Collider is passionate about sharing the stories of local business owners and is excited to partner with Rochester Women Magazine to highlight female entrepreneurs through this column. To read more about these women and their businesses, go to collider.mn/our-stories.
Rochester Framing And
Fine Art Printing
Valerie Becker has been a lifelong entrepreneur, though she didn’t pursue framing and fine art printing until later in life. Valerie acquired her framing certification through the Professional Picture Framers Association and went on to open three locations of the framing and fine art printing business with her husband, John. Their locations are in Red Wing, Northfield and Rochester. Valerie loves their Rochester location and says, “It’s been a joy to be here and get customers from all over the world. I really appreciate the international feel of it. I love working with all of the professionals that are in Rochester.”
Mezza9 Cafe and Ootori Sushi
Sammi Loo is an experienced Rochester restaurateur who has opened several restaurants throughout the years. She is currently the owner of Ootori Sushi and Mezza9 Cafe & Desserts and plans to open two sister restaurants downtown in the near future, offering a speakeasy and Korean cuisine! Although she has faced many challenges, Sammi says, “What I find most rewarding about this work is seeing people take that first bite of sushi or taking a sip of a beautiful matcha latte and the smile that comes to their faces. It lets me know that I am doing something right and creating an atmosphere that people love.”
Tulips and Truffles Florist
Local florist and co-owner of Tulips and Truffles, Heather Wright, is a longtime artist with a strong floral background. Heather recently relocated her shop of several years to the Lowertown Neighborhood and offers an online bouquet order service, local delivery and floral design for events, as well as a storefront offering truffles, pre-arranged bouquets, bath products, home goods and gifts. Heather is passionate about her design work and says, “Floral is a really emotional product. I like to say that I am an interpreter, and people who can’t be with their loved one or they don’t know what to say ask me to interpret their sentiments to others through flowers. It’s a beautiful and heavy thing at times. I’m here to communicate on behalf of others, and floral is my avenue for that.”
Soul Purpose Home
Kristie has been an entrepreneur in the community since 1996 and has owned and co-owned several businesses throughout the years including Refashion, Refurnish, Rearrange and Soul Purpose. When Soul Purpose closed in 2018, Kristie did some soul searching and began her next venture, Soul Purpose Home, a home-staging and design business. Initially, Kristie underwent business coaching, became a certified stager and began working with local real estate agents and homeowners. It has since expanded to include redesign work for model apartments, short term rentals and some commercial spaces. “It is incredible work to help people get unstuck in their physical spaces, and lead them to solutions that maximize property appeal, reduce stress and create spaces that people love and want to linger in,” Kristie says.