Garrett County Government - Department of Business Development

AAUW Branch Celebrates Women-Owned Businesses

Last Updated on Nov 1, 2019 at 3:42pm | Garrett County Economic Development

Article courtesy of NCWV Media - The Republican. Staff Writer: Renee Shreve. Photo Credit: Renee Shreve.
Local American Association of University Women members, from left, Lisa Thayer Welch, Judy  Carbone, and Linda Carr, check in guests at a women-business owners celebration last week in Oakland.The American Association of University Women — Garrett Branch hosted a reception last Thursday to recognize the “motivation, dedication and hard work” of women business owners.
About 50 people attended the networking/celebratory event, which was held at Emily Berry’s Cornish Café in Oakland. Garrett County Economic Development Director Mike Hough and Kim Durst, economic development specialist and business tax credit administrator, were among the attendees.
“There hasn’t been a real push of recognition for women business owners,” said Judy Carbone, branch president. “It may seem a little strange that AAUW might be the organization to do it, but, hey, if nobody else is doing it, we may as well.”
The idea to do so originated several months ago with Chelsea Stuck, president of Craeve and Company, and Kendall Ludwig, AAUW member and president of CurlyRed, a branding, print and web design company.
“We were talking about how many female business owners there are in Garrett County and how awesome that is,” Ludwig said. “And we thought that this was the perfect time to celebrate, since October is National Women’s Small Business Month.”
The Garrett County commissioners recently issued a proclamation in recognition of that designation. State’s Attorney Lisa Thayer Welch, an AAUW member, read the document.
“Whereas, October has been designated as National Women’s Small Business Month, described by the National Business Women’s Council as ‘a time to recognize and applaud the talented, dedicated and driven women whose entrepreneurial spirit helps drive our nation’s economy forward,’” she read. “And whereas, Maryland ranks as the top state in the country for female-owned businesses per capita, with 17.5 female-owned businesses for every 100,000 residents.”
The proclamation notes this equates to 6.3 businesses for every 30,000 residents. In addition, of 3,042 firms in Garrett County, 737 were owned by women, according to the 2010 census. The document also state that “this far surpasses the state average and highlights the motivation, dedication and hard work of Garrett County women.”
“I have no clue what other counties in other states are doing,” Welch said. “But we’re booming.”
The proclamation goes on to note the local AAUW branch “desires to recognize and celebrate the achievements of the women of Garrett who take on all of the risks, sacrifices and responsibilities of owning their businesses and succeeding.”
Welch pointed out two of the newest owners at the celebration: Nicolette Hill of Meraki Style Studio in Oakland, and Marsha Warnick of Cashmere Clothing Company in McHenry.
“On the other end of the spectrum, the longest continually woman-owned business, to our belief and knowledge, is someone who couldn’t be here this evening,” Welch said. “But we did want to give a shout-out to Judy Devlin.”
She has owned and operated the Book Mark’et in Oakland for 40 years.
Also recognized were attendees Laura Stutzman, Eloqui Studio, Mountain Lake Park, 38 years; Patty Wells, Animal Crackers Pet Grooming, Accident, 37 years; Linda Carr, The Lake-Front Magazine, Friendsville, 29 years; and Amy Rudy, Rudy’s Clothing, Oakland, 28 years.
“Congratulations to all of you,” Welch said. “Whether you’ve been in business for one month or 40 years, I applaud all of you.”
Carbone indicated the branch hopes to continue promoting female-owned businesses.
“AAUW is a national organization that’s been around since 1881,” she said. “It is the oldest women’s equity organization in the country. In Garrett County, we’ve had a branch here since 1946.”
AAUW’s priorities include education, training, economic security and leadership opportunities for women.
“I’m really pleased to say in Garrett County, when we talk about leadership, women are busy here,” Carbone said. “Women are taking a lot of leadership roles, and we just want to amplify that.”
During the networking portion of the celebration, Carbone, Hough and Durst discussed the need to obtain a more accurate count of female-owned or co-owned businesses. They noted census information can be dated and lacking in details.
Carbone asked the business owners at the celebration to provide their contact information to Hough and Durst. Others who would like to be added to the list can contact the Garrett County Department of Economic Development at 301-334-1921.