Grand Rapids is an entrepreneurial city, and our risk-taking, can-do spirit extends to women as well as men. WalletHub once ranked Grand Rapids one of the top 20 best U.S. cities for women-owned businesses, based on overall new-business friendliness, female entrepreneurship and the business climate for women. Women represented more than 36% of all local business owners in 2020 and it’s a pretty good bet that percentage is larger today.

To celebrate Women’s History Month, we’re spotlighting 20 local businesses owned or co-owned by women. Visit them all year ‘round !

Aperitivo at the Grand Rapids Downtown Market

Aperitivo and Art of the Table are both owned by Amy Ruis, and are the perfect spots to pick up your favorite wine.

Photo by Ideology for Experience GR

Adored Boutique

Emily Smith opened Adored Boutique with a mission beyond offering stylish, high-quality products (though the store certainly does that). She sources apparel, accessories, home goods, gift items and health & beauty products from vendors who employ survivors of exploitation, including sex and labor trafficking, and individuals who are vulnerable to exploitation. Their sustainable living wages help break the cycle and prevent exploitation for future generations. Emily also donates at least 15% of the store’s profits to organizations whose missions align with hers.

Agate & Herb

BreAnna Jaueregui is a Graduate Gemologist who worked in the high-end jewelry industry for 16+ years before opening Agate & Herb. Her store is stocked with a variety of gift items, including new and vintage jewelry, original art and prints, apparel and accessories, bath and body products, home goods, books and more, all lovingly curated by BreAnna. She says the boutique “is a collection of my favorite things and I hope you love it as much as I do.”

Art of the Table

Amy Ruis opened Art of the Table with her husband Steve in 2003. Guided by her love of entertaining, Amy developed a specialty gourmet shop offering a wide range of food, libations and table accessories from around Michigan and around the world, including one of the area’s best wine selections. In 2013, Amy teamed with Kate Leeder (former cheesemonger at Art of the Table) to open Aperitivo, a cheese, charcuterie, wine & beer retail store and restaurant in the Grand Rapids Downtown Market.  

Basic Bee

Renise Warners launched this fashion-forward, size-inclusive women’s boutique in 2020, bringing styles not commonly found in the area to Grand Rapids. Basic Bee is a shop for women who want to stand out from the crowd with trendy and chic apparel and accessories, as well as unique gifts and home & health products. A passionate supporter of local community, Renise teams with other local businesses on monthly events and often hosts other businesses in her store.

BattleGR Tactical Games

Married couple Jenny and Joe Lashuay started a mobile laser tag company in Nashville before relocating to Grand Rapids and launching BattleGR Tactical Games in 2018. They’ve since added archery tag, axe throwing, gel blaster games, kid’s camps and sport court rentals to their Comstock Park facility, along with their version of a food court (GRub). They also offer offsite versions of many of these activities and mobile foam parties, too. Their mission-based challenges are great for birthday parties, family reunions, bachelor/ette parties, corporate outings and more.

Black Cat Bodega

Lorin Baum is the woman behind Black Cat Bodega, an artisan gift shop offering metaphysical supplies and tarot readings. A haven for those seeking magical accessories, spell kits, crystals, divination tools and more, Black Cat also offers a wide range of gifts, from beautifully crafted jewelry to hand-painted ceramics. The store hosts a variety of workshops and special events, and a Black Cat Club gives members on-site access to the store’s extensive library of tarot and oracle decks, books, puzzles and games, plus other perks.

Books & Mortar

Jenny Kinne purchased this “proudly progressive, consciously curated and fiercely independent bookshop” from its founders in 2018. She stocks Books & Mortar with a broad selection of books reflecting a diverse range of voices, perspectives and narratives while hosting book clubs, author events and educational programs that nurture and empower the community. She also uses the store as a platform to actively engage in advocacy efforts related to literacy, education and social justice issues. Stop in for friendly and knowledgeable recommendations on books and gifts for all ages.

