Women-Owned Businesses in Jackson

Jackson is known for its hospitality, and a large part of that can be credited to the amazing women doing groundbreaking, creative, and inspiring work in our city.

We’re highlighting business owners from Mississippi, the U.S., and around the world who’ve chosen the City With Soul to stake their claim, grow their roots, and provide beauty, healing, and nourishment to others.

Credit: Abby Seale/The Tell Agency

Jina Daniels
Jax-Zen Healing Arts Center + heARTflow Creative

After a thirty-five-year career in insurance, Jina Daniels was ready to move on from the constant pressure of a corporate environment. She and her husband, Jason, had landed in Jackson for her work and fallen in love with the pace and potential of the city, eventually co-founding Jax-Zen Healing Arts Center to provide wellness services and workshops for its customers and local creative minds.

"My mantra was to take control of my life,” Jina said. “My husband is a musician, and as an artist myself, we try to instill in others the idea of painting or creating the life they want. It's about covering the aspects of your life you're unhappy with and turning them into something new and beautiful. Little by little, that philosophy led to starting this business."

Jina is accomplished in many modalities, including being a certified Reiki Master Teacher and Practitioner, yoga instructor, and a HeartMath® Practitioner. Those looking to quiet their mind or relax tense muscles can book a Jax-Zen Floatation or Massage Therapy session with one of their experienced team members and can also try Energy Medicine and Heart Coherence. The center also hosts group and personal art therapy sessions with Jina’s other venture, heARTflow Creative, where she intuitively guides you through exercises that meditate on the heart and soul.

"I call myself a creative coherence coach, but I feel more like a mentor,” she said. “I strive to help people become more resilient in dealing with whatever challenges they may face through art and expression.”

Their space in Midtown continually inspires them to be a part of and uplift their community, where Jina serves as Midtown Partners’ Creative Economy Coordinator. As a proud Mexican American, she encourages those who’ve felt pressured by stereotypes to step into their gifts and think outside of the box.

“My advice is to listen to your heart and align with it,” she said. “Don't limit yourself based on what you think you can or should do. It's crucial, especially for women, to embrace their divine feminine and not second-guess themselves. Instead of seeking validation from others, start believing in yourself. And focus on building up and supporting other women and minorities, whether it's through their businesses or personal relationships.”

Credit: Abby Seale/The Tell Agency

Samantha Woo
Samantha Woo Bride

Samantha Woo grew up with a needle and thread in hand, crafting dresses for her dolls on the floor of her mother, Su’s, shop in Vietnam, who is a sewing and beading master. Her father, Toan, also inspired her love of design as a practiced artist.

“We didn’t have many toys to choose from, so you had to get creative,” she said. “That was my playground.”

Moving to Mississippi on her own at the tender age of 13 for school, work, and to support her family back home, her passion for fashion design held fast. She went on to attend the Academy of Art University in San Francisco and received her master's degree in fine art from Mississippi College before settling back in Jackson with her husband, Dr. Mack Woo, and starting her bridal design house.

Samantha Woo Bride is a family-run business, with generational talent and skill blending with striking silhouettes and timeless style. "We pay close attention to detail and prioritize building relationships with our brides,” Samantha said.

“Design is like storytelling; most brides want something unique, and they find comfort in a small, intimate setting where someone can listen to their story. We translate that into their wedding dress and bring it to life." Her international experience also influences some of her designs and reflects and respects the beauty of different wedding traditions worldwide. “We’ve made red dresses, which is traditional in my Vietnamese culture, and we’ve designed for Muslim brides who are looking for something unique but modest,” she said.

As a female entrepreneur, her advice to others looking to start their own business is grounded in prioritization.

"Balancing motherhood, being a wife, running a business, and serving the community can be challenging,” she said. “There are many aspects of life to manage, and it can be hard to prevent one from overpowering the others. However, having an amazing support system helps a lot in maintaining balance in all of the different areas of your life. That, and having — and being — a good mentor for accountability.”

Cristina Lazzari
Credit: Abby Seale/The Tell Agency

Cristina Lazarri
La Brioche Patisserie + Spark Confectionary

Originally from Rosario, Argentina, Cristina Lazzari and her sister, Alejandra Mamud, moved from Miami to Mississippi and quickly realized the need for a French and internationally-inspired bakery.

