Tehachapi Natural Market owners Teresa Dunlop and Sarah Rose are both hard-working women with a strong entrepreneurial spirit who don’t usually give much thought to their gender when it comes to business. What with March being International Women’s Month, it has given them pause to consider what it means to them.
Sarah comments, “It wasn’t that long ago that neither of us would have been able to get a credit card or qualify for a business loan unless a male co-signed for us. That really is mind blowing.” She’s referring to the Equal Opportunity Credit Act of 1974 that prohibited discrimination from creditors on the basis of color, religion, national origin, sex, marital status or age.
“Only two years before I was born were women even allowed to open a bank account in their own name. That was 1960!” Sarah exclaims.
As a single mother to two daughters, Teresa is grateful to be able to be a role model for her girls as it applies to being a business owner. Her youngest daughter spends most of her day at the market doing her schoolwork in the backroom and gets to see her mother in action as “the boss” every day. All that exposure to being a business owner has had a positive impact on her daughter as she’s frequently coming up with ways to make her own money.
“Dwelling on the errors of the past is not something we want to focus on,” Sarah tells us, “but we never want to forget where we came from. Millions of women before us fought and paved the way for us to be able to bring our dreams of independent business ownership to life. We don’t take that for granted and are grateful to be able to do what we do.”