'She can do it all': Downtown Raleigh Alliance highlights women-owned businesses, modern day women

Akilah Davis Image
Tuesday, March 7, 2023
Downtown Raleigh Alliance highlights businesses owned by women
The Downtown Raleigh Alliance said that nearly half of its downtown businesses are owned by women.

RALEIGH, N.C. (WTVD) -- Family members suffering from eczema led Kimberly Thigpen to her kitchen where she started making soaps and lotions.

"I found out that shea butter was great at treating eczema," she said. "Our bath body massage oil is really popular."

She is the owner of The Bath Place in downtown Raleigh. She sells handcrafted, spa-quality natural soaps, lotions and candles.

"It's been wonderful. I've never once regretted the decision. I love it. It continues to grow and evolve. I still wake up excited about what I'm going to create today," said Thigpen.

The Downtown Raleigh Alliance said that more than 90% of downtown stores are locally owned and independent. As of 2021, about 48% of its downtown businesses are owned by a woman. That equates to 115 storefronts.

It's something downtown leaders call a true testament to the modern-day woman.

"I think it says she can do it all," said Lucy McInnis, director of events and development for Downtown Raleigh Alliance. "She can connect everyone. She can support herself. She can empower herself. She is supported to do so."

According to McInnis, women-owned businesses are an essential part of the downtown business community.

Thigpen said she wouldn't be in business without Pop Up Shops at Martin. It's an affordable retail space initiative through Downtown Raleigh Alliance aimed at increasing minority and women-owned storefront ownership.

"I really enjoy serving the market here. There are a lot of activities always happening. We get a good amount of food traffic," said Thigpen.