Report: Number of businesses owned by women doubles across the nation

New Mexico sees similar trend

POSTED: 08:33 PM MDT Oct 09, 2012    UPDATED: 11:19 AM MST Mar 07, 2014 
LAS CRUCES, N.M. -

It's the age of the businesswoman.

A new report by American Express OPEN shows the number of businesses owned by women has doubled across the country.

The Emerald Isle Boutique in Mesilla is just one of the millions of stores owned by women in the nation.

The business was started more than 30 years ago by two sisters. Now it's being passed on to the next generation.

"As a little girl I was always in the store. She would have me there after school. I was always around and got to see things firsthand," said co-owner Kelli Burchell.

Kelli Burchell is now co-owner of the boutique with her mother, Louise Burchell.

"I think that's the thing about owning a small business that is so empowering. You are totally in control," Kelli Burchell told ABC-7.

Louise Burchell said hearing that the number of businesses owned by women in the state has nearly doubled is exciting, especially after her own experience of going to the bank to open a business 31 years ago.

"We had our plans all laid out for him. He kind of just sort of smiled at us like, 'Isn't this cute? Aren't these girls cute with what they're trying to do?'" Louise Burchell said.

Hard work and determination proved that banker wrong.

"I think after our first year in business when we had our first annual report, his attitude changed a little bit because he saw we were very serious," Louise Burchell said.

It's an attitude hundreds of thousands of women across the nation have taken on.

According to the report, New Mexico went from 38,706 women-owned businesses in 1997 to an estimated 54,900 in 2012.

"I think it's really exciting and I think it's something that's kind of a long time coming," Kelli Burchell said.

Kelli Burchell said it's a trend she thinks will continue nationwide, and hopefully at the Emerald Isle Boutique too.

"(My mom) is now ensured that after she retires I'm going to continue on, and I think that's something I would really feel I would want to pass on one day," Kelli Burchell said.

The director of the small business development center in Doña Ana County confirmed he's seen this trend firsthand with the number of women who are coming in looking for help to open their own businesses.