Meet your local woman-owned businesses

They balance families and small businesses


Women-owned businesses are on the rise. The number of small businesses that are led by women has nearly doubled in the past 10 years, according to the National Association of Women’s Businesses — and some of them are in West Hempstead.

Sagine Pierre Charles opened Sage and Angie Boutique, on Nassau Boulevard, in 2007. Her family moved from Haiti to the United States when she was 17. Now she is a mother, a business owner, and the president of the West Hempstead Chamber of Commerce.

It’s important to Pierre Charles that her two daughters, ages 14 and 12, see their mother following her dreams.

“I want them to see that, yes, I may be a foreigner, I may have an accent, I may be a Black woman,” she said, “but I can have amazing customers that look beyond my background or religion to create that business relationship.”

After working in retail for more than 20 years, Pierre Charles understood the customer mindset and how to connect with people. But, she learned, it takes a lot more to run a business. She had to learn how to market her business, how to create a clothing selection that works for the entire community, and how to tailor the shop’s hours to her customer base.

That was also the case for Linda Anderson, the Chamber treasurer, who opened Special Treasures Childcare, on Cedar Street, in 2014. The spark for her small business was her love of caring for children, and making sure they have the tools they will need in the future.

“I want to make sure that they go to school successfully, confident in what they know,” Anderson said. “And not just what they know, but who they are. I want to make sure that they have that strong foundation.”

Opening her small business, however, involved so much more than taking care of children — cleaning, sanitizing, food shopping, paperwork. Anderson was never really off the clock.

“It requires so much of your time,” she said. “I was, as they say, chief cook and bottle washer. Especially in the beginning — I didn’t have any staff.”

Managing conflicting responsibilities and limited time is one of the most often mentioned obstacles for women business owners — especially those who are balancing families as well. For Andrea Daniel, who opened Krystin Abby Studio, on Woodfield Road, with her husband, Kenyon, in 2021, the balancing act between being a mother and a business owner is all about give and take.

“What I’ve learned for myself is I cannot be 100 percent perfect in anything,” Daniel said. “It might mean that I do really good with my business this week, but (my family) had takeout. Or I do a great job at my 9-to-5, but the laundry needs to be done.”

But Daniel, the Chamber vice president, said she wants her daughters, 11 and 7, to see that it’s possible.

“I’m all about women empowerment,” she said. “And so I feel like if you’re able to be your own boss, what’s better than that? You’re able to have life look the way you want it to look … being able to dictate what your life looks like.”

If you have a passion for something, you need to go for it, Daniel’s mother taught her.

Though the three entrepreneurs own very different businesses — a fashion boutique, a child care center and an event space — that philosophy was the spark for all three of them.

“I love putting the pieces together,” Pierre Charles said. “I love to see the smile on the customer’s face when the item fits right. I like to tell stories with outfits.”

“I’ve always loved decor,” Daniel said. “I’ve always loved flowers, I’ve always loved people getting together. (An event space) was something that married all of those things.”

“I love, I love, I love being able to be a part of young people’s lives,” Anderson said. “To see the light go on in their eyes when they learn something. Or to hear how they process something, and put something together. And the love that they just give you. They just unconditionally love you.”

All three women encourage young people to take the leap, and start small businesses of their own.

“Absolutely just go for it,” Daniel said. “Life is so short.”

“It’s never too late,” Anderson said. She started Special Treasures nine years ago, when she was 52, after going back to school and getting a doctorate in theology.

“You should never stop learning, never stop growing,” she said. “We should never feel satisfied that we’ve reached and become all that we can be. We can always grow and develop.”