42 Massachusetts Female Business Owners Share the Importance of International Women’s Day 2023

March 8, 2023  | 

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

“I feel so lucky to be in Massachusetts as a woman in business because there are so many women in business, women’s networking groups, and women in business related social media groups that the support system is well beyond anything that I could have hoped for when I began my journey as a female business owner. There is an endless supply of knowledge and all of the women that I have encountered are more than willing to share it. It’s an incredible facet of being a business owner here and truly invaluable.” -Amy Merson, Founder & CEO of Understanding Ego

“Being a female business owner means the freedom to pursue projects and business relationships that align with my skills and interests, help me grow, and achieve my full potential. I have the power to make decisions that align with my values and beliefs. I am in control of my destiny and have the ability to create a business that not only benefits me but also makes a positive impact in the communities I serve. And most importantly, as a mother who owns a business, I hope to inspire my daughter to pursue her dreams and empower her to see that there are no limits to what she can achieve in her future career.” – Melissa Pond, Community Impact Collaborator

“Being a female business owner to me means freedom. Freedom to create my own career path. Freedom to dictate my life and how I spend my time. Freedom financially. Freedom to start a family on my own time and not have to stress about maternity leave and my benefits. I am beyond lucky to be an entrepreneur and to have all of these options available to me. Don’t get me wrong, being an entrepreneur definitely comes with its struggles, but in my opinion, the freedom that comes along with it definitely outweighs those struggles. I absolutely love being in complete control of how I want to run my business, who I hire, who I choose to work with, and how I spend my days. It’s so exhilarating to know I have the power to dictate my future and career.” – Sinead Garrity, CEO of Social by Sinead

“Only 5% of Registered Investment Advisory firms in the US are owned by women, so being a female business owner in Massachusetts means I am helping to create change in the wealth management industry. This field has been a challenge for women due to unclear opportunities, toxic cultures and lack of role models we can relate to. My goal is to help more small business owners plan and invest for the future so they can continue to support our local economies. Also, to provide young women who are considering this field with someone they can look at and think, ‘if she could do it, so can I’ someday!” – Misty Lynch, Owner of Sound View Financial Advisors

“Being a female business owner means the world, honestly. There’s a strong pride that comes with saying that I am not only a business owner, or a female business owner, but a female business owner in Massachusetts. It feels like it comes with a bit of strength. It takes a bit of strength to be a business owner in general, but a female business owner brings its own set of struggles meant to challenge us, and as a Massachusetts woman, those challenges are faced with a grit only we New Englanders can truly understand.” – Gina McCullough, Owner & Designer of Gina Marie Graphic Design

“It’s an honor to open doors for other women who may be considering starting their own business. Representation matters, so if one woman sees the example I’ve set with MERGE and is inspired to follow their dreams, it’s a win-win across the board.” – Lisa Drennan, Founder & Inclusion Consultant at MERGE Inclusion Consulting

“I’m proud to use my business to help other women grow *their* businesses in Massachusetts. I love the connections and networks between women business owners here.” – Chantelle Davis-Gray, Designer

“I love working for myself, and have done it for many years. Why? Because I can avoid the BS that seems to exist in corporate environments. And having my own business in MA has been rewarding for many reasons. There’s so much growth in the New England area, as well as knowledge and wisdom around entrepreneurship. Wonderful organizations are out there for support and resources. But a big reason is the talented, confident, intelligent women I have the privilege of connecting with here. I’ve gotten so much support from other female business owners, and I strive to return as much support if not more. With these types of women in my circles, I never feel like I’m working alone.” – Beth Knaus, Founder of That’s A Spade Copywriting Services

“Owning a business means paving my own path and serving other amazing female business owners in the state and greater New England area. It also means being part of a large, supportive community that has allowed me to make new friends, gain new colleagues, and have access to a wealth of knowledge…all of which have been a part of my success.” – Jessie Wyman, Owner of Jessie Wyman Photography

“After ten years of running a PR agency based in Boston, I have had a chance to work with a lot of other Boston brands and Massachusetts based companies. I’ve loved being a part of it. In recent years, there has been a huge uptick in the women-owned businesses in the area, or at least there has been a big push to create spaces and opportunities to come together and become more of a community than we ever had before. I think it’s a really exciting time to be a female business owner in Massachusetts and I’m really glad to be doing it alongside so many other incredible women. It means support, camaraderie, encouragement, and getting to use each other as the most powerful resources to build our own businesses beyond what we ever expected possible. Female-owned businesses have always been my favorite clients because they’re so powerful and inspiring, and honestly get so much done. They see what they want to accomplish and just go out and do it, which is so fun to be a part of on the PR side as well as just as a friend and supporter!” – Alessandra Pollina, Founder & CEO of Quotable Media Co.

