SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Its namesake is a common sight and sound at 8th & Railroad Center, but there’s an even more common thread that weaves through all but one of the building’s storefronts.
“Predominately we’re female-run, female-owned, female employed,” Prairie Cocoa Confections Owner Keyes Clemmer said.
Whether they’re new to the building or celebrating 20 years in business…
“You can’t build the character that this building has gained over the years,” Sticks & Steel owner Terri Schuver said.
…8th & Railroad is a hub for female business owners in Sioux Falls.
“To find this powerhouse of women was really an awesome and unique opportunity to be a part of it,” Clemmer said.
“All the shops here, we like each other, we help each other, it’s almost like a family unit right here in this building right here at 8th & Railroad,” Sanaa’s Gourmet owner Sanaa Abourezk said.
Eighteen years ago Sanaa Abourezk became a first-time business owner; now her restaurant and this building have become her life.
“It’s my livelihood and my hobby and my social network,” Abourezk said. “I was able to have a family, attend my daughter’s piano practice, take her to sports, and maintain my business at the same time.”
Juniper’s Apothecary owner Brittany Sopko understands business ownership and mom life, as her children often great customers at her store. It’s a delicate balance many 8th & Railroad women running their own business understand.
“A day off, what’s that?! Vacation–are you kidding me?” Clemmer said.
“The hardest part is time management, just trying to get everything done in a day and be successful,” Bella Rosa owner Leigh McCoy said.
McCoy is the newest business owner to come to 8th & Railroad; she says that understanding community makes a big difference.
“Being here with other women, other moms is nice, we know how we have to work hard to balance life between motherhood and owning a business,” McCoy said.
It’s not just women owners, but also workers at 8th & Railroad. At Simply Perfect, all but one of their 25 employees are women. But the thread of women goes straight to the top at 8th & Railroad.
“It’s a female-owned building, as well as female-owned businesses, so watch out,” Clemmer said.
Right now Remedy Brewing Company is the only male-owned storefront at 8th & Railroad Center. And while many women work for the center’s many female owners, they say men are of course very welcome to work at and enjoy 8th & Railroad too.