Celebrating International Women’s Day

International Women’s Day, marked annually on March 8th, is a day to celebrate the achievements of women across the globe and continue the march towards gender equality. The way we think, act and speak every day has the power to challenge inequality and bring about lasting change. We’re committed to lifting up those around us, welcoming diversity and creating places that ALL people love. This year, we proudly #choosetochallange. All month long we’ll be highlighting the women-owned businesses that make Derby Street so special and sharing the inspirational stories of women in our communities. Join us in getting to know some of our neighbors a bit better and celebrating the women behind the places you love.

Meaghan St. Marc, Rev’d Indoor Cycling

  • What was your “why” for starting your business? I started Rev’d because I believed I had a voice and an idea that needed to be heard and shared when it came to affordable and inclusive fitness. For so long boutique fitness was only available in certain areas and at a high price point- and at the expense of their underpaid and overworked staff. Rev’d was our opportunity to create an environment of wellness and support that would be accessible to anyone and everyone.
  • What are some of the recent challenges you’ve faced? Recently, as all of us have experienced, COVID has been a major challenge. However, previous to COVID’s shutdowns and restrictions we faced the challenge of doubling the size of our business in a matter of 3 months. From December 2019-March 2020 we opened 3 new studios, raised over a million dollars in private investment, and increased the demand on our already hardworking staff. It was during this time I experienced a personal challenge in the form of a miscarriage. I’ll never forget the days my spirit felt broken, but I still had a family to care for and a business to run. I can honestly say those were some of the hardest, but most rewarding of times. By March of 2020, we successfully opened the doors on all of these locations (including Derby Street!) prior to COVID closing us down- we were open for 8 days in one of our new locations pre-COVID shutdown! Fast forward to ALL of 2020 being a challenge. Our studios were closed from March through July. We pivoted to online classes, renting our equipment out to riders, and then eventually bringing classes outdoors in the nicer months. We are now operating extremely modified in a few indoor spaces as well as online, but really just working hard to survive. We have hope that 2021 will bring relief to the restrictions and safer environments to gather again. A final challenge but more a blessing than anything is that we are expecting our second child in a few weeks.
  • What are you most proud of when it comes to your business? I am definitely most proud of my talent management and the team we have built. None of what we do would be possible without the talented team of rockstars we have surrounded ourselves with. I’m proud to say when I see talent I do my best to support it, cultivate, and grow it. Everyone who works at Rev’d share the LOVE of what we do from a personal place. That can only be accomplished by running a business that is honest and inclusive. My business partner Clyde and I have always believed it comes from the top.
  • What’s your biggest piece of advice for other women looking to start their own businesses? To ANY woman looking to start their own business, I say “What are you waiting for?!” I am proof that anyone can do this. You have to find a starting point, and usually, that is the hardest. After you find your launchpad, you must take flight. There will always be 1 million reasons to NOT do something, but if you find ONE good reason to try- you have to take that risk. Being a woman in business means demanding respect and integrity from anyone you work with or for. You can do this by being the hardest worker in the room while at the same time being comfortable with boundaries and limitations.
  • What women inspire you? I am inspired by so many women in my life. My mother, a hardworking nurse, and mother of 5 incredible kids; my two best friends who are GIANTS in their industries as the youngest and first females to do what they do; the women of Rev’d who teach and motivate me daily; and truly any woman who stands up and makes sure their voice is heard.

Sandra Turco, Gelato & Chill

  • What was your “why” for starting your business? After living in Italy for a few years and having the wonderful opportunity to taste “Gelato” from every major city to a small town, my husband Vincent and I knew that we had to share what we discovered.
  • What are some of the recent challenges you’ve faced? We wanted to create the same authenticity of small-batch gelato and it took a lot of sampling of products from around the world to create the perfect recipes.  Starting in Farmer’s Markets to the expansion of three gelato shops in two years, required many skill sets and a “learn as we go” approach.  Of course, the biggest challenge was to open Derby St and Chestnut Hill in the summer of Covid 2020.  Thankfully as a small, family-run business, the amount of energy and passion we poured into the business was seen and appreciated by our customers.  The reviews Gelato & Chill has received is amazing and the return of customers each day is what helps us to get through this difficult period.
  • What are you most proud of when it comes to your business? Two things come to my mind.   We have been able to transcend our experience and deliver an amazing product to our customers.  I love to see the expression on people’s faces after one scrumptious taste.  But I am most proud of how we as a family have come together and have each found our own niche and strength in running a business.  My husband is the Chef and Operations, I handle marketing, PR, and finance and our daughters are on the front line delivering exceptional customer service and management of the shops. We make an amazing team because we can share our passion with the community.
  • What’s your biggest piece of advice for other women looking to start their own businesses? I would have to say “let your passion take control”.  Keep your vision always in front of you at arm’s length so that you do not become overwhelmed by the day-to-day challenges.  Be extremely organized and gain knowledge on every aspect of the business so that it empowers you to feel in control.  Lastly, always ask for help when you need it, the support of friends and family will provide immense strength.
  • What women inspire you? Celebrities do not impress me! The women who inspire me are around the corner. They are the single mothers working and raising children with little to no support and yet every day they put on a smile and are the leaders of their family.  Trying to keep all the pieces together, takes immense strength and perseverance.

Tessa Sulivan, SOLO Golf

  • What was your “why” for starting your business? Fueled by a passion for fashion and apparel, coupled with a love for the game of golf, we experienced the need to introduce more modern and transitional apparel in the sport.
  • What are some of the recent challenges you’ve faced? People tend to have a narrow view of what golf clothing should look like. It is our job to reintroduce them to the variety of styles that can be worn in the sport.  We enjoy showing our perspective and inspiring players to wear their style on the course.
  • What are you most proud of when it comes to your business? It makes us proud to see players from all across the country wearing our pieces and commenting how SOLO fits a need that golf has been missing.
  • What’s your biggest piece of advice for other women looking to start their own businesses? There is no right time, you just need to dive in headfirst and don’t stop, especially when people tell you to.
  • What women inspire you? All the ‘go-getter’ moms who don’t let raising a family stop them from pursuing their goals and dreams.