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Women in Business

Thank you to the many women in business who make our community special!

Published by The Islands’ Weekly The Islands’ Weekly • • October 18, 2016 – Page 1

Why ‘Women in Business?’


heir footsteps echo in the corridors of history, but we rarely hear them. As a woman living in the 21st century, I don’t often think about the sacrifices of those who came before me. I take it for granted that I can vote, achieve my goals, make my own money, choose whether or not to start a family. I can dress how I please, I can voice my opinion, I can file for divorce. And on the occasion that I do feel discriminated against – like when people assume someone in my position is a man – I brush it off because it feels irrelevant to me. There will always be ignorant people in this world. It is my choice to internalize it or move on to something else. But when I pause to consider history, I feel an earnest and intense kinship with the women who pioneered my rights decades ago. They took the real risks. They were strong in the face of challenging deep social traditions. And the shocking part – and this is true for Civil Rights as well – is that it wasn’t very long ago that our cultural fabric was based on severe restrictions to human rights. Through the efforts of suffragist Kate Sheppard, New Zealand was the first country to grant women the right to vote in 1893. It took the United States several decades to follow suit. In 1920, the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was signed into law, giving women the right to vote. That wasn’t even 100 years ago. The women’s movement has roots in the aftermath of World War II, when the lives of women in developed countries changed dramatically. Household technology eased the burdens of homemaking and the growth of the service sector created jobs not dependent on physical strength. Despite these socioeconomic transformations, cultural attitudes and legal barriers still reinforced sexual inequalities. It wasn’t until 1965, with the backing of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, that women gained access to all the same jobs as men, and employers with long histories of discrimination were held accountable. In the coming years, divorce laws were liberalized; employers were barred from firing pregnant women; and record numbers of women started winning seats in political offices. But the gains for women in the 1960s and 70s only went so far. Today, just one in five members of congress is a woman. In 2015, women working full time in the United States were paid 80 percent of what men were paid, according to the American Association of University Women. There is a current of misogyny still running through this country – as evidenced by the name-calling and body-shaming that has defined the 2016 presidential election. A female running for president is profoundly significant for the women’s movement. It is completely unprecedented, and regardless of Hillary Clinton’s platform, I feel pride in seeing how far she has come in an arena dominated by men. As we salute our modern business women in the annual special section in this edition, we also pay tribute to those who laid the way for our success. We have come so very far, but still have a way to go. – Colleen Smith Armstrong, publisher

Women making history | Timeline Notable events in the history of women, courtesy of Encyclopedia Britannica online edition.

demanding suffrage. Twentyfour of them are arrested.


In New York, shirtwaist factory workers go on strike. The International Ladies’ Garment Workers’ Union and the Women’s Trade Union League work together in support of the strike.

The U.S. logs the highest birth rate worldwide, 7.04 children per woman.



Oberlin Collegiate Institute (later Oberlin College) is founded in Ohio as the first American college to admit men and women on an equal basis.




Largely through the efforts of suffragist Kate Sheppard, New Zealand becomes the first country to grant women the right to vote.

Juliette Gordon Low founds the Girl Guides (later Girl Scouts) in the United States. By 1927 there will be a troop in every state.



British tennis player Charlotte Cooper wins the first women’s gold medal at the Olympics.

Norwegian women win the right to vote. In 1915, Danish women win the right to vote.



In French law, women are no longer permanent minors.

In Russia, Princess Eugenie Shakhovskaya is the first female military pilot. She flies reconnaissance missions.

1908 A group of women storm the British Parliament

Marie Curie is awarded the Nobel Prize for chemistry for the isolation of pure radium.

1917 The United States Navy hires 12,000 women as clerks in the same job classifications and for the same pay as men. This is so that i can send men overseas.

Women of The Weekly

1918 Canadian and British women are granted the right to vote, although in Great Britain a woman must be over age 30.

Colleen Armstrong

The U.S. government reports that 1.4 million women work in war industries. After World War I these women are forced out of industrial work.

1920 The Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is signed into law, giving women the right to vote. Despite death threats from the Ku Klux Klan, Mary McLeod Bethune begins a voter registration drive for African American women. The University of Oxford admits its first full-degree female students.

1945 More than six million American women who entered the workforce during World War II are pushed out of their traditionally male jobs at the war’s end.

1975 The U.S. Supreme Court rules that women cannot be excluded from juries because of their sex.

1986 The U.S. Supreme Court upholds affirmative action on the basis of race or gender.

2002 Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II celebrates her Golden Jubilee, marking 50 years on the throne.

2016 Hillary Rodham Clinton is the democratic nominee to run for President of the United States of America.

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Contact Stephanie or Katie to volunteer your services or become a member. 360.378.2319,,

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Open 7–5 all week. Serving soup and selling Holly B’s bread weekdays.

