downtown brighton
Brighton Howell Area Women-Owned Businesses

March 8, 2023

The Brighton Howell Area is loaded with women-owned businesses including boutique shops, spas, fitness centers, and more. To celebrate International Women’s day, we compiled a list of female-owned business owners and asked about their stories, inspiration, role models, and advice. Today, and every day, we celebrate them and all women for their strength, creativity, and ingenuity. 


📍: Howell

Retro-a-go-go! has been a staple for over 14 years in downtown Howell offering unique retro appeal, accessories, home decor, and much more. When asked about the most significant obstacle owner Pirsten Pagacz faced when opening her business, she replied:

One obstacle was the negativity of my mom’s husband at the time. I showed him my first Retro-a-go-go! product, a necklace with a retro magazine image showcased in a pendant. He said, “You think someone is actually going to buy that?” Talk about the wind getting knocked out of your sails! I kept going and 14 years later, YES—people actually love and buy our original Retro-a-go-go! products. We ship all around the world and get love letters from happy customers all the time.
-Kirsten Pagacz, Retro-a-go-go!

The Space

📍: Brighton

the space owner kelly mcmullen

The Space is a Yoga Studio located in Brighton offering fitness classes to enrich your mind, body, and soul. When asked what the best advice she can give to another woman pursuing this career she replied:

“The advice I would give young women is to be very clear of the reason they are doing this- your deep “why” in starting a company. Many things will test this- details, people, long days, and limited financial payout in the beginning. There has to be something that anchors you as the turbulence rises.”
-Kelli McMullen, The Space

London Beauty

📍: Brighton

london beauty in downtown brighton, michigan

London Beauty is a fashion experience brought to cosmetics. Offering unique makeup, vegan brands, and a variety of skin care in downtown Brighton. We asked owner Kathleen London when she knew this is the career she wanted to be in, and she said:

“I’ve been in retail for years. I always knew that at some point the stars would align and I could pull all the pieces together. Within the beauty industry right now there is an amazing swell of high-performance, women-led, and created cosmetic brands. It is really a turning point. I love that 85% of our store hosts these brands and continues to seek them out. It is a wonderful side benefit that many are also American-made!”
-Kathleen London, London Beauty

Fountain of Youth Skin Revewal Centre

📍: Hartland

fountain of youth skin renewal centte

Celebrate International Women’s Day by pampering yourself with a day at the spa. Fountain of Youth Skin Renewal Centre in Hartland offers a variety of services including exfoliating treatments, skin tightening, and more. When asked what the most rewarding part of owning her business was, owner Sue Alderson said:

The most rewarding part of owning my business is all of the friends I have made. I have thousands of loyal customers that have grown alongside me. We’ve been through illnesses, marriage and divorce, births and deaths, and graduations to name a few. My customers are truly my family.
-Sue Alderson, Fountain of Youth Skin Renewal Centre

White Barn Designs Co.

📍: Fowlerville

white barn designs co in fowlerville, michigan

White Barn Designs located in Fowlerville offers a handpicked collection of farmhouse decor, furniture, handmade goods, and more. We asked owner Ashley Van Gilder what the most important thing about female leadership is, and she answered:

“When I was a little girl, I would have never DREAMED of being an entrepreneur, that was a “man’s job”. I hope society has shifted enough, where little girls can now dream of creating something powerful and influential, with their OWN bare hands.”
-Ashley Van Gilder, White Barn Designs Co.

Natural View Market

📍: Brighton

Be your healthiest self at Natural View Market in downtown Brighton. When asked what the most rewarding part of owning her business was, owner Karen Hummer said:

“The most rewarding part of owning this business is helping people heal. Our mission statement is “Heal Often, Comfort Always”. I feel that it will always be rewarding to a business person if they, “walk the talk”. I strive to live a healthy life and feel the need to pass on invaluable information about natural healing and healthy eating. I also feel that Brighton is my “home” and I have developed great relationships with my customers and fellow Brighton shop owners, restaurateurs, etc. It is rewarding to feel connected to the community.”
-Karen Hummer, Natural View Market

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