Get to know a few of the 13 million women-owned businesses

Nationwide, 42% of all businesses are owned by women. That a startling transformation in 50 years.

In the March issue of the Herald Business Journal, the focus is on women in business.

Diane Symms, the founder of Lombardi’s Italian Restaurants, a regional chain, can remember when a woman couldn’t get a business loan without her husband’s signature.

In the early 1970s, when Symms opened her first restaurant, a Seattle sandwich shop, fewer than 5% of businesses were owned by women.

Now women-owned businesses represent 42%, according to the “2019 State of Women-Owned Business” published by American Express.

Between 2014 and 2019, the number of women-owned businesses nationwide climbed 21% to a total of nearly 13 million. Revenue rose 21% to $1.9 trillion, according to the report.

One trend to watch is the growth of part-time entrepreneurship.

The description might apply to Kelly Jane Heindel’s first year or two in business.

The young entrepreneur was 26 when she founded Green Heron Boat Detail, an Everett boat-detailing business, five years ago.

To keep herself and the business afloat, Heindel worked part time at restaurant jobs. Now she sometimes picks up temporary gigs in the winter when business is slow, but Heindel is a full-time operator.

Sharon Tolbert started her business, Grandma’s in da Kitchen, an Everett soul food and comfort food restaurant, seven months ago. She looks forward to remodeling her restaurant and adding employees — and nicer weather so she can move a stack of outdoor tables to the patio.

Gina Morken and Carmen Best took over their father’s precision machining company after he died in 2008. The two sisters had worked side-by-side with their dad since the late 1990s.

Like other aerospace firms, their Mukilteo company, New Tech Industries, is trying to weather the crisis posed by the Boeing 737 Max and Boeing’s decision earlier this year to halt production of the Renton-built airplane.

Interested in starting a business — full or part-time?

Economic Alliance Snohomish County offers comprehensive information about starting or purchasing a business, including resources for businesses owned by women, minorities and veterans.

SCORE provides free business advice and mentoring by volunteer business owners and executives. For more information, go to

• The Washington Small Business Development Center provides confidential, objective business advice at no cost to small business owners. Go to or email Janet Toth at

TheLab@Everett, a resource for new and existing businesses, offers mentoring, networking and help with product development and marketing. They’re in Everett at 1001 N. Broadway, Suite A 3. TheLab is open Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Talk to us

More in Herald Business Journal

FILE - A Boeing 737 Max jet prepares to land at Boeing Field following a test flight in Seattle, Sept. 30, 2020. Boeing said Tuesday, Jan. 10, 2023, that it took more than 200 net orders for passenger airplanes in December and finished 2022 with its best year since 2018, which was before two deadly crashes involving its 737 Max jet and a pandemic that choked off demand for new planes. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File)
Boeing inks deal for up to 300 737 Max planes with Ryanair

At Boeing’s list prices, the deal would be worth more than $40 billion if Ryanair exercises all the options.

Logo for news use featuring Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Four recognized for building a better community

Economic Alliance of Snohomish County hosts annual awards

Logo for news use featuring Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Business Briefs: Pandemic recovery aid and workforce support program

Snohomish County launches small business COVID recovery program, and is now accepting NOFA grant applications.

Elson S. Floyd Award winner NAACP President Janice Greene. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Janice Greene: An advocate for supplier diversity and BIPOC opportunities

The president of the Snohomish County NAACP since 2008 is the recipient of this year’s Elson S. Floyd Award.

Emerging Leader Rilee Louangphakdy (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Rilee Louangphakdy: A community volunteer since his teens

Volunteering lifted his spirits and connected him with others after the death of a family member.

Emerging Leader Alex McGinty (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Alex Zitnik-McGinty: Find a group you like and volunteer!

Her volunteer activities cover the spectrum. Fitting in “service work is important as we grow.”

Opportunity Lives Here award winner Workforce Snohomish and director, Joy Emory. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Workforce Snohomish receives Opportunity Lives Here Award

Workforce offers a suite of free services to job seekers and businesses in Snohomish County.

Henry M. Jackson award winner Tom Lane. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Tom Lane: An advocate for small and local businesses

The CEO of Dwayne Lane’s Auto Family is a recipient of this year’s Henry M. Jackson Award.

John M. Fluke Sr. award winner Dom Amor. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Dom Amor: Working behind the scenes to improve the region

Dom Amor is the recipient of this year’s John M. Fluke Sr. Award

Dr. David Kirtley at the new Helion headquarters in Everett, Washington on Wednesday, Jan. 19, 2022  (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Everett nuclear fusion energy company nets first customer: Microsoft

The Everett company, on a quest to produce carbon-free electricity, agreed to provide power to the software giant by 2028.

Hunter Mattson, center, is guided by Blake Horton, right, on a virtual welding simulation during a trade fair at the Evergreen State Fairgrounds in Monroe, Washington, on Wednesday, May 3, 2023. High school kids learned about various trades at the event. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Trade fair gives Snohomish County kids glimpse of college alternatives

Showcasing the trades, the Trade Up event in Monroe drew hundreds of high school students from east Snohomish County.

A Tesla Model Y Long Range is displayed on Feb. 24, 2021, at the Tesla Gallery in Troy, Mich.  Opinion polls show that most Americans would consider an EV if it cost less, if more charging stations existed and if a wider variety of models were available. The models are coming, but they may roll out ahead of consumer tastes. And that could spell problems for the U.S. auto industry, which is sinking billions into the new technology with dozens of new vehicles on the way.  (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Tesla leases space at Marysville business park

Elon Musk’s electric car company reportedly leased a massive new building at the Cascade Business Park.