WOMEN IN BUSINESS: Petoskey-area women are opening doors

PETOSKEY – A flurry of women-owned businesses have been opening in the Petoskey area. Following is a brief description of each:

* The Real Nancy Drew has reopened in Harbor Springs, this time at 345 E. Main Street. Nancy Drew sells her own art work, as well as books, clothing, cards and furniture.

Before moving her business to New Buffalo to be closer to her hometown, Drew operated in Harbor Springs for some six years. But when she recently returned to Harbor Springs for her sister’s wedding…

“…we just happened upon a wonderful little spot while driving down Main Street,” she says. “So we basically fell into it and we’re glad to be back. Hopefully the people familiar with our work will find it to be good news.”

She also has a store on Michigan Avenue in Chicago.

Her Harbor Springs location is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday.

* After working in home furnishings at Puff’s of Petoskey and as a window treatment specialist at Bartlett’s Home Interior in Charlevoix, Deborah Meier has found her niche operating a customized shop-at-home window blind and shade service called Blinds Express.

“I go into the customer’s home, which works better because in their own lighting they can see the fabric’s texture and color,” she said. “In a bedroom, for instance, they may want black-out shades so that guests or kids can sleep in.”

Many of Meier’s clients have lakefront homes with large windows. No problem. She has just the solution for those who want shade, but not coverings.

“We can put filtering shades on that allow the sun in, but block out damaging UV rays,” she said. “Or we can use window film that works like sunglasses, providing a darkening tint to block out UV rays that damage furniture, but still allows for a bare window.”

The fact that Meier works out of her Charlevoix home and buys direct from the factory adds up to cost savings of 25 to 50 percent, she noted.

She services all of northern Michigan and works with a professional installer.

Hours are Monday through Saturday by appointment.

* Novelty lover Vivienne Sadowski opened Imagine That on June 27 and carries halloween costumes, Beanie Babies, Harley-Davidson, Coca-Cola collectibles–pretty much everything you can, well, imagine.

Years ago, this energetic 29-year-old managed the Hocus Pocus in Petoskey, so she’s familiar with the novelty market. She’s currently operating the business alone, but plans to hire about seven employees come Halloween.

Summer hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 4 p.m. Her shop is open year-round.

* Speaking of Hocus Pocus, Northern Michigan Silk Flowers Co. recently opened in the former location of the novelty shop in Petoskey’s Gaslight District.

Owner Evelyn Kinnunen offers high-quality silk flowers, plants and trees, unique accessories, custom silk flower arranging, as well as in-home or in-office consultations.

She gained 17 years of experience in the industry while living in Denver and Phoenix. She and her husband decided to relocate after vacationing here for the last several years.

“I came here to live the rest of my life,” Kinnunen said, matter-of-factly. “We’ve been coming here for six years and I really felt there was a need–with Bay Harbor and all–for a high-quality, high-style silk flower shop.”

Her shop is open daily 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

* Michele Burian, Certified Massage Therapist (CMT), and Dianne Springborn, RN, CMT, opened Howard Street Massage Therapy at 417 Howard St. on June 15.

Burian has been working as a CMT at the Burns Clinic at Boyne Highlands for the past two years and Springborn has been an RN at Northern Michigan Hospital.

The two met about a year ago and decided the timing was right to open a business in a quaint building that also houses a stained glass studio.

“I had looked at (the building) about 10 years ago, but wasn’t ready to make leap,” Springborn said. “It just happened to come available; the timing was just right.”

They do mainly Swedish massages, but also can do deep tissue massage and help some sports injuries. For now, massages are by appointment only.

The following women-owned businesses have also recently opened their doors:

* Melissa Daniels and Beth Butters have opened Daniels Lawn Care at 3077 Greenwood in Petoskey.

* Northern Wellness Foundation will be opening at 8555 M-119 in the former location of Supreme Carpet. Owner Colleen Hemstreet couldn’t be reached for comment. BIZNEWS