Image Source: The Little White Dress
It turns out, female-owned businesses are as common in South Carolina as palmettos. From law firms to bridal boutiques, here are ten girl bosses killing the entrepreneurial game throughout the Myrtle Beach area.
Brandie Guerrero Turner – Banton Media
Brandie Turner is the CEO of Banton Media, a full-service agency specializing in advertising, media, and marketing. She was in radio for 11 years before opening Banton Media in 2010 with one client and $36. Now a multi-million dollar agency with local and national clients she is able to cater to all of her clients’ needs. The agency also does work pro bono for foundations and charities.
Melissa Lee – Good Deed Goods of the Apothecary
Along with her daughter Mel, Melissa Lee runs this brick and mortar giveback boutique. Their mission is to give well and do good while encouraging others to do the same. The shop specializes in unique gifts with a story and purpose. Many of the items they sell are socially conscious and have a mission of their own. Bridging the gap of giving and getting, 10 percent of all proceeds go to charities, such as the Annie Banannie Foundation, Save the Storks and Mikayla’s House. They are always working to deepen partnerships with charities through events and fundraising.
Brenda Bethune – Better Brands, Inc.
Myrtle Beach native, Brenda Bethune fell into the family business: wholesale beer and beverage distribution. She is now the owner of Better Brands, Inc. is a Budweiser wholesale distributor that now has 48 suppliers and sells about 4 million cases a year. She had originally hoped for a career in fashion design and opened The Little White Dress bridal boutique with her daughter in 2008. Over the years she has succeeded tremendously, receiving many awards and industry recognition. Oh, and she is currently serving as Myrtle Beach’s first female mayor.
Nichole Singleton – The Little White Dress
Big shoes to fill, Brenda Bethune’s daughter, Nichole Singleton is the owner and operator of The Little White Dress bridal boutique she opened alongside her mother. It is the first upscale bridal boutique in Myrtle Beach, giving customers a high-end experience with “perfectly priced” gowns. In addition to providing brides the best dress buying experience, they are also active in the community. Nichole created Couture for the Cure, a benefit for breast cancer that grew from a small tea party into a full-blown bridal fashion show production. Couture for the Cure features models who are breast cancer survivors and they share stories to raise awareness and create a circle of support. Nichole is an active part of the buying and styling process for the store.
Denise Blackburn-Gay – Marketing Strategies, Inc.
Denise Blackburn-Gay is the founder and CEO of Marketing Strategies, Inc. She developed the full-service strategic branding agency to be intimate with only seven members. It is the area’s only agency to be certified in Crisis Communication, Risk Assessment, and Reputation Management. She earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees in marketing communications and vocational education. She is also accredited in public relations (APR) and a member of the Public Relations Society of America’s (PRSA) College of Fellows. She is one of 11 in 2018 and one of 350 total.
Barbara “PurpleBarb” McCahill – PURPLEologist
According to Barbara “PurpleBarb” McCahill, purple is not just a color, it’s a lifestyle. With a background in design and retail and a lover of purple, she opened a store that sells nothing but. PURPLEologist is full of purple clothing, jewelry, gifts, and other unique items. She has loved the color purple since she was a toddler and after reading a bible story about a “seller of purple,” her dream was born and she has been living it for 10 years. She is a member of North Myrtle Beach’s Woman’s Club and the store is a sponsor/donor for many of the club’s fundraisers and projects. She also serves on South Carolina Alzheimer’s board and is a supporting sponsor for MB Walk to End Alzheimer’s. This cause is particularly close to her heart, as she is personally affected by her mother battling the disease.
Juliet Casper – Newby, Sartip, Masel & Casper, LLC
Juliet Casper is an attorney and only female partner at her general civil practice. She specializes in real estate transactions, estate planning, and probate. She has wanted to be a lawyer since middle school. She started in the firm in 2000 with five attorneys and seven staff, with staff tripling in size since. She received an I.C.E (impeccable customer service experience) award and was voted best attorney in 2014 by Myrtle Beach Herald. She is also a community leader. She is the president of the South Carolina chapter of the General Foundation of Women’s Clubs (GFWC) and serves on the boards for Sea Haven Inc. and the North Myrtle Beach School Advisory board.
Stella Sabina Channa – Ocean Jewels
Co-founder and owner, Stella Sabina Channa is one of the best sellers of bridal sets, engagement rings, wedding bands, loose diamonds, gold chains, and latest trends in silver jewelry at her Grand Strand store, Ocean Jewels. The shop also offers a unique online experience. the family-owned business is certified by Gemological Institute of America and has partnerships with world-renowned brands. She has created a chic and fun environment, even employing a staff that speaks 10 languages. On the side, she has a lifestyle blog called Gold Rhapsody.
Cheryl DeFalco and April DeFalco-Rempfer – DeFalco’s Automotive and Towing
DeFalco’s Automotive and Towing is Myrtle Beach’s premier AAA provider. The family-owned and operated business offers complete automotive repairs and maintenance and 24-hour roadside assistance. They take part in fundraising projects for local police/fire departments, churches, schools, and youth sports teams. Donating over $10,000 a year to charities such as Children’s Recovery Center and Backpack Buddies.
Charlotte Banker – Inlet Queens
Charlotte Banker is the owner of a co-op where she and other Inlet Queens sell an ever-changing array of antiques, gifts, home decor, distressed furniture, clothing, art and much more. Doubling in revenue since 2014, she was able to open a second store, Inlet Queens Too. She donates to churches and organizations including Miss Ruby’s Kids, Friends of the Waccamaw Library. Since 2010, she has given vendors the opportunity to rent space and have a unique booth.