Nov 15, 2012 Ned Campbell Uncategorized
Linda Boehm is thrilled to be part of a growing community of women business owners in the village of Jordan.
She and Danielle Karlik are co-owners of the repurposing store Da-Li Hodge Podge, which opened at 3 N. Main St. last month. It’s one of 13 businesses being run by women in the small, but historic, village.
Boehm is the village clerk while Karlik is the deputy clerk for the town of Elbridge. But that’s not how they became close friends and eventual business partners — both are members of the Erie Canal Cloggers dance troupe.
“I have been part of this village since 1978 both living and working,” Boehm said. “Now to become a part in a whole different way is exciting. Danielle and I have a blast together and our minds are constantly thinking of new creations.”
“Having a business, it’s a little nerve-racking, but it’s exciting too,” Karlik said. “I don’t think a day goes by that we don’t come up with a brand new idea and call each other and say, ‘Hey, listen to what we have to do tonight, because I have this great idea.’”
Boehm and Karlik will repurpose most anything. They’ve turned ripped jeans into aprons, and pockets from jeans into cases for emergency car kits, which are growing in popularity among college students. Their store is filled with their own creations as well as the crafts and artwork of many local residents.
“You could really call it a ‘Pinterest’ store,” Boehm said, referring to the social networking craze described on iTunes as “a tool to find your inspiration and share it with others.” Da-Li is certainly that for the two new business owners and their many vendors, which include photographers, painters, soap makers and more.
Boehm said the idea for Da-Li — which is named after the two ladies — came to them when they were decorating for her niece’s wedding reception. “And then we started doing some craft shows together, and then someone came to us with a place available for rent, and everything just fell into place for us,” she said.
That someone was Colleen Bennett, who owns the historic, and well preserved, building in which Da-Li resides. Her dance studio, Bennett’s Conservatory of the Arts, sits next to Da-Li at 5 N. Main St.
“It’s just so unique, and the fact that they’re going to keep switching vendors, it’s interesting for people,” she said.
Boehm and Karlik are not just excited about the women business owners in the village — they’re helping to promote them. They created fliers promoting the village’s female entrepreneurs, which can be picked up at village hall. The artwork of Jordan designer Catherine Ferris is displayed inside the store.
When asked for his thoughts on more businesses taking root in the village, Dick Platten, Jordan’s mayor since the late 1970s, said: “I hope this is one step closer to creating a serious parking problem in the village.”
But he took on a more serious tone in saying it’s reassuring to see shops like Linda and Danielle’s bring some vibrancy to the business district. He said he sees far more activity in the village today than he did 10, or even 20, years ago. He’s optimistic that people will soon start to see the village as a destination.
“I think it’s good that what they’ve got are unique shops,” he said.
A Few Good Bananas
Boehm and Karlik are certainly not the only women in Jordan with creativity to spare.
“A Few Good Bananas manufactures whimsical, unique, one-of-a-kind hats from a combination of new, reclaimed and vintage fine materials,” Mary Beth Withey said of the store she opened on South Main Street in April.
She runs the shop with her two sisters, Peggy Trivison and Nona Gormley, and already it’s expanding. A Few Good Bananas is moving to 16 S. Main St., a bigger space under the same roof, with an opening planned for Dec. 1. With the move, they are expanding their line to include reclaimed leather accessories.
“We are moving from a smaller manufacturing space in the same building and anticipate having retail space,” Withey said. “We have a flare for finding the perfect combination of pieced fabrics, findings, and notions into accessories that feature the personality of the wearer most. Each piece is made by hand.”
She said there’s a buzz in Jordan thanks to the new businesses popping up, and, like the mayor, she hopes it will lead to Jordan becoming “the destination it was in the past.”
“Our grandmother told us stories of taking boat rides on the Erie Canal for a days of shopping in Syracuse,” she said. “We can envision our grandmother wearing one of our hats on an Erie Canal boat ride, and her spirit bringing new folks to Jordan to see what interesting things are happening here.”
Mickie Hendrix, owner of Mickie’s Shear Boutique at 7 S. Main St., has worked in the village since 1971, when she got started creating display hairpieces for Sandy Benedict’s salon in the Benedict Block.
“She told me if I went to beauty school, she’d give me a job,” she said.
And Benedict made good on her promise. Hendrix finished beauty school in 1973 and worked for Benedict for six or seven years until she moved her salon to the building across the street. Hendrix then began renting a booth from her.
“I’m thinking she was probably the only one,” she said of the number of women who owned businesses in Jordan. And that was at a time when business flourished in Jordan.
“It was a beauty shop, there was a barber across the road,” she said. “Back then Jordan was really, really busy.”
Hendrix would buy the building from Benedict in 1990 and start Mickie’s Shear Boutique. In describing it, she said a lot of people compare it to the beauty shop in “Steel Magnolias,” the 1989 film starring Sally Field and Dolly Parton.
“Everybody knows everybody; it’s a little village,” she said. “But I get people from the surrounding area … as far north as Sodus. People that have been coming to me for years and years. I even get people here from Camillus where I live.”
Peg Mirra — Cabin Creek Antiques
Dorren Faber — Licensed Clinical Social Worker
Brook Dykins — Small Paws
Mickie Hendrix — Mickie’s Shear Boutique
Catherine Ferris — Drake & Ferris (alterations and design)
Colleen Bennett — Bennett’s Conservatory of the Arts
Danielle Karlik and Linda Boehm — Da-Li
Betty Dittmar — Creative Memories
Cindy Milton — Twisted Sister
Diane Fuller — Dark Horse Antiques
Marybeth Withey, Peggy Trivison and Nona Gormley — A Few Good Bananas
Tammy Simmons — Lily Pad
Teresa Vitale — TAV Design
She said it’s “wonderful, great and fantastic” to see so many women business owners joining her along Main Street.
“Because it wasn’t like that when I first started out,” she said. “It was still pretty much segregated. The man went to work … it was just the era.”
But as for owning one of those 13 women-run businesses?
“I never thought much about it,” she said. “I just go in and do my job.”
Ned Campbell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.