Celebrating the Female Entrepreneurs of Downtown Tacoma

Celebrating the Female Entrepreneurs of Downtown Tacoma

Celebrating the Female Entrepreneurs of Downtown Tacoma


To be a female entrepreneur you must believe in the unseen. You must realize a reality that is far from real and step boldly into a future that will only come when you press on. The future of female entrepreneurs in the City of Destiny began when Thea Foss turned her first rowboat for a profit and began what is now one of the largest maritime companies on the West Coast.

We often ponder what life was like for Thea Foss. To live, love and work along the shores of Commencement Bay as a woman in the late 1800’s. Did she know that she was laying the foundation for generations of female entrepreneurs to come? Did she know that the purchase and selling of her first rowboat would be just the beginning of women driven commerce in Downtown Tacoma? The romantic inside of us believes she did.

High above Commencement Bay, atop the Chamber of Commerce building sat the “Goddess of Commerce” a statue that was placed there 4 years before Thea’s first transaction. The statue symbolized the burgeoning cities industries and was meant to bring good fortune. Maybe the spirit of female entrepreneurship permeated from the goddess and brought success not only to Thea but generations of women to come.

In 1939 at the age of 19, Babe Lehrer opened her first retail store in Downtown Tacoma with only $350 dollars. Over the course of her career, Babe would go on to open 15 locations of her store Lyon’s Apparel. The “Goddess of Commerce” sat above Downtown Tacoma and Lyon’s until the Chamber of Commerce building and the statue was torn down in 1950.

We don’t believe it at all to be a coincidence that in the final years of her life, Babe Lehrer pioneered the recreation of the “Goddess of Commerce.” The goddess now sits at the corner of St Helens Ave and South Baker Street, with arms open welcoming all into downtown.

Today, the female entrepreneurs of Downtown Tacoma carry on the spirit of Thea, Babe and all of those that came before them. These women work tirelessly to drive not only commerce but also the culture of Downtown Tacoma. They are the chefs, the CEO’s, the creative class, shop owners and everything in between. These women know no limits and press on to create a future that can only be described as equal.

To celebrate International Women’s Day 2020, we identified and listed over 60 women-owned businesses* in Downtown Tacoma. We took portraits of or listed as many of them as possible! We are overwhelmed with the number of female faces making our downtown what it is. To each of you, Thank you for pressing on and helping Tacoma to realize a future that continues to be female.

The Women-Owned or Co-Owned Businesses of Downtown Tacoma:

  • Azzara Salon: Aura Mae
  • Londons Salon: Keila McGahuey
  • Stocklist: Liz Van Dyke
  • Bleach: Julia Crouch
  • Urban X Change: Brooke Casanova
  • Tinkertopia: Darcy Anderson
  • The Studio: Lindsey Naglieri
  • Satori & Little Sister: Diamond Sanger
  • Hello, Cupcake: Allix Zemcik
  • 3uilt: Anna Gonzales
  • Chame Nails: Martina Ngo
  • Bubbles Tea: Nga Hamada
  • Channing Baby Co: Krystal Hogaboam
  • 253 Art Collective: Carla Gramlich
  • Uncorked Canvas: Rebekah Slusher
  • Watermark: Karen McGrath
  • Blue Dolfin: Barb Bernsten
  • Urban Gardner: Christy Scerra
  • Yoga Wild: Casey Hubbell
  • Mad Hat Tea: Maureen McHugh
  • Tacoma Consignment: Lindsey Craig
  • American Art Company: Tammy Radford
  • Happy Belly: Jennifer Johnson
  • Leroy Jewelers & The Art Stop: Phyllis Harrison
  • Lucky Penny Cafe: Penny
  • Super Studios 253: Sabrina Seher
  • Evolv Phone Repair: Vanessa Flores
  • Elope 253: Rochelle Bergstrom
  • Subculture Salon: Reese Mullins
  • Harlequin Hair Design: Heather Scott Wallace
  • Embellish Salon: Eleanor Carpenter
  • Athena Vertical Dance: Jane Carter
  • Handlebar Cycle Studio: Becky Swoveland
  • Vessel Vintage: Jasmine, Della, Mary, Angela
  • Poppylion: Megan Donaldson
  • Lilypad Antiques: Kendra Frogge
  • Kiddos & Kin: Shay Ryan
  • Productivity Parlor: Naarah McDonald, Erin Severe
  • Luluz & Co: Linda Morrison
  • Goldies: Goldie
  • Anew Thyme: Elizabeth Archambeault
  • OCD Candy Co: Ellen Laguatan
  • Love Letters Intimates: Catrina MacCalla
  • Vespera Salon: Liz Maas
  • Urban Squirrel: Summer Briggs
  • Bespectacled Studios: Melissa Brewster
  • AH Hair Spot: Dewanda Evans
  • Full Moon Flea Market: Selena
  • Casa Botanica: Kristen
  • Shrub Gallery: Meeshee
  • Brooks Dental: Jamie Brooks
  • Trina Jones Photography: Trina Jones
  • Jennelle Marcereau Gallery: Jennelle Marcereau
  • Over the Moon Cafe: Deanna Harris-Bender
  • Glenna Clothing: Glenna Matthews
  • Union Salon: Madeline Ervin, Shea Lovrovich
  • The Parlor: Anna Ott
  • Stink Wine & Cheese: Jenny Smith
  • Devils Reef: Robyn Murphy
  • The Mix: Jesyca Swetland, Courtney Moore
  • Good Karma Center for Joy: Kathy Price
  • Habit Strength & Conditioning: Steffany Tilton
  • Serenity Day Spa: Megan Douglas
  • Cocobolo: Sarah, Lana, Alexis
  • XWAX: Kristen Carrington
  • Cafe Azure: Tracy Roberts
  • Baroque Salon: Jessica Ferrer, Veronica Pat
  • Dolce Salon & Spa: Heather Mackenzie
  • Jan Parker Cookery: Jan Parker
  • Tacoma Night Market: Leah Morgan
  • Strategy 3 Degrees: Leah Knoll
  • My Twin Lens Photography: Devin Anding

*If you are someone you know was missed in this list, please contact us at [email protected] and we will make sure to add you. Please keep in mind this list is primarily focused on brick & mortar businesses. Thank you.

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