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5 Women-Business Owners You Should Know in East Hills GR

This dispatch was added by one of our Nonprofit Neighbors. It does not represent the editorial voice of The Rapidian or Community Media Center.

The East Hills Council of Neighbors Celebrates 5 Women Business Owners for Women's History Month!
Tami Vandenberg Owner of The Meanwhile Bar/ The Pyramid Scheme GR

Tami Vandenberg Owner of The Meanwhile Bar/ The Pyramid Scheme GR

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Tami Vandenberg-Tami is an entrepreneur and community activist in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She and her brother, Jeff VandenBerg, are owners and founders of The Meanwhile Bar and The Pyramid Scheme music venue. Tami worked on the campaign for Michigan State Proposal One in 2018 which legalized recreational cannabis in Michigan. In addition to numerous years of drug policy reform activism, Tami has also worked on efforts to end homelessness in the city, fight climate change and on anti-violence initiatives. She lives with her daughter and partner in the Eastown neighborhood of Grand Rapids. When she isn't working or volunteering, she is likely gardening, reading or traveling. Tami has received numerous awards for her business leadership and humanitarian efforts.

Amy Ruis- Founder and owner Amy Ruis took her first serious interest in food at the young age of three weeks when her dad fed her an anchovy. Blue cheese followed soon after, and then sardines. The rest is history. Amy will eat almost anything (except cooked peas that are not in a pod because she has issues with texture). Somewhere along the way, Amy caught not only the food bug but the retail bug. She has enjoyed the presentation of food and drink from the early age of eight when she sold lemonade and cowboy cookies at the curb. Today, Art of the Table is a perfect vocation and hobby for Amy; her love for entertaining and enjoying great food and drink lends itself perfectly to running a store that makes the big and small moments of life more memorable (and more delicious).

Joana Hively & Beth Grilley- Hively and her best friend Beth Grilley have co-owned Global Infusion since they opened the shop in 2004. Discussions of starting a business began on a theoretical level as the two friends communicated from across the country and started brainstorming for the future.

“She was working for a fair trade store in Columbus, OH and I was in California studying herbs for a bit, and was gonna’ have myself a little herb store,” explains Grilley. “We decided to mingle our ideas together and came up with this. And as far as the fair trade piece it was one of those things where it’s just words at first, but then as you learn more about what it entails it becomes a lifestyle.”

Rae Lang- Woosah Outfitters is a naturally inspired art and apparel brand based out of Grand Rapids, Michigan that features the artwork of founder and owner, Erica Lang. The designs and drive behind Woosah revolve largely around woodcuts and the outdoors. Each design and product is hand crafted here in Grand Rapids in limited edition runs.

The word itself, “Woosah”, brings a sense of inner peace, calmness and stillness when said out loud. Take a deep breath in and exhale; that’s Woosah. For Erica many things bring this Woosah feeling but these two really do the trick: losing track of time in the studio carving and creating art and spending quality time in the outdoors, soaking in the beauty of nature.





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