Last month a small group of Indy women boutique business owners – since then informally dubbed foundHER – got together in person after a few months of collaborating on blog posts online. Despite each business being very different from the next (intentionally so), we were able to learn from each other on common topics such as marketing online, driving repeat customers, creating revenue streams, hiring talent – and of course, wearing all the hats. The night ended in hugs; we decided to continue with these masterminds quarterly and since then referrals have been shared. Shout out to Kara Gladish for the original idea and cultivating this group! No (wo)man is an island, and small business owners need community.
Given it’s February, we thought we’d share some love in a fun, lighter post for our favorite spots in town:
From Maria Baer of The Baer Minimalist:
Indy, how I love thee! As a transplant from Minnesota, I’ve fallen for this amazing city over the last 12 years(!). It’s hard to boil down the things I’m crazy about into just three points, but for you, dear readers, I will:
- The Indianapolis Restaurant Scene – There are so many new spots popping up, but my ole’ standbys will always by Oakley’s Bistro, Gallery Pastry Shop and anything from Cunningham Restaurant Group.
- Support from Other Entrepreneurs – Whether it is connecting with someone at one of the many coworking spaces (the Hatch and Speakeasy are two of my favorites), joining a networking group (Home Artisans, Verge and Linking Indy Women to name a few) or just taking advantage of free resources through SCORE, Indy is one of the most supportive communities for those giving it a go on their own.
- Dress for Success – I’ve had the pleasure of spending many Thursday evenings at Dress for Success Indianapolis over the last eight years. In one hour, each personal shopper has the opportunity to outfit their client for an upcoming job interview. The best part is seeing the smile practically burst out of their face. For anyone with professional goods collecting dust in their closet, consider dropping off at this deserving organization.
Maria Baer, The Baer Minimalist
The Baer Minimalist helps busy families create organized + stylized spaces and events throughout greater Indianapolis.
From Kara Gladish of Kahunify:
- Cyclists rejoice! The Monon Trail will finally be getting a nice, safe bridge over 38th Street. Seriously, currently that crossing makes you fear for your life! The bridge is a few years away, but the city will be better connected, further establishing Indy as a biking- and pedestrian-friendly city.
- I’ll just say it – I’m thrilled that we’ll finally be able to buy booze on Sundays here in Indiana! For the first time ever, both the state Senate and House have passed a bill allowing Sunday carryout alcohol sales. It’s not a done deal just yet, but I’m glad Indiana will no longer be the last state in this free country of ours to disallow Sunday alcohol sales. I’m all for on-a-whim brunch mimosas at home!
- Indy is becoming more and more of a foodie’s paradise! I would eat anything by Milktooth founder Jonathan Brooks, so I’m very excited about Beholder. The tiki-bar The Inferno Room will be a rad addition to Fountain Square, and getting a chic ramen restaurant in the form of Moon Rabbit Ramen further emphasizes how cool our restaurant scene is getting.
Kahunify offers marketing services and strategies customized to achieve your business’s goals, including web design, email marketing, social media, online advertising, blogging, and branding.
From Courtney Walker Pope of Polish Interiors:
Indianapolis is a sneaky fun city! I moved up from Louisville with a smidge of FOMO on horse racing and bourbon, but Indianapolis has both (I’ll admit, a different kind of racing) and then some to offer.
1. Hoosiers. And I don’t mean the movie. The people I have met in this city have been unbelievably kind, welcoming and supportive! Hoosier Hospitality is a real thing and I’m beyond thrilled to be a part of Indy’s growing community. Did someone say Amazon HQ2?!
2. Duckpin Bowling. Anytime we have family or friends in who want to do something fun in a historic setting, we take them to The Vintage Duckpin Bowling Alley in Fountain Square. Don’t worry, you don’t need to be an expert bowler – the lanes are so old they have bumps in them, which makes it half the fun!
3. The Unique Restaurant/Bar Scene – From whiskey lounges to boutique, one-of-a-kind restaurants, my husband and I love to explore the city and constantly try new places. Some favorites include Northside Kitchenette for breakfast/brunch, Fat Dan’s at lunch or to catch a Cubs game, Tinker Street in the evening and to finish out the night with something sweet, Cake Bake Shop.
From Alicia Zanoni of Alicia Zanoni Art:
Currently my favorite dining spot is Bakersfield. Honestly, the tacos will be the best and worst decision of your life. The best for obvious reasons. The worst because it will be hard to enjoy other tacos ever again. Due to the perfection which is Bakersfield, on any given night you will have to wait 30-40 minutes for a table. Not to worry! Give your name to the server and hop across the street to another favorite, Louis’ Wine Dive for a signature cocktail and appetizer. Nearby on Alabama Street, the Cultural Trail provides an exciting travel route for the evening. It also allows you to avoid parking struggles on Massachusetts Avenue.
From Kat Rudberg Gordon of Crafted Taste:
- The cocktail scene – Libertine on Mass Ave consistently puts out the top cocktails in town and Fountain Square has become a cocktail hotspot with Thunderbird and soon-to-be Inferno Room. Zach Wilks, a godfather of the craft cocktail movement in Indy, creates great drinks for the Patachou empire and can still be found behind the stick with the biggest smile in the business. A new podcast, DRNK CTLR, has conversations with the leading Indy names in the food and bev industry (amongst other entrepreneurs making waves) that are delight to listen to. And just a few years after new legislation, more craft distilleries are opening up around town and launching impressive products. My favorite, though, is actually Indy adjacent: Cardinal Spirits in Bloomington, IN. Their spirit line is diverse and the cocktails in their tasting room are top notch. We’re even featuring one of their award winning rums to our subscribers this month in the Spiced Rum Hot Cocoa kit.
- Irvington – This small community just five miles east of downtown is where our Crafted Taste HQ is located and it’s a great place for local businesses. When I need a break, I’ll take a walk through Ellenberger Park or pop into some of the local shops like James Dant or Inhabit. After work, I’ll grab a pint at Black Acre Brewery and then hop over to The Mug for a perfectly greasy burger.
- Games for stress relief – During warm weather, Eagle Creek is my favorite local spot to shake off business stress and unplug. However right now, I’m taking advantage of new activities popping up around town that don’t need me to brave the cold. Kingmakers on Mass Ave, a board game parlour, is a fun way to get friends together and try a variety of games without a high initial investment. Tappers Arcade brings back retro video games and my next stop is checking out Bad Axe Throwing. Surely throwing an axe around is stress relieving, right?
From Katie Smith of Careerable:
Indy Reads will always have a special place in my heart. There’s Indy Reads Books on Mass Ave that sells both used and new books and hosts author events. Proceeds from the store go to support the programming arm of Indy Reads that pairs volunteers with adult learners to better their reading and comprehension levels. There’s a whole organization there (whose offices are in the Central Library) that I feel the city doesn’t know about – a lot of people know about the store, but not the original organization. There’s so much good happening there!
Another long time Indy fave of mine is Gwen Kirschenbaum with Wild Roots Salon. Gwen has been doing my hair for 7+ years – I have followed her to three places and now she has her own business. Gwen’s an all around talent with hair (one of the best colorists in town!) and has a photography business to boot (…hair and headshots, anyone?) She’s also hysterical and fun to follow on IG Stories: @gwenell00
Careerable is a career coaching and talent consulting business for up-and-comers in the tech industry.
Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for more from this group next month.