42 Massachusetts Female Business Owners Share the Importance of International Women’s Day 2023
Original article from Massachusetts Business Network published on March 8, 2023 featuring Morrissey Market COO and Founder, Torry Katsiroubas Stamm.
At Massachusetts Business Network, we’re all about celebrating entrepreneurship and local businesses. As we honor International Women’s Day, we’re highlighting and amplifying incredible female entrepreneurs based in the Bay State as they answer this question:
What does being a female business owner in Massachusetts mean to you?
Learn about talented female business owners throughout the area and what they value the most about working for themselves.
Perspective from Massachusetts Female Business Owners
What Entrepreneurship Means to Them
“To me, being a female entrepreneur means having the freedom to work with who I want, when I want, and where I want. I’m grateful to have had several opportunities to be a part of exciting projects that would have never happened, had I not started my business. Through entrepreneurship, I’ve been able to grow a robust network that I love supporting in every way that I can, which is what entrepreneurship is all about: lifting others.” – Ashley Mason, Founder of Massachusetts Business Network & Dash of Social
“Nothing has made me prouder to be a woman than starting my own business. Corporate culture often pits women against each other. Entrepreneurship allows us to see and celebrate each other’s strengths because we’re all on our own inspiring journey. Being in a community full of women who are creating a life they love is beyond powerful.” – Jessica Ponyrko, Founder of Anchor Watch Marketing
“For nearly 15 years, I’ve been involved in entrepreneurship in some capacity, and being a female business owner in Massachusetts has been fundamental to who I am today, for better or for worse. I believe that success means something different to every woman, but what has made me successful is that, as a female business owner, you have two options: to follow the established norms, leading as you have been led, or to lead with your heart. I’ve always opted for the latter, focusing on compassion, education, and promoting the vital importance of self-improvement to those I’ve had the privilege to lead. Women empowering women and prioritizing community over competition is the key to achieving collective success. To me, being a female business owner means doing life with your arms wide open, always, without regret.” – Kate Fisher, Realtor® at Boston Connect Real Estate
“Being a woman, and specifically a woman of color, in business in Massachusetts is such a joy and an achievement. Most other women I connect with in this space are so genuine and uplifting. Everyone is always rooting for one another and willing to help each other out however they can – for nothing in exchange. It’s such a refreshing change of pace from more transactional industries or spaces.” – Kavya Sebastian, CEO & Founder of Kavya Creative Co.
“I love the innovation and collaborating opportunities of the female entrepreneurs in Massachusetts. It is so awesome and inspiring!” – Jackie Zuk, Founder & CEO of Next On Scene Media
“As a female business owner in Massachusetts, I feel a sense of pride and empowerment knowing that I am part of a community of strong, successful women who are breaking barriers and shattering glass ceilings. It means being a voice for change and a role model for young women who are looking to break into the business world. I believe that by supporting and uplifting one another, female business owners in Massachusetts can continue to pave the way for future generations of women entrepreneurs and leaders.” – Kathleen Ribeiro, Founder of KMService
“Financial freedom and strong connections have meant the most to me.” – Kristi Johns, Owner of The Skin Therapist
“Being a female business owner for the first time in my working career, I love that I can deliver my services and messages without a filter to my clients. It is my chance to help most women directly with my work. While running your own business is not an easy task to do every day, it is the most fulfilling job that I can say for the first time in more than 40 years that I love. There is nothing more fulfilling than helping a client find peace in their surroundings and love your service enough to give you a glowing testimonial. Being a small business owner allows me to help more women and their families directly, which is a great feeling to end your day, month, and year! What is also great is to be surrounded by all of the other supportive women business owners who are lifting you and promoting you without a second thought!” – Cathy King, Owner of The Sustainable Organizer
“My business, 2Plus2 Tutoring, caters to elementary and middle school students and families. It is an absolute privilege to work with students in one of the nation’s best states for education while running my business in a flexible way that works for me. The best part of working with students at such a young age in a personal setting is that the relationship continues as my students further their education, obtain degrees, and start careers. To know that I had a small part in their success is rewarding personally and professionally, and that’s what it means to me to operate successfully.” – Nina Lee Carmo, Founder of 2Plus2 Tutoring