“I’ve had the honor of working with tons of Mass business owners over the last decade, and I’m never shocked at how smart, innovative, creative and heartfelt these women are. I’m proud to be one of them! There’s so many amazing women supporting each other and creating positive impact in their local communities and beyond. And it’s great to see more and more business opportunities and support resources dedicated to women business owners.” – Sonya Highfield, Wealth Expansion Coach at Real World Creatives

“Growing up in the Soviet Union, there were not many choices of jobs for women. Photography was one of the ‘male’ jobs. I love having the freedom to be able to do what I love/choose and make a living doing so.” – Dina Konovalov, Owner of Dina K Photography

“To me being a female business owner means having the opportunity to build generational wealth for my family, set an example to my daughter of what you can accomplish if you pursue your dreams, and also allows me to build a community of women who can focus on collaboration over competition to lift one another up!” – Taylor Adams, Owner & Real Estate Investor of Adams Content Creation

“As female business owners, we’re really proud that we get to spend our days spotlighting other female business owners and telling their stories to the media. There are so many women out there, both in Massachusetts and nationally, who are doing incredible things and their stories need to be told. We feel pretty lucky that we get to wake up every morning and our job is to help those women get noticed by national and regional media.” – Tess Darci & Jamie LaDuca, Co-Founders of 143 Communications

“Being a female business owner means supporting other women in business because a rising tide lifts all boats. I truly believe in community over competition and I actively seek out woman-owned businesses to support through my business! It also means working hard, because unfortunately many people still assume the owner of a business is a man, so breaking through those stereotypes every day.” – Christine de la Torre, Owner & Manager of Sprezzatura Boutique

“Female entrepreneurship is an opportunity to show other young passionate individuals who are aspiring to start a business to make the jump and take the risk. Being a business owner, I feel inspired to share my own story and try to help others do the same.” – Renee Perkins, CEO of Nantucket Island Marketing

“I believe that we are at our best when our profession expresses our purpose out into the world. I’ve been an entrepreneur for the past 14 years and it is priceless to only invest my time and energy in what matters. Owning my own company lets me create the kind of positive impact I know the world needs while teaching other people and companies to do the same in the process.” – Ariana Bain, Healer & Guide

“Being a female business owner means that this company is formed around sound business practices for the business as a whole – both for clients & employees. We reflect a greater sense of balance for home-life and work-life and an appreciation for the emotional support and clarity that allows human beings to function at our best. We welcome associates to be whole people here at Tiny Spoon Chef and continue to grow and engage our team in both traditional and nontraditional ways.” – Janice Carte, Founder of Tiny Spoon Chef

“Being a female business owner in Massachusetts represents being a champion for all female business owners, both established and burgeoning. I have both witnessed, and been the recipient of, the power of what females can accomplish when they lift each other up and band together. It’s a privilege and a responsibility to pay that kindness and camaraderie forward.” – Kim Miles, Founder & CEO of Miles in Heels Productions

“I have an enormous amount of gratitude for the females who have carved the way for our freedom and rights for female entrepreneurship. I’m proud that Massachusetts is, overall, an accepting and diverse part of our country. This doesn’t mean the work is ever done, though. Being a female minority business owner means that while I recognize how far we’ve come in our society, I know that there are a number of humans that are working through societal biases on bodies, sexuality, and race. I want to continue to expand inclusivity and bring awareness to diversity even more through my work and community. Photography is how I communicate with the world. When clients and I create art with messages together, we often are contributing to expanding others’ perspectives and helping others feel more acceptance. I think it’s magic.” – Ria MacKenzie, Owner of Ria MacKenzie Photography

“Being a female business owner means opportunity. Massachusetts is such a dynamic state in the center of a dynamic region. We have a lot of strong community here as businesswomen, and I always urge new female and femme nonbinary founders to take advantage of all that Boston has to offer in terms of support, networking, and infrastructure. From CWE to Mass Innovation Nights, we have so many amazing women in business helping other women in business grow and succeed.” – Christina Inge, CEO of Thoughtlight

“I have so much pride being an award-winning, women owned business in a male-dominated industry.” – Courtney Macloon, Owner of Courtney Kent Productions

“Boston is known to be an unfriendly city. But enter Boston as a female business owner and you quickly realize that stereotype just doesn’t fit. We cheer each other on, collaborate, connect and support one another, in business and in life. Being a female business owner here means succeeding, together!” – Heather Rugg, Social Media Manager at Social New England

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