At Arcona and Walden, it’s women’s business.
Women own and run nearly all of the businesses in two of Charter Homes’ Cumberland County neighborhoods, Arcona and Walden.
All seven of the business in the Arcona development in Lower Allen Township, and eight of the nine in Walden, a sister community in nearby Silver Spring Township, have women at the helm.
The communities offer a mix of residential and business properties with a traditional neighborhood feel. The women who work there say they love supporting and inspiring each other and watching their combined success.
“It is amazing to have such accomplished women in one place,” said Jillian Williams, who owns Bevrore Contemporary Portraits in Arcona.
Lindsay Dunn, director of marketing for Charter Homes, said many of the women who own businesses in the communities had other careers and then went the small-business route.
Allison Zang has opened four pilates and Barre studios, Absolute Pilates, in the area since 2009, including one in Walden in 2012, and one in Arcona in 2016.
Zang lived in Walden and wanted the full live-work-play experience there. “It has been great for my family to have me close to home,” she said.
For four years, Zang’s young daughter attended Tender Years Daycare in the Crossroads at Walden, owned by Kimberly Shearer.
Shearer opened the Walden day care location in 2013 after purchasing the business from her mother and expanding from their locations in Hershey and Camp Hill.
“Silver Spring is one of the fastest-growing townships in the state and we are nestled in a community of young, working families,” she said.
Shearer said it is empowering to work alongside other women entrepreneurs. “I grew up with a strong mom and I love working with other women who are hardworking and driven to meet their goals.”
Olya Greenawalt bought The Salon and Spa at Walden about a year and a half ago because she liked the concept of the community. “I fell in love with the neighborhood, its small, beach-town feel and the clientele it had,” she said.
Adie Hanisko is the owner of Walden’s aMuse Uncorked, an art entertainment business that specializes in paint and wood-sign parties. She enjoys the kinship of working among other women small-business owners. “I’m eternally grateful to call them my mentors and friends,” she said.
Rose Anderson, who owns Pure Gallery in Arcona, said she enjoys working with local artists to frame and sell their work. After operating on Carlisle Pike and inside the Mechanicsburg Art Center for a decade, Anderson opened in Arcona at the end of 2015 because the neighborhood had the right feel to it.
“Most of the neighbors know each other and everyone is so friendly,” she said. “The atmosphere is one of support, where you can share ideas and have joint events.”
Mary Andres, owner of Water Colours Interior Design in Arcona, took a long and winding road from York, Hershey and Camp Hill to Mechanicsburg in search of the perfect location for a brick-and-mortar shop.
“My heart kept pulling me back to Arcona,” she said “The architectural details throughout the development, the location, coupled with a vibrant and growing community met all of my expectations. “I love the philosophy of promoting locally owned small businesses.”
Angela Gualtieri, owner of RED Salon in Arcona, is excited about the possibilities for growth in the area due to all of the new housing developments and businesses. “I have worked with predominantly women for most of my career, so being in this neighborhood feels very natural to me,” she said.
Also at Walden are Sophia’s at Walden, owned by Sophia Nelms, Harty Brewing Co., owned by Lauren Ishaq, Snazzy Giraffe, owned by Michelle Jacobs, The Salon and Spa at Walden, owned by Olya Greenawalt, and K. Marie & Co., owned by Debra Trautman.
Also at Arcona are IDEA Coffee and THEA, owned by AnnMarie Nelms.
Dunn said a tasting room for Spring Gate Winery, which is expected to open in Arcona in the spring of 2019, will have a woman running it, even though the winery isn’t woman-owned.