If you want to shop local, but don’t know where to start, try supporting women-owned businesses and entrepreneurs in the Craven County area–there are too many to list.
Entrepreneurship has grown locally and women, with a variety of skills such as crafting, fitness, writing, decorating, cleaning, cosmetology, skincare and so much more are the owners of some of these business types.
Alexandra DiBella, owner of It’s Sew You Embroidery & Monogramming, started her business at the peak of the pandemic in 2020. Not only was she her own boss, but she also worked full time in healthcare and as a registered radiographer while also balancing motherhood for her daughter.
DiBella started by creating masks with her mother-in-law before her love for crafting took over, and she purchased her own embroidery/sewing combo machine in April 2020. She then taught herself how to embroider and her business grew from there.
“Friends at work began bringing bags, lab coats, children’s clothing, blankets, laptop cases for me to embroider,” she said. “It was very exciting. It turned into a great side hustle, so I decided to create a business and registered with the county in August of 2020, and I created my Facebook page.”
Her business flourished from that point as the news of her craft spread which attracted local businesses to contact DiBella about embroidering their logos.
“I wake up every day excited that I get to do something that I love,” DiBella said. “Doing embroidery allows me to exercise my creativity while fulling a service for somebody else.It’s challenging enough to keep it interesting, and no two projects are ever the same.”
Currently, DiBella operates her embroidery business full-time, while still working in healthcare part-time. She said being her own boss provides a flexible schedule she’s never had before and is now able to have more family time.
DiBella said being a female boss has led her to make connections with other women entrepreneurs that she would’ve never made before.
“The support and friendships made through these connections make me feel like we’re all on the same team, even though we may all do different things,” she said. “Being a woman entrepreneur allows me to feel like I’m in control of my success and I hope that I am setting a good example for my daughter.”
It just got a little easier to support women-owned businesses such as DiBella’s. In honor of Women’s History Month, we have asked local women to shine a light on their newfound or long fulfilled passion. Here is a long list of the discoveries:
It’s Sew You Embroidery & Monogramming: Alexandra DiBella is the owner and can embroider anything from clothing to luggage, hats, blankets, backpacks, lunch boxes, handbags and more. You can reach her at 252-249-1593 or [email protected].
Lit Candles by Val E.: Valerie Edwards sells moisturizing hand-made candles and can be reached at 404-552-5291.
Embellish Hair and Bridal Salon: Darcy Gillikin is the owner of this hair and bridal salon. She can be reached at 3301 Trent Rd. Suite F, New Bern, NC or 252-349-5883.
Girlfriendz Salon: Kim Clark is the owner and stylist of this hair salon. She can be reached at 2713 Neuse Blvd., New Bern, NC or 252-633-0290.
Health, Dance & Fitness
Marz Aerial Arts & Fitness: Marzanne Draves is the owner and operator of this fitness center. Draves leads a team of 12 women teaching them aerial arts and other unique fitness. She can be reached at 258 Kale Rd. New Bern, NC, 703-403-7847 or [email protected].
Touch of Class Massage & Wellness Studio: Peggi White is the owner of this studio and has been a self-employed therapist for 22 years. She is now a functional aging coach and massage therapist. White can be reached at 317 Pollock St. Unit D, Suite 5, New Bern, NC, 252-916-5675 or [email protected].
Senior caregiver: Donna Powell provides and helps with personal care, medication, reminders and management. She also assists with toileting, showering, dressing and light housekeeping. Powell will also tend to pets and provide transportation if needed. She can be reached at [email protected] or 443-262-6123.
Jen the Health Coach: Jennifer Lennon is a certified health coach that is ready to modify lifestyle choices to improve people’s health. She coaches people to overall wellness by connecting the dots of their health journey, discussing their goals and providing education, motivation and accountability. Lennon can be reached at 508-259-7140.
Cleaning and Organizing
Deburca Events & Rentals: Rebecca M. Bourke is the designer and owner of this company. She provides a boutique event rental company supplying a menu of finishing touches that make your wedding, shower or party a success. Bourke can be reached at 732-977-7553 or [email protected].
The Sassy Boutique: Lisa Teachey owns this boutique that helps you find the perfect outfit for a special occasion or everyday wear. She can be reached at 3601 Trent Rd. Suite 8 New Bern, NC, 252-638-3665 or [email protected].
Fastax: Marche George and Gayle George-Alexander are sisters that co-own this income tax, booking keeping and payroll company. They can be reached at 2520 Neuse Blvd. New Bern, NC or 252-633-6430.
Wine & Design New Bern: Amber Williams owns this business that provides private events, painting for children, team building, do-it-yourself, travels to you for special events and a “Paint It Forward” program that helps raise money and awareness for any cause. The business can be located and reached at 1910 S. Glenburnie Rd. Suite E/F, New Bern, NC or 252-633-4555.
For anyone who is looking to start their own business, DiBella has some advice.
“Starting a business, while very exciting and rewarding, is little bit scary. I say believe in yourself and your vision of what you want to accomplish,” she said. “Write your goals and ideas down! Keep a “to do” list. Don’t let the difficult times discourage you, learn from them. Be realistic about what you can do and what you can offer. Lastly, treat yourself with grace and respect.”
Reporter Symone Graham can be reached by email at [email protected]. Have a story tip or idea? Send it her way.
This article originally appeared on Sun Journal: Shop these women-owned businesses and entrepreneurs in Craven County