Celebrating Our Favorite Women-Owned Businesses in Chicagoland

March is Women’s History Month, and here in Chicagoland, we at Sweeping Dimensions are excited to celebrate the achievements and accomplishments of the amazing women who make our incredible city what it is. As a women-owned Chicagoland business, Sweeping Dimensions understands the importance of patronizing the kinds of businesses that make our city the diverse, welcoming, wonderful place it is. To celebrate Women’s History, we’re talking to six of our favorite women business owners, to get some insight on how these talented, driven women have contributed to the diversity and success of our favorite local businesses.

Doris Ayala, PhD, LCSW, Masters In Jurisprudence And Family Law

Doris Ayala, psychotherapist and social worker, has been working with those in need in the Chicagoland community for decades. As a therapist for over 40 years, Dr. Ayala has found innovative ways to improve the lives of those in need, including practicing as a psychotherapist in the community, assisting couples with the complex process of divorce, and founding Sweeping Dimensions in part as a way to help hard-working and self-motivated individuals looking for employment, but finding it difficult due to language and educational barriers. 

Dr. Ayala’s motivation to find creative solutions to the problems she saw in the world is long-standing. Dr. Ayala elaborates, “for many years I worked with public and private institutions where I obtained a great deal of experience in the mental health field. While I thought that these institutions were worthy of working with, I felt restless and wanted to get away from the restraints of working for someone else. I thought about starting a private practice where not only could I hone my skills as a clinician but also have the freedom to accommodate the schedule, fees and number of clients I wanted to provide services to. Additionally, I co-created a program where clinical services were provided pro bono.”

As a women-owned business owner, Dr. Ayala has advocated tirelessly for women at every step of her career, explaining “as far back as I can remember I have advocated for women’s rights and gender equality in an effort to spread awareness and break down the barriers that existed and continue to exist.” Dr. Ayala considers her activism to be “a personal and social commitment,” one that she brings to every aspect of her work. 

Asked what advice she would give to young women starting out, Dr. Ayala encourages them to be proactive and seek out ways to support women. “My best advice would be to consider how they can make a difference in the field by supporting advocacy of women’s rights and gender equality. This includes believing in themselves and their capacity to evoke change as they become part of the organizations and movements that are at an international level working hard to make the important changes in our societies.”

Aggie Malicka, CBD Educator, Green Compass

Aggie Malicka didn’t start out as an entrepreneur, instead getting her start in the legal field. “When I graduated law school many years ago I always thought I would work at a law firm. However, a few years ago when the stress became too much and my health suffered I stepped away from law and turned to the health and wellness industry. Working with hemp and CBD gave me an opportunity to become my own boss and I like being in charge of my schedule and my earnings.”

As an entrepreneur in the wellness industry, Aggie has some advice for young women considering starting their own business: “it’s ok to put your needs first. Women often think that we have to make sure our homes and/or our families have to be taken care of first. But they don’t. It’s ok if your house is messy, but you take the time to work on your business or your resume. Those strategic moves can mean success later.”

Aggie believes that women should feel empowered to take charge of their own opportunities. “Network or not work! Be in control of your schedule and find time to attend networking events and volunteering opportunities. You never know where your next job or client might come from.”

Asked about women who have had an influence on her life, Aggie is effusive in her praise: “Jen Crowley is a life and career coach based in Chicago and she has been instrumental in guiding me during the transition from being an employee to being an entrepreneur. She has offered invaluable insight while patiently listening to my fears and struggles. I also credit author Denise Duffield-Thomas and her book Chillpreneur with helping me venture into social selling.” You can find more information about Aggie’s CBD business at aga.greencompassglobal.com.

Cristina Diaz, Hair Stylist, Beauty Creations by Cristina

Cristina Diaz started her own hairstyling business for a simple reason: to have more time with her children while still doing what she loves. As an entrepreneur, Cristina’s family has been the biggest support along her journey, with her mother, sister, and now her daughters cheering on her efforts. 

As her business grows, Cristina looks to pass along that support and empowerment to others: “I enjoy talking to the women around me when I’m working behind the chair, and now to the teenage friends my girls have. I tell them, young or old, that they can do whatever they want. They don’t have to do what society or their family wants. There’s time to get out and do what you enjoy!” Cristina also encourages women in the business world to “know your worth,” to charge fair prices for their services, and to support one another. “We need more women supporting each other and rising to the top.”

