TORONTO — Abby LeMasters, owner of Tri B’s Coffee Shop, wanted to draw attention to the many new local businesses started by women, and she did it in a big way by inviting them all to gather inside her company and outdoors on Clark Street on October 15.
The cafe’s opening on North Fourth Street in January came around the same time as Meraki Made, a bespoke clothing store just down the street, and their owners shared business cards with their visitors.
The cross-promotion effort, while small in scope, reflected the willingness of many small business owners in Gem City to help each other out, LeMasters said.
“We all support each other, it’s super important. It will benefit everyone,” she said, adding that she 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 the many kiosks on the street was REC Fitness, a fitness center opened by Korey Clegg within 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 continues to serve the public through online instruction delivered via social media.
“As soon as we were able to reopen, we did so”, she says.
Open Monday through Saturday, with workouts available during the day and evening, the center’s offerings include spin classes, which use stationary bikes to tone muscles; and step routines using light, rhythmic weights for low or high intensity.
Visitors to the center range in age from 21 to 71, and modifications are available for beginners, Wickham said.
Alicia Troski, owner of Primary Print and Design with her husband, Jeremy; said the business opened in 2011 but in recent years moved to 1102 Franklin St.
She noted that embroidered items, including personalized Christmas stockings, jackets and other garments, have been added to her product line.
Also in attendance were Leslie Robbins of Leslie’s Dog Grooming and Doggie Things at 906 Banfield Ave.
Robbins said she has been grooming dogs for 30 years, 20 of them in Toronto, after returning to her hometown to raise her child.
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 welcome the workers.
Not all companies featured have physical locations. Some work from home and others bring their services to their clients.
Among the latter was Pretty Rad. It’s owned by sisters Mallory and Nicole Radvansky, who provide cosmetic treatments, including injecting Botox and fillers to treat crow’s feet, frown lines and other signs of aging.
The two explained that they are board-certified nurse practitioners who work with a local physician, as required by law, to provide their services. They have set up a website and a Facebook page to reach out to potential customers, adding that more people are undergoing such treatments than is generally believed and they are happy to make them available locally.
Kayla Wedlake also participated to publicize the photography business she operates under her name. She said she’s been working from her Toronto home since 2019, bringing her eye for a good photo to weddings and other special occasions as far away as Cleveland and Pittsburgh.
A 2010 Edison High School graduate, Wedlake has provided photographic portraits of high school students and babies, among others, and offers, at no charge, photos of pets known to be in the last days of their lives.
Makeup of Kara’s Kara Eltringham has been instrumental in weddings and other special occasions, including high school dances, helping women look their best through cosmetics. She helped students prepare for their senior photos.
More about Eltringham can be found on Instagram at MakeupbyKar_a.
Alex Taylor of Pretty Poppin’ Parties and Kathy Sabol of KJ’s Unique Party Setup both offered ways to make a birthday or other holiday special.
Taylor has created balloon towers and walls for occasions ranging from weddings to graduation or retirement parties and since opening in May he has plenty reserved for this year and next.
A former television journalist and Toronto resident, Taylor said she started the business while taking time off to focus on her family for a while.
A 1975 graduate of Toronto High School, Sobol said she could bring coffee tables, fluffy pillows and other accessories for adult-themed parties or provide elegant tablecloths, table runners and accessories. other decorations for customer furniture.
For children, it offers small teepees with blankets and pillows, creating a camping effect for parties with themes ranging from superheroes and dinosaurs to mermaids and ladybugs.
Zazazu Boutique’s Krista Beswick and Alicia Myslinsky, who have sold women’s and children’s clothing to customers across the United States, promoted the merchandise they sell from home, via online businesses or at local festivals; Mira Payne of Mira’s Miraculous Plants & More, which sells an assortment of houseplants, scented brooms, handmade wreaths and other items; and Jessica Winters of Stella Creek Candle Co., who makes an assortment of scented candles in her Toronto home.
Winters said she considered starting her own business, which is named after her grandmother, and after selling all the products brought to the Toronto Art Festival in 2016, she realized it was a good choice.
Troski said the event is a sign that a new generation of entrepreneurs are interested in operating businesses in Toronto, a positive development for the city.
Alberta Chesney was among the residents who were happy to see the event and the assortment of businesses, saying: “We need things like that in Toronto.
(Scott can be contacted at [email protected])