Come and get warm! 211 Lopez Road | 468-3533

Stephanie Smith brings the love, butter and innovation By Gretchen Wing Special to the Weekly

Contributed photo

Stephanie Smith, owner of Holly B’s Bakery in Lopez Village.

When Stephanie Smith bought the famous Holly B’s Bakery in its 40th year, many aficionados were anxious about the future of this beloved institution. Now in October with Stephanie planning to remain open through December, Holly B’s customers have subsided into blissful relief. “Love and Butter” is here to stay on Lopez, traditional treats sharing counter space with delectable innovations. Holly B’s flagship cinnamon rolls and almond butterhorns still rule the roost, supported by flaky croissants, crusty baguettes, and outrageous fruit Danish. But new items vying for queen of this edible popularity contest include succulent hand pies, airy meringues, and the salted dark chocolate chip cookie. With a background in French pastry and catering, Smith is entranced by possibility. She loves taking advantage of local fruit to create goodies like plum-cardamom scones, but also branching out to embrace more exotic treats, such as tiny passion fruit curd tarts with hibiscus sugar. Moving from Kirkland to Lopez to run a bakery was a huge shift for Stephanie, and one of the biggest surprises was how welcomed she felt. “I have never felt alone

in this endeavor,” says Stephanie. “The support of the staff and the faithful customers is impressive. I don’t think I can say thank you enough.” Like the baked goods, Stephanie’s staff is a mix of continuity and change. At the counter, Diana Sherwood is entering her third decade of greeting customers with smiles and conversation, while bakers Laura Strom and Gretchen Wing happily churn out pastries and bread in the kitchen they’ve known for many seasons. Versatile Hayley Taylor also returns from last year, equally at home helping customers or mixing ingredients. A surprise to Stephanie has been her positive experience with the teenagers she’s hired.  “Honestly, I didn’t have the best impression of teen employees prior to coming here,” says Stephanie, “But the young adults that I’ve had the pleasure of working with on Lopez have

been very motivated, always looking to learn more.” Another pleasant surprise, coming from the high-stress world of catering for Microsoft, has been how smoothly Stephanie’s first year has gone. “You haven’t lived until you’ve lived through a July Fourth  weekend at Holly B’s!” she laughs, adding, “Thankfully, there haven’t been any unpleasant surprises—other than when I forgot to order butter and eggs for July Fourth.” The line stretching from the bakery to Lopez Bookshop that day told Stephanie all she needed to know about her role on Lopez. Several of Stephanie’s managerial changes have also been greeted with joy by customers. Holly B’s opened in mid-March this year and will remain open Saturdays and Sundays in December, even taking special orders from a limited menu prior to Christmas. Holly B’s breads and sweet treats are now available at Lopez Coffee Shop, even on the bakery’s closed days (currently Monday through Thursday). And through November, Stephanie has instituted Fika [feeka] Fridays at Holly B’s. “Fika is Swedish for ‘cozy afternoon tea,’ Stephanie explains, “so Fika Fridays mean, ‘it’s been a long week—come treat yourself to something special.”

Friends of the San Juans: protecting the islands, one issue at a time By Heather Spaulding Journal reporter

Protecting the islands has grown beyond problems occurring within the borders of the county. Friends of the San Juans is looking forward to see how it can tackle global issues that also impact the San Juans. “Rising sea-levels due to global warming are one of the issues we are taking a look at,” said Friends Executive Director Stephanie Buffum. Thirty-seven years ago, Friends began as a small group of islanders concerned about the San Juan County Growth Management Act and Comprehensive Plan. Founders wanted to make sure laws enacted were written well. The original group, made up of volunteers, members and an executive director, now has a staff of eight, seven of which are women. For the last 16 years, Stephanie Buffum has been the executive director, and Tina Whitman has been the science director. Shannon Davis has written their grants for approximately 10 years, and Katie Fleming who has devoted her life and career to sustainable community development and environmental education, has been on board as community engagement director for the last several years as well. “We have a very incredible, stable staff right now,” Buffum said proudly. These five women are also

mothers, striving to make a better community, and world for their children. To help make the future brighter for the next generations, Friends are not limiting their projects to strictly local ones. For example, Friends has been working with Canadian organizations to put some joint maritime protections together to deal with the annual increase of international vessel traffic. “All vessel traffic from Canada will be increasing. Cargo ships, tankers, everything,” said Buffum, “so we need to have some joint protections in place.” Locally, affordable housing, and creating more economic diversity in the islands will also be on their agenda. “People don’t realize this, but we were one of the first members of the Economic Development Council,” Buffum said, emphasizing the importance of having a strong and diverse economy. Environmental issues are becoming more challenging, and as a result Friends has made a presence state wide, nation wide and now, with vessel traffic, internationally. Friends actively worked to prevent the proposed coal terminal at Cherry Point, which is currently dead in the water after the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers denied the federal permit last May. Recently, Friends celebrated when shell made their announcement Oct. 6 that

they were pulling out of the Anacortes oil train proposal. Making sure there are local oil spill preventions in place is another project on Friends 2017 agenda. “We are always looking for volunteers,”Buffum said. She encourages the public stop by to see who they are and what they do during one of their open houses the months of Oct. and Nov., every Monday from 1–2 p.m.. Their office is located at 650 Mullis St. Suite 201, almost directly across the street from Market Place. For more information, visit

Contributed photo

Stephanie and family on a ferry.

