March 2, 2013 10:31 am ET
Don’t ever tell these two business women it’s a man’s world. You might get your ears (or hair) clipped.
Despite their burgeoning friendship, they have one thing in common and that is they are two women who own small businesses.
They are Jackie Colacce, owner of Sunflower Vintage Designs, and Marjie Ravenscroft, who owns and operates Marjie’s Hairport. Both stores are side by side at 12536 B and 12536 C Eastern Ave. in Middle River.
Let’s start with Ms. Jackie Colacce, a young woman who started selling merchandise out of her home. As her tiny upstart began to grow, she was concerned for her neighbors with the increase of traffic to her neighborhood which at times included trucks delivering merchandise.
Driving by the little strip shopping center she decided it was time to spread her wings and give it a shot so she stopped in and talked to the building’s owner and on Dec. 8, 2012, she began her journey into the world of small business.
Jackie’s shop is full of treasures of years gone by and for many, those were the precious times. From soup to nuts and everything in between, if it is unique Jackie has it.
As soon as I walked through the door and saw that white fireplace I knew there was something special about this store. I asked Jackie about the fireplace and she told me that she and her boyfriend, Chris Bradley, built it together. I would call it the perfect accent piece to spotlight the rest of the store. Jackie credits Chris, who also owns a business, with helping her run her store.
The store is full of antique and vintage pieces and each one of them has a story to tell. The atmosphere is bright, clean and cheerful.
Jackie’s neighbor and the elder, businesswoman I mean, is Marjie Ravenscroft, who has been in the biz, as they say, for 35 years. Think she’s the real deal? Marjie owns Marjie’s Hairport, a name inspired by her original location near Martin State Airport.
Marjie’s journey is one of persistence and solid determination to succeed when as a young single mother she faced the unemployment line. The difference here is Marjie, who credits Cheryl Poltynski and Victoria Smith as her mentors, followed a path which included unemployment and turned it into a 30-year venture of presiding over a successful business.
Marjie said, “After I lost my job tending bar it was tough. I had a young daughter with no prospects.” Marjie went on to say that’s when her mentors got her into the last slot in an unemployment program that help her to get on her feet and into barber school.
After graduating in the late 1970s, she took her first job at Angelo’s Razor Edge but that was not an easy gig. “Back then men were not used to having women cut their hair,” Marjie said. “As the men’s styles grew longer the men finally began to except female barbers.”
After working at Angelo’s for six years, Marjie struck out on her own in Middle River and created Marjie’s Hairport near the Bengies Drive-In Theater. Many of Marjie’s early customers were soldiers from the nearby National Guard base.
She stayed there until they tore down the building and moved down the road a bit to her current location next to Jackie’s shop on Eastern Ave.
Marjie’s daughter Ronica and her granddaughter Brittany followed in her footsteps as barbers.
Marjie has been a master barber for 35 years. Her shop specializes in hair coloring, highlights and of course the standard haircut.
I’m sure both Marjie and Jackie would appreciate a visit and trust me they are two of the nicest ladies I know. Marjie has been cutting my hair (what’s left of it) for over 30 years along with hundreds of others.
A man’s world; just don’t tell these two ladies.