Woman-owned businesses are on the rise across the country, but especially in San Marcos where they make up a large number of the local establishments.
In a news release from the Texas Comptroller’s office, it was revealed Texas ranked highest for the development of woman-owned businesses. San Marcos complies with the report, as in downtown alone there are 24 woman-owned businesses.
The Main Street program lists all 24 woman-owned business which represents a variety of sectors, such as gift shops, jewelers, cafés and others.
Christie Maycock, owner of Christie’s Jewelry, said despite an initial lack of experience, she was able to grow her business through devotion to the store.
“Really, what I spend most of (my) day doing is running the business, not making jewelry,” Maycock said. “You learn as you go things like payroll, bookkeeping, tax filing. It consumes you. But it doesn’t matter if you’re a male or female. That’s just owning a business.”
Christie’s Jewelers has been in business since December 2010 after Maycock had the opportunity to take over a location on Hutchinson Street.
While Maycock has overseen the growth and success of Christie’s from a small location to a larger store, she has still experienced discrimination.
“There’s a certain amount of sexism that I encounter from customers,” Maycock said. “I’ll get people that ask, ‘Hey, is the jeweler in?’ to which I’ll respond, ‘Yes.’ And they’ll say, ‘Can you go get him?’ But you just have to remind people that times are changing. I’m more than capable doing all the work this job requires.”
Christie’s stands as an example of the progression of time and the increasing role of woman business owners in the country, but the downtown area does feature businesses, such as Heartworks Co., that have been around for decades.
Owned by Carol Powers, the Heartworks Co. gift shop first opened its doors in 1978 during a time when women’s rights were far more limited than today’s.
“I wasn’t even able to get a loan to open up the business myself because they didn’t give loans to women in those days,” Powers said. “My husband had to help me get it.”
Originally on Hopkins Street, Heartworks Co. jumped around from spot to spot, until the store ended up in its current location on LBJ Drive in the early 2000s. Powers said regardless of where her store ended up, she enjoys her work.
“I really like it, I really do,” Powers said. “I don’t know too many people that own businesses that don’t like it. I even make up excuses on my days off to come in to get this done and get that done. We’re part of the community, and I really like making people happy with our merchandise.”
Among the list of woman-run businesses in the downtown area are Stellar Café, Erbert & Gerbert’s Sandwich Shop, Hays County Outfitters, Candy Sweets & Treats and Café Monet.
Texas tied for first among states that have helped women businesses grow in terms of number, employment and revenue, according to data from a report by the U.S. Census Bureau.
“I’m proud of the fact that Texas is one of the best states in the nation for woman-owned businesses to put down roots and grow,” Glenn Hegar, Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts, said. “Their numbers, revenues, job counts and economic clout continue to smash glass ceilings.”
The growth of women’s businesses in the country continues the trend from the previous report released by the U.S. Census Bureau in 2015, which showed a rise from 7.8 million in 2007 to 9.9 million in 2012.