March is Women’s History Month and Northwest Bank, B103 and the Rock River Current are saluting women owned and operated businesses right here in the Stateline. You can hear these women’s stories on air and get to know them — and their businesses — through videos, pictures and more on our social media pages and websites. It is brought to you by Northwest Bank: The power of yes, 50 years in the making.
By Chelsea Meyer
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Business: Society Carpet Cleaners
Owner: Stacey Friedl Burger
Location: 234 Charles St., South Beloit
Tell us about yourself and your business:
My name is Stacey Friedl Burger. I am a third generation owner to Society Carpet Cleaners. We clean carpet, tile upholstery, hardwood and vinyl for residential and commercial.
My grandparents started a dry cleaners, Society Cleaners in South Beloit, in 1937 where they cleaned clothing, drapes and area rugs. In 1977 my father opened Society Carpet Cleaners. Society has always been a family affair until 2010 when my father passed away. From there my step-mother ran the business until 2017. From the time father passed the business began to struggle to the point of closing its doors. In 2017 my step-mother became ill. She was diagnosed with cancer and passed in a matter of days. My brothers all had their own successful careers so I decided I would try to do what I could to restore Society to its former success despite never having owned a business nor ever worked in the business I grew up in.
What inspired you to start your business?
I just could not imagine Society closing in the state it was in. I was determined to do what I could to save our business.
What’s it like being a female business owner here in the Stateline?
I can honestly say our community support combined with personal family and friend support is one of the main reasons why Society is still alive and thriving today. Women are 3% of my industry nationwide so I am very proud to represent my family and women led businesses in my industry and of any type.
What advice would you give to a woman wanting to start her own business?
There is no outline nor timeline to your success. You grow through what you go through. Everyone had to start somewhere so never compare your progress to anyone else’s. Know that if your not periodically failing your not trying hard enough. Find your center, find your support and aim high. Always remember that every person you meet will teach you something. Be your amazing self and don’t be afraid to be transparent. Lastly always give credit for those that help you, be grateful and never forget to be proud of yourself.
Who or what has been your biggest support system as a female business owner in the community?
My team. I can honestly say in the beginning it was a lot to take in. The number one thing I struggled with was how can I recreate our family business when I was the only one that remained. Then one day I understood that family was something I got to choose. My team and our customers, they are my family. My job is to literally grow my family bigger.
What are the biggest challenges/advantages to being a female business owner?
I think as a female the number one thing is I want to take care of everyone. When a business is growing it doesn’t understand it’s 2 a.m. or a Sunday it demands your attention. I am a wife and a mother so it is difficult at times to keep everything in balance and keep groceries in the house. The advantage is women often seek us out as we are women owned and led and for that I am honored and grateful. If I leave behind one thing it is this, I hope one person is inspired by my story and creates her own.
This article is by Chelsea Meyer. Email her at email@example.com.