LOCAL SCENE: Women Owned Businesses Thrive in Cazenovia

By on September 4, 2012

When it was noted in a recent Cazenovia Chamber of Commerce meeting that there are a greater number of women-owned businesses in the community, we started to wonder why that is? The answer wasn’t as easy to decipher as we first imagined. However, after talking to several women business owners, it’s clear why anyone might choose to set up shop in Caz. Here’s what the women behind some of Caz’s best-known businesses had to say:

Owner of Caz Cans & Secretary for the Chamber

“I opened my business [in Caz] because I grew up here,” said Jessica of her four-year-old business. “It’s a great community for a small business.” Besides the strong downtown retailers, Jessica says it doesn’t stop there, there are great businesses in all of Caz. “It’s a community that supports local and it always has.” Plus, she says many people have come to know Caz as a place where they can dine and shop for a same-day destination trip. As well, Jessica says one of her favorite things about running a business in her hometown is that community members always are concerned with how Caz Cans is going. “People know me by first name and always ask, ‘How’s business?’ I know they’re interested in my success and that’s heartwarming.”

Owner of Cazenovia Jewelry Inc.

Susan has been in business at her Cazenovia location for 27 years, and also she has a second location in Fayetteville, which has been open for more than five years. “I came here to raise a family…it’s a great community, small town and this was all important to the mission I had.” After having worked in the city of Syracuse, Susan knew that Caz was (and is) the right place for her and her family. “I guess I realized the mission and then moved.” Susan says Caz is welcoming to women business owners of all ages. Also, she says it’s a better option than renting a space in a mall because you “have your independence” as a business owner. “You make your own hours and you can do what you want to do [with your business].”

Owner of Amanda Bury Antiques

She’s a Morrisville native, but Amanda knew Caz would be the right place for her antique business because Route 20 has come to be known as the place to be. The business, going on 31 years, is on the way to Bouckville, a capitol for antiques and unique items. Plus, Amanda has much ease in her business plan because she owns her building. She lives above her store and makes her hours work for her. Why does Caz have so many women business owners? “I don’t know exactly why that is…it’s always been that way. I’ve seen some places change hands, but they’ve always been owned by women.”

Owner of Lillie Bean

Laurie was running a successful business in Florida before she returned to Caz, where she was born and raised. It ended up being the place her son wanted to be. The Florida real estate market was in good shape, so Laurie sold her business, her home and made Caz the place to be. “I’ve been in retail all my life, and I work hard because this is my living.” Laurie said that this move back to Caz was all quite convenient. “It’s a great place to live, raise my son and do business.” Her business move also was a positive one since she realized there was a need in the area for her store, which offers an array of women’s and children’s clothing, accessories and unique gifts for all ages. Laurie said she listens to her “local loyal clientele” because it makes her business stronger. Also, she says other stores are very supportive to her and she gives referrals to them as well. “We [women business owners] all support one another.”


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