Let me start out by wishing everyone a Happy International Women’s Day! We, at DKI, wanted to recognize and highlight the women that make Kenosha a destination. One of the first tasks assigned to us when Ashley and I came on board was with our Mainstreet US partners to identify female/minority businesses for future business program resources. After detailing this research we found that, of our 350 business partners, Downtown Kenosha is nearly 50% female driven business owners and leading operators. We are a recognized Mainstreet District for our diversity and success, which should be something to be truly proud of!

When I was assigned this article for DKI, my initial thought was that this would be an advertisement of a few of the many women ran businesses in Kenosha. I was picturing the layout as a directory style listing – categorizing each volunteered participant with a picture next to it and set interview questions that I could summarize. But as I started talking with these women I realized that each story and experience was so beautifully detailed and personal, that I would be doing a disservice of just highlighting a couple of minor details to fit on all one page. From these conversations, I was welcomed into rich histories of personal accomplishments, highlighting achievements and innovations in their product/services, and humbly underplaying their role as emerging women in business. And furthermore, from these talks, organic themes started to emerge – that these women shared many common threads of their experience, had strong personalities that helped them stand out against competition, and had the ability to connect in an authentic way with their clientele. I think all these qualities can be applauded and even emulated in our own lives for success.

Here are just a few of the reasons I think our Kenosha leading ladies stand out:

At this point, I would like to thank everyone that could spend just a bit of time out of their day to chat with me. From these interviews I have gained much more than what I can put down on paper. At the end of the day, you have highlighted yourselves as fascinating contributors to our downtown and inspired many! And while I could not do justice of each any every story you had to share, you have prompted us to dig deeper in highlighting each and every one of you for our business spotlights section in the future. Thank you again and hope you know you are leaving a great stamp in Kenosha!

Alexandria Robinson, DKI