by Chelsey Blankenship March 08, 2019

Owning a small business is not for the faint of heart. There are days when you think you can do absolutely anything. Then there are days when you are convinced you are crazy.

On this International Women's Day, and my 31st birthday, I thought it would be fun to share a few #girlbosses I am constantly in awe of in hopes that they may inspire you, too!

 

 

Local, female small business owners I'm inspired by: 

Anne Milneck, chef and owner of Red Stick Spice Company 
It's no secret that Anne Milneck is a woman that slays. Not only does she own and operate a true Baton Rouge gem of a spice store, Red Stick Spice, she is a chef who teaches the most interactive and informative cooking classes. She does all of these things while launching a podcast, growing her online business and planning a whole new "side hustle."

As a successful business owner, chef, mom and invested community member, Anne has proven that with the right mindset and vision, you can build recognizable and lasting change. She leads Red Stick Spice and its 15+ staff members with grace and vision. She leads her family with love and humor. She leads our community with passion and a desire to always do what is right. She is the epitome of an influential female leader.

Jenni Peters, owner of Varsity Sports 

Jenni Peters is the owner of Varsity Sports - a local running store with locations in Baton Rouge, New Orleans and Mandeville. Jenni is a woman who has truly created a culture that believes when you run hard, you can live easy. Since my time at LSU, I've known OF Jenni Peters, but it wasn't until I decided to run my first half marathon that I really got to meet her. I signed up for Varsity's free training program in two-year-old shoes and zero knowledge of what a 220 or a 440 was. I'm happy to report today I have much better shoes and can push a whole lot harder on a 220 around Lake Erie - both thanks to Jenni. 

Baton Rouge is so lucky to have a woman like Jenni call our city "home" and I am so proud to know her. Because of her crazy encouragement and genuine desire to help me improve, I'll be running my seventh 13.1 this Saturday at the Our Lady of the Lake Amazing Half. I plan to run hard, then eat, sleep and drink easy. 

Lynn Prejean, owner of Machita Dance Company 

Way back in 2016, as Annie Claire and I took the leap to open a storefront and I stepped away from my full-time job, I met Lynn. She is the first small business owner to accept my proposal to manage the social media channels for her dance studio - Machita Dance Company. When we first met, I didn't realize how many life and business lessons she would teach me. 

Lynn is an RN by day (well depending on the shift) and dance studio owner by night (and day and weekends). I am constantly amazed by her ability to balance two very different careers all because of her passion for Machita Dance Company and the many young lives it impacts. 

Taylor Hunter, owner Taylor S. Hunter Photography 

Picture it. We show up to a local nursery in Baton Rouge for a SoSis photoshoot and we meet a young, new photographer who is from our small hometown of Marksville, graduated in psychology and aspiring to start her own photography business. Taylor is the owner and photographer for Taylor S. Hunter Photography

Since that first shoot, Taylor has taken lots of photos for us and even modeled for us a handful of times. It has been so much fun to see Taylor grow her own business while growing as a young professional as well. I am so thankful that Taylor shares her talent with SoSis so often. 

Lynn-Ann D. Laborde, owner and florist for Germean's Flower Shop  

My mom got it from her mom who got it from her mom. What can I say? Our genes are good, yo. Lynn is the owner of Germean's Flower Shop, a local flower and gift shop in my hometown of Marksville that has been in business since 1959. Mom is my real OG and has taught me everything I know about business ownership, hard work, interest rates and how to TRY to find balance among it all. 

My grandmother, Hermean Dunbar, taught my mom those same skills. For most of my life Nanee, as we all called her, worked alongside my mom in the flower shop way longer than "retirement age." Why? Because both of these women LOVE what they do/did. With their whole heart. I am so lucky to have grown up in the flower shop next these two strong women. What a gift. 

Annie Claire Bass, owner of SoSis Boutique and Annie Claire Designs 

Now, I'll round up this list of ladies with my girl, AC, because without her, SoSis simply wouldn't be. So many things go on behind the scenes at SoSis and there is a 99% chance that AC got it done. New inventory - nailed it. Work schedules - planned it. Quickbooks - ugh, got it. 

Annie Claire is ON all the time and always ready to do whatever it takes to make SoSis better. She reminds me so much of my mom and I take great comfort in that. Together, we make a good team and we see that when we work hard, it pays off. 

 

This list could go on...

But I have to save something for when I turn 32, right? 

Here's to strong women - may we know them, may we be them, may we raise them. 

It's my party! I'll discount if I want to! 

When I turned 28, I set 4 goals and offered you 28% off.

When I turned 29, I followed up on those goals and offered you 29% off.

When I turned 30, I introduced you to my tribe and offered you 30% off. 

Here we are again. Another year older and another percent savings for you. Enjoy 31% off sitewide, no minimum, when you use the code SISTATURNS31 at checkout!

Discount does not apply to shoes, accessories or local, handmade goods. This offer cannot be combined with any other discounts. It applies to any purchase made by midnight, CST, on March 8, 2019. 

WHAT I'M WEARING: 

Jammin' Out Jumpsuit: $78 | Del Mar Platform Slides by Coconuts: $38 | Monica Bracelets by Annie Claire Designs | Sarah Spike Earrings by Annie Claire Designs: $28 





Chelsey Blankenship
Chelsey Blankenship

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