The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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Women take over in Snider plaza businesses

Beyonce wasn’t kidding around when she said girls run the world.

Women are doing anything, everything and experiencing tremendous success in careers of all fields. Female entrepreneurs are quickly rising to the top of the business world. Some of these women are right in SMU’s backyard in Snider Plaza.

Suzanne Roberts, owner of Suzanne Roberts Gifts, opened her store in Snider Plaza 38 years ago.

“There were no gift shops, there were no antique shops,” Roberts said. “It was very low key.”

Exterior of Suzanne Roberts Gifts located in Snider Plaza.Photo credit: Paige Kerley

Roberts also said she was “lucky” when she got into the retail business. Roberts was a librarian at a Dallas school and attended a warehouse sale for library supplies. When she arrived, lots of gold and silver gifts were across the aisle from the things she needed for the library. She bought $100 worth, which was half the cost of wholesale, and sold it to her friends at wholesale value. She continued selling gifts and did so well that in 1988 her husband suggested she quit her job as a librarian and sell gifts full time.

Years later, Roberts is still tucked away in Snider Plaza. Her business continues to sell small gifts, but the stationary section of the store is being downsized.

“Everyone sends evites, emails,” Roberts said. “Paper is slowly diminishing.” Roberts’ store is very tech-savvy, hosting a website, blog, Twitter account and Facebook page, but she pointed out the ways that paper does what the computer can’t. “Love letters aren’t love letters if they’re emails,” she said.

Down the street from Suzanne Roberts Gifts, Jenny Grumbles Koziol didn’t always plan on owning her own business either.

“I had originally wanted to be a reporter,” she said. Koziol, SMU class of 2002, graduated with a degree in broadcast journalism. After accepting a reporting job in Eureka, Calif., Koziol realized a career in journalism just wasn’t for her. “I didn’t love it as much as I needed to,” Koziol said.

Koziol followed in her mom’s footsteps and opened her first store Uptown Country in California.

After a few years, the Dallas-born, California-bred Koziol decided to move back to the Lone Star state. Eight years ago, she moved her home goods store to Snider Plaza.

“I love Snider Plaza, I love SMU,” Koziol said.

Moving back to Texas seemed to be a popular theme for the women in Snider Plaza. When Adriane Sack, owner of Gemma Collection, was let go from her job on Wall Street, she decided to “try something completely different.” Sack, a native of Austin, Texas, moved to Dallas and opened Gemma Collection, a contemporary jewelry boutique.

Exterior of Gemma Collection. Photo credit: Paige Kerley

Sack wanted her store to have a slightly different concept. Gemma Collection features affordable, high quality fashion jewelry. Sack also does a lot of custom pieces. Many of her pieces feature initials, monograms, or even charms of U.S. states. Sack said it’s great to have SMU close by.

“With the Greek scene, I do a lot of big/little gifts,” she said. “It’s fun to see what people come up with.”

All three of the ladies said retail life is tough. Roberts said not to “go into retail in today’s world.” Sack said it’s partially because, as owners, they “wear a lot of different hats.” Koziol added that people need to “have a serious business plan” before they get started. However, all three also said that picking out new items to put in their stores can be fun. “It’s fun to find new pieces,” Sack said.

These women represent only a few of the many female entrepreneurs located across from SMU. If a shopper is looking for something unique, they are sure to find something spectacular at one of these shops in Snider Plaza.

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