The city of Boston is known for its sense of community, and whether you are a local or from out of town, you are sure to pick up on its energy. As a business owner, I feel this ten-fold, and I thought that while I had a minute (let’s face it a lot of minutes, I’m in quarantine), I would share my personal experience with it.
Starting a business certainly has its challenges and in the early phases of Intoxicated I knew that it was essential to make solid relationships with people who have been through it before – mentors if you will. As a female business owner in particular I definitely felt a little out of my element, sometimes being the only woman in the room. Don’t get me wrong, it definitely feels powerful to be the only woman, but as I have always been a girls girl, I wanted to feel connected to other women in my shoes.
First and foremost, I met my original girl gang through my old job working at a medical spa. I loved the pro-girl mentality that they all had – it was infectious – especially coming from a male dominated industry. As I began to think about starting my business, I knew that I had to also branch out to other female mentors in different industries. Business is business, and regardless of the industry, some of these female leaders had a lot to teach, and through my search for other like-minded women, I started to realize just how strong Boston’s girl gang is.
Over the last 7 years, I cannot even begin to tell you how many women have helped me, reposted my stories, sent uplifting texts, checked in, just called to talk, took time out of their busy days to take meetings with me, you name it. So, I thought that I could use my space to return the favor and highlight some of my very favorite Boston Based female owned + founded businesses.
Booty by Brabants: I’m sure you all know about her, but if you don’t (and have been living under a rock) Kelly Brabants is the bees knees. Her workouts are killer, her energy is unstoppable, and her leggings are absolutely everything. Not to mention that she is just a super sweet person in general and you should definitely get on board and see why everyone is oBBBsessed with her. Also, to keep all of our spirits high while in quarantine, Kelly has been doing weekly virtual workouts to keep all of us sane. They are hard af and I can barely do them but 10/10 recommend.
Mother Juice: First of all, owner Laura Baldini is a total badass, and she is a true treasure to Bostons female entrepreneur crowd. Laura owns Mother Juice, and her amazing healthy plant-based treats are not only affordable AND available for takeaway, but they are absolutely delicious. Before quarantine started, Mother Juice was my first stop after a spin class to get my day started on the right track. Since quarantine started, she has even been sharing some of her super creative recipes on Instagram, which you have got to check out. Not to mention that she donates her goods to nurses and doctors to keep them fueled during this time. Also, PSA, Laura has recently launched yet another company known as The Flie, a luxury line of chic handbags that abide by stadium regulations. A stylish way to carry to a game or just carry your belongings in general.
Prettyology: The brow queens! Prettyology has been named time and time again for being the Best in Boston for eyebrow shaping, micropigmention, and microblading, and owner Julie Michaud is a true inspiration and mentor in Boston’s beauty scene. Not only is Julie the sweetest, but she has recently opened a school to teach her expert techniques to the next generation of permanent makeup artists, known as Prettyology Academy. I personally worked for Julie for over 3 years, and I can tell you that much of what I have learned in this industry is because of her. After this is all over, lets face it – your brows are going to need work. The only tough part will be snagging an appointment with her!
Rectify Barber & Beauty Alcove: Owners Shalyn and Dayna have been both named Best of Boston for their crafts, and are truly two of the sweetest people on earth. Dayna is an expert barber, and is constantly being recognized and awarded in her industry. Shalyn is literally one of the best microbladers in the business, and if I trust her enough to send my future mother in law to her to get her eyebrows done, you will understand how much I faith I have in her work. I mean after all, I would really love for this wedding to actually happen.
The STARR Lash: Owner Andrea has been at her Newbury Street location for over a decade (although you would never know it because she looks like she just graduated college), and does the most beautiful lashes. Her Back Bay boutique is adorable, and I know that my one of my first stops after this is all over is to see her. In addition to her expert lash skills, Andrea has created her own custom line of skin care products, and has even made a lash growth serum that I am obsessed with. First of all it, works, and second of all you can use it WHILE YOU HAVE EXTENSIONS IN. The bomb.
Soigne: Ashley Clarke is a one of a kind girl. She went to law school, decided it wasn’t for her, and dreamed up the most fabulous and luxurious line of custom-made hats for all of your most special and boujee events. Think Kentucky derby, think tea parties, think looking more stylish than all of your friends. Luckily for us, this spring Ashley launched a collection of head bands that are to die for, ranging from super fashion forward to daily and functional. Think Meghan Markle if she was actually cool. Oops, I said it.
ForNow: Owners Katherine and Katie have brilliantly found a way for e-commerce businesses to come to you at their flagship store in Seaport called ForNow. In addition to bringing these businesses to you, they marketing experts (ahem they helped me put together Intoxicated), and they are incredibly attention to detail and knowledgeable. ForNow is always bringing in cool brands, and they are a definite must when looking for a cool gift to treat yourself with, or for a gift to let someone know that you are thinking of them while we are all apart. When this is all over, take a stroll over to their Seaport store and find everything you weren’t looking for. And help support other small businesses. It’s a win-win.
Treasured Hands: My favorite nail salon in Boston, Vanna Vu is a perfectionist and she makes sure that everyone else that works for her has the same mindset. She remembers every client and although they are often times quite busy, its worth it to make a weekly appointment to get in there. Treat yourself to a beautiful (and probably much needed) mani and spa pedi once this pandemic is over!
Jana Rogo Salons: Our lovely friends at Jana Rogo Studio are the absolute cats ass, and Jana + partner Kelsey are experts at their crafts. Jana has been featured all over the place in the fashion and beauty worlds, working red carpets and big events (AHEM for example the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show just to name one), and is an amazing colorist and stylist. Kelsey who I personally see does the best damn hair extensions in town, and as someone who can never quite figure out how to take care of my hair (let alone my extensions), she is a pro at laying them in for easy maintenance - and also more importantly so that no one can see them.
VegaVitality: Owner Ashley is a total doll, and her vision and hard work has resulted in one of Boston’s most loved medical spas. She is a clear example of the girl gang mentality – a few months ago when I dropped sample products at her spa, she invited me into her back room and chatted with me for over 30 minutes (that she probably didn’t have, given how busy she is), and not only gave me advice but listened to me and told me about her story. Ashley’s estheticians and medical estheticians can fix pretty much any skin concern that you have, and their menu ranges from injections to facials, and everything in between. This top-notch salon/spa is chic, sophisticated, and boasts science backed treatments.
Barbara Lynch Restaurants: I don’t know about you guys, but when this is all over I cannot WAIT to go out to eat at some of my favorite restaurants. Since it’s hard to choose which one of Barbara Lynch’s restaurants is my favorite, I’ll just say that I’ll be visiting one of hers. I’m sure that I don’t need to tell you about her, as after all she is a Boston legend, but she is a total badass and is a culinary genius. I’m drooling while thinking about Sportello’s gnocchi as I am writing this.