TORONTO — Abby LeMasters, owner of Tri B’s Coffee Shop, wanted to draw attention to the many new local businesses launched by women, and she did it in a big way by inviting them all to meet inside and outside her Clark business. October 15th Street.
The coffee shop on North Fourth Street opened in January around the same time as Meraki Made, a bespoke clothing store down the street, and its owners shared business cards with visitors.
The cross-promotional effort, while not extensive, reflected the willingness of many Gem City small business owners to help each other, LeMasters said.
“All of us supporting each other is very important. It will benefit everyone.” he said, adding that he hopes to hold similar events for each season next year.
With the cooperation of city officials, a small section of Clark Street was blocked off and a stage was set up for live music by the Two Friends Trio.
Among many with booths on the street was REC Fitness, a fitness center opened by Korey Clegg inside the Karaffa Recreation Center at 1307 Dennis Way in 2020 but was forced to close soon after due to the pandemic.
Crystal Wickham, one of three instructors there, noted that the gym continued to serve the public through online instruction delivered through social media.
“As soon as we were able to reopen, we did,” she said.
Open Monday through Saturday, with workouts available day and night, the center’s offerings include spin classes, which use stationary bikes to tone muscles; and step routines that use light weights and low or high intensity rhythms.
Visitors to the center are between the ages of 21 and 71, and modifications are available for beginners, Wickham said.
Alicia Troski, owner of Primary Print and Design with her husband, Jeremy; she said the business opened in 2011 but has moved in recent years to 1102 Franklin St.
He noted that embroidered items, including personalized Christmas stockings, jackets and other apparel, have been added to its product line.
Also in attendance was Leslie Robbins of Leslie’s Dog Grooming and Doggie Things at 906 Banfield Ave.
Robbins said she has been dog-sitting for 30 years, 20 of them in Toronto, after returning to her hometown to raise her son.
A 1974 Toronto High School graduate and Army National Guard veteran, she said she focuses on small to medium breed dogs and is available weekdays, evenings and Saturdays to accommodate working people. .
Not all businesses shown have physical locations. Some work from home and others bring their services closer to their clients.
Among the latter was Pretty Rad. It is owned by sisters Mallory and Nicole Radvansky, who provide cosmetic care, including Botox injection and dermal fillers to treat crow’s feet, frown lines and other signs of aging.
The two explained that they are board-certified nurse practitioners who collaborate with a local doctor, as required by law, to provide their services. They have set up a website and Facebook page to reach potential customers, adding that more people are seeking such treatments than is commonly believed and are happy to make them available locally.
Kayla Wedlake was also involved to spread the word about the photography business that she operates under her name. She said she has been working from her home in Toronto since 2019, paying attention to great photography at weddings and other special occasions as far away as Cleveland and Pittsburgh.
Wedlake, who graduated from Edison High School in 2010, provided photographic portraits of high school students and babies, among others, and offers, free of charge, photos of pets known to be in the last days of their lives.
Kara Eltringham of Makeup of Kara has played a role at weddings and other special occasions, including high school dances, by helping women look their best through cosmetics. She has helped students prepare for their senior photos.
More information about Eltringham on Instagram can be found at MakeupbyKar_a.
Alex Taylor of Pretty Poppin’ Parties and Kathy Sabol of KJ’s Unique Party Setup offered ways to make a birthday or other party special.
Taylor has created balloon towers and walls for occasions ranging from weddings to proms to retirement, and since opening in May, has reserved many for this year and next.
Taylor, a former television reporter and Toronto resident, said she set up the business while taking time off to focus on her family for a while.
A 1975 Toronto high school graduate, Sobol said she can bring low tables, plush pillows and other accessories to adult-themed parties or provide fancy tablecloths, runners and other decor for clients’ furniture.
For kids it offers little teepees with blankets and pillows, creating a campsite effect for parties with themes ranging from superheroes and dinosaurs to mermaids and ladybugs.
Krista Beswick and Alicia Myslinsky of Zazazu Boutique, who have sold women’s clothing and some children’s clothing to customers across the US, promoted the merchandise they sell from their homes, through online businesses or at local festivals; Mira Payne of Mira’s Miraculous Plants & More, which sells a variety of houseplants, scented brooms, handmade wreaths and other items; and Jessica Winters of Stella Creek Candle Co., which makes a variety of scented candles in her Toronto home.
Winters said she had considered starting her own business, named after her grandmother, and after selling all the proceeds brought to the Toronto Art Festival in 2016, she realized it was a good decision.
Troski said the event is a sign that a new generation of entrepreneurs is interested in doing business in Toronto, a positive development for the city.
Alberta Chesney was among the residents who were happy to see the event and the variety of businesses, saying: “We need things like this in Toronto.”
(Scott can be reached at [email protected]).