MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCBD)- Every business at the 426 Coleman Boulevard Shopping Center in Mount Pleasant has one thing in common, they’re all owned by women.
Diane Anglin was the first women to own a business in the strip mall and more female owners have joined her over the years.
“To have been here in one location for so long is important for your clients because even if they move away they come back,” said Anglin. “It’s pretty amazing. We are very fortunate to be here.”
In the past few months, Monique Semper moved into the far left unit with her businesses. She moved Charleston Tuxedo and Yoj Events from Charleston to Mount Pleasant. Since then, all the businesses have been owned by women.
“My parents were business owners and I just come from a long line of ‘Do it yourself,’ and the sky is the limit and there’s no room for failure,” said Semper.
She had been looking for the space to accommodate a friend of hers who needed a place to run her florist business. Kimberly Findlay uses the back of Semper’s store to make arrangements for graduations and weddings.
“It’s very empowering that everyone in the building is a women business owner. I’ve been seeing this industry grow more and more with women in charge and running their own businesses and making the money that we should be making,” said Finlay, who owns Coastal Creations.
The other businesses in the strip mall include two nutrition stores, an insurance agent and a doctor. Alex Presswood is the co-owner of Lillie Fuel, where she and her mother-in-law make baby food for families.
“We’re basically just moms trying to help out other moms and empower women in general,” said Presswood. “When COVID-19 hit I lost my job and I was able to do this full time.”
According the the United States Small Business Administration, women accounted for 48.8 percent of workers and owned 43.9 percent of businesses in South Carolina in 2021. South Carolina is also the fourth ranked state for the growth of women owned businesses.
To all of the women in the building that means empowering each other.
“To say ‘You know we’re all female owned businesses,’ it’s a pretty big deal,” said Anglin.
“We honestly just made it work. We’re tiny but mighty is what we like to say,” said Semper.
For the younger business owners like Presswood and her mother-in-law they bounce ideas off of the women who are also mothers in the building.
“All of us have different tricks, trades and different ideas of what kids will and will not eat so we can always show other moms” said Presswood.
No matter the business the women are always there to help their neighbors.
“I think we all support each other in the sense that we have a lot in common and we can work well together,” said Findlay.