International Women's Day to be celebrated in Springfield

Local entrepreneur Tracey Tackett says that in 2018, she started to really take note of the rise in International Women's Day celebrations and how they were popping up in other cities, like Dayton and Columbus. 

"I wanted to attend, but couldn't make it work with my schedule, and I thought, 'Why do I have to go out of town for a Women's Day events when there are women who would be interested right here in Clark County?'" Tackett says. "I thought about how my business has mainly women as customers, so I decided my business could host the event, and we partnered with Mother Stewart's (Brewing Company) for the location."

Tackett owns Sip & Dipity Paint Bar, a paint and sip venue located in Downtown Springfield along Fountain Avenue. The business started eight years ago and was one of the first in what has now become a vibrant Downtown business community.

The event launched in 2019 with a couple of sponsors and focused on giving local women a space to connect and network. Tackett says about 50 women attended and that she felt the variety of backgrounds and professions of the women who came was impactful. For example, a woman who was attending Clark State College for training in truck driving came to the event, and Tackett appreciated the opportunity for women to showcase their roles in a variety of both traditional and non-traditional workforces. 

In 2020, the event was similar, but added some female-owned business vendors. She says it took place shortly before the pandemic-related shutdowns in mid-March that year. The 2021 event took place virtually because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
 
Tackett is thankful that the event will be able to take place in person again this year from 5:30 to 9 p.m. on Tuesday, March 8, at Mother Stewart’s.

“This year, we’re excited to bring it back. Mother Stewart’s will be opening just for our event, because they’re normally closed on Tuesdays,” she says. “We’re already at more than 17 vendors, including women-owned businesses and also local organizations that support women.”

While the event is focused on women, Tackett says, men are welcome to attend, because they are important allies to women’s success.

The evening will include networking, door prizes, a dance performance by the Dancetones, and a painting class. Though most of the event is free and open to the public, pre-registration is required for the Paint with a Purpose portion, from which part of the proceeds will benefit Girl Scouts. Participants can register here.

The Girl Scouts will also have a table at the event selling cookies, and Tackett says she’s excited to have them and other youth feel welcome and included that night.

“I’ve learned that a lot of these young girls don’t see themselves in certain roles because they are mainly roles traditionally held by men,” she says. “So, to have young girls be able to see female business owners and female leaders lets them know those are options for them, too.

“I want them to see themselves in these roles. I want them to be able to say, ‘I can be mayor. I can do this.’ I want kids to see they have choices for their future,” Tackett continued. “We don’t need a ceiling. We don’t need to box ourselves in. We deserve a seat at the table. If we don’t make ourselves a priority, why would we expect men to?”

Tackett says building the event was important for her both personally and to show support for other local women.

“I felt that I could lead the way here for our community because we didn’t have anything like this in Clark County,” she says. “I really wanted to make it a day for women to celebrate each other.”

Read more articles by Natalie Driscoll.