Winona’s women-owned businesses celebrate National Women’s Small Business Month

Visit Winona Loft on Third Loft-Third-Downtown-Winona-Minnesota-Retail-Shopping-Women-Boutique

A growing number of women-owned small businesses are making their mark on the Winona community according to an article in the Winona Post.  These entrepreneurs, often working alongside their family members, have become pillars of the local economy and cherished destinations for both residents and visitors. National Women’s Small Business Month in October is celebrated, it’s the perfect time to recognize and applaud their remarkable contributions.

Loft on Third: A Mother-Daughter Success Story

After an impressive 26-year career in real estate, Lynne Nelson was ready for a career change. Inspired by the cherished memories of boutique shopping with her daughters during their college years, she saw an opportunity in Winona, a vibrant college town. With unwavering faith and determination, Lynne launched “Loft on Third” as a clothing boutique during the pandemic.

But Lynne didn’t embark on this journey alone. Her daughter, Rachel Henderson, and Henderson’s family relocated to Winona to join her in running the business. With their combined expertise, they’ve been able to offer clothing options for people of all ages, expand their inventory and website, and cater to a growing customer base. Soon, they will be relocating to a bigger space off Third Street, promising to maintain their unique boutique charm.

Heidi Wyn’s Curiosi-Tea House: Sip, Savor, and Learn

Heidi Wyn, a passionate tea enthusiast, introduced Winona to the world of tea with her charming tea house. Offering an array of 150 to 200 types of tea, along with a plant-based menu that includes sandwiches, soups, and baked goods, her business, “Heidi Wyn’s Curiosi-Tea House,” has quickly become a local treasure.

What makes Heidi’s tea house special is not just the tea itself but the desire to provide a unique experience. A former educator who taught at every grade level from kindergarten through college, Heidi knows the value of memorable experiences. The tea house she created reflects this vision. Whether it’s the calming environment, affordable prices, or a wide variety of teas, Heidi and her children work together to offer something extraordinary.

Perception Body and Pole: Empowering Through Fitness

Ashley Wagner, the founder of “Perception Body and Pole,” has created a safe and empowering space for individuals seeking fitness and personal growth. Her studio specializes in pole dancing and fitness classes and has been open for approximately two and a half years.

What sets Ashley’s business apart is its commitment to inclusivity. She has received glowing feedback from members of the LGBTQ community who have found a supportive and non-judgmental space to pursue their fitness goals. Ashley’s own journey in building her confidence and achieving challenging feats, alongside her students, has been an inspiration for the community.

Supporting Local Small Businesses: The Heart of Winona

The success of these women-owned businesses goes beyond economics. They are vital to the community’s fabric, contributing to the local economy and supporting various causes and organizations. Anna Sibenaller, Director of Main Street Programs at the Winona Area Chamber of Commerce, underscores the importance of these businesses. She notes that they provide interest and engagement for both residents and visitors, becoming a point of pride for the community.

As we celebrate National Women’s Small Business Month, Sibenaller encourages community members to support these local businesses. She emphasizes that especially during economically trying times, it’s crucial to support small businesses to ensure they continue thriving and don’t disappear.

The stories of these remarkable women entrepreneurs in Winona serve as a testament to the strength and resilience of small businesses. Their dedication, passion, and innovative spirit not only contribute to the local economy but also create unique and welcoming experiences for their customers. By celebrating and supporting these businesses, we can ensure that they continue to flourish and enrich the community for years to come.



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