The Evening Leader

Helping to give back

Women business owners share stories


The St. Marys Rotary Club was given a series of presentati­ons on Wednesday by four prominent business women who reside in St. Marys, gaining brief histories into their work.

Organized by Trisha Barnes, the presentati­ons focused on these women in particular: Nancy Mauter of Hudson Jewelers, Ammy Snyder and Tracy Miley of Effie’s Boutique and Josie Slater of Miami & Erie Trading Company. Each of them play a part in the community and were happy to talk about how they started in their businesses.

“We have some amazing ladies that own retail businesses in downtown St. Marys,” said Barnes about the speakers that were brought together. “There is not a thing they are not involved in in this town.”

Mauter was first, stating that she got into her business after taking over for her family’s business, which had been making watches since 1897. The business model changed from watches to jewelry since Mauter and her husband were good at custom design and goldsmithi­ng respective­ly, and most of her focus is helping get customers what they need. She personally does most of the custom designing when it comes to jewelry.

“It’s kind of interestin­g to look back and see some of the history. But the thing about having a family business is that it becomes a living part of your family,” said Mauter. “It’s a breathing entity. It’s not just a place where you make your money.”

She considers it a very unique experience, and she aims to keep it going as long as

she’s working in the store. While she originally planned on getting into the field special education, something she still does two days of the week, she has found a love for working in custom jewelry. It’s one of her more popular services and she loves learning all of the stories behind certain design choices.

“I like people’s stories. I found how enjoyable it can be,” stated Mauter. She loves working on these projects and it helps keep her connected to the community, especially when the pieces she’s asked to work on mean something to them. “You’re the caretaker of their memories.”

Snyder and Miley themselves are proud of running Effie’s Boutique and are always happy to give people what they need for their wardrobe. They got into their business seven years ago and they like working in the downtown area and participat­ing in all of the local events.

“We like to support our local schools and we help with the FFA, DECA, band, choir,” said Snyder about what they try to do in the local area. They also try to offer plenty of options to their customers whenever they have the chance. “We carry a lot of different things for everybody.”

The two work largely with their family as well, their kids sometimes helping out in the store and support each other as sisters and business partners. The two are very glad for the support that they get from the community and are always happy to lend an ear to anyone willing to talk while shopping at their store.

“That’s what we love to do when you come into Effie’s, we want to help you look your best,” said Miley about their purpose during store hours.

They want to make sure their customers look good and feel confident before leaving their store. “We won’t lie to you because you’re going out there representi­ng Effie’s if you leave with that outfit.”

The last to speak was Slater, who has had an interestin­g time getting her business set up and running for the community. Having officially started in 2020 after doing an overhaul of their building space, she’s been working hard to make sure that Miami & Erie Trading thrives and sells only locally made items.

“We decided that, as cliche as it is, we wanted to be the change we wanted to see,” Slater explained as being the motivation behind opening the store. “The best way to help downtown become what we wanted to see was to buy property and turn it into what we wanted it to be.”

Slater has been working hard on this business, as well as making sure the community she’s in thrives. It was a lot of work for her and her family, but they’ve done well so far. She’s even started a new venture in the form of Republic Coffeehous­e & Cafe, and she’s hoping it will be as well received as the initial business.

“We’re hoping for fall of this year,” stated Slater. The shop is located on Spring Street and while it has been tough, she’s hoping that they’ll stay on schedule for the opening.

She hopes it will be a place with a nice atmosphere and provide a selection of foods that many people would like.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United States