Maplewood has more than 25 percent women-owned businesses, and eight of those have been in business more than 20 years.
On March 2, those businesswomen were recognized at Maplewood’s 6th annual Women Making History event.
More than a hundred came to the event, at host, , for the fun and food, and to honor the Maplewood businesswomen.
Women-owned or managed restaurants, such as , , , , and offered food on Moosylvania’s bottom floor. That’s where people congregated before and after the ceremony, which was in the lobby, upstairs.
See more photos at the Maplewood-Brentwood Facebook page.
Rachelle L’Ecuyer, Maplewood’s director of community development, had the idea six years ago, when she noticed she was working with a lot of women.
“Nobody had ever counted them,” she said. “We found out we had over a hundred women-owned businesses out of, at that point, about 400 businesses. So we decided to do a kickoff for women’s history month.”
That first year they held a tour of the women-owned businesses. For the three years after that, they took over the manufacturing space in .
“Every woman-owned business had a table, and they brought all their wares and marketed themselves,” L’Ecuyer said. “It was this great thing. Over 50 businesses came each time, and we had 500 people. We got a lot of attention for the women-owned businesses.”
The idea this year was a smaller kick-off, then events at Maplewood women-owned shops throughout March. There will be open houses, wine tastings, a run, a nutritional workshop, a cooking class, dream interpretations, and lots more.
A page on the City of Maplewood’s website lists all the events.
Eight women-owned business were honored.
“Our parents opened the business 1970, Feb. 3.,” said Donna Brown-Rasmussen, of Imo’s. “We’ve since lost our dad, and now it’s my mom, my two sisters and me.
“It’s going, and we’re not going anywhere,” she said. “That’s what he opened and that’s what he worked at, so we’re carrying on his tradition.”
Donna Kitchen, the owner and a social worker at said it’s more enduring, than winning.
“We were in Clayton before we were here. We came here in '89, so we’ve been here 23 years,” she said.
Jill, Droege with , said it means a lot of dedication and determination, that you’re going to be successful I life.
“But it only takes one idea, not jillions,” she said. “Just one idea to make it. It’s going to happen this year. I feel it. It’s going to happen. We do a lot, but this is going to be a big year.”
Patricia Trout, with Myotherapy Pain Relief, said she teaches people how to work on their muscles to relieve their own pain, so they don’t have to keep going back to her.
“I’ve been dong this 25 years, and it’s very satisfying to help people get out of pain,” Trout said.
The 2012 Women Making History Honorees:
- Donna Brown-Rasmussen, Karen Eckenstein, Lucille Brown, Imo’s Pizza,
- Jill Droege, Jillian’s of Ideas
- Donna Kitchen, Meramec Counseling
- Gwynn Loomstein,
- Cindy Morgenthaler, Jeanne Morgenthaler, (not present)
- Linda Pilcher,
- Desiree Szal,
- Patricia Trout, Myotherapy Pain Relief of Missouri