‘Winter Escape’ showcases women, businesses in Monticello

Kim Brooks
Express Editor

     W.E. (Winter Escape)

     It also stands for “Women Excite,” “Women Enliven,” “Women Explore,” and “Women Exceptional.”

     This new group for women is geared toward helping women brush off the winter blues and to promote all the great women-owned and operated businesses in Monticello.

     “We are so fortunate to have so many female entrepreneurs in this area,” said Gunther. “This has been a labor of love and exploration as we got to know women business owners and operators.”

     The program is the brainchild of Susie Benischek, Kathy Gerdes and Cindy Gunther. After attending a women’s event in the area, they wondered why this same concept couldn’t be mimicked in Monticello.

     This led to months of planning and brainstorming to come up with a unique program for Monticello: “Winter Escape.”

     The program will take place every Thursday in February from 6 to 8 p.m.

     “We’re all friends and we all feed off each other’s ideas,” Gunther as far as how they came together on this program.

     “There are so many women here in Monticello,” said Benischek. “Every place has something different to offer, and we want to pair that together and offer this to every age.”

     Winter Escape is open to women of all ages. The cost is $50 for the four-week program, which covers supplies, refreshments and seed money to offer the program again next winter.

     Gunther said they want women to attend every event throughout the program, and have something to take away, whether it’s advice or a physical item.

     “It gets women together to focus on women,” she said. “It’s an opportunity to relax and get to know others.”

     “That take-away is a reminder of what you can do and what you learned,” added Benischek. “We want people to walk away from this feeling good and return to these businesses.” She said it’s great awareness and publicity of local businesses.

     The vendors this time around, chosen to kick off the program, are all Monticello and Jones County based.

     • Feb. 7: Women Explore. There will be a hands-on art project led by Gina Dirks with refreshments provided by Savor the Barn.

     • Feb. 14: Women Enliven. This event is about self-care and relaxation. Above & Beyond and Shine On Gifts & Specialties will co-present. Refreshments provided by Glyn Mawr Winery in Olin.

     • Feb. 21: Women Excite. Monticello Carpet & Interiors and La Belle Boutique & Beauty Lounge will co-present about trends in fashion and home, color and style. Refreshments provided by Glyn Mawr Winery in Olin.

     • Feb. 28: Women Exceptional. This event is about celebrating women in the area. Deb Bowman will present at the Excel Center about women in local history. Refreshments provided by Glyn Mawr Winery in Olin.

     With the four themes (focal points) to the program, Benischek said it’s easy to come up with ideas to fit those themes. “We can bring in new people and elements each time.”

     Having put a list of women-owned businesses together, the trio hopes to expand on those talents with a program every year.

     “Everyone we talked to was excited,” shared Gunther. “We have a huge list of businesses we want to have involved.”

     Benischek as new people move into the community, this is a great way to meet others and learn what Monticello has to offer.

     “It’s a chance to make new friends, to learn from each other, and learn about our town,” she said. “This is more anyone who wants to be active, wants to learn and explore. It gets you outside of your box.”

     Benischek so often, people get into a routine and Winter Escape helps to get you out of that rut, especially in February.

     Winter Escape is limited to 12 participates, in order to provide an intimate setting.

     “A small group can be more productive,” said Benischek.

     To register, contact Gunther by phone or text at 319-551-6459.



Subscriber Login