Exploring Akron's women-centric gems


Feeling the itch for adventure, but don’t know where to go? Look no further than the Zips 100 list. In celebration of Women’s History Month, here are five different activities to do and places to visit on and off campus. This list showcases some of the vibrant array of women-owned businesses and women-centric offerings from the full list, guiding UA students through downtown Akron and revealing hidden gems on campus.

 #1. Take a selfie with Zippy, the University’s mascot

You can do this any month of the year, but in honor of Women's History Month, find Zippy and snap a selfie with her! Did you know Zippy is a female kangaroo? Not to mention, she’s only one of eight female-gendered mascots in Division I athletics.

Fun fact: Zippy LOVES playing rock-paper-scissors, so next time you see her you should initiate a friendly game with her!

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#6. Shop handmade and local at Northside Marketplace

Inside Northside Marketplace, you’ll find over 100 different businesses. Today, we are back to feature three that all happen to be women-owned.

  • In the mood for a new tattoo? Check out India Ink, owned by India Joi, Akron’s ONLY black, queer and female-owned tattoo shop. While they specialize in realistic portraits, black and grey realism and color realism tattoos, they can help craft the tattoo of your dreams. 
  • Owned by Tanya Green, Julia Belles Seasoning will leave your taste buds happy and take your cooking to a whole new level. Although the roots of Julia Belles Seasoning are in authentic southern cooking, they have curated seasonings from across the world, from India to Jamaica.                               
  • Created out of the love for jewelry, Bizzy Beads, has unique jewelry you won’t find anywhere else. At Bizzy Beads you’ll find bracelets, necklaces and earrings. Most recently the owner, Kimberley Camp, started making jewelry out of polymer clay. 

#13. Visit the Emily Davis Gallery in Folk Hall

Although the Emily David Gallery isn’t necessarily women-owned, it is named after former UA professor and director of the Mary Schiller Myers School of Art, Dr. Emily Davis. The gallery has an impressive history of exhibiting works by national and international contemporary artists. Check out the three exhibits currently available at the gallery!

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 #18. Create art in Splatter Alley at Street Craftery

Street Craftery, owned by UA alumni Da’Shika Street ’16, is an Akron destination for all ages. Visit Splatter Alley, located inside Street Craftery, where you’ll get the opportunity to pick your size canvas, music and splash away with different paints to create your own one-of-a-kind artpiece. There’s so much to do at Street Craftery, from candle making to themed nights. They have a wide spread of creative options all available just a short walk from campus. Fun fact: Show your ZipCard for a discount!



Photo: Karen Shiely, Akron Beacon Journal

 #90. Enjoy a fresh, warm pastry from Sweet Mary's Bakery

Feeling like indulging in something sweet? Take a break and visit Sweet Mary's Bakery. Sweet Mary’s Bakery is women-owned and operated by Mary Hospodarsky, a West Akron native. The bakery prioritizes supporting the success of female and minority entrepreneurs in the Akron community, striving for a local marketplace that truly represents the diversity of its consumers.


Photo: Akron Beacon Journal