Economic Opportunity, Leadership and Civic Engagement

Support Women in SC: Women-Owned Businesses in the Midlands

by Sarah Nichols on Jun 15, 2018

One easy way to help women prosper in South Carolina is by supporting female-owned local businesses. The recent State of Women-Owned Businesses report ranked South Carolina fourth in the nation for women-owned businesses, and found that the number of businesses owned by women in the state has nearly doubled in the past 20 years.

In an effort to encourage our readers, advocates and friends to #shoplocal and support women, we have listed a few businesses owned by women in Columbia who do fantastic work for the community.

Styled by Naida

 Styled by Naida is a fashion boutique on Lady Street that sells exclusive, hand-picked fashion pieces chosen by Naida Rutherford, a fashion curator and stylist who mixes old and new pieces together to fit the styles of her shoppers. Naida has also pioneered the Styled By Naida Foundation, which seeks to empower and educate low-income folks about the importance of professional dress, self-awareness, budgeting and professional etiquette. The foundation donates business clothing and toiletries to those in need, and it also hosts informational seminars on professional appearance, etiquette, code switching, financial literacy, and minimal-resource budgeting.

Minnie’s Auto Repair

 Minnie’s Auto Repair seeks to provide women and all customers with fair, no-pressure, professional car services. Founded in 2017 and located on St. Andrews Road, Minnie’s is the sister company to Mickey’s Auto Repair, and their motto is “Car care and repair from women, for women.” They offer services such as oil changes, tune-ups, brake repair, tire rotation, computer diagnostics and more, and they also teach free car care classes approximately once a month, dealing in topics from changing a tire, jumping a car, understanding dash lights, and more.

Fit Columbia 

Fit Columbia is a yoga and fitness studio located on Blossom Street that takes a balanced approach to “sustainable fitness & life enhancement” through various types of yoga, personal training and stretch therapy. Some of their popular classes are the bungee workouts, aerial yoga, and yoga with goats and puppies. Angela Yong Sellers, the owner of Fit Columbia, is a physical educator certified in numerous forms of training, such as Bungee Flow & Fit, Yoga for Cancer, Pre/Post Natal Yoga, Sports Nutrition and more. Through her intern-led wellness service projects, she has raised thousands of dollars for local non-profits.

LLE Construction Group, LLC

 LLE Construction Group, LLC is a minority, woman-owned general contracting and management firm located in Columbia since 2011. They focus on assisting their clients in managing the design, construction and maintenance of their facilities. Lasenta Lewis-Ellis, president and CEO, also developed and implements training programs that assist small, women, and minority-owned business owners with the skills needed to develop their businesses. They partner with architects, engineers, consultants, subcontractors, vendors, and more within the community to ensure that their services enhance the quality of life in Columbia.

The Humble Farm

 The Humble Farm—their motto “small farm, big heart”—is a sustainably managed, homesteading family-farm located in Gilbert, South Carolina, owned and run by Ariel Brooks. They offer seasonal fresh-cut CSA and garden starter plant programs, as well as horticultural, agricultural, carpentry and woodworking services. Their seasonal produce is sold in area markets, advertised through their social media.

These are only a few of the hundreds of incredible women-owned businesses in the Midlands region. We have had the great pleasure of working with many other women-owned businesses, some of which we have listed below:

More businesses and relevant information can be found through the Columbia Women’s Business Center. Helping the women of South Carolina prosper means helping the whole state prosper. Stay tuned for new posts on women-owned businesses in the Upstate and the Lowcountry. Is there a women-owned local business dear to you that we didn’t mention? Share it with us on our social media.

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