In support of Beyoncé’s famous quote, “girls run the world,” we are here to showcase the women that highly influence the culture of Norfolk. These strong leaders and business owners pave the way for younger generations while contributing to the overall success and aesthetic of our city. As a way to show our appreciation, we’re shining a spotlight on women whose businesses you can support and celebrate today and every day.
Photo above, HortiCulture Design Co.
Plant mom and dads, this one's for you! HortiCulture is owned and operated by Becky Devlin, a flower enthusiast who grew up tending to flowers on her family’s farm. She grew about 30 different types of flowers there and took these blooms and created stunning bouquets to sell at a local flower stand. Her career only flourished from there. She started making wedding bouquets for clients, sold to local florists and more! Now, Becky has put the weddings aside and focuses her attention on HortiCulture Design. While she may have downsized her efforts, her passion for flowers and plants runs deep through the doors of HortiCulture. Check out their flower bar, a vast selection of plants and local candles that you can't help but take home.
Angela Tilley, a 26-year veteran of the United States Navy, found a love for pottery during a deployment in Iraq. Post-deployment, she started taking classes in Germany, to learn the fine techniques of pottery as well as courses that gave her experience with porcelain and Raku (a technique involving heating and handling pieces at 1800 degrees fahrenheit and then creating a reduction environment in order to achieve unexpected surface decoration on pottery). After her time in Germany, she then brought her new talent to Norfolk and opened All Hands Pottery Studio which offers classes for beginners and beyond. Angela also offers an open studio for skilled pottery makers and students trying to perfect their practice. These classes make for the perfect team bonding activity or a great date night idea!
Courtney White, owner and chef, combines her love of Norfolk and food through this beautifully designed and articulated finer-diner restaurant in the heart of Riverview, Blanca Food + Wine. Courtney started her love with food while cooking in college and now she brings her talent and passion to our city, “we taste something and are just so excited to share it with Norfolk.'' Blanca’s menu is upscale without being pretentious and is paired with a wine list built for wine beginners and connoisseurs. Her signature dish, pappardelle with duck ragu, is braised in red wine and delicately presented with a topping of fresh herbs. For a more casual fare by Courtney, check out neighboring restaurant Café Blanca. Here, her menu is simplistically delicious and serves egg sammies all day long.
Wine can be intimidating but sommelier Crystal from Crystal’s Palate helps take the pressure off when choosing a wine for your next date night or dinner party. Her boutique wine store and wine education center is located in the middle of the ocean-centric neighborhood East Beach. Walls covered in wine bottles from all over the world lure you in, and Crystal’s knowledge and friendly staff will be sure to spark a new-found passion for wine.
If Kisha looks familiar to you, it’s because she’s been nationally recognized as a “Top Female Leader Making Moves in the Southeast” by Ladders. Owner and head baker at Hummingbird Macarons & Desserts, this powerhouse of a woman serves up delicate and oh-so-delicious French macarons in harmonizing flavors like Rosewater, Elderberry Hibiscus and Peanut Butter Maple Bacon. Located in the heart of Norfolk’s NEON Arts District, we entice you to grab a box of macarons and stroll the mural splattered walls.
Lorak has jewelry that is handcrafted in the heart of Norfolk and is owned by talented artist and designer genius, Anna Lorich Akers. Each piece of jewelry is visibly recognizable and inspired by Anna’s passion for textiles, ancient Greco Roman and Egyptian artifacts, and the clean lines found in Scandinavian design. Anna is a true artisan and will help you find the perfect ring, necklace, bracelet or earrings to give extra sparkle for your special someone.
Having studied at both Howard and Stanford, Sia holds a BS in Psychology and has traveled the world, training in herbology, nutrition, and spiritual healing in locations like Capetown, Paris, and West Africa. Currently, she runs a Fair Trade boutique shop inside Selden Market with treasures she sources from her trips to Africa. Shoppers will find anything from brightly colored furniture and dresses to healing crystals and herbs.
Former nurse, Erica Parham took quite the career change when opening Sugar and Grace Co. She personally suffered from daily migraines and her doctor contributed this to the burning of toxic candles at home. She couldn't imagine her life without the aroma of beautifully scented wax melting so she took it upon herself to learn how to make non-toxic candles. From there, her candle company took off and before she knew it the orders kept coming in. Her business is now housed within Selden Market and has a candle DIY bar, a flower bar and more.
What started as a stress-relieving hobby mainly enjoyed by family and friends has turned into a uniquely delicious bakery filled with perfected buttery and fluffy pound cakes. While owner and baker, Jen Anglin’s classic pound cake is decadent and highly praised, her ambitious flavors will leave you pleasantly surprised when you sink your teeth into them. Here you’ll find out-of-the-box flavors like coconut, cinnamon, almond, cookies and cream, and even sweet potato. These velvety mouth-watering cakes are perfect for celebrations or simply just to have as a treat!
A Norfolkian woman powerhouse, Malia Paasch, owns and operates two fabulous establishments in the city. The Birch, her first business, quickly grew into one of the world's best beer bars. It is an around-the-world beer, cider and mead bar that serves up decadent grilled cheeses. These are by no means your average white bread and American cheese sandwiches, they’re upscale; a Gose Sammy, cave-aged gruyere, smoked cheddar, prosciutto and topped with house-smoked onion jam, it screams its scrumptious. Her second accomplishment, Four Eleven York Inn and Restaurant, is a boutique inn and fine dining restaurant nestled among the cobblestone streets of Freemason. We highly recommend a night stay in one of their beautifully decorated suites, a meal inside their palate-pleasing dining room or even just stopping by for a house-made cocktail on their outdoor, romantically-decorated patio.