This year, Old City Park invites you to celebrate Women’s History Month by supporting local, women owned businesses. Below you can read about 9 businesses and the impressive women who run them. If you are interested in reading more about important women in Dallas history, visit our previous blog post entitled “This is Dallas.”
Sandwich Hag: Owned and operated by chef Reyna Duong, and located in an old cigar lounge in the Cedars district, Sandwich Hag serves up a take on Vietnamese home cooking. Although she initially hated cooking, Duong has fond childhood memories of her mom in the kitchen. When her parents were in their 80s, Duong assumed custody of her brother Sang, who has down syndrome. When their parents died, Duong began cooking Vietnamese food for the two of them to honor their mother’s memory. Cooking for Sang, she realized that working in food was more appealing to her than her corporate job. To Duong, food is only one part of Sandwich Hag’s mission. She uses the restaurant to advocate for individuals like Sang, who now works alongside his sister at the restaurant. Though there are complications that come from employing a workforce of differently abled individuals, the food and long lines speak for themselves. If you are interested in ordering from Sandwich Hag, click here.
Sue Ellen’s: Founded in 1989, Sue Ellen’s is named for Sue Ellen Ewing of Dallas fame and is considered the sister bar to nearby JR’s. One of the oldest lesbian bars in Dallas, it has been managed by Kathy Jack since it opened. Now it is the only lesbian bars in Dallas, one of the few in the state, and one of just over a dozen left in all of the U.S. Located in Dallas’s “gayborhood” of Oak Lawn, the iconic two-story nightclub features two covered patios, full service bars on both levels, and the largest game room on the strip. The bar closed its doors in June 2020 due to the impact of COVID-19 shutdowns, but in June 2021, it reopened to the cheers of the Dallas LGBTQ+ community. Longevity is important to Jack, who says the secret to running Sue Ellen’s now that she’s in her 60s is listening to the younger generation about what what events to do and how to ensure the bar continues to support the community. If you are interested in learning more about Sue Ellen’s, click here.
The Plant Project: Founded in 2020 by Bree Clarke, The Plant Project is an extension of her work with the Iman Project, which has long hosted creative workshops that encourage inclusivity. Clarke says that plants are therapy and she wants to bring people back to seeing the beauty of what plants can do. It is the first black woman owned plant shop in Dallas and is located on Uptown’s Routh Street. The physical shop itself is located in the historic State Thomas area of Dallas, once a Freedman’s Town settled by formerly enslaved peoples after the Civil War. Years of road building and gentrification has rendered the neighborhood’s rich history largely hidden. Rooted in diversity, The Plant Project was created to celebrate community, culture, and plants. Clarke believes that in order to grow a strong community, we must root for each other. If you would like to learn more or are interested in ordering from The Plant Project, click here.
Arch by Suki: Sukhee Suwal grew up in Nepal dreaming of having a beauty business. Since 2008, Arch by Suki has been doing Brow 101 and proudly serving the DFW area. Located in Deep Ellum, the brow studio specializes in brow shaping, via threading and microblading, and makeup artistry. Their Brow 101 service offers guests a chance to learn, ask questions, and address issues about their eyebrows. In 2017, Arch by Suki was on the Best of Big D list, and now, when Sukee travels home to Nepal, she is able to share her experiences, skills, and knowledge to those who are new to the beauty industry at no cost. The dedication to quality over quantity is why the brow bar is appointment only. If you would like to book an appointment with Arch by Suki, click here.
Dondolo: Founded by Catalina Gonzalez, Dondolo is a luxury lifestyle brand that provides women and children with heirloom-quality clothing. It aims to inspire, shape, and support the journey of motherhood. By employing women in Colombia through an ethical manufacturing chain, Dondolo provides them with funds they need to help raise their children. The women in the communities Dondolo touches are typically facing extreme poverty. Recently, Gonzalez has started the Mom Empowering program that hires women to assemble her new Dondolo dolls while they also receive training on how to start and run their own business. Gonzalez’s goal from the beginning was giving back to both her native Colombia and the local Dallas community. If you would like to learn more or purchase from Dondolo, click here.
Black-Tie Babysitting: Founded and run by Hope Oriabure Hunter, Black-Tie Babysitting provides on-site luxury event childcare for weddings, conferences, company parties, and more. As professional caregivers, the staff is trained in first aid and CPR. The company exists because Hunter believes families should be able to attend formal events together and is currently one of the only companies in Dallas offering event and wedding childcare. In response to COVID-19, the company pivoted to provide off-site childcare at nearby hotels and in-home care for events. To date, BTB has served 3,000 plus kids at over 200 events across Texas, Washington D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. If you would like to learn more or book with Black-Tie Babysitting, click here.
Rare Heart Vintage: Founded and run by Katie Randle, Rare Heart Vintage is a clothing boutique located in Oak Cliff. The shop specializes in vintage classics, staples, and statement pieces but is most known for denim and t-shirts. Rare Heart’s selection is eclectic and curated by Randle who is a one woman show. In 2021, RH was included on the Dallas Observer‘s “Best of Dallas” list. If you are interested in browsing the RH collection, click here.
Emporium Pies: Founded by Megan Wilkes and Mary Sparks in 2012, Emporium Pies is a specialty pie shop with locations in Oak Cliff, Deep Ellum, Fort Worth, and McKinney. Wilkes has a background in design and business while Sparks is the creative baker behind the pies. Their hunger for community shapes everything the shop does. Emporium Pies encapsulates Wilkes’s desire to create a place where people could spend time together and feel a sense of belonging. As with most small businesses, Wilkes credits the success of Emporium Pies to collaboration with other businesses and people in the community. If you would like to learn more or are interested in purchasing from Emporium Pies, click here.
Power BAR Women’s Fitness: Founded in 2016 by Teresa Saffold, Power BAR is a pole fitness gym that specializes in developing total body strength to be an active part of each women’s fitness success and confidence progression. Saffold says Power BAR is unique because they are positioned for fitness and trail the edge of being taboo in nature. Her classes help women, and some men, feel amazingly good about who they are and how they look. Saffold aims to use the platform of pole dancing to reach multitudes of women that are seeking to take control of their self-development and self-acceptance. Through fitness, community, and Pole Dance fun – Power BAR Women’s Fitness provides a safe and positive atmosphere for women to embrace how powerful they truly are. If you would like to learn more, or are interested in booking a class, click here.