Women Who Mean Business (September 2011)

Meredith Kennedy, Miller-Motte Technical College

Meredith Kennedy, Miller-Motte Technical College

Meredith Kennedy

Miller-Motte Technical College
2451 Hwy 501 East
Conway, SC
Main: 866-309-2174

Meredith Kennedy, Campus Director for the Conway branch of Miller-Motte Technical College grew up listening to beach music with her parents, but as a teen started listening to country music. “I like a lot of country musicians, but I love Tim McGraw!” Meredith had to think a minute about her favorite concert. “I’ve seen Kenny Chesney several times and he’s wonderful, but I saw Neil Diamond in concert once, and that was a great concert, too.”

Personally, Meredith’s dog, Butch, a bichon frise, always makes her smile, but professionally, seeing one of her graduates get a job in their field always brings a grin. “Our office is high energy, and we have a lot of fun. Because of our open door policy, students are in and out of our workspaces throughout the day.” Meredith has been with Miller-Motte for 10 years and has been Campus Director since 2007, her favorite position so far. “I get to interact with students in every department from admissions to classes to career services. I love seeing them on their way to a new career and a better life for themselves and their families.”

Joanna Culliton, Take 2 Resale Inc.

Joanna Culliton, Take 2 Resale Inc.

Joanna Culliton

Take 2 Resale Inc.
11115 Ocean Hwy
Pawleys Island, SC
Main: 843-237-8447

Joanna Culliton, owner of Take 2 Resale in Pawleys Island has eclectic taste in music. “I like a large variety of music, but blues and jazz are probably my favorites. I think John Mayer’s guitar playing is wonderful.” When asked about her favorite concert, Joanna didn’t hesitate. “I saw Elton John at Wembley Stadium—it was fab!” A dog lover and rescue volunteer, Joanna’s four dogs are always guaranteed to bring a smile—two Jack Russells, one mixed bred and a standard poodle.

Everyone at Take 2 Resale gets along well and the atmosphere is very lighthearted. “This type of business is perfect for an ADD person like me,” Joanna laughed. “I never finish a task without being interrupted a thousand times!” According to this busy wife and mom of three (23, 18 and 12), her wonderful employees make the work fun. “I think we provide a service for the area. A large variety of merchandise is available for reasonable prices, and customers can sell their things here, recouping some of their investment. We hope to be here for many years to come!”

Barbara McCahill, PURPLEologist

Barbara McCahill, PURPLEologist

Barbara McCahill

The Shops at Barefoot Landing
North Myrtle Beach, SC
Main: 843-272-prpl(7775)

Barbara McCahill owner of PURPLEologist, loves the color purple, of course, but she also loves the cello. “I played the cello as a child, and recently I was in Las Vegas for a trade show and saw Celine Dion in concert. She had the most fabulous trio of cellists I’ve ever seen. The concert was so entertaining and fun.” Barbara is even writing a book called The Purple Cello based on her love for the instrument.

“Purple has been my favorite color since I was three years old,” said Barbara. Now, everything is purple, even my golf clubs!” Barbara loves her business because the color purple makes people happy, and customers come in “oohing and aahing.” “You can’t be sad here; we have such a happy environment. A woman came in the other day, and suddenly big tears came rolling down her face. Her son had recently died, and his favorite color was purple. She felt our store was a sign from him that she should be happy. We hear beautiful stories from person after person of their love of purple.”

Gail Roberson, Bloomingails Consignment

Gail Roberson, Bloomingails Consignment

Gail Roberson

Bloomingails Consignment
9990 Beach Dr.
Calabash, NC
Main: 910-575-4949

Gail Roberson, owner of Bloomingails in Calabash, loves beach music and shagging; her favorite concert memory is seeing Lionel Richie and his piano rise into the smoky air to begin the concert with his famous song, “Hello.” “The crowd went wild!” Laughter helps Gail make her customers feel at home, especially the men who come in with their wives. But, it’s the babies (and little dogs) that bring a smile to Gail’s face.

“The goal of my business is for every woman to be able to afford a few nice things,” said Gail. Designed for women on a budget, everything in Bloomingails is stylish and clean—a new outfit can be had for under $20—and women not on a budget will think they hit the mother lode! “I raised three children as a divorced mom with no child support, and there was very little left for me.” But, luckily, Gail had an eye for clothes and was able to look stylish wearing clothes she would find at yard sales. “Women just have to have a few pretty things; it changes your whole outlook. A new outfit found on the weekend turns Monday into a wonderful day!”

Donita Johnson, Homespun Craft & Antique Mall

Donita Johnson, Homespun Craft & Antique Mall

Donita Johnson

Homespun Craft & Antique Mall
114-A Hwy 17N
Surfside Beach, SC
Main: 843-238-3622

Donita Johnson, owner of Homespun Craft and Antique Mall, loves country music. “I really don’t have a favorite, I like all kinds, but I do think Zac Brown is really good.” Growing up near Charlotte, Donita was able to see quite a few concerts. “I remember my mother keeping me out of school to stand in line and buy tickets to a Neil Diamond concert. As much as I didn’t want to admit it, that was an amazing concert—I’ve seen him again since and loved it!”

Her new granddaughter is guaranteed to bring a smile to Donita’s face. “My son and daughter both live here, and this is my daughter’s baby. I also have a step-grandson that I adore.” Donita’s favorite part of her business is meeting the people she serves. “I’ve always been crafty, but owning this business has taught me so much more. Our business is like a family and I look forward to going there every day.” Donita’s mom works at the store, also. “We go out of our way to help our customers find what they need. Even if we don’t have it, we’ll tell them where to find it.”

Darci Ponce, The Strand Styling Studio

Darci Ponce, The Strand Styling Studio

Darci Ponce

The Strand Styling Studio
2954 Howard Ave. Unit C
Live / Work Townhomes @ Market Common

Myrtle Beach, SC
Main: 843-839-2188

Darci Ponce, owner of The Strand Styling Studio in Market Common, loves contemporary Christian music and Sidewalk Prophets are currently her favorite band. She’s always enjoyed music, playing the piano as a child and the saxophone in high school where she was also a member of the marching band. “I saw the Dave Mathews Band at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Denver, Colorado for my 21st birthday, and it was the most amazing concert I’ve ever seen!”

Darci’s husband, an HVAC technician, is always guaranteed to bring a smile to her face. “We’ve been married for just over two years and have two cats named Lovers and Calamari.  They are our babies…for now!” Darci is passionate about her business, saying, “My location in Market Common is beautiful, and I provide a relaxed and laid back atmosphere. My goal is always to please my clients and make sure they enjoy their experience.” This talented stylist loves seeing her client’s happiness with their new look. “I strive to exceed client expectations each and every time. The smile on their faces is why I do what I do!” 

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