“Who runs the world?… Girls!!” Like the famous Beyonce anthem declares, women have taken front and center roles in our society in the last few years. You can argue women have always held this role but now we see more and more fierce females leading families, occupying senior roles in corporate America or creating their own businesses. The following women have created a path of their own in Sonoma County – they have not only started their own businesses, but most have also left an imprint on the community.
Patrice Veyna, Ivy & Bloom. Originally from Los Angeles, (not that we will hold it against her) moved to Sonoma and opened up her wedding floral business. Creativity and design started early during her years in the Girls Scouts and Patrice is now putting those finely honed skills to great use to bring your perfect day together. She loves the challenge of making your wedding day unique in its own way. Reach out and get a custom estimate and she even has several dates reserved for destination weddings!
Alison Tanzer, Picnic Potential. During the middle of a pandemic and with a lifelong passion for outdoor and event planning, Alison saw the perfect opportunity to create Picnic Potential – a service that takes the hard work out of planning a special occasion. They’ve handled date nights, birthday parties, anniversaries – even the occasional wedding. You choose the venue, and Picnic Potential brings everything you need for a great day. Check out our full conversion with Alison back in February.
Kristen Bringhurst, Board & Bottle. Inspired by a homemade 5th anniversary gift she made for her husband, Kirsten started her business making custom signs for the community. Using her background in design and art, she now shares her skills and tips to help you create your next family heirloom. Book now at one of her many hosted events or book your own private sign creating party.
Olivia Wallach, Ollyverthewino. With a vast knowledge on Sonoma and Napa wines, Olivia brings informative and fun content to help you discover new labels and varietals. Since we last spoke with her in our 2019 interview, she received her level 2 WSET certification and has big plans for the future. Check her Instagram and give her a follow, you won’t be bored!
Leah Scurto – Pizza Leah. Leah, represented team USA at the World Pizza Championships after becoming the 2018 United States Pizza Cup champion. But that success didn’t come overnight. It took years and years… literally over 20 years of hard work. Starting from the bottom, at restaurant chain Pizza My Heart, she worked her way up to Executive Chef. In 2020, with pizza still in her heart, she bravely struck out on her own and opened her restaurant, Pizza Leah in Windsor. Her menu includes award winning pizzas that are not to be missed, such as the Old Grey Beard and the Mush-a-roni. Are you hungry yet? We definitely are! IG @pizzaleah707
Lauren Kershner – Good Gracious Catering. A trained chef from Le Cordon Bleu Culinary Academy in Portland, Lauren has enriched her career through travel and fine dining work experiences in both Napa and Sonoma. In 2016 Chef Lauren decided to make a path of her own and created Good Gracious Catering – a private event and culinary experiences company that is rooted in the business of making memories. Head to her site or IG and you will instantly be so hungry with her carefully crafted, locally fueled masterpieces. IG @goodgraciouseats
Anamaria Morales – College Confectionista. Anamaria has one of the sweetest businesses, literally. She makes the most decadent cheesecakes you can imagine – all local, all handmade. She started her business in her senior year of high school and has not stopped since. Her mission is to “bake her way into college one cheesecake at a time”. Check her Facebook page and order your next special occasion cake – you will not only be having a delicious cheesecake but you will also be helping Anamaria get a step closer to her college education. IG @collegeconfectionista
Anne Schillings – Anne Schillings Photography. Born with an eye to spot the best shot in any photo opportunity, this mom of two, dedicated herself to studying the necessary skills to turn her passion into her profession. She is now recognized as one of the nation’s top 100 high school senior portrait photographers. Take a peek at her website and you will quickly see how talented she is – choose from several popular packages with optional hair and makeup services, to create the magazine style photos of your dreams. IG @anneschillingsphotography
Alana Ciena Tillman – ArtXcursion. Alana, along with many from the 70s and 80s, was inspired by the infamous Bob Ross. But being born with a condition that restricts the use of her hands, she found that she was still able to fulfill her desire to paint by holding the brush in her mouth. Before becoming a member of the Mouth and Foot Painting Artists, she was living off social security and didn’t feel like she was contributing much to society. With a renewed sense of purpose, she shared her passion of painting and art with the world by founding ArtXcursion, a place that provides an exclusive “day-staycation.” You can join a pre-scheduled painting party or arrange for a private birthday or corporate retreat to pick up the necessary tips and tricks to paint that personal masterpiece. IG @artxcursion
Julia Marble – Bell Farm Collective. Julia has had a big couple of years until Covid hit, and like so many of us she was laid off in early 2020. Crucially, though, she decided to seize the opportunity and launch the Collective – an idea that had been percolating in her mind for a while. She wanted to explore and showcase the incredible talent of Sonoma’s community of artists and artisans, especially those who had no commercial outlet of their own. In the Covid free future, she plans to host classes from painting to Pilates, ‘meet the maker’ events and more. Read our full conversation with Julia here! IG @bellfarmcollective
Veronica Herico – Pane di Vero. After burning out of her Bay Area corporate job, Veronica (Vero) embarked in an inspirational stint around the world – which included a work-stay at an ancient farm in Italy and allowed her general love of food to transform into an obsession with bread. In 2020, after taking different turns in her life she decided to launch a pop-up bakery, Pane di Vero, out of her home. Her mission is to offer bread that is full of nutrients and not empty calories. Vero’s story is full of fascinating experiences and her baked creations are a testament of that. Read our full conversation with Vero here and right after head to her website to place your order for next week! IG @pane_di_vero
We KNOW there are many more female owned businesses in Sonoma County, and we hope to add on to this list on a regular basis. So please come back to check out new additions or to give us a tip on a fierce female you think should be listed here. Together we are stronger.