Host Co-Owner: Ashley McCammon Dishman

One of the prettiest and coziest bars in Orlando (see the Porch Therapy effect) with a great happy hour, great bartenders and a feeling of community. Not to mention the air stream out back! Genius!

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Se7enbites

Baker + Savory Comfort food Queen Owner: Trina Gregory-Propst

Chef Trina can do no wrong with her savory and sweet southern comfort foods and her infectious hospitable spirit. It doesn't hurt that she keeps putting Orlando on the map.

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9th Letter Press

Stationary & Gift Shop + Illustrator Owner: Isabel Ibanez Davis

Hiding in plain sight, if you haven't visited this shop it's one of the many gems keeping us loyal to pen-to-paper communication with beautiful illustrations and a real letter press to be mesmerized by in the shop.

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Honey + Clover Pastry

Pastry Chef Owner: Arielle Junca

The delicate artistry in her confections can't be missed whether it's tarts, pies, doughnuts or macarons. There's nothing quite like goods by a small batch Baker who just happens to be as sweet as the pretty things she makes.

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Kelly's Homemade Ice Cream

Ice Cream Shop Owner: Kelly Seidl

It's more than just good ice cream. It's amazing flavors like Vanilla Lavender, Blackberry Rose Jam, Alligator Tracks and Sweet Potato Casserole that have me running there in my pajamas at night for a sweet and creamy night cap.

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Gratitude Coffee

Coffee Expert + Good Vibe Creator Owner: Jen Hackney

Who better to get your coffee from than a woman who has a heart of gold and has been in the coffee biz for decades. You can't be in a bad mood when you visit Jen, because if you are she'll fix it with sage advice, a smile, and an amazing cup of coffee. Read her story here.

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The Sanctum Cafe

Plant Based Chef Owner: Chelsea Savage

Eating healthy feels so good here as every colorful bowl leaves you satisfied and feeling guiltless. Don't give the side-eye to the price, because if you tried to pack all of the nutrients they give you into one bowl, you'd pay more at your local health foods store.

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 Avalon Exchange

Resale Shop Owner: Chelsea Wolf

A resale shop that's easy to navigate, organized, clean, and always has a great selection of affordable gently used items is why the mall is just no longer necessary. 

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Little Wild Bloom

Floral Designer Owner: Stephanie Forshee

Tempting as those Trader Joe's bouquets may be they will never be as stunning as these wild blooms for all occasions. Read her story here

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The Owls' Attic

Vintage Shop + Time Machine to the best decades Owner: Brittany DeGeus

Some places just make you feel cooler when you walk in. That happens every time I walk in this paradise of days past. Getting half of my closet sourced from her shop is life goals.

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Joysticks Orlando

Mixologist + Retro Diva Co-Owner: Addie Hassel

Talk about a lady boss that doesn't give up! Years in the making brought us the amazing light saber lounge which I never want to leave.This is the perfect place for the video game enthusiast and 80's nostalgia lover. Oh and the drinks!! Read about this spot here.

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Fiber

Macrame Goddess + Craft Instructor Owner: Sara Stoff

She'll get you working with your hands at one of her workshops if she can or you can just buy one of her expertly made pieces. Either way you'll find yourself longing for more handmade goods that come from a place of love. Read her story here.

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Gezellig Cookies

The Stroopwafels Cookie Maker Owner: Cassandra Plas

No I can't properly pronounce it, but my first bite into an ice cream sandwich made with these cookies was a sheer delight.

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Do You Tea

Tea leaf blender + Tea Party Hostess Owner: Kelley Scruby

Kelley hails from up north where she owned her own tea shop. We are so happy to have her with us in Orlando making blends for us, and helping us host the ultimate tea parties. 

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Flax + Wool Designs

Designer + Artist Owner: Jessa Bray

If you feast our eyes on anything that Jessa creates you want to hate her out of jealousy for her talent, but you can't because she will hug the bad vibes right out of you. She paints on anything and everything and creates timeless pieces for those big moments. 

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Pom Pom's Teahouse

Chef + Sandwich Master Owner: Pom Moongauklang

Don't let the casual vibe fool you, Pom Pom's is an Orlando institution run by a legit chef.  Pom wanted to focus her skills on sandwiches and the city thanks her for that. No one is the same after a Mama Ling Ling's Thanksgiving sandwich.

Photo Courtesy Yelp Orlando
Photo Courtesy Yelp Orlando

KrungThep Tea

Thai delights + Tea Owner: Pemika Assawasoponkul

We didn't know how badly we needed Brick Toast and Thai Iced Tea with ice cream in it, but now we know and we can never go back. Give us all the white brick, large bulb lettering and good food we can handle! 

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Merci Bakery

Pastry Chef Owner: Mona Flood

If you don't follow her on Instagram you are missing out on a smile during every scroll. Her cookies are edible art; colorful and festive. Bonus, they actually taste good.

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Etoile Boutique

Vintage + Resale Shop Owner: Falon Quillen

Hand picking Dope threads, styling shoots, organizing the Tasty Takeover, she hustles to keep the Milk District one of Orlando's coolest neighborhoods.

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All photos are mine unless otherwise credited.Art by @InklingByKate

Freelance Friendly

Freelance Friendly

Orlando Cat Cafe

Orlando Cat Cafe