As we enter the end of Women’s History Month, it is important to acknowledge the contributions women have made in and around Binghamton. Some of the major go-to businesses in the Binghamton area are owned by women. Each of the following women has an individualized experience as a business owner, and many have faced obstacles in opening and maintaining a business. Here is a list of women-owned small businesses located in Johnson City and Binghamton.
Dayseon’s — 192 Main St. #1
Serita Thompson first opened Dayseon’s, a Binghamton clothing store, in 2013. Her clothing store is a fashion-forward clothing store that features affordable and trendy clothes. Thompson described her experience as a woman in business and expressed the obstacles she faced as an entrepreneur.
“I originally opened in 2013,” Thompson said. “I closed for a year due to my overhead, which is really high, and then I reopened, found something that was more reasonable. I have been here at 192 Main St. for five years now.”
Thompson said that as a business owner, she has been able to take part in local events in Binghamton. She said her business made her more involved in the community.
“I love doing little events,” Thompson said. “I had a couple of fashion shows. I have more access to do things with the community dealing with my store.”
Last year, Thompson considered closing Dayseon’s until she came across the Support Black Business 607 Facebook page, created by Sulaiminah Burns. This Facebook page helped her network grow and support Black-owned businesses. Thompson’s business was given new opportunities through the Facebook page.
“Last year, I was thinking about closing until the 607 page came about,” Thompson said. “That’s where I got a lot of new customers, gained a lot of new customers, I had a lot of other doors open for me. I had the opportunity to be in the mall.”
Thompson mentioned there being both hardships and benefits to owning a business. She said there are many opportunities for women to go into business, but the turnover for a person’s company could take up to five years. She also gave advice to students interested in becoming entrepreneurs.
“Yes, there’s challenges out there,” Thompson said. “There’s plenty of opportunities out here as well as far as money. Don’t be scared. Entrepreneurs always gotta take risks anyways. So, if you are a person that takes risks just go on and jump on in.”
Garland Gallery — 116 Washington St.
The Garland Gallery has been open in Downtown Binghamton for more than 25 years. Sherry Eaton, owner of the Garland Gallery, described her experience as a co-owner until she bought out the company 20 years ago.
“It wasn’t something I sought out in the beginning, but I learned to love it and decided to take it on,” Eaton said.
The Garland Gallery is a custom picture-framing shop that also offers a boutique with humorous items and goods for everyone to enjoy. The boutique sells comical posters, socks, books, bags and other household items. Eaton describes how experience of creating customized frames is rewarding.
“It’s really a very rewarding job because people bring something in that’s important to them whether it’s sentimental or it has a monetary value,” Eaton said. “You work with them to get just the right look, and then when they see it, sometimes they cry.”
Eaton faced challenges as a gay woman owning the Garland Gallery in Binghamton. She described her initial experience as the owner of the Garland Gallery. Eaton described it as being less common for women to own or take part in business.
“I remember having a gentleman come in and tell me I wasn’t dressed correctly,” Eaton said. “He was older and he was used to seeing women in dresses. Early on, it was a big deal to be women in business.”