Breaking News

Last month, the town of Clinton held a joint ribbon cutting for three new businesses that opened up right next to each other on High Street. While the event was exciting on its own, what made it more unique was that all three businesses are owned by women.

In Clinton, though, it’s just business as usual, as more than half of the businesses downtown are women- or minority-owned. Of 89 businesses, 50 fall into that category, and of that 50, 26 are owned by immigrants.

“I think it’s important for our culture and our society that people can find their place in the community and in the marketplace, and can initiate businesses and have the opportunity to thrive and succeed,” said Phil Duffy, the town’s community and economic development director. “This is one of the great things about traditional downtowns, particularly downtown’s in middle class or transitional communities like Clinton. It’s important that … equality of opportunity not be just an idea, but that you can see it in daily mundane ways.”

The storefronts in Clinton’s downtown are home to a variety of businesses. The three highlighted in last month’s event are a good example of that: The Scarlett Nook is a small store selling crystals and art; AB Aesthetics offers cosmetic injections and other treatments; and The Soulful Co. is a dance fitness studio.

  • Read more: It’s make it or break it for retail stores in Worcester’s downtown as foot traffic is slow to return

Danielle Bruyere, owner of The Soulful Co., said that she and the owners of the other two businesses hadn’t known that they would be opening up right next to each other, but that she felt they complemented each other well with their missions of empowering people.

Bruyere, who grew up taking dance classes, knew she wanted to incorporate it into her career, but said she had always enjoyed the fitness portion more than the artistic part of dancing. After getting a master’s degree in occupational therapy in 2018, she began teaching dance and wellness classes virtually, long before the COVID-19 pandemic made it standard practice.

After a few years of building a loyal following online, she opened her own studio, and now offers barre fitness, Zumba, dance cardio, Buti yoga, heels classes and reiki sessions. Many of her clients from her days of virtual classes have made their way into the in-person studio classes, and more and more people have come in to experience the studio.

“When you’re really passionate about something you get rewarded back,” she said.

AB Aesthetics

The storefront of AB Aesthetics in Clinton, Mass. (Tréa Lavery, MassLive)

Amanda Bairos, owner of AB Aesthetics, has also been able to bring former clients into her new Clinton space since she opened in September. Bairos, who also works full-time as a nurse, began doing cosmetic injections five years ago, and previously had a space in Marlborough before moving the business to her hometown of Clinton. Many of her clients have followed her, and she said she has people come in from multiple towns over.

Bairos said she enjoys what she does because it gives her a way to help people feel confident.

“Just feeling good about yourself and a little bit of self care really does go a long way,” she said. “If you feel good about yourself, you’re giving your best version of you and whether that is getting rid of a small little wrinkle or making yourself a little bit more refreshed, that goes a long way into delivering who you are and how you feel about yourself.”