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WATCH NOW :: Women Who Own Their Kenosha Businesses Thrive Here | Sponsored

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KENOSHA NEWS STAFF

Women business owners are thriving in Kenosha. These entrepreneurs provide important services to the community and drive the economic engine of the region.

We recently interviewed five female Kenosha business owners about running their stores here, their product, and the advice they give to aspiring entrepreneurs.

Ruffolos Hair Studio

Why did you choose Kenosha as your workplace?

Ruffolos Hair Studio has been in business for over 60 years in Kenosha. It all started as a two-man barber shop opened by brothers Dick and Gabe Ruffolo.

I started at Ruffolos when I was 16 and bought the salon 15 years ago. We made many updates (with the help of my husband Verko.) Five years ago we expanded the existing building and grew to 43 employees with three shareholders.

What do you enjoy most about helping your clients/clients?

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Our goal is to give our customers a sense of comfort and professionalism. We offer many services ranging from hairdressing to spa at a price for everyone. We have newer stylists to senior stylists who have been in the business for over 20 years.

What advice do you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?

To any new entrepreneur, I would say that your business will only be as successful as the time and effort you put into it. The best part of owning my business is seeing employees grow in their careers and being able to achieve their goals in life! When you own a business, it has to be your team!

Visit us online: https://www.ruffoloshairstudio.com/

Authentic

Why did you choose Kenosha as your workplace?

The main reason I chose Kenosha over Racine and elsewhere is because of the beauty of downtown. With the lake ambiance, it was an easy choice. Downtown Kenosha had an upward trajectory that appealed to me.

What do you enjoy most about helping your clients/clients?

I am able to give them a unique experience. I love that we offer gift wrap, bows, boxes and tags. We are proud to hold a Class A liquor license, which allows us to taste and sell premium and locally made liquors, champagnes, wines to complete the Authentic Signature shopping experience. Our customers appreciate the unique items I find and the fact that many products are from other small women-owned businesses. Seeing their faces light up when they hear the stories about the products I find is such a pleasure and the stories are what drives me to choose certain product lines. Additionally, we manufacture many of our own products in-house. Our range of perfumes, hand soaps, body lotions, room sprays and more! We create healthier products for you and your home, including our line of Repour’d candles. I love helping my customers choose healthier, unique items for their home, themselves, and as gifts.

What advice would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?

Have a solid business plan and a very good understanding of what your brand is. What are your non-negotiables that you want to implement in your business and what are your points of difference? In my experience, Authentique is committed to providing customer service, sales training, and products that are unique and owned by women, when possible. Finally, healthier products for the environment and your body. Being committed to your brand is key. I would also tell all budding entrepreneurs that it will take you a long time to make money! I probably shouldn’t say that, right? Ha!

Visit us online: https://authentiquegifts.com/

Kiss Lingerie

Why did you choose Kenosha as your workplace?

I have been in downtown Kenosha for over 12 years. I opened a consignment shop in 2009 called Sixth Avenue Consignment Shop after quitting my corporate job. I live in the community and realized that there were no retail outlets where women could find quality clothing and accessories, let alone underwear that actually fit! This is how Bisou Lingerie was born. We opened in the back of our resale store and grew our inventory over 2.5 years. In February 2017, we opened Bisou Lingerie as a stand-alone business at our current location. I’m staying here because the ladies of Kenosha deserve a boutique as beautiful as the lakeside. They also deserve bras that fit!!!

What do you enjoy most about helping your clients/clients?

There is a statistic that 80% of women wear the wrong size bra. Our mission is to ensure that everyone who walks into our store leaves with quality products and bras that fit. When our installers work their magic and finally find the right products for our customers, they hug us, cry or jump for joy! There’s nothing more rewarding than helping women feel confident and empowered by providing the foundation to feel better.

What advice do you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?

My advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is that it’s never too late to pursue your dreams and passions. I was 50 when I opened my first business and hope to continue for at least another decade…..you can have a second chapter in your career and take all your life experience and apply it to your current aspirations. Stay humble, ask for help when you need it, and above all, never give up!!

Visit us online: https://www.bisoubras.com/

Olivier’s Bakery

Why did you choose Kenosha as your workplace?

The company was created long before I started working at Oliver. He was a pillar of the Community. From the minute I started, I felt a connection to the customers and the product. It was an easy decision to choose to keep Kenosha having one more place to be proud of. I was born and raised here, it’s a big city. This is my home and I wanted to keep giving back to the people who believed in me.

What do you enjoy most about helping your clients/clients?

As a small business, you have the opportunity to get to know and work with your customers on a one-to-one basis. Whether it’s designing a cake or just hearing about what’s going on in your customer’s life. Building a relationship with the people who walk through your door is an achievement that I’m proud to say Oliver’s is all about. The personal touch with a community that believes in you.

What advice do you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?

A small business is a lot of work. You should ask yourself if this is really what you want to do. The advice I have to give is this:

You must have passion and desire for whatever you want to do. Always be open to reinventing yourself and learn from your mistakes and achievements. Realize that it is the people you give to who drive you forward and who will support you. Make your employees feel appreciated. Keep in mind and tell yourself every day that I love my job. And when all is said and done, the hard work and the results are worth it.

Visit us online: https://oliversbakery.com/

Khroma nail salon

Why did you choose Kenosha as your workplace?

I fell in love with the growing community and the existence of local family businesses. The location is great as it is close between Chicago and Milwaukee. It’s nice to really connect with people and that tends to get lost in big cities. I moved to Kenosha in 2009 and when I realized this was my home I wanted to build my footprint and help grow it.

What do you enjoy most about helping your clients/clients?

I like to give people a break in their day to take care of themselves (or a ventilation session). People just need that sometimes. It almost goes hand in hand with the nail salon experience. I love helping people channel their own expression through their nails. The importance of nail quality will always be the foundation of any nail salon’s success, but my favorite thing is having my own creative outlet through my work. I thrive on it. And when I collaborate with my clients to achieve their ideal look (whether it’s as simple as the perfect color/shape or the most intricate design), it really makes me happy.

What advice do you give to aspiring entrepreneurs?

Work hard and stay humble. As we develop our talents and work towards entrepreneurship, it’s easy to lose the real energy that drew people to you when you started. As you evolve, your industry will most certainly evolve too. So never stop learning!

https://www.khromanailsalon.com/