DETERMINED WOMEN MAKE FOR A THRIVING VILLAGE
BRONXVILLE, New York, May 4, 2015 – Margaret Thatcher once said “If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman.”
This quote is clearly evident as we see how the retail landscape has evolved in the village of Bronxville and the women in the forefront that have made this happen over the past two years. The new businesses emerging in Bronxville are owned and operated by women and the women in village government have been equally responsible for making them come to life.
Walk through Bronxville today and you will see so many new shops and “coming soon” signs in many windows. At 66 Pondfield Road there’s Candy Rox, which opened its first location in Rye, and is owned and operated by Valerie Stone, a mother of three from Edgemont. Valerie had an exciting concept and noticed a void in the Westchester market for candy, both bulk and vintage and unique, hip items that kids of all ages would enjoy.
Across the street from Candy Rox you will find North, a sophisticated shop with clothing that caters to the modern woman used to trekking to Manhattan to create her own style. The owner and operator, Tammy Ehrenfeld, is a Bronxville resident with 25 years of experience in fashion, advertising and marketing. Tammy also saw a void and was so focused on making her dream to create North a reality.
Just two doors down from North in one of Bronxville’s most beautifully appointed corners, 65 Pondfield Road, is the home of the soon-to-be Stillmeadow Gourmet. Kate Brewster-Duffy, who has worked in a variety of kitchens, steps out for the first time on her own to bring Bronxville fresh, local and environmentally conscious, sustainable prepared foods for the culinary enthusiast. Kate looked at a number of New York City locations but felt Bronxville was the right fit for her and her vision.
Then there are the determined women of SoulCycle, which operates at 94 Kraft Ave. Launched on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, the spin class business has grown to 41 studios since its founding nine years ago by Elizabeth Cutler and Julie Rice. These women could not find a form of exercise that felt like work and was also inspirational. They at last found it in the form of candlelit indoor spinning and the rest is history.
The newest retailer coming to Bronxville this summer, bluemercury, is the nation’s largest and fastest growing luxury beauty products chain. Opening at 48 Pondfield Road, it is the brainchild of Marla Malcolm Beck, founder and CEO of bluemercury, and her husband Barry Beck.
Marla has always loved makeup, but she didn’t like the way it has traditionally been marketed and sold to women. Her experience at McKinsey and Co., coupled with her MBA and BA in economics from Harvard, helped her create something missing in the marketplace.
Imagine not only cooking for your own family but being the high priestess of The Post Road Family of Diners, as is Olga Giapoutzis. A strong-willed and warm-hearted woman, Olga with her husband, Teddy, will bring Bronxville its first ’50s-style diner and cook for Westchester families, too, at The Bronxville Diner, opening at 112 Kraft Ave.
The couple operates three diners in Fairfield County, Conn. From the first day Olga was introduced to Bronxville nothing deterred her making this her next conquest.
But as one of the strongest women of our time has said and written, “It takes a village.” In this case, it takes Mayor Mary Marvin.
Marvin has always championed both the retailers and the landlords in Bronxville. She is always available to sit down with prospective tenants and has always been willing and helpful wooing the very best tenants; she takes the time to know what her neighborhood and neighbors want and need. She “sells” her village like no other.
She says it best: “Women have a unique pulse on their communities that so often translates into success in business and government. We hear and we act!”
In addition to Marvin, the backbone of the downtown is the director of the Bronxville Chamber of Commerce, Susan Miele.
What seemed like a part-time position to plan sidewalk sales, concerts and carnivals sounded just right for the mom of two school-aged kids. It quickly became the all-encompassing task of helping to boost the local economy. Working with village officials, commercial property owners, business owners, residents, and other constituents, her focus expanded beyond event planning to include revisions to zoning laws, parking restrictions, vacant storefronts, and other municipal issues.
This story would not be complete without recognizing the work and the future expansion of the One Love Foundation in Bronxville. This foundation, founded by Bronxville women at 116 Kraft Ave. and born out of the tragic beating death five years ago of Yeardley Reynolds Love, a University of Virginia lacrosse player, at the hands of her ex-boyfriend, clearly exemplifies what can be accomplished when smart, strong and determined women get together.
Said Katie Hood, CEO of the One Love Foundation, “What we love about Bronxville is that it is a true community that looks out for each other and helps each other. From day one, the One Love Foundation has been embraced by this community, and we are thrilled to be building our team – and launching our national movement to end relationship violence – right here.”
Having had the pleasure of working with all of these women to bring businesses to Bronxville and keep it a viable and bustling downtown business district in spite of the changes in consumer shopping habits, I have seen women with so much in common. All of these women are filled with vision, determination, passion, innovation and a sense of humor.
Haryn Intner is a real estate salesperson at Admiral Real Estate Services Corp. in Bronxville. She can be reached at 914-779-8200, ext. 123, or at [email protected]