News Column

Women's Event Will Showcase More Than 60 Businesses

Feb. 22, 2013

Fran Daniel

hispanic businesswoman

When Winston-Salem WomenConnect holds its third annual event Saturday in Clemmons, Cathleen Pittman's private tutoring company will be there.

A Step Ahead Academic Center, based in Clemmons, will be one of 60 local women-owned businesses set up at the event, offering a variety of products and services.

"We've been there since the beginning," Pittman said. "What keeps us coming back to it is the networking with other women who are also following their own passion and creating their own businesses."

Pittman also likes being able to connect with people in the community.

"We have had families learn about us at WomenConnect and then actually come to our center and enroll their children into our program," she said. "So it's been a great community outreach for us."

WomenConnect is free and open to the public. Some nonprofit groups will also set up tables.

"It's a wonderful opportunity for women of all ages to spend the day meeting, learning, shopping and enjoying time together," said Beth Mack who organized the event with Angela Levine.

Last year, 600 people attended the event and organizers are hoping for the same support this year.

Only one type of company is allowed in each business category.

"Attendees will enjoy a wide variety of different types of vendors -- everything from counseling to travel to yoga," said Levine.

Folks will have a chance to shop and eat. Offerings include jewelry, handmade cards and scarves, gourmet pimento cheese, chocolate-covered fudge, popcorn and a photo booth.

"This year, we're devoting a room to 'finding your style.' Whether attendees want to update their wardrobes, homes, or look, our experts in clothing, accessories, home furnishings, makeup and hair will help," said Mack.

Free health screenings will be available through Forsyth Medical Center. They include blood pressure, body mass index, and cholesterol and glucose screenings.

This will be Diana Mitchell's third time, too, but this time she has a new business -- Textures Salon & Gifts based in Lewisville. Mitchell will bring a makeup artist and provide hair demonstrations.

"I'm excited that we are introducing a new salon," Mitchell said. "It's great fun meeting people."

Pittman said that one of the biggest challenges facing women-owned businesses is getting over the initial fear of going out on your own and believing you can be successful.

"But if you are creating a business that is based on your life's work and your passion, it all falls into place," Pittman said.

Source: (c)2013 Winston-Salem Journal (Winston Salem, N.C.) Distributed by MCT Information Services

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