The Women of Pepper Place 

As we celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8, it’s only fitting that we applaud the female entrepreneurs that call Pepper Place home. Here’s a glimpse into these women, their businesses and how they got their start: 

 Cathy Sloss Jones, Sloss Real Estate 

Over 30 years ago, Cathy Sloss Jones took a leap of faith and invested in Birmingham’s city center with the purchase of the Dr Pepper Building. Since then, Pepper Place has grown exponentially she’s attracted some of Birmingham’s best designers, chefs, creatives and retailers.  

Louise Oliver, Peritus Public Relations

Louise started Peritus with a vision to better connect Alabama through communications. Under her leadership, the firm’s client base and dedicated staff have continued to diversify and grow every year. She received both her bachelor of arts and her master of arts degrees in public relations from The University of Alabama; named by PR Week as the nation’s top program of its kind. Louise has accumulated a wealth of practical experience in both policy and public relations.


Laura Vogtle, Design Supply & L.Vogtle Interiors 

Laura Vogtle’s entrepreneurial spirit, eye for design, and love of working with people has taken her from retail fashion to interior design and everywhere in between. Laura’s energy and expertise radiate throughout every avenue of Design Supply – the DS Shop, Gallery, and Interiors. Though each segment of Design Supply offers a unique client service, Laura’s thoughtfulness, expertise and savvy shine in everything Design Supply offers.  


Cyndy Cantley, Cantley & Co 

Cyndy Cantley uses her fresh take on traditional design to create sophisticated spaces. If you’ve seen a Cantley & Company kitchen then you know it’s not just a place for cooking, but a room to linger in long after the meal has been served. Cyndy & her team have been published in Southern Living, Bon Appétit, Southern Accents, Birmingham Home and Garden and other influential design blogs.  


Kristie Stewart, LillieKat Rugs 

Upon researching oriental rugs for her home, Kristie Stewart saw an opportunity to provide people with high caliber rugs for a fraction of the price found in high-end retail stores. Naming the business after her two daughters, LillieKat offers a personalized shopping experience and takes the intimidation factor out of the rug-buying process.  


Deborah & Alexandra Stone, FarmStand by Stone Hollow Farmstead 

This mother-daughter duo turn everything they touch into gold. Between managing a farm, two retail stores, a CSA program, a beauty line and more, it’s clear that entrepreneurship and creativity run in the Stone family. 


Tiffany Martin, Ignite Cycle 

When Tiffany moved to Birmingham she was shocked to discover that Birmingham didn’t have a boutique cycling studio. So, she used her fitness-background to create a space for you to move your body to the beat of the music – and also find a welcoming, supportive community! 


Alison Page, Aero Joe Pilates 

Alison first found her love for movement as a ballet dancer and now that’s translated into Pilates, her life’s work. She has trained with some of Pilates’ best to create a comprehensive program at Aero Joe. In addition to leading her team, Alison has also created a sanctuary for wellness and movement.  


Holland Williams, Holland Williams Photography 

A move to Birmingham and a colicky baby led Holland to discover a career she loves. Fun fact: as Holland was entering the world of photography, she pawned some of her jewelry to buy her first version of Photoshop so that she wouldn’t be indebted to her husband or parents! Now, Holland has numerous clients and specializes in children’s and portrait photography.  


Meredith Sherrill, M.Sherrill Interiors 

Meredith has the innate ability to listen to her clients’ needs and then create a space that fulfills their wildest dreams. Her results are balanced and allow people to effortlessly live, work and rest in their homes.  


Idie Hastings, Hot & Hot Fish Cluband OvenBird 

For more than 25 years, Idie has worked alongside her husband, Chef Chris Hastings, to create two of Birmingham’s most celebrated dining experiences. We don’t know how she does it, but Idie manages to balance motherhood and running two award-winning restaurants.  


Beth Doyle, The Collective 

After traveling the world to learn from salon industry leaders, Beth founded The Collective, a creatively-driven boutique salon. Her leadership at The Collective has doubled the salon’s workforce and led the salon to double-digit growth. Beth believes in investing her team and executes this through innovative benefits and continuing education.  


Jen Ryan, Blueroot 

After a career in tech and finance, Jen found herself in Birmingham for her husband’s career. While enjoying Birmingham’s culinary scene, Jen noticed a gap – there was nowhere to get a quick, healthy meal. So, she decided to create it herself and Blueroot was born. The restaurant’s flagship location will open in Pepper Place this spring.  


Leigh Sloss-Corra, Hannah Henderson & Lisa Beasley, The Market at Pepper Place 

Behind the scenes three women run and organize the Market you know and love. From arranging tents and booking vendors to crafting weekly newsletters to fundraising to keep the Market going, these three women are certainly a force to be reckoned with.  


Jeni Britton Bauer, Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams 

Jeni Britton Bauer is an American ice cream maker and entrepreneur. A pioneer of the artisan ice cream movement, she introduced a modern, ingredient-driven style of ice cream making that has been widely emulated across the world but never duplicated. Jeni opened her first ice cream shop, Scream, in 1996, then founded Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams in 2002. Since then, she’s published a few cookbooks, opened several more stores and won a coveted James Beard Award.  


Hannah Benak, Black Benak 

Black Benak helps provide businesses with a boutique public relations experience. Hannah and her team are able to focus on what makes each business unique as they craft a straightforward message that resonates well. Her skill set also found in Looks & Merit, a space that provides sensible style advice for women everywhere.  

Rylie Hightower, The Lumbar

Between running The Lumbar, pursuing her PhD and spending time in the lab, we are beginning to question to if Rylie ever sleeps. Her passion and zest for life keep her fueled and its obvious in all of her projects.


Sonia Davis, Found Bham 

Sonia Davis was decorating her family’s historic home and began to search for classic pieces to add character. Estate sales and auctions quickly became part of her routine. After finding a beautiful antique chest and cleaning it up, she sold it on Instagram and Found was born.  


April Benetello, Momentum 

April is the CEO of Momentum, a nonprofit organization aimed at advancing women in leadership. She’s manifested her vision of expanding opportunities to advance women in leadership through programs like executive leadership and Focus 2021.