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Woman Owned Bus

By Michele Robertson Many great ideas come from conversations among friends, this story for example is the product of just such a moment. Talking with Caitlin Bowman led to the realization that our downtown area includes a unique element. “I realized so many of the businesses downtown are owned and or operated by women, and I wanted to showcase that to the community,” Boman shared. “My aunt Jill has been downtown with Jill’s Fabrics for as long as I can remember,” she adds. Bowman affectionately calls Canyon Street Lady Lane. Many of the businesses downtown have been there for several years. Treasured Moments, owned by Catherine Shelton has been in business for 14 years, Jill’s Fabrics, owned by Jill Balderrama has been around for 26 years, and Gwen Gonzales with Pecos River Antique Mall has been downtown for 9 years, just to name a few. Other women owned or operated businesses include: Always Junkin’, Bear Paw Custom Embroidery, Beautifly, Candlewood Cards & Gifts, Delmonico’s Baby Boutique, Pauline’sFashions, Pistol Packin’ Cowgirls, Que Suave, The Party Place, Brooks Flooring, and the Artist Gallery is a cooperative and of its current 19 members, 14 of them are female. There are many more businesses and organizations downtown, and all over Carlsbad that are led and run by women.“I’m honored to work closely along-side many great women who are huge contributors to the economic vitality of the Carlsbad MainStreet District,” shares Ashly Key, Executive Director for the Carlsbad MainStreet Project Inc.“It is inspiring to see this one collective area having such a strong female presence,” Key adds.Balderrama shared that her mother was one of the first females to work in the mines, and when that company closed her mom decided to purchase Ray’s Fabrics.The building has always been a fabric shop and expanded into the old Courthouse Cafe building to add a bigger selection of goods. Jody Prell and her husband David Prell have been members of the Artist Gallery for 18 years. “The gallery has always had more women, sometimes it was pretty close. We’ve had several married couples throughout the years too. I think David and I are the only couple now,” she shared. “As a young female stepping into the role of Executive Director for the Pearl of the Pecos Arts & Culture District, it has been encouraging to see how many local female artists and entrepreneurs

we have that enhance our community,” shares Kat Davis. “We have a unique and diverse collective of artists and I look to support them in any way possible,”Davis added. Eddy County has one historical marker dedicated to a female, it is on highway 62/180 as you come into Carlsbad and features Josephine Cox ‘Grandma’ Anderson. Anderson was named the “Angel of the Pecos” after she led other women to care for the sick during the flu pandemic in 1918 along the Pecos River, she didn’t lose a single patient. Women’s History Month runs from March 1st to March 31st each year. According to, it began in 1982 as Women’s History Week, and became a month-long observance and celebration of the vital role women have played in our history in 1987. Take a moment to honor the women in your life and notice the incredible work they do. Buy your mom some flowers from one of our women owned flower shops here in town or take her out to dinner at one of the many restaurants owned by women. Take a stroll along the banks of the Pecos River and share the story of Josephine Anderson, any way you choose to show your thanks will surely be met with much appreciation. In the words of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, “Women belong in all places where decisions are being made. It shouldn’t be that women are the exception.”

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