With the women's march in Atlanta and the nation's capitol this upcoming weekend, it is important to acknowledge the powerful women in our own area. The Classic City is home to many powerful women business owners and The Red & Black compiled a small list of a few female owned businesses here in Athens.
Agora Vintage — Airee Edwards
Airee Edwards opened the original Agora in 2002 so local designers and artists could rent out a booth to sell their products. Since then, she’s expanded it into Agora Vintage, a family-owned vintage and consignment shop, selling a large variety of vintage items from designers such as David Yurman, Louis Vuitton and Chanel. Edwards uses social media accounts to show off new products. Highlighting the success of her business, Agora Vintage was selected to be on the 2018 Bulldog 100 List, which honors the fastest-growing businesses owned by UGA alumni.
Community — Sanni Baumgärtner
Sanni Baumgärtner wants her boutique and the style of clothing inhabiting it to reflect her vision of bringing people together with fashion and sustainability. Baumgärtner originally came to Athens as a University of Georgia transfer student from Germany but came to realize even with a language barrier, she could easily express herself through her style. Community aims to bring contemporary designs to Athens, while also avoiding making a large environmental footprint through sustainable fashion.
Heirloom Cafe & Fresh Market — Jessica Rothacker
With the mission of creating a community, celebrating local farmers and telling a story through her food, Jessica Rothacker brought the Heirloom Cafe & Fresh Market to Athens in 2011. After studying culinary arts in Atlanta, Rothacker settled down in Athens and started Heirloom to help create jobs in the community. She works with farms like Collective Harvest to feature a farm-to-table menu, that has options for lunch, brunch and supper.
Indie South — Serra Jaggar
Serra Jaggar decided to grow the handmade movement in Athens and created Indie South in 2006, giving local artists a platform to sell their work. When Indie South first started, Jaggar hosted a variety of events for vendors including festivals and pop-up shops. One festival she hosts annually is the Handmade Lovers Valentines Market, giving local businesses the ability to compete with bigger chains for Valentine’s Day sales. Jaggar has since expanded Indie South and opened a brick-and-mortar store on Normaltown, which has since moved to Hawthorne Avenue, to host workshops and gatherings year-round.
K.A. Artist Shop — Kristen Ashley
Kristen Ashley decided to open her artist hub based on her dream of fine quality art supplies for a cheaper price. When she came to Athens in 2000, she had a passion for art but saw a lack of affordability in pursuing it. When opening the shop, while accomplishing a supply section of the store, Ashley realized an opportunity to provide an overall space for aspiring and established artists. Now, K.A. Artist Shop is a gallery and supply shop that also provides classes, workshops and more, as part of accomplishing Ashley’s original dream.
Knotty by Nature — Jerica Nicole Kelley
Jerica Nicole Kelley, the founder of Knotty by Nature had small beginnings for her natural hair salon as it started out of a barber shop on Baxter Street in 2014. But after word spread rapidly around the Athens area, the shop got its flagship location on Lexington Road. Kelley decided to start her salon after noticing a lack of natural hair care shops in the area. Kelley wants her clients to have the same feeling she does and embrace their natural hair as an extension of themselves.
Correction: In a previous version of this article, it was reported that the location of the Indie South brick and mortar store was in Normaltown. Indie South is now located on Hawthorne Avenue. This has since been corrected. The Red & Black regrets this error.