From beauty salons and fashion boutiques, to fitness studios and more, Franklin is home to an impressive number of women-owned businesses. We stopped by to meet these women SEEN in business.
By Judith Harris Solomon
Because of its charming setting and historical buildings, the Village of Franklin has always been a special place to live, shop and visit. And here’s yet one more special and unique thing we’ve discovered about it: Almost every business is owned by a woman. Here’s a look at some of Franklin’s women-owned shops.
32802 Franklin Road
When business partners Terri Trepeck, 47, of Bloomfield Hills and Susie Siegal, 52, of West Bloomfield opened Event Bliss in 2014, Trepeck was in charge of creating invitations and Siegal was in charge of party planning. “But our business blossomed because our customers wanted more,” Trepeck says. So now the store also stocks home accessories, baby gifts, activewear, jewelry, handbags and bath and beauty products. “We’re unique because we have a little bit of everything at an affordable price point,” Siegal says.
32716 Franklin Road
When Terri Cassels Cooper, 61, purchased the Village Boutique, a women’s apparel, accessories and jewelry store three years ago, she had no retail experience. In fact, she once owned a cheerleading camp. “I thought it would be fun to own a boutique and somehow convinced the owners to sell it,” the Bloomfield Hills resident says. “And I was attracted to Franklin because it’s a small community and everybody likes each other.”
So Zen Designs
32751 Franklin Road
Alise Marks has been in business in Franklin the past 26 years. Her first one, Thing-A-Majigs, hosted art classes and birthday parties. Fifteen years ago, she opened So Zen Designs, where she sells leather and metal handbags and metal jewelry she makes from scratch. “I have been doing metal all my life,” says Marks, 62 of Bloomfield Hills. “And now I am very excited about working with leather, which I started doing two and a half years ago.”
32750 Franklin Road
Franklin resident Lisa Dunn, 55, purchased Déjà Vu, a women’s resale and consignment boutique, over 10 years ago. The shop is located in a building constructed in the 1849. “It’s not just your basic resale shop,” Dunn says. “Because of the limited space we only take upscale, luxury clothing. And we cater to the Saks or Neiman Marcus customer.” Dunn has a retail management background and formerly worked as a buyer and salesperson at Zales and sold fine jewelry at Saks Fifth Avenue.
32749 Franklin Road
West Bloomfield resident Monica George, 54, and Mary Ann Liut, co-owners of Zieben Mare, decided to open their boutique almost 15 years ago. Liut, 62, of Franklin says they wanted to offer a “different shopping experience” and “carry a lot of brands no one else in this area has. We are always traveling to different places to find new and unique things, including gifts and clothing.” Liut adds: “We carry lot of things by wonderful women artists.”
Franklin Grill & Tavern
32760 Franklin Road
Ruth Kochensparger bought the property that housed the Franklin Grill as an investment in 2004. Then, in 2007, she ended up purchasing the restaurant. “I had been in the restaurant business one way or another since I was 16 years old,” the 55-year-old Franklin resident says. “And I liked this one it because it has an Up North feel. It’s kind of like ‘Cheers.’ And I just love that our patio is landscaped in. It’s a really a cool spot.”
Glamour Puss Beauty Bar and Party Girls
32800 Franklin Road
Glamour Puss Beauty Bar and Party Girls are adjacent to each another and share the same owner. “At our Glamour Puss Beauty Bar, we teach people how to put their makeup on,” says owner Amy Regal. “And then at Party Girls we dress them for special occasions. Our customers range in age from 11 to 90 years old.”
32751 Franklin Road
“We consider ourselves a big studio in a little space,” says owner Merrily McDonald. “Our classes are very personalized, friendly and inclusive.”
32652 Franklin Road
At Fitness Driven, a private personal training studio, owner Lisa MacDonald teaches groups of up to four people per class. “We individualize what we offer,” she says. Later this summer, the studio will move into the space downstairs that formerly housed the Market Basket.
Linda Gee Beauty
32800 Franklin Road
Linda Gee, 61, grew up in Franklin and began working as a hairdresser at Gerald’s Salon in Franklin in 1984. After working at several other local salons, the Bloomfield Hills resident opened her own salon in Franklin 12 years ago.
Franklin Nail and Spa
32744 Franklin Road
Originally hailing from Jamaica, Bloomfield Hills resident Maria Ubom specializes in spa treatments for couples including massage and facials, and Franklin resident Michelle Trang specializes in manicures. Both Ubom and Trang strive to provide guests with superb service and attention creating a peaceful, relaxing setting.