What are some of your favorite products and services? Do you ever stop to think about whether they’re local or come from women owned businesses?
My favorite Boulder Mom morning looks like this: throw on my favorite Skirt Sports skort, hit Body Dynamics studio to workout, stop by a coffee shop for Outrageous Baking pumpkin bread, and recover with a massage or acupuncture at the Dova Center. Each of these businesses was founded by a local female entrepreneur.
Women owned businesses are booming in Boulder, as in many cities across the U.S. According to a study by American Express OPEN, the number of businesses owned by women nationwide has increased 59% since 1997.
“I do see this national trend mirrored here,” says Myka McLaughlin, Founder of WINC (WomenInCommunity.com) a business training program for women in Boulder. “And my experience as a female entrepreneur here has been nothing short of great. There’s a vibrant community with innovative people who genuinely support each other.”
Wendy McClure, co-founder of Body Dynamics Studio in Boulder, and mom of two grown kids, agrees that we live in a welcoming area for innovation, especially if those ideas are health and fitness based.
“Boulder is a place that invites new ideas,” she says. “Our business model was novel at the time (1999) for the fitness and health industry – a more intimate alternative to the health club setting – but we know how Boulder loves its fitness opportunities!”
In response to her daughter’s allergies and eczema as a baby, Pamela Fletcher also came up with a health conscious solution – the tasty gluten free treats of Outrageous Baking. Now her breads and cakes can be found in coffee shops all throughout the Rocky Mountain Region.
A professional triathlete, Nicole DeBoom of Skirts Sports designed a running skirt because she wanted to feel more feminine while training and racing. DeBoom took seminars at the Boulder Chamber of Commerce, won the 2004 Ironman Wisconsin in a hand-sewn prototype, and started up a business that has grown to encompass over 50 styles of workout clothes for athletes including runners, cyclists and triathletes.
“Skirts Sports’ mission is to help women pursue happiness through the transformative power of fitness,” DeBoom, who became a mom at 40, says. “We make athletic clothing that fits real women’s bodies, and helps them navigate their busy lives.”
Gigi Terinoni who opened the Dova Center in May of 2013 (despite having a six month old baby,) agrees much of the secret to the growing trend of women entrepreneurs in Boulder lies in the health and fitness culture here, but also in the way women network and help each other.
“The Boulder area tops the charts on best places to live,” she says. “Strong, driven, entrepreneurial women are motivated to provide the best possible lifestyle for their families, and women thrive on supporting one another as well as being creative together.”
So many of my favorite products and businesses are locally based, and it makes me realize: Moms in Boulder County make it happen – dreaming up creative solutions for themselves, their friends, and their families.