March is International Women's Month, an annual celebration across the world that honors the achievements and contributions of women.
The Town of Surfside wants to highlight two local women who have created a thriving business in downtown Surfside: WoW The Concept.
Pandora Rizzi and Marzia Sampietro partnered up to open WoW, a women-ran boutique with items produced by women for women. WoW sells unique woman-made products. From Italian imported beauty to leather handbags, dresses and jewelry to one-of-a-kind baby clothing, candles, keychains and stationery. The store opened its doors in early fall 2022, but its conception dates back to 2017 when they first met.
Both Pandora and Marzia have always been entrepreneurs. They met in Brickell City Centre where they each had a store. The friends quickly bonded over their Italian heritage (Marzia was born in Milan and Pandora is half Italian but born in New York) and their passion for creating a new concept store that would sell high-quality goods made by women.
"Being a woman in business can be challenging. Oftentimes I found myself alone doing everything on my own, but I found strength in sisterhood," said Marzia. "Pandora is a strong woman and I admire her and how hardworking she is."
Even the name WoW came serendipitously to both of them at the same time. As the project was finalizing in early 2022, their unified vision was to only cater goods that empower women.
"We were brainstorming ideas and suddenly we texted at the same time 'wow: word of women' it was fate," said Marzia. The duo prides itself in doing extensive research on its target customer to anticipate needs and offer them the products that will enrich their lives. They offer unique pieces, such as a collection of handbags made by a local artisan designer from Naples that Marzia brought from her recent holiday travels back home.
Pandora and Marzia want to encourage other women to follow their passion and dreams. They advise others to not be afraid to ask for help and connect with like-minded individuals that can serve as mentors and guides.
Recently, the store hosted a pop-up for another businesswoman who sells tichels a scarf type of covering for Jewish women.
"One of our goals is to make space for women who might not be at the point in their careers to open their own retail store, it's about making it accessible for them to showcase their craft," said Marzia. "We want to help other women thrive."
Marzia and Pandora say they have found a sense of community and sisterhood at Surfside that neither of them felt at other of their business’ locations before.
"I really like the sense of togetherness in Surfside. It's a small place where all know each other," said Marzia. " There is so much kindness and gentleness in this Town."
9507 Harding Ave, Surfside, FL 33154
Monday- Friday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Sunday noon - 6 p.m., Closed on Saturdays.
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