The number of women-owned small businesses in Tampa is growing! In fact, the 2014 State of Women-Owned Business Report ranked Tampa and St. Petersburg as the No. 7 market for growth in the nation. This is a 50 percent gain in women-owned companies since 2002. Nationwide Florida ranked in the Top 10 overall for the number of women-owned businesses. Coming in at No. 4, the ladies of Florida are movin' and shakin', boosting the growth of female-owned businesses 77% over the past 17 years according to the 2014 State of Women-Owned Business Report. We'd like to focus on a few Tampa Bay-based small businesswomen adding to the numbers in a BIG way!

Seventh Avenue Apothecary  Phala Pesano, Jessica Reisner, Erin Grossman

Started by Tampa natives more than four years ago, Seventh Avenue Apothecary Candle Manufacturing is an all women-owned, family-run business that produces locally-sourced high-quality candles made by local artisans. Its candles are clean-burning soy candles with unique scents. Seventh Avenue Apothecary candles burn about 40% longer than wax candles. Nearly 2,000 candles are made on a daily basis at Seventh Avenue Apothecary Candle Manufacturing.

Seventh Avenue Apothecary has a strong family-oriented atmosphere, where on any given day you can find a family member hanging around the shop. Nine women work at Seventh Avenue Apothecary, with the youngest being 17 and the eldest 80. Phala Pesano, daughter Jessica Reisner and niece Erin Grossman all equally own the Apothecary.

These ladies support the local community by fundraising for schools, churches, and other charitable organizations. They also host candle-making parties, which means you can invite your best friends to learn how to make your own candles! The cost of the party is $35-45 per person, which includes a signature candle. You also have the opportunity to purchase additional items at a discounted price following the party!

RSBP Events  Brooke Palmer Kuhl

Based in St. Petersburg, RSBP Events is a full-service event, wedding planning, and public relations firm with locations in Tampa, St. Petersburg and San Francisco. With a team of professional event planners, RSBP Events collaborates with creative vendors in the Tampa Bay area to create one-of-a-kind events. RSBP Events turns your event from ordinary to extraordinary!

RSBP Events was founded by socialite Brooke Palmer Kuhl in 2007. Brooke has dabbled in event planning and business since she was a toddler, after inheriting her mother’s exquisite taste and her father’s entrepreneurial spirit. By the age of five, Brooke discovered her knack for event design after creating tea parties for friends and managing a profitable lemonade stand. Brooke has committed the last six years pursuing philanthropic endeavors with charitable organizations, including The Arts Center, the 13 Ugly Men, and the Tampa Theatre

Brooke was nominated for TBBJ BusinessWoman of the Year Award and named 30 under 30 by the Tampa Bay Business Journal in 2005. She was also a finalist for the Tampa Bay Business Journal's 2009 Young Businesswoman of the Year. She also carries the distinction of being named the 2008 Suncoast Woman of the Year by the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society as a result of raising $60,000 in a ten-week fundraising campaign, Brooke set the chapter record for a woman.

As President of RSBP Events, Palmer handles high-profile clients and foundation events for professional athletes and celebrities including Ryan Nece, Vincent Lecavalier, Warren Sapp, Jared Jeffries, Mike Peterson and Simeon Rice, and has thrown parties for FHM, Stuff, Heineken, and Ciroc Vodka. For Super Bowl XLIII, Brooke was asked to plan the P. Diddy Good Life Experience for Diddy, Deion Sanders, and Winky Wright, as well as manage Sponsorships for the NFL-sanctioned Super Bowl Breakfast and handle details for Michael Clayton’s celebrity gala at Saks Fifth Avenue.

Teamwork Imprinted Sportswear Terrell Italiano 

The mission for Tampa native and Teamwork Owner Terrell Italiano and her crew is to serve their customers at Teamwork Imprinted Sportswear and do the best job we can do, each and every order!  An established screenprinting and embroidery business Terrell opened her doors across from Plant High School back in 2000.  She began her entrepreneurial journey on the bottom floor of an old house in South Tampa 12 years prior in November 1988. A landmark in South Tampa, there is NOTHING they can't do for you.

If you can dream it they will achieve it!  They offer Direct-to-Garment printing on premises, do full lettering and numbering, vinyl graphics, school lettering, custom Rhinestone setting work for Band, Soccer, Baseball,  Football moms, Brides to be, and more. She offers branded promotional products like tumblers, hats, tees, bags, and warm-ups. Teamwork handles business apparel, church and organizational wear helping you advertise your business with high-quality apparel, personalized and imprinted with your company logo. Teamwork prides itself in branding company’s logos to further your brand, keeping you top of mind for local consumers.
An avid sportswoman and nature lover, Terrell is a graduate of Robinson High School in South Tampa, attended UT and USF.  As Terrel built her business over the past 25 years she's donated time, energy and money to countless animal rights programs and rescues animals  What you see is what you get with Terrell.  She is one of the friendliest people you will ever meet. Respectful of all life, she asks only that we treat all life with dignity. If you have not had the pleasure of meeting this amazing business woman and her team, stop in today to see what she is up to! I am guessing you've driven by dozens of times, it's time to go in and see the amazing work this group does!