“Being a female business owner in Massachusetts allows me to be a role model for all women and girls in general, but specifically for my two daughters. It demonstrates what you can achieve via hard work and passion. It lets me show my daughters that a woman can own and run a successful business and be a mother at the same time. I also have the unique perspective of being both a portrait artist and a mother. As a mother, I can’t imagine not having portraits of my children. So one of the ways that I give back to the community is by photographing all children in the foster care system for free so that these children will have portraits from babies on up to look back on. I’m also able to work with women and show them how beautiful they are by learning and telling their stories through portraiture. I run into so many women who are shy and lack confidence. It’s a great feeling when I can show them their inner and outer beauty through my work. I also love networking with other women business owners in Massachusetts because it’s a great opportunity to build each other up and encourage each other, which is what I believe we’re put here on earth to do.” – Abrah Salk Zion, Founder of Miss Z Photography
“Being a female business owner means having the ability to be a professional and a mother without the pressure of having a 40 hour work week (or more) and having the flexibility and freedom to have a work-life balance. It also means finding clients that align with my mission and values in order to build a strong foundation which provides a virtuous cycle for everyone involved, including the dogs we service.” – Jennifer Freedman, CEO of Groom with Me
“I moved to Massachusetts in the mid-80s, to work for someone else. It wasn’t until I was laid off in 2008 that I started working for myself. Doing business here hasn’t always been easy (hello, high cost of living) but I do have access to the most amazing team members and an incredible community. The startup and entrepreneurial community in Massachusetts has an embarrassment of riches with events and other educational resources.” – Bobbie Carlton, Founder of Innovation Women
“Being a female business owner in MA means that I get to connect with a close network of other female leaders, business owners and founders. Boston is an especially innovative city, where I am able to meet others across various industries and points in their careers.” – Eva Weinstein, Co-Founder / COO of Rewire Health
“Being a business owner in Massachusetts makes me feel proud and empowered. I am glad to be a business owner. I always knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur and run a clothing business. In graduate school, I wrote my business plan for a clothing line, but after being diagnosed with Muscular Dystrophy, I shifted my business plan a bit. I knew I needed to create something to bring awareness to the disability community. It makes me feel meaningful and proud to advocate in the city I was born and raised in.” – Keisha Greaves, Founder & CEO of Girls Chronically Rock
“I love showing women that we can feel empowered and follow our dreams and passions in a way that feels true and authentic.” – Jennifer Lynn, Owner of Nurtured Roots
“The recent Women’s Entrepreneur Initiative Study found that women are the fastest growing, highest performing and most economically underutilized subsegment of entrepreneurs, all while concluding that female business owners in MA need better access to resources, financing, expertise and networking in order to continue to make gains. In my first year in business, I am proud to be self-funded and profitable in the male-dominated fitness industry that was hit exceptionally hard by COVID in this state. Being a female business owner in Massachusetts means that I have to confidently act on my mission and core values and take the steps to stand out and be heard. Proactively networking is essential!” – Kristen Hardin, Founder of Gold Coast Pilates Therapy
“I love being able to serve the women and children in the community in which I live. Working locally brings me closer to my community and drives my passion when I can see the benefits of my work transpire into local improvements in health and wellness. I also love that my children can see their mama taking the time and care needed to help other families in our community heal and work through challenging health conditions, connect with other healing practitioners and feel responsible for taking part in keeping our community healthy.” – Danielle Shea Tan, LDN, CNS, Founder of Healthy Mamas
“Being a female business owner in MA, more specifically on the Cape and Islands, is a thing of balance. It means that we have to balance the ever-revolving doors of seasonality, while at the same time keeping up with the year-round trends & changes of the markets we service and the platforms we use. Living in MA gives us the access to innovation and grant funds we might not have access to in other states.” – Marnely Murray & Angela Prout, Founders of Shored Up Digital
“Being a female business owner means leading the way for future women in business. It’s the opportunity to build a culture & organization that I want in the workplace with the values from a female perspective. It’s calling my own shots!” – Torry Katsiroubas Stamm, COO of Morrissey Market