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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Floral Designer Owner: Jennifer Crotty
Green pantone dreams and earthy vibes follow you everywhere Porch Therapy leaves their signature green thumb.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
All photos are mine unless otherwise credited.Art by @InklingByKate