I heard this super funny word last week. Have you heard of “Galentine’s Day”? It’s hysterical and I love it! So I intended on sharing some of my favorite female business owners all over social media and life got in my way (several times) so I didn’t. So I figure before I run to my belly dance class I’d just pack some of them into a blog post! Yay!

Georgia Burnett, Bella Dance

I’m going to start with this “gal” because she has inspired me and saved my life. After working together for two years I finally decided to take one of her belly dance series. It changed my life. I deal with an anxiety disorder that I felt was getting out of control. Dance helped me get well both mentally and physically and I’m more confident and happier than ever. I’m calling out Georgia because she has fostered a loving, accepting environment where women can go to be free and feel safe. It’s truly a sisterhood. After three years she’s closing her studio in favor of a simpler life. She’ll keep her student and professional troupes intact, though, which I am relieved to hear. I hope to dance with Georgia and all of my “Galentines” for a long time.

Teresa Mason, Chateau Mason

Another belly dancer is Teresa Mason, owner of Chateau Mason. She came to her calling later in life than some of us, but rocks it just the same. She renovated a beautiful home and offers her space for weddings and other events in Gaffney, SC. I chose her as one of my “Galentines” because of her sweet personality and the constant love she shows to her friends. As business owners we often become busy and tired. We forget to love the people who love us. Teresa continues to work her tail off and still love herself and those around her.

Teresa Mason, Owner Chateau Mason
Spartanburg Commercial Photography

Ashlie Moon, Mama Bear Upstate Birth Photographer

She is not a client, but she is a badass woman running a photography business and a family to boot. We did a branding session last year and I could not have loved it more. We went from professional photographer lady to couture beauty to underwear model in a matter of an hour and a half. The images we created were beautiful, much like the ones she captures. She creates images of women and their families in the most intimate, vulnerable state imaginable. It’s a gift I know she cherishes. I know because I cherish these images I create with fellow females who are working hard to provide for their families as well as love and accept themselves. As women in an increasingly masculine world it can be difficult to accept ourselves the way we are. Ashlie has a natural beauty that goes far beyond her femininity.

Natalie Marzouce, Owner of Studio M

Never mind that this woman is a pro at makeup … she’s celebrating two years in her studio in downtown Spartanburg! I’ve experienced her services first hand and I can say without hesitation that it was amazing. She takes a pride in her artistry that is rare and wonderful. She has an easy, positive personality that makes you feel comfortable in her chair. Even in front of that massive mirror under all those lights! She’s defining herself and making it her business to make women feel gorgeous no matter the occasion. Happy Galentine’s Day Natalie!

Spartanburg Glamour Photographer
Spartanburg Glamour Photographer

Jessica Foreman, The Hardcore Housewife

I could have used her branded portrait, but what fun would that be? She’s not only a client, but my sister-in-law as well. So I have a special kind of love for this “Galentine”. She’s raising up three kids, keeping house and creating gorgeous baubles all while being freaking awesome. I love this woman because we share many of the same challenges. We’re both a hot mess while trying to run businesses, we both love our vices and we both embrace our smarmy attitudes. I love ranting over whatever has been caught in my craw with her and I know that what ever our differences, we’ll overcome them. It’s what we do.

That is literally all I have time for! I have to go get dolled up for my girl’s at belly dance. There were so many more I wanted to mention. My most cherished “Galentine’s” are always my mother and my daughter, though. Without my mom I wouldn’t be as strong as I am. And without my daughter, well, let’s just say I would live a much different life.

I hope each of you has a wonderful Valentine’s Day with someone who values you. Whether it’s a lover or your family or beloved friends. Love one another and be kind. You’ll find your strength in those who love you.