In anticipation of Small Business Saturday, which takes place on November 27th, small-batch artists, business owners, and sisters Kristen and Lindsey Archer of Arch’d wanted to find a way to support and highlight the work of other local female business owners, and discover how other women inspire each other as business partners.
Kristen, a video producer and photographer and Lindsey, a graphic designer, did this by creating a video series that seeks to celebrate and empower the relationships between female duos in Memphis who founded and co-own a product-based business together.
Read on to learn more about the duos and to get the scoop on an upcoming giveaway:
Kristen and Lindsey Archer – Arch’d
Memphis natives and sisters, Kristen and Lindsey Archer live, work, and own a small business together.
The daughters of a teacher and an avid photographer, and sisters to an architect, Kristen and Lindsey were raised to be creative. After reading about the image transfer process, they started their business as a side-hustle in 2014, making their first appearance at Cooper-Young Festival that same year.
The Archers use original photography and design to create handmade home decor on wood and marble. Through their work, they seek to empower women and celebrate cities.
“We’ve always been close,” said Kristen. “We’ve been roommates for ten years and even carpooled to work together before starting Arch’d. Do we fight? Sometimes. We are sisters. But being close means we know each other well enough to know when the other needs encouragement or when she needs to be left alone.”
One of their favorite aspects of their partnership is how their skillsets – photography and design – have complement each other and allowed them to expand their line of home decor to include both mediums. Every piece they create features original photography by Kristen, original design by Lindsey, or both.
City Tasting Box – Cristina McCarter and Lisa Brown
In June of 2020, foodpreneur and Memphis culture enthusiast, Cristina McCarter (founder of City Tasting Tours) partnered with friend and nonprofit sector full-timer, Lisa Brown to create City Tasting Box.
Cristina and Lisa came up with the idea of the boxes together. “But Lisa made it nationwide,” said Cristina. “I only agreed to do this if Lisa was on board.”
City Tasting Box is a boutique, e-commerce shop that curates a blend of packaged goods from famed Memphis restaurants and chefs, up-and-coming local food artisans, and other Memphis-inspired crafts.
“Local food makers are our north star,” said Lisa. “City Tasting Box gives them another outlet with which they can reach customers.”
“When you support local,” said Lisa, “you’re supporting the local economy, and you’re putting money back into your city. You’re supporting what you want to see in your city.”
Primas – Rachel Mullen and Angelique Gonzales Sloan
Rachel, a Christian Brothers University and Culinary Institutes of America graduate started RM Petit Cakes, which provides custom cakes and mignardises with a modern design, in 2009 and opened the shop on South Main in 2018.
Memphis College of Art graduate, Angelique, who got the spark for her business while visiting her dad in Texas, initially operated her Latin-inspired clothing boutique solely online. “I wanted to make this an in-person business so people could see and touch the products,” says Angelique. With that in mind, she joined her cousin in the space on South Main.
Though they operate their businesses individually, Rachel and Angelique appreciate working together. “We’re both really creative, but we’re creative in different ways,” says Rachel. “We complement each other because of this.”
Terra Cotta – Megan Paige and Keneisha Malone
Megan, a clinical therapist, and Keneisha, a behavior analyst, met when they worked in an autism treatment space.
Though they both share a love of the plants that inhabit their Summer Avenue nursery, Keneisha sees Terra Cotta as “community work.” “We’re trying to create the Memphis we want to live in; that’s what this space is for,” Keneisha said. “In the Black and brown community, we need each other,” added Megan.
In addition to being a nursery and gathering space, Terra Cotta is also a makers’ market selling items made by local Black-owned businesses.
Whitney hopes the space can become an epicenter for Black and brown people. She hopes Terra Cotta can soon host community-minded markets and festivals.
When asked what it’s like to work together, the two agree that their strengths play off one another. “Keneisha is very creative; she makes the shop beautiful,” says Megan.
“Megan is analytical and organized,” says Keneisha. “She makes sure the bills are paid.”
WeTightKnit – Ashley Padmore and Whitney Washington
Chainstitch embroidery artists, Whitney Washington and Ashley Padmore met when they worked at Nordstrom in New York City. After being laid off due to the pandemic, they decided to go “all in” and open their own Memphis-based business in 2020.
Seeing the need for more sustainable practices in the fashion industry, the duo saw personalization as a perfect way to upcycle clothing by incorporating hand-stitched logos and designs using “the lost art” of hand-cranked chainstitching.”
They are on a mission to build community through design with both established businesses and individuals as they work with clients to create one-of-one pieces. “It’s like a tattoo for your clothes,” said Ashley.
“I see the micro, whereas Whitney sees the macro. I see where we want to be in five years; she sees what we need to aim for to get there,” said Ashley.
“She helps me see the details in things,” said Whitney. “She drives me to better myself, my artwork, and my craft. She helps me not to be so anxious about it all.”