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Highlighting Awesome Local Female-Owned Businesses

Starting a business can be daunting; you have no way of knowing if you will succeed or not until you dive right into it. It takes a determined, hardworking kind of person to move forward with a company they’re passionate about, and I’ve reached out to four impressive women running their own unique businesses in the Windsor-Essex area to share some of their remarkable work. The companies range from durags to jewelry, athletic wear to nail care, so you are bound to discover a product you’ll fall in love with. So read on to learn about some extraordinary local businesses and the lovely women who run them. 

Free Verse Clay is a jewelry company specializing in stylish and creative clay earrings. The company has several collections which include many varying types of funky designs and vibrant colours (and don’t even get me started on the adorable holiday collections). Owner Shannon Pearce hopes to watch her company grow alongside her and when first starting her business she claims “I was hesitant to base the brand around a given style because I knew the types of pieces I made would change as I learned more techniques and narrowed in on my taste.” Her reluctance towards creative limitations is what inspired the name Free Verse Clay as she states, “I love the idea of not having to create within a prescribed aesthetic, which is one of the main ideas behind free verse poetry.” Shannon’s artistry and passion for her craft is evident as she continues to contribute to the handmade jewellery market, saying “I’m so happy with the little space that’s been carved out for my work in this industry, and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.” Check out Free Verse Clay on Instagram, and look into blessing your ears with some of her creations by visiting the website

Maui Collection is a premium athletic and loungewear brand designed to build confidence by combining comfort and fashion. The sets range from seamless to ribbed and are available in a variety of radiant colours, allowing you to stand out as you work out. Founder Kasia Michalek, a fourth year business marketing student at the University of Windsor, launched her business in September of 2020 and claims her experiences of being a female entrepreneur has been both “challenging and rewarding…loving how it’s given me the opportunity to connect with so many new people and create a community of strong, supportive women.” Kasia’s commitment towards inclusivity and female empowerment can be seen through her dedication to customer service as she maintains a tight-knit community of customers through Maui Collection’s social media, such as their Facebook and Instagram. She has big plans for 2021 and is “excited to release some new pieces in the next few months.” So if you want to start looking and feeling good while exercising, consider visiting the website to treat yourself to a Maui Collection set. 

Maia Maquillage is a beauty boutique and salon that focuses on luxury nail care and manicure sets. After graduating esthetics school, creator and owner Maia Parris decided to focus primarily on beauty and nail care, and thus the brand Maia Maquillage was born. “Simply Be Bold” is the company’s motto, a phrase that reflects “the simplicity of one’s ability to explore their style and to expand their creativity through the esthetics” and Maia is just the person to help you through your beauty journey. As of now the business consists of nail care services in a home salon as well as a variety of nail accessories available through the website, but Maia has “hopes of expanding into a full cosmetic line of makeup, skincare, and nail products that caters to professionals as well as consumers.” The press-on nail sets offered online range from an elegant blushing Rose Quartz to the strikingly flirty Valentine’s Day inspired set Lover Girl. All press-on sets are beautifully hand-painted, a true display of Maia’s talent and dedication to her promise of “providing options for my clients and customers to explore all facets of their style.” Check out Maia Maquillage on Instagram and Facebook and consider treating yourself with some high-quality beauty products so you may start looking and feeling your best. 

Yökovii is a brand specializing in high-quality durags and bonnets at an affordable price. Through their business, Aya Tutu and her co-owner Victor Ilo are determined to provide their customers with a luxurious experience so they can best protect and treat their hair, and this indulgence also won’t break your bank as all the products remain under $25. The bonnets are a refreshing silk material while the durags are offered in either silk or a smooth velvet, and all items come in a variety of radiant colours. If you’re having trouble choosing among their wide selection, worry no longer because they provide “VII Sets” which include both a durag and a bonnet in matching colours. Yökovii has big plans of expanding and rebranding their business into a wider range of apparel, so make sure you’re on the lookout for some amazing new updates and products coming soon by following them on Instagram and Facebook or checking out their website.

Abby is a fourth year English Language and Literature student with a minor in Psychology. She enjoys horror movies, over-priced Starbucks drinks, and a good wholesome meme. After graduation, Abby's goal is to find a career in publishing.
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