Della Soul Records

The city’s first Black woman-owned record shop is the brainchild of Della Marie Levi, aka DJ Della Soul, who opened the doors in fall of 2023. Della Soul Records is a community hub, a place to buy vinyl records and unique gifts, and a space to enjoy intimate listening sessions with local retailers. This past February, Della was honored to welcome Vice President Kamala Harris to the store. The Veep purchased greeting cards picturing Ella Fitzgerald and Notorious B.I.G., a George Clinton Funko Pop and a Miles Davis vinyl record.

Elevated Grand Rapids

What started as a hobby for owner Heather Nowakowski turned into a full-time vocation after less than a year in business, as the community embraced her vision for a vintage and artisan marketplace. Elevated Grand Rapids is filled with an incredible array of products from vendors who share Heather’s commitment to collaboration, support and education. You never know what you might find when you stop in, but it’s a good bet there will be something you can’t live without.

FURN on Leonard

Meg Giampapa launched this “liquidation furniture boutique” in late 2022, occupying 4,000 sq. ft. of retail and warehouse space on the city’s west side. Unlike many furniture liquidation stores, FURN on Leonard curates a showroom of unboxed furniture artfully arranged to spur your imagination. (That’s Meg’s interior design background at work.) You’ll find everything from budget to high-end pieces, from brands you know and love, at prices 25%-80% off regular retail.

Aubrey Winfield - Gathered Botanicals

At Gathered Botanicals, owner Aubrey Winfield adapted her culinary skills to create organic skincare products.

Photo by Courtesy of Gathered Botanicals

Gathered Botanicals

Aubrey Winfield is a professional chef and chef instructor who began adapting her culinary skills for topical use and opened Gathered Botanicals to offer her organic skincare line to the public. Made with responsibly foraged wild botanicals from West Michigan, these facial and body products have attracted an ardent following. The store also hosts weekly workshops and classes covering a diverse range of topics and hands-on learning experiences. 

Global Infusion

Joana Hively and Beth Grilley opened Global Infusion in 2004, bringing an incredible array of organic herbs, specialty consumables and fairly traded global handcrafts to Grand Rapids. They expanded to include hundreds of bulk, loose leaf teas and botanicals from all regions of the world. All products are crafted by companies grounded in social and environmental responsibility. You can enjoy a soothing cup of tea in the store’s café before or after shopping.

Hopscotch Children’s Store

Since 2017, Emily Tobin and her husband Mark have helped customers discover unique toys, books, games, diapers, wearables, bath products and more at Hopscotch Children’s Store. Focusing on products from fair trade artisans, small domestic manufacturers and sustainable/eco-conscious sources, the Tobins have created a cozy, welcoming alternative to impersonal box stores.

Lee & Birch

Founder/owner Nikki Gillette has expanded Lee & Birch from a single store in Grand Rapids, opened in 2009, to include additional locations in Grand Haven, Kalamazoo, Rockford and St. Joseph. She’s done it by catering to quality-conscious women looking for unique pieces as well as staple pieces for their wardrobe. Lee & Birch offers a personalized shopping experience for each customer and wants every woman to leave their stores feeling better and more confident than they were when they walked in.

Girls Trip at Periwinkle Fog

Find unique gifts at Periwinkle Fog, located downtown! Supporting women-owned businesses is just one way to celebrate Women's History Month.

Photo by Dorelle Brock for Experience GR

Periwinkle Fog

Co-owners Elizabeth Radeck and Susan Coombes launched Periwinkle Fog in downtown GR in early 2022. The boutique gift store features apparel and accessories, jewelry, home décor, handmade paper goods, games, puzzles and more. The shop also carries an array of consignment art from local artists, many of them women. It’s a great place for locals to find unique gifts and tourists to discover fun souvenirs.

Pink Lemonade

The mother-and-daughter team of Jill Zagar and Paula Hall opened their first Pink Lemonade store in East Grand Rapids’ Gaslight Village in 2018 and have since added stores in Grand Haven, Kalamazoo and St. Joseph. Pink Lemonade specializes in unique gifts for “children, home and her,” with a selection that includes clothing for newborns to adolescents, children’s toys and books, jewelry, candles, drinkware and much more.