"We opened the Patisserie for selfish reasons, in a way, because we missed having the experience ourselves,” Cristina said. “My sister had finished pastry school in Chicago, and not having something similar in Jackson at the time made us feel like we were missing out. We also wanted to contribute to building unity in our community, which is what led us to open La Brioche.”

Born out of necessity and fueled by a shared passion for baking unique sweets with care and expertise, La Brioche drew a loyal following beginning at the Jackson Farmers Market in 2014. Several years, storefronts, and a worldwide pandemic later, it now operates within a smaller footprint at its commercial bakery in Fondren. However, the kitchen still produces the same level of quality and flavor, with its well-loved macarons, croissants, stuffed brioche, and more available at several local and statewide establishments like Campbell’s Bakery, as well as online with a weekly rotating menu for pickup. Cristina’s newest venture, Spark Confectionary, takes the best of their worldwide pasty experiences and packages them, literally, into giftable and snackable bites for any occasion.

"Growing up in Argentina, Sundays are for going to the bakery after church to buy pastries to share with family or friends,” Cristina said. “My grandmother and mom, [the latter] who still works with us, were instrumental in instilling these values in us." It’s these traditions born from family and strong female relationships that inspire three of Spark’s main offerings — French macarons, Argentine alfajores, and American marshmallows.

"What I want customers outside Mississippi to understand is that we're evolving here, too,” she said. “While there's a perception that we’re rooted in its past, we're changing, becoming more worldly. That's what I aim to do with Spark — to create something uniquely Mississippian that I can be proud of and that’s fun, eclectic, and reflects what's happening in the world." Her outlook for other female entrepreneurs is just as optimistic. “If you have a dream and the determination to pursue it, then there is a place for you."

Kristy Buchanan, co-owner of The Bean in Fondren
Credit: Drew Dempsey/The Tell Agency

Kirsty Buchanan
The Bean

The Bean, owned and operated by Kristy Buchanan, takes pieces of what everyone loves about coffee shops and mashes them together for a refreshing (and caffeinated) experience.

As the shop is approaching its second anniversary, rebranding from Sneaky Beans, Kristy reflects on how much they've grown and what all they're looking forward to.

"After living in places like New York, North Carolina, and Georgia, and becoming familiar with so many coffee spots, one thing I wanted to hone in on was having one space that had many different ways to utilize it," Kristy says. "I wanted to bring that here. That was the inspiration for taking what Sneaky Beans was doing really well, the community aspect, and broadening on it."

Kristy recalls that figuring out how to run her own business also meant being more comfortable with having confidence in her decision-making. Now that she's spent some time learning the ropes, she says that one of her favorite parts of this business is seeing her team flourish.

"The success of this shop is the people who work for me and work alongside me. I couldn't do this alone," Kristy says. "If you're going to create a brand or a business or anything, make sure you have a strong team to go alongside you that has some ownership in how they operate. I want everybody that works here to feel like this is their place, too, and that they have a space they can thrive."

Elizabeth Upchurch, owner of Fresh Ink in Banner Hall in the LeFleur East neighborhood
Credit: Drew Dempsey/The Tell Agency

Elizabeth Upchurch
Fresh Ink

Elizabeth Upchurch has lived in the Jackson area for over 25 years and continues to inspire customers' bridal and life events with her team of creatives at Fresh Ink.

A gift and stationery store specializing in custom invitations, Elizabeth was inspired to open Fresh Ink after several years of working for and traveling with a wholesale retail group that would cater to household names like Neiman Marcus and Pier One.

"In all these cities like New York, Dallas, and Atlanta, I would see these great stationery stores with beautiful letterpress, and all these custom things," Elizabeth says.

Now a household name in Jackson and across the Southeast, one of Elizabeth's favorite aspects of her business is giving life to a client's vision and navigating their options to deliver the most meaningful, stress-free experience possible. As a woman-owned and women-run business, she credits her team's natural multitasking abilities with keeping creativity flowing.

"I think that it means juggling a lot of things. Whether it's life at home, family, and everything else," Elizabeth says. "It's great to have people that are on the same wavelength. I think 'women-owned' means that we can designate what's going to work best for our clients, of course, but then also for our team."

In her eyes, flexibility is the key ingredient to making a business successful, especially for newcomers.

"Be prepared to listen because everything is always fluid," Elizabeth says. "You may think a certain direction is the best, but you have to listen to all those outside factors to make the best decision for your business. Not necessarily for your ego, timeline, or initial goals, but doing what makes sense to support everybody's growth."

Anne Marie Hanna


Anne Marie Hanna