Lorrie Nash, Entrepreneur, LoveHH17,inc.

Asked to describe herself in 3 words, Lorrie Nash gets right to the point: “results oriented entrepreneur.” Lorrie’s relentless drive and determination has allowed her to grow her first business, a uniform company, entirely from the ground up by “never taking ‘no’ for an answer” and helping other women. As a woman building her own business, Lorrie encourages new entrepreneurs to ask questions and “think outside the box” in finding ways to get their foot in the door. 

Lorrie thinks it’s important for women to share, not just their successes, but also their mistakes with one another. “I love to share my mistakes with every female entrepreneur I encounter, we all cannot live long enough to make our own mistakes.” She continues, “I strongly believe our sole purpose in this world is to help one another, and I want to effectively and efficiently help others to grow their businesses with compelling results.”

Masha Titievsky DeHaan, Owner & Designer, VARYFORM Design

Masha Titievsky Deehan, fashion entrepreneur, has created a brand that “is all about bringing your best self to any situation. Being empowered by the clothes you put on and feeling confident. The focus on made-to-order and made-to-measure allows women to feel good about themselves knowing that the garments were made for our bodies, specifically to our preferences.” Masha’s brand, Varyform Women’s Wear, focuses on “elegant, empowering fashion for women with an appreciation for high fashion & living their best life while going after their dreams.

Masha’s entrepreneurial spirit has been supported along the way by other women who helped her to reach her dreams, including her mother, “who enjoyed sewing & knitting growing up, and always encouraged me and sends me inspiring articles and links, and Deborah Christiansen of Indiana University Bloomington who believed in me and accommodated my split business/fashion design degrees and taught me how to make patterns. Also, Andrea Reynders at the Chicago Fashion Incubator, who guided me along my first collections and always took time to share an encouraging word or help brainstorm with me. She helped me to really feel like a “designer” when I was starting out.” Masha pays that support forward, working to support other young women as they start out in the fashion industry: “I have been involved with the Fashion Group International of Chicago, which is an 85 year old female-founded industry networking group that also supports fashion education and promotes mentorship and knowledge sharing in the industry. I was the Regional Co-Director for Chicago during 2020 and on the Board of Directors for three years, during which time I helped organize events with local entrepreneurs, companies, and schools like Columbia College that aimed to inspire and inform future business leaders.”

Brittany Dickinson, Dentist / Business Owner, Sugar Fix Dental & Plump Room

Brittany Dickinson, both a dentist and a business owner, is passionate about making her patients and clients feel at home when they’re in her care. Whether you’re visiting Sugar Fix Dental or Plump Room, she is all about making the experience as comfortable and anxiety-free as possible. “I love getting to know each and every one of my patients on a personal level and wanted to create a space for me to build these long lasting connections and treat my patients like a treasured guest in my home.”

Brittany is full of drive and ambition; she worked three jobs putting herself through college, a masters program, and dental school, and graduated at 30! Now as the owner of two successful businesses, she is dedicated to giving back to the community and helping other women be successful too. Continuing her family’s tradition of volunteer work, she’s been a member of Junior League of Chicago since 2015, a volunteer group formed entirely of women who serve to support charities all around Chicago. Every nonprofit they support falls under their umbrella of helping women and children. She also started a group of other female dental practice owners as a positive space to support each other and swap ideas for making their practices better.

When asked what her advice would be to young girls with similar professional aspirations, Brittany responded saying “Know who you are and be totally yourself. I spent too many years trying to make myself seem ‘less girly’ and more serious, and found that I always felt like an imposter. As soon as I shed that armor and started being myself 100% of the time, I felt amazing knowing that my patients were there for me instead of that other person I was trying to come off as.”

Celebrate Women’s History Month By Supporting Women-Owned Business In Chicago

You’re committed to equity for all, and so are we. Looking for help deep cleaning your Chicago home? In need of routine housekeeping, a deep clean, or service before or after a special event? Sweeping Dimensions Cleaning Service is here to help!

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2022-03-24T13:00:06+00:00 March 22nd, 2022|Uncategorized|