WOMEN IN BUSINESS
Published by The Islands’ Weekly • 2018
The Islands’ Weekly • www.islandsweekly.com • October 23, 2018 – Page 5
Flower arrangements and calendula cream | The crafts of Arbordoun by Mandi Johnson Editor
Owned by Susan Bill, Arbordoun is a woman-ran and operated farm for field-cut flower and herbal skin care products operating on Lopez Island since 1984. Arbordoun has more than 30 different flowers and herbs, including a large selection of lilies and a small rose garden with old-fashioned scented roses. “As to the Cream, I wanted to create a product which was more effective than any I could find,” Bill said. When she was 5-years-old, Bill had a sweet pea patch, that began her life-long love of growing. Before opening her nursery business, Bill worked as a Waldorf teacher for preschool and kindergarten students on Lopez. When faced with some resistance of that method of teaching, Bill switched to agriculture – producing an acre of u-pick strawberries and an acre of garlic with a partner. Eventually, that partnership dissolved and Bill went into business for herself – growing flowers and producing cream and lotion. “We have a reputation of providing flowers that are unusual, gorgeous and on the wild side,” Bill said. “And
we receive so many testimonials from people who are devoted users, of the cream and the lotion. It is useful for dry and aging skin, for diaper rash, for radiation burns, and for certain eczema conditions.” A challenge Bill has found is technology – it’s changed the landscape of her business over the years. “When I began, way back then, of course, we were not using, nor owning, a computer,” Bill said. Now many of her items sell to locations near and far in online markets like Amazon rather than in person from her Lopez nursery. “When we started, there were few natural products; now the competition is greater,” Bill said. “We still have people who ‘cannot be without it,’ who have been buying from us for many years.” Arbordoun’s signature Calendula Cream began as being made in a kitchen blender, with labels decorated and glued onto the jars by hand. Today, the cream and lotion are carefully prepared and poured by hand into recyclable containers. Bill said she and her staff are committed to continuing to produce the cream and grow flowers for years to come. “I am lucky to have the same people helping here, some who have helped from the beginning and are still here,” Bill said. “I guess that speaks to a mutual respect and comradery, without which I might not still be doing it all!” Learn more about Arbordoun at http://arbordoun. com/. Contributed photo
Right: Susan Bill with a bundle of lilies harvested from her flower farm
Women in business: why we matter by Diane Craig Why, after more than 25 years, do we still publish Women in Business, a once-a-year special section that celebrates businesswomen of the San Juan Islands? After all, don’t we live in a time when women have careers, own their own businesses, and run multi-
The Islands’ Weekly • www.islandsweekly.com • October 23, 2018 – Page 2
million dollar corporations? So why do we devote a special section after all these years? Allow me to offer at least one reason: It wasn’t always this way. There was a time, in the not too distant past, when women had far fewer rights than they do now. Far fewer. For example, in America in the 1970s married women, when referred to in print, never had first names: It was Mrs. John Smith or Mrs. William Jones. Banks had the right to refuse you a line of credit without your husband’s signature. If you were lucky enough to get a professional job, getting pregnant could result in termination. Airline attendants (stewardesses) were exclusively young, attractive, single women required to maintain a designated weight, and stay single or risk losing their job. Not that long ago, women did not report the TV news, few were admitted into law school, medical school or the military; mailmen, firemen, policemen were all off limits. The idea of a woman
owning her own business and competing with men in a man’s world was not particularly encouraged. In fact, some thought the idea laughable. Against this backdrop of patriarchal regulations, and fueled by a rising feminist movement evidenced by the formation of the National Organization of Women, Ms. Magazine, and a growing wave of feminist literature and spokespeople, American women began to demand equality. The Equal Rights Amendment, first introduced in 1923 and finally passed by Congress in 1972 to guarantee the constitutional rights of all regardless of one’s sex, went to the states for ratification. That same year, Title IX prohibited federally funded educational institutions from discriminating against students based on sex, opening viable school sports to young girls. As recently as 2009, the issue of equal pay for equal work was addressed when President Obama signed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act that restored protection against pay discrimi-
nation. Even today, American women still make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. The goal of economic parity remains a challenge and focusing on increasing the number of womenowned businesses in our state and the country is a powerful tool toward achieving that goal. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 402,000 women-owned businesses were recorded in 1972; 46 years later that number increased 31 times over with a total of 12.3 million businesses owned by women. Washington accounts for 209,400 of those in 2018. Yet, even with such growth, in 2016 women received just over 2 percent of investor and venture capital (VC) funding and women-led businesses comprised only 4.9 percent of VC deals. Why do we continue to publish Women in Business? Clearly, much work remains. Moreover, if we’re not diligent, we will lose the ground we’ve gained.