Aerial Innovations Colette Edd

A recent reviewer recently wrote, Colette and the Fly gang are the top choices for aerial photography in Florida. A professional group of photographers who are not only very accomplished technically, but excellent people with the desire to take care of their customers!  

Aerial Innovations provides stunning aerial photography capturing and showcasing your project through powerful and dynamic aerial views. Aerial Innovations is a women-owned and operated small business founded in 1987. The Fly gang at Aerial Innovations is an exceptional group of professional photographers both in the air and on the ground. This team provides immediate action for businesses’ photographic requests, both nationally and internationally. The women at Aerial Innovations go to great lengths (and heights) to capture the perfect shot. Some of the other services they provide include drone photography, ground photography, construction development photography, marketing and Real Estate photos.

Members of the Fly gang include pilots like Julie Palermo, flying high for more than 28 years Julie, Colette and the gang are ready to hear about your next project and how they can help your business soar! 

Stellar Partners, Inc. – Susan Stackhouse

Stellar Partners, Inc. is a leading airport retailer, with a portfolio of retail concepts. Stellar is based in Tampa and now operates 38 stores spanning the country in 10 major U.S. airports. It will be launching its first-ever brick and mortar store at Tampa International Airport in 2017.

Stellar is a privately-owned U.S. company in the airport industry that started nearly 30 years ago by Susan Stackhouse. Susan used her life savings and the support of a group of investors to purchase the single-duty free store that she was previously managing at Tampa International Airport. Susan foresaw the opportunities that the airport environment had for retail growth. After operating her first duty-free store in TPA for several years, Susan won a contract to open a news and gift store at Orlando International Airport.

As Stellar grew in the airport retail industry, Susan developed Stellar’s proprietary children’s store, Mindworks, which provides an environment of fun for “kids” of all ages. In the years following, Susan pursued concession opportunities throughout airports in the United States. Susan, as the founder and CEO/President of Stellar, continues to build a company that is committed to putting customers first.

Kelly Taaffe Design, Inc. – Kelly Taaffe

Kelly Taaffe Design, Inc. is an award-winning design firm specializing in commercial high-traffic projects & custom residential, nationally and internationally. Kelly's team provides interior and industrial design services.

Based in Tampa, Kelly Taaffe Design is celebrating 30 years of dedicated service to a varied list of clients. Some of the projects Kelly Taaffe Design has developed and produced include airport facilities, commercial high-rise buildings, convention complexes, housing facilities, retail and hospitality projects.

Reisdorph Reporting - Susan Reisdorph

Riesdorph Reporting Group is a full-service court reporting firm based in downtown Tampa, with satellite offices in surrounding counties. Established in 1998, court reporter/stenographer Susan Reisdorph, now a well-respected professional businesswoman, took a leap of faith opening Riesdorph Reporting.  Thanks to the unwavering support of her loyal client base, through word of mouth her business rapidly became the leader in court reporting in Tampa Bay and the surrounding areas. All Riesdorph reporters hold at a minimum the Registered Professional Reporter designation from the National Court Reporters Association and have the experience and expertise to handle difficult assignments with ease and accuracy.
You might encounter Susan speaking at local women's business meetings, addressing Paralegal Associations or donating her time in support of women's issues across Tampa Bay.  Susan approaches business the old-fashioned way her clients the old-fashioned way by providing a superior service, offering state-of-the-art proven and reliable technology, and top of the line experienced reporters familiar with this rapidly changing profession.  Unlike some court reporting services in Tampa Bay, Susan does not buy her clientele, she earns their loyalty through hard work, accuracy and dedication to her craft. It is not unusual to see many of Tampa finest and well-respected lawyers 'Checking-In' to Reisdorph Reporting.

Next time you need to book a deposition or need a court reporter in court, call Reisdorph and see why she is a Tampa favorite since 1998!

Tampa Bay is quickly becoming a stronger and larger entrepreneurial community. As the Tampa Bay area grows, it is becoming a much more welcoming and productive environment for women to start and run their own businesses. If you have a startup idea that has been marinating in your mind for a while now, think of this as your sign, it's time to seriously consider starting your own business in Tampa Bay.