Dayton and all of Montgomery County wouldn’t be the destination it is without the women-owned, independent businesses that offer goods and services locals and visitors alike depend on. Get just about anything you could want or need from these women-owned businesses in Dayton.

Gift and Specialty Shops

Heart Mercantile

There is likely no shop more quintessentially Dayton than Heart Mercantile in the Oregon District. Owners Brittany Smith, Kait Gilcher, and Carly Short stock Heart with apparel, gift items, and more featuring Dayton-centric themes. Heart has also been a rock for the community in times of crisis and uncertainty, acting as a drop off point for donations and using their large social media following to share helpful information and connect people to needed resources.

Blind Rage Records

Blind Rage is a record store in Dayton’s Belmont neighborhood that offers a little bit of everything but specializes in punk music, even hosting live bands in-store. In what could best be described as the ultimate punk rock move, owner Gwen Downing-Groth opened Blind Rage during the pandemic, thankfully growing through the challenges of those times.

Reduce & Reuse Refillery

Refill shops like downtown Dayton’s Reduce & Reuse Refillery offer consumers a chance to reduce their environmental impact by refilling containers they already own with premium household products like hand soap, dish soap, and cleaners, as well as body care products like shampoo, lotion, and deodorant. In addition to the 4th Street location, owner, Megan Hudson, operates a mobile version of the business as well as a pop up inside Maraluna in Oakwood.

Check out more fun and fantastic women-owned gift and specialty shops in Dayton:

Luna Gifts and Botanicals

Modern Eye Dayton

Shoppe Smitten

Now and Zen DIY Studio


Pink Moon Goods

Food & Drink

Smales- Women Owned

Smales Pretzel Bakery

A Dayton staple since 1906, Smales Pretzel Bakery is currently owned by Emma Smales, the fifth generation to take the helm. Smales Pretzels have been sold in local stores for generations. Of course, nothing beats buying a bag of freshly baked Smales pretzels right from their Xenia Avenue location.

6888 Kitchen Incubator

6888 Kitchen’s mission is to help small food businesses in Dayton by offering access to commercial kitchen space, training, and business support. Owners Charlynda Scales, Jamaica White, and Dabriah Rice are pooling their extensive knowledge and expertise in business to help local entrepreneurs make their mark on the food industry.

6888 (pronounced “Six Triple Eight”) Kitchen has an historic basis for its name. The 6888th was the first and only African American female army corps unit to be deployed overseas during World War II. The unit was active from 1945 to 1946 and consisted of 855 women under the command of Major Charity Adams, a resident of Dayton, and two other women. Now, three Dayton women have come together to create this space for the community.

Billie Gold Bubble Tea

From a successful start as a food truck to expanding into a dreamy brick and mortar tea lounge, Billie Gold Bubble Tea is bursting with color, fun, and flavor. Owner, Nicole Cornett, wanted to bring the joy of bubble tea to the Dayton area, and the truck helped bring her tea to Dayton events. Now, in addition to the truck, Billie Gold hosts a variety of community events right in their own Belmont lounge.

Savor these other delicious women-owned food and drink businesses in Dayton:

Joui Wine

Sweet P’s Handcrafted Ice Pops

The Local 937

Val’s Bakery

Gem City Catfé

Hungry? Take a look at these women-owned restaurants in Dayton.

Clothing & Jewelry

Brim- women owned

Clash Dayton

Selling a variety of vintage clothing, jewelry, and accessories, as well as handmade items and art pieces, Clash Dayton is a long-time retail staple in the Oregon District. Owner Mary Kathryn Burnside hosts fabulous fashion and art events at Clash and elsewhere in the Dayton community.


Nothing makes an outfit quite like a hat and Brim has been helping people perfect their style in the Oregon District for over 10 years. Owner Amelia O’Dowd opened Brim in 2012 to fill a unique niche in the community. Hat stores are not very common in the region, which is why people from all over make the drive to visit Brim.


After running her popular clothing store online for a few years, After5 owner Erin Parrott opened a brick-and-mortar storefront in downtown Dayton. This women’s clothing shop is more than meets the eye, converting to a luxurious event space for private events.

Find fantastic wardrobe pieces and more at these other great, women-owned shops:

Vidia’s Closet

Lisa Robin Jewelry

Wild Poppy

Beauty & Fitness

Rinse Cycle

Baba Love Organics

Baba Love Organics owner, Vaniti Byrd, was inspired to create organic, plant-based products that were safe for her daughter. Now, Baba Love is a brand for all ages, offering body and skin care products like soaps, lotions, and serums.


Located in Dayton’s Midtown district, RINSE CYCLE offers a fun and strangely meditative workout experience using stationary, indoor bikes. Owner Kari Coffindaffer was inspired to open RINSE to offer a studio cycling environment in Dayton and started it out of her garage before moving it to the Fireblocks District and then to its current location on Patterson Blvd.

Look and feel your best with more wonderful, women-owned businesses:

Beaute Box

Speakeasy Yoga

Space Three Dayton

SHAG Studios

Why shout out women-owned businesses?

Women entrepreneurs substantially contribute to local economies across the nation. So, it may come as a surprise that until the Women's Business Ownership Act of 1988, states could require women to have a husband or male relative cosign a business loan. Since these rules were eliminated, women have opened businesses that strengthen communities and boost the nation’s economy.

Dayton has so many amazing women-owned businesses and this list is by no means comprehensive. What are some of your favorites not listed here? Drop them in the comments!