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Event to Showcase Women-Owned Businesses

On Nov. 8 Bedford's Historical Hall will become a marketplace to promote services, products and businesses owned by local women.

Back for the fourth year in a row, "Women Promoting Women" is pushing into a bigger space and planning a showcase of local talent for the general public looking to buy gifts, obtain services or hear stories from local women entrepreneurs, authors and sports celebrities.

"It's all about helping each other—there are so many terrific women around here to meet and do business with. I feel strongly that there is more we can be doing for each other, and this event will help bring women together and help them connect to the local community," said Mary Ricci, a Katonah resident, and founder of the netwroking group.

On Thursday, Nov. 8 from 6 p.m. - 9 p.m., Women Promoting Women will host an evening to "celebrate extraordinary and gifted women who lead or play a leading role in local business" at Bedford's Historical Hall. Participants include artists, bakers, caterers, jewelers, hair stylists, nutritionists, home decorators, authors and radio hosts, among others, according to organizers (see a partial list below).

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Refreshments include champagne, wine, cheese and desserts provided by local caterers and restaurants including Seasons and Happiness Is.

Joining Ricci, an interior design and color consultant, in planning the program is Tracey Rojas, a Somers resident whom she met three years ago.

"Mary helped me through my farmhouse renovations and we just clicked," said Rojas. "We have kids the same age, and her views complemented mine—we both feel you should 'play it forward.'"

That's not a typo—while "paying it forward" is a commonly known idiomatic phrase which means that if something good happens to a person, she turns around and does good for someone else—Rojas, self-described student athlete advisor, began an informal group with the name "Play it forward" to mentor young women in sports. 

The two joined forces and have developed Women Promoting Women—which started as one small networking event at Katonah Paint and Hardware in 2010—into a year-round organization, with periodic "themed" gatherings held at local busineses.

For example, Ricci said, they might invite a small group of women business owners around a particular concept like home decor, and include a carpet consultant, a faux finishings artist and a window treatment specialist. On another night, they might include a jewelry maker, makeup artist, handbag designer and hair stylist.

Ricci wanted to create a larger event but she didn't have the funds to rent a space to accommodate event, which drew 250 women to Katonah in 2011.

And then Bedford resident Marilyn Glass "played it forward."

Glass, who won an evening at Historical Hall in a charity auction, offered it to Ricci for the fourth annual WPW event. "Her generosity overwhelmed me," said Ricci. "It was a perfect gesture for this event."

Below is a partial list of participating vendors at the event. Ricci and Rojas welcome RSVPs but they are not required. Visit their Facebook page for more information.

  • Author Kathy Kelton
  • Ramiro's 954
  • Jans Kids preschool program
  • Diane Dixon, Gold medalist Olympian 400m track star
  • Seasons Restaurant
  • Camp Kiwi
  • Lola Granola
  • KD Design Studio
  • Front Street Cellars
  • Happiness Is... Catering
  • Arbonne representative Joni Cristello
  • I Heart Boobs
  • Bellava Spa
  • Representatives from local insurance companies and law firms
  • Val Ben's Heritage Market
  • Stella & Dot jewelry
  • The Pastry Corner
  • Ruby Sue Clothing
  • Sollia Salon
  • Gail Marie Skin Care
  • Beads by Roz

In addition, handbag designers, college recruiting advisors, nutritionists and home health care providers are participating in a still-growing roster of businesses.

pauline schneider October 23, 2012 at 03:31 PM
Very cool. But the website isn't up yet. :( It's just says Go Daddy...
Lisa Buchman (Editor) October 23, 2012 at 04:43 PM
Thanks Pauline - their Facebook page is active so I've included that link above.
Maggie May's Frozen Yogurt & Ice Cream October 23, 2012 at 05:31 PM
How does one go about finding info on this greatnetworking group, or perhaps even being able to partake in the next showcase?
Lisa Buchman (Editor) October 23, 2012 at 08:36 PM
Hi - to set up a table you can let Mary Ricci know you want to participate on their Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Women-Promoting-Women-WPW/204336336287371?ref=ts&fref=ts

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