Women-owned businesses continue to rise

Mary Cianci is the owner of Sew-N-Such. A female owned and operated shop that sews and tailors. (WNWO)

TOLEDO, Ohio (WNWO) - The number of female-owned businesses in the United States, has more than doubled in the past 20 years. The trend is growing fast, but it hasn’t always been this way.

“I was one of the youngest tailors in town,” said Mary Cianci, owner of Sew-N-Such, a shop in Toledo.

Mary Cianci has been sewing and tailoring for more than three decades. But, she remembers a time when the business world didn’t quite stitch her into the picture.

“They were union, we were non-union,” said Cianci. “The men tailors were downtown, and we were down at Southwick... It was very segregated.”

A female tailor was somewhat unheard of.

“Even my own friend wouldn’t let me tailor his suit,” said Cianci.

So, like any strong woman, Cianci opened up her own shop after years of working from home. Sew-N-Such has been in business for 28 years. Since then, she has been part of the growing movement.

In 2017, there were an estimated 11.6 million women-owned businesses in the U.S. that’s according to the 2017 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report from American Express.

The data also shows women are launching more than 800 new businesses each day. But, being a success story doesn’t come easy.

“You just can’t say, ‘I want to be in business,’ because there are so many other variables,” said Louise Wireman, who works at Sew-N-Such. “There are taxes, licenses, getting help, figuring out stores, deposits.”

Sew-N-Such adds that just because you own something, doesn’t mean you get to slack.

“You have to be dedicated, you have to be willing to give up everything,” said Cianci.

Cianci said a key component to success is loving what you do.

The study finds that aside from following passion, some other driving forces for women were having control over schedules, and having their vision put into motion after sitting in the backseat.

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