March 8th marks the 46th celebration of International Women’s Day. A day when women are recognized globally for their achievements and contributions while also raising awareness about issues impacting women’s equality. Did you know there are 12.3 million women-owned businesses in the US, and they generate over 1.8 trillion in revenue a year? There are 114% more women entrepreneurs than 20 years ago, but only 7% of venture funding for startups is awarded to women.
We spoke to our local women business-owners in Tarrytown to understand why it was important for them to forge ahead and make their business dreams a reality, despite facing hurdles and inequalities.
Handmade, Belgian chocolate-covered stuffed pretzels in an exclusive variety of mouthwatering flavors. Party favors, corporate gifting, wholesale, retail, customized.
AnnMarie D’Erasmo: “Being a woman in business. When I think of those words, 10,000 images come to mind. I think of endless exhaustion, 18 hour days, the millions of times I had to be my own cheerleader, asking myself how to get through a tough situation rather than throwing in the towel, not having enough hours in a day, competing with myself to be bigger and better, remaining in the mindset that I can create my own fate and not collapsing from fear, and above all, loving every crazy, exhausting, exciting, satisfying minute of it all. And proving to people never to underestimate me. That’s my favorite part!”
pretty funny vintage is a vintage and antique store in Tarrytown owned by Stephanie Leggio. Collecting antiques and the finest (a.k.a. the coolest) vintage stuff from all over NY, NJ, CT, and PA is her passion.
Stephanie Leggio: “For me, ebbing and flowing has been a way to stay the course in business all these years. Embracing what may first appear as a mistake and molding it into something workable or even wonderful is certainly empowering as a woman. After THIS year in business, I can solve anything.”
Discovery Village is a premier daycare and preschool in Tarrytown serving children from 6 weeks to five years. Open from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. year-round, they offer exceptional care and quality learning, engaging children in creativity, exploration, and discovery.
Shira Leibowitz: “As a mom who worked while raising two children, it was so important for me to own a business that supports working parents. To be able to provide peace of mind while they’re away at work is a true blessing.”
A boutique fitness studio offering killer classes and expertly programmed personal training sessions.
Molly Canu: “One of my favorite things about owning the Fit Inn has been creating the opportunity to teach people how to execute exercises and find strength in their bodies properly. In a very male-dominated industry, I feel like I have the unique position of bringing fitness to people who may have otherwise been intimidated in a normal gym environment.”
In a friendly, helpful, but no-pressure atmosphere, you’ll find a wide selection of quality, but affordable gifts and accessories, including handcrafted items from local artists and designers. Bella’s goal is to provide one-stop shopping for all your gift-giving needs, including a gift for you! Their selections cover personal items, such as jewelry and accessories, home gifts and accents, and children’s items. Bella’s is also noted for memorabilia and art representing historic Tarrytown and Sleepy Hollow, home of Washington Irving’s “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow.”
At Flying Fingers, they are a family, woman-owned and operated yarn shop. They strive to offer the best and most interesting yarns the world offers and primarily focus on natural fibers, including wool, cotton, silk, alpaca, cashmere, and soy and bamboo. Flying Fingers grew out of Elise’s passion to knit, which started when she was taught fiber arts by her mother all the way back in 1963. Elise was always making knit items for her kids, and when they grew out of the cute sizes, she then began designing and hand knitting sweaters, hats, and accessories which she sold at craft fairs across NYC and the tri-state area, and Flying Fingers was born.