Women-owned businesses are at the forefront of driving the local economy, and Trumansburg is no exception, as nearly 50 percent of Main Street.
businesses are owned by women. The types of businesses run the gamut and span The American Express business categories that include other services (mostly personal care), health care and social assistance, and professional, scientific, and technical services. They range from retail storefronts, non-retail storefronts, and businesses with a home office. All are vital to the economic health of the Trumansburg community.
There are plenty of personal care businesses along Main Street, including Short’s Barber Shop, owned by Sarah Short, who serves men as well as women and children. Salons include Fresh Organic Hair which is owned by Emma Morris, and features, “organic hair-care products and ammonia-free mineral-based hair coloring,” and Head’s Up Salon, owned by Julie Stillwell, which provides a variety of beauty services for the whole family. Silk Naturals, located in the Masonic Temple on Main Street, owned by Karen Stark, sells pure mineral makeup, accessories, and skin and hair care products in her online store.
Trumansburg is full of healthcare businesses including massage, chiropractic, and physical therapy. Bella Stone Massage, owned by Evie Bellinger, specializes in “custom-tailored, expertly woven sessions to suit each individual’s goals and needs.” Their downstairs neighbor, Center for Pain Relief, owned by Kaide Peck, offers massage and consultations by appointment in order to “Discover how your body is moving, and where the source of pain is radiating from.” Cayuga Chiropractic and Wellness Center and Synergy Physical Therapy bookend Main Street on either side of the village, with Cayuga Chiropractic on the north end, and Synergy on the south end. Cayuga Chiropractic is owned by Jessica Jordan who believes, “everyone deserves a healthy and pain-free life.” Synergy Physical Therapy opened in Trumansburg in 2017 and offers “comprehensive and individualized care.” It is owned by Christine Feely and Colleen Robinson.
Leading the charge with a Main Street home business is Lindsay Hart, REALTOR, who specializes in residential real estate, raw land, and investment properties, and works out of her home office on Main Street. “Even though my office is in Ithaca, my heart is in Trumansburg. I would consider my home office my main satellite office for Hart and Homes Real Estate Team, even though my brokerage, RE/MAX in Motion, is in Ithaca. I may not have a clear-cut storefront but I’m vested in the Trumansburg community and its economic health. Real estate and the economy go hand in hand.”
The shopping and specialty retail shops in Trumansburg are dominated by women. Homespun Boutique, new to Trumansburg this past summer, is owned by Julie Schroeder, and specializes in “natural fibers, fabric, yarn, and patterns,” and also offers a space for a weekly knitting circle from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays. Salmon Pottery’s big yellow house is hard to miss and is owned by Mary Ellen Salmon, who offers pottery, fiber arts, glass arts, paintings, sculpture, paper and more. Sundrees, in the heart of downtown Trumansburg, is owned by Diane Richards and her sister. She describes her shop as “a whimsical gift and clothing boutique” that offers a variety of unique gifts for men, women, and children alike.
Luna Fiber Studio, owned by artist Sarah Gotowka is a unique woman-owned business that offers classes and instruction in fiber arts including weaving, scarf making, and rug weaving. The studio is located upstairs at 15 East Main St., Suite 3. The space at 15 East Main St. is also home to Hillary Gifford’s Custom Cloth, handmade scarves that are sold online. Mosaic Studio Collective, headed up by Rachel Bush offers yoga, workshops, and special events. They are located on Main Street in the alley between Word of Mouth Catering and Shorts Barber Shop.
The Inn at Gothic Eves Bed and Breakfast, located in front of the Trumansburg Schools, is owned by Rose Hilbert and not only offers eight beautiful suites and common areas but also is home to The Spa at Gothic Eves. The spa offers spa services such as massage, crystal therapy and energy work, as well as focus, self-empowerment and change, and acceptance journeys.
The food and beverage scene is always hopping in Trumansburg, and women are at the front of the pack. Falls Restaurant and Catering, owned by Carol Vanderzee, offers breakfast all day, and a full lunch and dinner menu with daily specials. They also offer a diverse “farm fresh and locally grown” catering menu and full catering services. Felicia’s Atomic Brewhouse and Bakery, owned by Amelia Sauter and Leah Houghtaling, serves dinner during the week and dinner and brunch on the weekends, along with their signature cupcakes and specialty cakes. They also brew their own beer and have a full bar and Friday night music events, as well as a space to host parties for up to 12 people. How Sweet It Is Dessert Cafe is a joint effort between Melissa Kenny and Sarafina Payne who serve up Sweet Melissa’s homemade ice cream, Sarafina’s baked goods, and Copper Horse coffee. They also play host to playful birthday parties for kids and adults alike. Good to Go! Trumansburg Market is a natural foods and goods store and deli owned by Nana Monaco. Here you can get the infamous breakfast burrito all day as well as other breakfast items, soups, sandwiches, and other prepared foods. They recently added fresh produce to their deli case, a much-needed product for downtown.
Word of Mouth Catering is another joint effort, this time between Katie Rehner and Tina Podkaminer, offering full catering menus including beautiful cakes and other baked goods. Although not a retail space Rehner and Podkaminer have always felt it was important to maintain a storefront headquarters on Main Street, for both personal and professional reasons. Rehner notes, “We very much wanted to be on Main Street when our children were young so they would have access to us after school. When we moved from the Little Venice building we looked at many options but were not keen on being isolated. We are not a retail space, but always have visitors, which is great. I can’t imagine being stuck alone in the country for hours at a time.” Their storefront on Main Street also has room for community gatherings, of which there is every Saturday with Postcards and Coffee. When asked about the impact of women-owned businesses, they made a good point that the importance of women-owned businesses does not just boil down to economics. “I think it’s a great message for kids that women are capable,” said Rehner.
This is far from an exhaustive list of women-owned businesses that are at the forefront of economic growth and stability in the Trumansburg area, particularly in Main Street businesses. But there is still a long road ahead for women-owned businesses to maximize their impact, specifically by increasing their share of employment and revenues to more closely match their share of businesses owned. Monaco, as not only a business owner but former Trumansburg Area Chamber of Commerce board member and president, is passionate about the economic health of the Trumansburg area and shopping locally. When asked about how women-owned businesses provide positive economic growth she said, “It’s important to support women-owned businesses because women historically have been underrepresented in terms of business ownership. Women’s opportunities in business are increasing, and I am very grateful to all of those who have paved the way before me. After all, when we support women-owned businesses we are increasing the economic stability of both our families and community.”
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