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Women-Owned Businesses Seek To ‘Build Each Other Up’

Pictured is Bacb Nickerson, owner of Bene Esse in Mayville, as well as her new office.

MAYVILLE — For the past year-and-a-half, four new women-owned businesses have opened in Mayville.

The businesses: Bene Esse, Quintessential, Mayberry Jungle and Handcrafted from the Heart, all reside in the same stretch of South Erie Street in Mayville. All four offer something to the Mayville community.

Bene Esse, owned by Barb C. Miller Nickerson, is a life coach/positive psychology practice. Bene Esse also means “well-being” in Latin.

“I work with people who are feeling stuck or unmotivated or generally just unhappy and help them to achieve their personal goals,” Nickerson said. “Sometimes this means just offering them direct companionship, or compassion, but it’s always with a focus on what the client themselves want to achieve.”

Nickerson emphasized that while she is not a therapist or counselor, everything she does as a life coach is evidence backed with extensive research, and she never does anything uninformed.

Pictured is Sorena Gilkinson, the owner Handcrafted from the Heart in Mayville.

“I have done extensive research, including into the local mental health resources that we have, in which there is a significant gap between the need and the services provided,” Nickerson said. “I do think there is also a stigma surrounding the idea of going to a counselor or therapist versus a life coach. There is no diagnosis needed to come to me, and I just genuinely care about people and their needs.”

Nickerson has her masters degree in community care and counseling, addictions and recovery, and is currently in the process of finishing her doctoral degree in community care and counseling. Bene Esse can be reached at (716)224-1161 or at www.beneesselc.com, or on their Facebook page, Bene Esse.

Quintessential, owned by Julia Murphy, is a print shop that offers a variety of services.

“We offer rural packing, shipping, and printing for all the needs of any Chautauqua County businesses,” Murphy said. “We also provide fast, professional shipping services, along with working with the UPS and FedEx, and we also have a drop off station for them.”

Quintessential also offers graphic design, blueprint making, shredding, faxing and laminating services. They are currently in the training phase of being able to offer finger print scanning as well. The shop also sometimes hosts local artisans.

Pictured is Julia Murphy, owner of Quintessential, a print shop that offers a variety of services.

Quintessential is open from Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. They can be reached at www.quintprintshop.com, on their Facebook page, Quintessential Print Shop, by email at info@quintprintshop.com, or by calling 716-224-1214.

Ariel Cartwright owns Mayberry Jungle, a flower and plant shop.

“We offer a variety of houseplants, ceramic containers, and we also do funeral and birthday arrangements,” Cartwright said. “We also offer balloons.”

Mayberry Jungle can be reached at 716-224-1209

Sorena Gilkinson owns Handcrafted from the Heart, and offers a variety of items that have been handcrafted by her, and family and friends.

April Cartwright, owner of Mayberry Jungle, is pictured.

“I have a lot of handcrafted items from family and friends, I don’t offer any from local vendors yet,” Gilkinson said. “We recycle and upcycle many items. We can also do custom orders and parties.”

The business also offers notary and real estate services. They can be found on Facebook as Handcrafted from the Heart, and can be reached by calling 716-269-4129 or by emailing handcrafted14757@outlook.com.

“Mayville is a gold mine, not just economically but with the community as well,” Nickerson said. “There’s so much potential here and so many things that are needed and can draw people in as well.”

Gilkinson has been a big part of working on the new movement to move Mayville forward, and believes that opening these businesses is a good start.

“Mayville is the county seat,” Gilkinson said. “We want to see it hustle and bustle like it did before. But, I believe we have a good start on moving forward for this community, as it is important for everyone that lives here.”

Moving forward for Mayville includes offering services that the community is in need of — something that all four women are doing by opening their businesses.

“For me, I saw a big need in the area that hadn’t been filled yet,” Cartwright said. “I’ve always had a passion for plants. I worked at Tops for a while, and was in the master gardener program at Cornell. But, I’ve always had a love of plants.”

For Gilkinson, she said that during her previous full-time job, she would often find herself staring out the window at the building across the street — the same building where all four women and their businesses would eventually end up.

“I actually started with mine two doors down, where Quintessential is now,” Gilkinson said. “I taught Zoomba there and offered photography services. But the desire to open my current business hit in 2015 or 16. I think there was something calling me to this building.”

Murphy opened Quintessential after seeing the obvious need in the community for a print shop, and the business has evolved since.

“There was a very obvious void in the services we offer, and we worked to fill that void,” Murphy said. “We started as just a print shop, but we’ve added and evolved since. We added in artisans and the usage of other small local businesses as a part of us. It’s kind of like having mini businesses operate in the big business.”

Murphy added that she seeks to help locals with any printing needs without them having to drive over half an hour away to get to the nearest printing service, or shipping place.

“I had a customer come in once and I’ll never forget what they referred to as ‘rural discrimination’ when it comes to shipping,” Murphy said. “We are helping local community members with that problem.”

At Bene Esse, Nickerson said her passion to open her practice stemmed from her care for the community.

“I work virtually as well, but I really do just care about the community and the physical well being of the town,” Nickerson said.

Nickerson also stressed that she takes the ethics of her job seriously, with everything focused on being evidence supported, and focused on care for the client.

Altogether while working to move the area forward through their businesses, the women noted the significance of this being started with women-owned businesses — something that is more common these days but can still be hard to find.

“It’s pretty amazing,” Gilkinson said. “We have a sort of tribe with the four of us here, and we always send people along to each other and other local businesses as well.”

Nickerson described the idea as empowering, in both business and in caring for the local community.

For Cartwright, the idea of beginning Mayville’s forward movement with women-owned businesses is exciting.

“I’m most excited about looking at the shape of Mayville’s future, even in the next 15 to 20 years,” Cartwright said. “This is something that I’ve thought a lot about. I’ve also wanted to open my own botanical garden, in the hopes that in 100 years Mayville will have continued to grow and wrap itself with the garden as its center.”

Murphy added that for her what’s most important is to be able as a business to offer jobs for the community. Quintessential currently has two employees besides Murphy.

“They really are superstars at customer care,” Murphy said. “They really focus on saving customers time and money. We have also been generating revenue. It has been challenging but also fun and rewarding.”

In the end, Nickerson, Murphy, Gilkinson and Cartwright are working together for the needs of the community.

“There is no competition,” Nickerson said. “We really do just build each other up.”

Gilkinson added that there are three more store fronts available in the building and that they would welcome anyone to come and begin their journey there as well.

“I think that if anyone has a dream of opening their own business they should do it,” Gilkinson said. “It might be scary at first, but go with it, and make your dream a reality.”

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