Open Friday, Saturday and Sunday 7 a.m. - 4 p.m.


Michele Smith has 35-plus years of small business experience. After running Tanbark Marine in Friday Harbor she now manages Spencer’s Landing Marina and operates Tanbark out of Lopez. Co-workers say her organization and attention to detail are what make her a success. If you stop by Spencer’s to see Michele you’ll be greeted by her three friendly dogs Shelby, August and Raelyn.

(360) 468-4391 • Lopez Island The Islands’ Weekly • • October 18, 2016 – Page 3

Julia Rogers has her coffee and drinks it too By Mandi Johnson Weekly editor

There are people who simply love drinking coffee, then there are those who make coffee their lives, Julia Rogers falls into the second category. “I’d never get out of bed without the promise of coffee,” said Rogers, owner and operator of Isabel’s Espresso in the Lopez Village. “What I love about coffee is the ritual of it.” Rogers moved to Lopez in March of 1994 after visiting the island on a bicycle camping trip the fall prior and “fell in love with the islands.” Before moving to Lopez, Rogers lived in Seattle and worked at a bakery. “It’s always made sense for me to be in a business where

I touch people and am close to the ground,” said Rogers, who describes owning a coffee shop as a good balance between a social and intellectual career. “Interacting with other people is pretty important.” Rogers said she always enjoyed studying systems and that she is good at figuring out the most efficient way to do things. Being able to develop efficient systems, she says, is the biggest benefit her math studies. She says she is comfortable with numbers and likes bookkeeping. Rogers’ first job on Lopez

was working at Holly B’s Bakery where she stayed until 2003, when she began working for Elizabeth Eberhardt at Isabel’s. Rogers gives Eberhardt a lot of credit for the business’ success, noting that she just took over where Eberhardt had left off, buying the shop in 2012. “The success to running a business is to never settle with what you’ve got,” said Rogers who has plans to renovate the shop and eventually roast her own beans. She says the remodel has been the biggest challenge she’s faced over the past year, and the facility to roast beans is a big motivator for her. Currently, Isabel’s flagship coffee is Fair Trade Organic from Chiapas, Mexico and it serves espresso featuring direct-trade beans from La Esperanza Las Plantas, a farm is housed in the Huehuetenango Valley in Guatemala. Its milk comes from Fresh Breeze Organic Dairy in Ferndale, Washington. “You think you know what you’re doing – and you do – but there’s still something more to learn,” she added. “You’re always inspired for something next. I’m always learning something new.” Rogers, who has a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from University of Washington, went into the coffee world because she was looking for a sustainable business that she enjoys. After all, coffee will not go

The success to running a business is to never settle with what you’ve got.

The Islands’ Weekly • • October 18, 2016 – Page 4

out of style anytime in the near future. “Coffee is just right for me,” said Rogers, who says she began drinking coffee as a teenager, if not before. She notes she is genetically predisposed to love coffee, enjoying a variety of coffee types, with lattes being a luxury item for her. “Coffee is pretty important in the business and personally.” Rogers was a rower at UW, a runner for most of her life and she played rugby. Her bicycle adventures on the islands were in the midst of training for a marathon. She said the discipline of athletic pursuit has been extremely useful in business ownership. When she isn’t at the shop, she fills her time with a plethora of other activities, many of them outside. “I love the outdoors,” said Rogers, who keeps herself busy both at work and away from it. “Fly fishing is my main pursuit when I get the time to run away.” Rogers said she loves to go camping, sailing and exercising. “I like to keep my brain and body grounded and fit,” said Rogers. She added that she doesn’t have a television, but always has a book and listens to NPR and podcasts regularly. “I do love my time alone very much … by myself is when I ground myself and

Contributed photo

Julia Rogers warms her self up with a freshly brewed cup of coffee in front of her coffee shop, Isabel’s Espresso. figure things out.” As for advice, Rogers says the key to running a successful business is being flexible and accepting that everything takes time to come to fruition. She also adds that she couldn’t do it without her team. She emphasizes taking care of the team of people who work for her. “I don’t think any woman in business could make it without a really solid team of employees that help,” said

Rogers. “My team is awesome, we’re all in this together and support each other.” Never once did Rogers refer to her team as her employees. The majority of her employees are women as well, with the sole male employee affectionately referred to as ‘the man.’ “The coffee shop is my family,” said Rogers. “My team is awesome. We’re all in this together and support each other.”

Women in Business - 2016 Women In Business  


Women in Business - 2016 Women In Business