Tour women-owned, operated businesses at Edgewater's International Women's Day Crawl

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The neighborhood of Edgewater is celebrating Women's History Month with its fourth annual International Women's Day Crawl.

Sunday, March 8, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Broadway and Granville will be full of people jumping from business to business, all of them women-owned or operated. The crawl starts on Granville, travels west to Broadway and then turns south on Broadway.

"It's a brunch crawl so you can grab your friends, your family, walk down the street and enjoy bites, tastes, community, people," said Christina Pfitzinger, Executive Director of the Edgewater Chamber of Commerce. "It's really going to be an exciting time to be out in the neighborhood."

The crawl will showcase eight businesses on the north side of the neighborhood including the Chicago Mosaic School, Gallery 1070, Farm Bar, Ethiopian Diamond, Edge of Sweetness, Bark Bark Club, Margaret Hagerty State Farm and Fixer.

"Women are very hands-on, so we really get involved," said Kate Merrill, owner of Edge of Sweetness. "We don't mind getting our hands dirty, we don't mind doing the hard work, we just do what needs to get done."

The bakery opened a couple of years ago and is also a shared kitchen for other small businesses in the area, including woman-owned business Hooked on Fish.

With her "sharing is caring" mentality, Merrill's been able to run a successful business that empowers her neighbors, including the Chicago Mosaic School.

"We have about 80 different classes, starting from the very basic introduction of mosaic all the way to certification. If you want anything like that you have to go to Italy or come here," said Etty Ajsak, a member of the principal faculty at Chicago Mosaic School.

Neighbors will go to the mosaic school to check in to the crawl. There, you'll be able to see the school's gallery and watch some of its students creating their artwork before heading over to Fixer, down the street.

"We really care about gender in the trades, construction and home repair that has not attracted many women and that's not we're about," Fixer President Josh Evnin said. "We welcome women. A third of our graduating class from our last training cohort were women and they're performing incredibly well."

Fixers can do a variety of things, from unclogging your toilet to patching up a wall and they do it all in Edgewater.

"True diversity benefits everyone. So tying in with international's women's day isn't just focusing on the women-owned businesses but that community that it creates and the diversity within that workplace," Pfitzinger said.

Jalyn Henderson is a Community Journalist at ABC 7 Chicago. She tells stories on the north side of Chicago in neighborhoods like Uptown, Edgewater, Ravenswood, Lincoln Square, West Ridge and Rogers Park. If you have a story to share in these neighborhoods you can send an email to Jalyn.L.Henderson@abc.com
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