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Girls supporting girls

RAD hosts a Women’s Empowerment Showcase at Marlowe Middle School
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Jessy Gone
Local female-owned small businesses gather at RAD’s women empowerment event.

On Saturday, March 9, Huntley’s Recognizing American Diversity club held its Women’s Empowerment Showcase at Marlowe Middle School. 

This event celebrated Women’s History Month by promoting local women-owned small businesses and organizations. As well as having resources for advocacy in wellness and support systems in the community. Admission to this event was free and was open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

“We invited different small businesses, owned and run by women, to inspire everyone and just showcase what they are doing,” sophomore Sophia Aguila said.

Wellness organizations like Sara B Therapy for Women and Adolescents, Turning Point, Greater Family Health, Family Health Partnership Clinic, Healthy Minds Healthy Bodies, and Clarity Eye Care Services provided resources and information about their programs.

Local organizations including the American Legion, Girls on the Run, Huntley Little League, and HHS’s Engineering Academy also provided information on how women can get involved in their organizations.

The vendors included Victoria’s Sweets and Eats, Blessed Little Kitchen, Mama Bear Macs, and more. Many offered samples of their products as well as food available for purchase.

Chris Rausch, owner of Mama Bear Macs, began her business of selling French macarons during the pandemic. As a mother of three, Rausch started this business once her kids left for college and mainly sells macarons at farmer’s markets. At the Mama Bear Macs’ booth, people could make their own macaron or purchase one for $3 each.

“It’s fun to talk to people and get the kids excited about something, letting them know that it’s not all about business or computer science, but that this is an art too,” Rausch said.

Additionally, the event featured eight businesses including Fox Valley Pottery, Blooming Boredom, TCreativ Designs, and Zahaditha Hair Company.

Zahadita Kudrna, owner of Zahadita Hair Company, is a local hair stylist who has run her own business for 20 years. At the event, Zahadita Hair Company offered hair tinsel and colorful hair extensions. Since moving to the community, Kudrna has also helped with the Special Olympics program. 

“I love having my own business,” Kudrna said. “I used to work at a salon in the city for a long time and now having the ability to have my own business gives me the freedom to make my own decisions.”

Blooming Boredom, owned by Kim Taylor, is a craft business that sells tumblers, mugs, keychains, custom orders, and much more. Taylor had always been interested in crafting and being creative and decided to start her business four years ago. 

“My sister and I were sitting around and she was like ‘you already make everything, you should sell some of this’ so I did,” Taylor said.

The RAD event featured an interview panel of local female leaders, including new superintendent Jessica Lombard, to talk about their experiences in leadership positions. 

Additionally, the community choir performed and self-defense lessons were offered.

RAD’s goals are to recognize, celebrate, and discover diverse perspectives that have historically been underrepresented, and by celebrating everything that women in the community are doing, this event did just that.

“I think there are still preconceived notions about how women are supposed to be, as antiquated as they are, they are still out there,” Taylor said. “But, that just means you have to dig in deeper and try harder. Give it all you’ve got and a little bit more.”

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About the Contributor
Jessy Gone, Editor-in-Chief
Jessy Gone is Co-Editor in Chief of The Voice and it’s her third year on staff. In her free time, Jessy likes spending time with friends, shopping, and going to coffee shops. She loves listening to music and going on walks with her dog, Suki.

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