How women have shaped the world By Mandi Johnson
Pete Souza, official White House photo
Left: President Barack Obama, First Lady Michelle Obama, and their daughter Malia meet with Malala Yousafzai, the young Pakistani schoolgirl who was shot in the head by the Taliban a year ago, in the Oval Office, Oct. 11, 2013.
Throughout history there have been women who made great advancements to society, but they’re often forgotten or go unacknowledged for years. Everyone remembers the men in history. The Napoleons, George Washington, Henry VIII, Einstein and Tesla – but women, too, have done amazing things worthy of immortalization. Known for her poetry and being called the 10th muse by the Greek philosopher Plato, Sappho is an often overlooked artist from the Isle of Lesbos. Poets.org claim that Sappho is one of the greatest lyric poets to have ever written, though little of her work remains today. “The greatest problem for Sappho studies is that there’s so little Sappho to study,” wrote Daniel Mendelsohn in a 2015 article for The New Yorker. “It would be hard to think of another poet whose status is so disproportionate to the size of her surviving body of work.” Cleopatra, the last pharaoh of ancient Egypt, is a well-known historical figure, but she was not the only female pharaoh to preside over the desert. Coming before Cleopatra were Sobeknefru and Hatshepsut. Following her reign, Cleopatra’s stepson tried to erase her from the annals of history but failed. “Knowing that her power grab was highly controversial, Hatshepsut
fought to defend its legitimacy, pointing to her royal lineage and claiming that her father had appointed her his successor,” said History.com. “She sought to reinvent her image, and in statues and paintings of that time, she ordered that she be portrayed as a male pharaoh, with a beard and large muscles. In other images, however, she appeared in traditional female regalia.” Other famous queens have ruled throughout history, including Mary, Queen of Scots, her cousin Queen Elizabeth I and the
current, longest-presiding British Monarch in history Queen Elizabeth II. But though women may have been in power a spattering of times throughout history, outside of the throne, most were still treated as second-class citizens – enter the suffragettes. “I know that women, once convinced that they are doing what is right, that their rebellion is just, will go on, no matter what the difficulties, no matter what the dangers, so long as there is a woman alive to hold up the flag of rebellion. I would rather
be a rebel than a slave,” said well-known American suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst. Mary Wollstonecraft penned her book “A Vindication of the Rights of Women” in 1792 – one of the earliest writings regarding equality of men and women. A century later, Susan B. Anthony fought for female equality across the sea in the United States of America. Today, many women still fight for equality – nationally, women are paid an average of 20 percent less than their male counter-
Jamie and Lauren Stephens ARBORDOUN FARM
We Are an All Women Crew of Herbalists & Gardeners
arbordoun.com | firstname.lastname@example.org 360.468.2508
Women in Business
parts doing the same job. In countries throughout the world, women like Malala Yousafzai – who was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman for attending school and
defending women’s and girls’ rights to education – are fighting just to earn an education. “I don’t want to be thought of as the ‘girl who was shot by the Taliban’ but the ‘girl who fought for education.’ This is the cause to which I want to devote my life,” Yousafzai wrote in her memoir. Other women of color have stood up to sexism and racism over the years and still fight for equality to this day – even equality with fellow white women. Historical women of color heroines include Sojourner Truth and Harriet Tubman, who were born into slavery but escaped and became an advocate for the freedom of their fellow enslaved men, women and children. Then there was Rosa Parks, who refused to give SEE HERSTORY, PAGE 4
Michele Smith has 40 years of small business experience. She currently operates Tanbark Marine and manages Spencer’s Landing Marina alongside her husband of 25 years, Kim. While she loves her work, she feels her most rewarding job is being a mom to her amazing daughter, and 3 special dogs.