Rock Paper Scissors Consignment Boutique

Brynne Roberts has been helping locals sell their gently used women’s clothing and accessories since she opened Rock Paper Scissors in 2011. Rock Paper Scissors curates high-quality clothing, shoes and accessories from upscale brands and offers them at a fraction of retail prices in a fun boutique environment. They also carry vintage goods.

Second Vibess

Camille Stevenson and Kaitlynn Fitzpatrick turned their passion for curating and up-cycling sustainable clothing into a business. They launched Second Vibess online before opening a brick-and-mortar location in downtown GR in 2022. The store specializes in women’s clothing and accessories, and offers many one-of-a-kind pieces reworked by the owners themselves. Second Vibess also carries some products from other local businesses and hosts a variety of special events.

Southside Flower Market

Missie Polakovich, Renee Koops and Tracey Gerdeman opened Southside Flower Market in 2019 to offer an ever-changing selection of fresh, seasonal blooms and foliage for all occasions and events. The European-style flower market specializes in custom-designed floral arrangements for everything from weddings to business galas, and also stocks fresh flowers and accessories for retail sale.

Spirit Dreams

Longtime friends Jackie Bess and Jaye VanLenten purchased Spirit Dreams from its original owner in 1994, when the store was just two years old, and they passed the store on to longtime employee Keely Geary and her husband T.M. Camp in 2022. After 30+ years, this “spiritual boutique” continues to offer unique gifts and essential supplies – including crystals, books, jewelry, tarot cards, incense, aromatherapy, candles and herbs – for all spiritual practices and paths.

The Aroma Labs GR

Tanya Thompson Murphy opened The Aroma Labs in downtown GR in 2021, offering men and women the opportunity to create their own signature scent. Experienced staff lead customers through the formulation process, after which the fragrance can be added to soaps, lotions, scrubs, car fresheners, room sprays, beard balms and other products. It’s a fun, creative, gender-neutral experience for both individuals and businesses.

Oh, Hello Paper & Gifts

Oh, Hello Paper and Gifts and Courage and Soar are sister stores, located right next to each other.

Photo by Addison Causley for Experience GR

Courage and Soar

Oh, Hello Paper and Gifts

Kayla and Alex Benda are the married entrepreneurs behind these two downtown GR gift shops. The couple opened Oh, Hello Paper and Gifts in 2020, stocking it with stationery, greeting cards, planner stickers and Kayla’s own line of customizable traveler’s notebooks, in addition to Grand Rapids-themed items and a vast collection of personalizable home goods. Courage and Soar came along two years later, offering a wide selection of lifestyle and home goods, including clothing in sizes up to 3x.  The two shops are located right next door to each other.

Covet Leisure

Owner Carmen Foster launched Covet Leisure with a dream “to grow a unique and empowering brand to elevate a woman’s casual look.” The boutique stocks dresses, pants, skirts, sweaters, tees, outerwear and more, from small-batch companies that produce fewer than 500 garments in one run – great for building a truly distinctive wardrobe. The size-inclusive shop is located on Cherry Street in uptown GR.

Plant Shop

Visit the Plant Shop for an assortment of unique plants and gardening accessories curated by founder/owner Erin Rappeleye. Located on Wealthy Street in Uptown GR, across the street from Forty Acres Soul Kitchen, the Plant Shop is filled with beautiful botanicals that Erin and her staff will tell you exactly how to take care of, even if you don’t have a green thumb. The Shop also offers repotting services and plant design services for your home or commercial space.

Warehouse One Antiques & Collectibles

Located in a massive former furniture factory on the southwest edge of downtown GR, Warehouse One Antiques & Collectibles features two floors of antiques and vintage items from 100 or so vendors. Owner Mary Beth Schutt has created a space where you can spend hours happily browsing for nothing in particular or ask the friendly staff for help finding just what you have in mind. There’s even a clearance room!


Janna Maris opened Zabház in downtown GR in 2022, after hosting a series of successful pop-up shops around the city. The store carries a curated selection of vintage clothing and home goods in a beautifully merchandised space that is welcoming and accessible to all. Maris is a big supporter of other local businesses and hosts all sorts of different events in her shop, making it a great place to meet people.