Ask a Businesswoman: National Business Women’s Day

Today is National Business Women’s Day, a day dedicated to celebrating the founding of the American Business Women’s Association. The mission of the association is “to bring together businesswomen of diverse occupations” as well as support those women in growing in their careers.

High Point has quite a few strong, creative, brilliant businesswomen who fit that description. From florists to artists, to designers, to dentists, to candle makers – High Point’s businesswomen serve in a variety of fields, and many of them work to mentor and support other women in business. We wanted to shine a spotlight of celebration on businesswomen in our community, so we asked several of them questions about their experience with owning a business in High Point.

Check out what they had to say, and maybe even find a local woman-owned business to support this week in High Point!

Q. As a businesswoman, what is one piece of advice you would give to other women who want to pursue a business?

“I would advise any woman wanting to get into business in High Point to get to know our community and business leaders and take time to listen. Our city is filled with men and women with so much wisdom. I soak up as much as I can!” – Katy Erikson, Monkee’s

“My one piece of advice for any woman wanting to pursue a business is to find a mentor(s): that one person whom you admire, who will be brutally honest, who will always provide positive feedback, along with corrective criticism, and who will encourage continued professional growth.” – Dr. Lee Bass Nunn, Nunn Dentistry

Katy Erikson from Monkee's folds clothes inside her High Point boutique.

Katy Erikson, Monkee’s

Dr. Lee Bass Nunn wears scrubs and leans against a counter in her dentist's office.

Dr. Lee Bass Nunn, Nunn Dentistry

Q. Why do you think it is important for women to be in business?

“I believe it’s important for women to be in business because women have so much to bring to the table. There are so many young girls watching the women in their life, and when they can see women in leadership roles, forging their own paths, it leads to a new generation of strong and capable women who dream big.” – Taylor Mahlke, Pen+Pillar 

“We all need role models, and in the words of Coco Chanel, ‘A girl should be two things, who and what she wants.’ While I was influenced by my father’s career, it was ultimately my mother who reinforced and helped that passion to grow within me. She was the person who made me believe that I could be successful at anything. Having a strong female role model was invaluable and helped to shape me into the person that I am today. Therefore, it is not only my responsibility but my pleasure to be a female business owner and hopefully a positive role model within our community.” – Dr. Lee Bass Nunn

I think it’s important for women to be in business because it allows one to explore another side of themself. Sometimes you don’t realize you have a particular skill or talent until you put yourself out there and discover it.” – Michelle Shreve-Stroud, High Point Candle

Q. How can women support each other in business?

“Women can support each other in business by being willing to share in each other’s successes as well as being there when each other needs support. Be willing to give advice, be a shoulder to cry on, and boast about each other’s talents to all your friends and family!” – Taylor Mahlke

“We can support one another by being there for other businesswomen when they need advice or simply need someone to listen as they explore an idea or deal with a problem. There isn’t one single businesswoman that knows it all. We should always be there to help and build one another up.” – Michelle Shreve-Stroud

Taylor Mahlke, owner of Pen+Pillar leans on a white counter in her studio smiling.

Taylor Mahlke, Pen+Pillar


Michelle Shreve-Stroud, owner of High Point Candle stands beside a table of candles in her studio.

Michelle Shreve-Stroud, High Point Candle

Q. What is your favorite part of your business?

“I love the people! From our talented Barbour Spangle Design team to our clients, sales reps, vendors, contractors, subs, and more. They all bring such different and unique qualities to our projects and I love their diversity. – Christi Spangle, Barbour Spangle Design

My favorite part of my business is how slow it is. Though that may sound odd, I enjoy sharing with people how things made with love take a lot of time. With the ever-growing presence of huge corporations, our culture thrives on instant gratification, like next-day shipping and super-fast products. But I have learned that patience makes some of the most beautiful things. With natural dyeing there is so much experimentation and lack of ‘product’ many times. I think those moments are important to the integrity of a business and should be talked about more. Messes, failures, experiments, all lead to growth and wisdom. I think we should all embrace those things in our lives and not hide them! –Annabella Boatwright, Neon Tumbleweed Studio

“My favorite part of my business is the execution of a design. There is so much that goes on prior to this process in the creative, floral world: conversation, planning, ordering, processing blooms, and finally, the execution. My heart rate slows down at that point, and I try to just live in the moment and enjoy the creative process as it comes to life. Many times I have ‘aha’ moments as I work! – Sami Price, Just Priceless

Christi Spangle, co-owner of Barbour Spangle Design sits on steps, smiling.

Christi Spangle, Barbour Spangle Design

Annabella Boatwright owner of Neon Tumbleweed Studio sits in a chair on a porch, smiling.

Annabella Boatwright, Neon Tumbleweed Studio

Q. What is one thing you have learned from being a businesswoman?

“One thing I’ve learned from starting my own business is that patience is key, especially with yourself! Running a business takes a lot of trial and error, and slow learning over time through experiments and picking up tips to put in your toolbox – knowledge that you carry around in your pockets. You can’t expect to know everything right at first, and that’s okay! This also means that change is inevitable, especially if you run a one-woman show like I do. My business is basically me, and as we expect humans to change, we should also expect businesses to evolve with us. The process may be a little messy, but everyone will understand. – Annabella Boatwright

“Balance is one. Learning to balance all the many things that women have in their lives is a challenge, whether there is a job in the picture or not, and the pressures that I put on myself to do all those tasks to the degree that I am satisfied is a struggle. I have learned (and am still learning) to be content knowing that I am doing the best I can and giving everything as much as I have to give. The second thing that I have learned (and am still learning) is to trust my gut! I am generally perceptive, but trusting myself with business decisions as well as creative decisions has proved time and time again to be most important – and many times, a lesson not easily learned. – Sami Price

Sami Price, owner of Just Priceless, stands smiling at a counter with several vases of cut flowers.

Sami Price, Just Priceless

Q. Why are you proud to be a businesswoman in High Point?

“I feel enormously proud and humbled by the community’s support of DeBeen for 23 years. The DeBeen family, friends, customers, and Yogis: We’ve grown together in our sweet town of High Point!” – Debbie Maier, DeBeen Espresso

“I am proud to be a businesswoman in High Point because I am among an amazing group of intelligent, creative, and forward-thinking women. – Katy Erikson

Debbie Maier, owner of DeBeen Espresso, stands with a cup of coffee inside of DeBeen's cafe.

Debbie Maier, DeBeen Espresso

Keep discovering our High Points,

The HPD Team

Photography by Maria West Photography