(360) 468-4391 • Lopez Island The Islands’ Weekly • www.islandsweekly.com • October 23, 2018 – Page 3
Women of the Sounder, Journal and Weekly
‘SAFE’ on the shoulders of amazing women by Kim Bryan
SAFE San Juans Director
Colleen Smith, Sounder editor and group publisher
Cali Bagby, Journal editor and general manager
Mandi Johnson, Sounder reporter and Weekly editor
Hayley Day, Journal reporter
Diane Craig, Sounder office manager
Tate Thomson, graphic artist
Heather Spaulding, Journal office manager and reporter
Joanna Massey, Copy editor
Without the commitment and persistent hard work of many strong women over the last three decades, there would be no SAFE San Juans, an organization formerly known as DVSAS. Historically, domestic violence and sexual assault have been considered “women’s issues.” The majority of the victims and survivors, and most of the folks taking action to help and empower are female. However, currently here in the San Juan Islands, we are proud to acknowledge that folks of all genders are standing shoulder to shoulder in solidarity stating that, “Everyone Deserves to Live Free of Abuse.” After all, a recent U.S. Department of Justice study reveals that 1 in 3 women and 1 in 4 men have experienced some form of physical violence in an intimate partner relationship. You are invited to join us as we continue to challenge the notion that domestic violence and sexual assault are “women’s issues” and recognize together these are in reality “human being issues.” We will always be grateful to the original strong women who had the foresight and courage to make a difference for their island sisters.
Their strength and fortitude continue to help us reach even higher as we aspire to empower all of our island communities to live free of abuse For more information about SAFE San Juans and the services and
HERSTORY FROM 4 up her seat and move to the back of the bus so that a white man could sit down. Women have also led the way in literary and scientific endeavors over the years. Take, for example, the creator of the science fiction genre – the daughter of the aforementioned Wollstonecraft. Mary Shelley originally published her groundbreaking novel “Frankenstein” 200 years ago without her name attached for fear she would lose her children. “It was considered such a masculine novel that when published anonymously (as was common for works writ-
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Call 360-468-3239 for more info or to schedule your appointment today! The Islands’ Weekly • www.islandsweekly.com • October 23, 2018 – Page 8
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ten by women), many people attributed it to her husband,” wrote Harriet Hall in a 2018 article for Independent. Then there were the women scientists, often unsung throughout history. Rosalind Franklin discovered the double helix of DNA – though Francis Crick and James Watson were ultimately awarded credit and a Nobel Prize for the discovery. Franklin was not included in the award for her contribution because the Nobel Committee does not grant prizes posthumously. A scientist who did win, not one, but two Nobel Prizes was Marie Curie. “She made groundbreaking work in the field of Radioactivity, enabling radioactive isotopes to be isolated for the first time. During the First World War, Curie developed the practical use of X-Rays; she also discovered two new elements, polonium and radium,” wrote a biography of Curie on Biographyonline.net. “Her pioneering scientific work was made more remarkable because of the discrimination which existed against women in science at the time.” With both brains and beauty, actress Hedy Lamarr paved the way for modern wireless technology such as WiFi, GPS and Bluetooth. According to Forbes, however, her estate has not received a dime of compensation for her invaluable technological advancement. “Although her ideas were at first ignored, the technology (which she and Antheil patented in 1942) was later used by the military — during the Cuban missile crisis in October 1962, for example — and more recently, it has been employed in wireless technologies like cell phones,” wrote Melinda Wenner in a 2008 Scientific American article. “It was eventually recognized in 1997, when the Electronic Frontier Foundation honored Lamarr with a special Pioneer Award and she became the first woman to receive the Invention Convention’s BULBIE Gnass Spirit of Achievement Award.” This is just a handful of the many women who have done great things to make the world a better place. Throughout history and into the future, women have been and will continue to be, leaders and achievers.