Women’s History Month: Highlighting Kent’s female business owners

Michelle Sahr is the owner of Off the Wagon and Red Letter Days in downtown Kent.

Chloe Zofchak Reporter

Women’s History Month is a time to celebrate women and the powerful women who came before them. Historical women paved the way for future generations: fighting for women’s right to vote, their right to hold property and granting many more freedoms which women have today. 

Without realizing it, these women made it possible for powerful women to exist today. Luckily, Kent has many amazing women in business who appreciate those before them. 

“I think it’s fantastic,” said Michelle Sahr, owner of Off the Wagon and Red Letter Days. “We live on a different planet than it was 50 years ago.”

Sahr has been in business in Kent for 11 years. She was inspired to start her business because of her grandmother.

Sahr’s grandmother owned a cosmetic business in 1926 called Honey Gold Company. For Sahr, seeing her grandmother’s 400 female employees selling cosmetics inspired her greatly. To this day, Off the Wagon sells a fragrance which shares the name of her grandmother’s business. 

“Lots of women have helped me through the years, all of who are awesome,” Sahr said. 

Similar to Sahr, Gwen Rosenberg, owner of Popped!, said her mother and grandmother “shaped me and made me who I am.” Rosenberg is also inspired by many historical women such as Marie Curie. 

“I’m constantly learning about more [women],” Rosenberg said. “I’m inspired by women everywhere who speak against injustice.”  

Emily Yohn, owner of Taco Tontos in Kent, is inspired not only by her mother, but other family members as well. Yohn received a master’s degree at Kent State and decided she wanted to open her business in Kent. 

“It’s a very nice community,” Yohn said. “Everyone supports each other.”

By having many entrepreneurs in her family, Yohn said the decision to start her business was “in her blood” and a “very natural choice” for her. 

“Work hard and follow your dream,” Yohn said as advice for young women. “Make sure you enjoy what you’re doing.”

Rosenberg and Sahr also shared their best advice for young women. 

“One of the hardest things I’ve learned is failing is a part of the process,” Sahr said. “Failing is a building block to get you further.” 

“Do the hard work and be who you are,” Rosenberg said. “You don’t have to ask for permission.” 

Chloe Zofchak covers the City of Kent. Contact her at [email protected].