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Spotlight On Women-Owned Businesses at CBL Properties


One of our goals at CBL Properties is to celebrate and encourage local entrepreneurship. Over the last few years, we’ve launched initiatives that are designed to lower the barriers to entry for small business owners and to elevate their impact – including our POP-UP Shop program, which enables local entrepreneurs to open temporary storefronts, and the We Are Local Campaign, which highlights the local impact of our shopping centers. More than 1,000 locally owned businesses operate across our properties, and we have provided pop-up space to over 100 small businesses across 20 locations nationwide.

We’re proud that our commitment to small business has provided a diverse range of entrepreneurs — many of whom are women — an opportunity to test their concepts and expand their customer base. At CBL, we have more than 250 women-owned businesses in our portfolio, which draw traffic and drive sales across our portfolio. As we celebrate Women’s History Month, we’re excited to highlight three women-owned businesses that have thrived in their communities since opening at our properties.

Lil Bunny at Monroeville Mall

Owned by local entrepreneur Regina Adams, Lil Bunny at Monroeville Mall in Monroeville, Pennsylvania, is an indoor family entertainment center filled with playgrounds, ball pits and trampolines. It has quickly become a hit with families since opening in 2020.

After noticing a lack of safe and fun places to take her kids, Regina envisioned a family-friendly gathering space that would become a neighborhood gem for parents and their children. She knew Monroeville Mall was the right fit for her as the property had the perfect sized space available and wasn’t a far drive from her house. Although Lil Bunny was forced to close briefly due to the onset of the pandemic, Regina and her team were quickly able to bounce back and reopen in January 2021.

The success of Lil Bunny enabled Regina to open a second nearby location in June 2021 and a third in March 2022. Now, the original space at Monroeville Mall is used solely to fill the outsized demand for children’s birthday parties. Regina’s unique and self-made business gives parents and children in her community an opportunity to come together in a bright, safe and fun-filled environment designed just for them.

Art in Bloom Gallery at Mayfaire

Mayfaire in Wilmington, North Carolina, is home to Art in Bloom Gallery, a high-end art gallery established in 2015 and owned by Amy Grant that features a mixture of traditional and contemporary paintings, sculpture, ceramics, jewelry, mixed media, photography, fabric art and more from over 30 artists.

Last summer, Amy moved from her 850-square-foot gallery located in Downtown Wilmington to a 3,500-square-foot space at Mayfaire. With the increase in gallery space, Amy has been able to display larger exhibits that change every six weeks. The move has also given her more room to host live painting demonstrations, trunk shows, film screenings, exhibit receptions and parties.

Before moving into its current space, Art in Bloom opened a pop-up at Mayfaire in 2021. The success of the pop-up made Mayfaire an obvious choice for Amy when she made the decision to relocate, and her presence has drawn a unique mix of new visitors, including actors, directors and film crew members, who buy and rent her art for film sets. The location is booming with local, regional, national and international clientele who visit daily to experience one of Wilmington’s foremost galleries.

Gracie Allegiance Jiu-Jitsu Academy at Westmoreland Mall

At Westmoreland Mall in Greensburg, Pennsylvania, brown-belt Rebecca Blair owns Gracie Allegiance Jiu-Jitsu Academy, which opened at the mall in February 2021. The academy offers a range of classes to adults and children, and includes NoJi, Judo, GI and wrestling fundamentals. A women’s self-defense class is held on Saturdays.

Rebecca’s success in the largely male-dominated sport has had a resounding impact on women across the community. Through her Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and self-defense classes, Rebecca has been able to empower women to protect themselves through the unique techniques they learn. More than half of Rebecca’s students are women, which signals that the sport is becoming more inclusive.

Rebecca chose the over 4,500-square-foot-space at Westmoreland Mall because the location is close to home and not only does her business benefit from mall traffic, but parents of her students can also shop and eat while their kids practice. Through her academy at the mall and her outreach programs, Rebecca hopes to connect with even more women across the community, teaching self-defense techniques that will stay with them for years to come.

These three women, like our other female entrepreneur tenants, have turned their passions and dreams into flourishing businesses that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and backgrounds. Building off the success of our Black-owned business expo program, CBL is introducing a women-owned business expo at select properties to give female entrepreneurs the opportunity to test the mall environment, introduce their brands to more customers, and ultimately grow their businesses. Expos will be held beginning in August at Monroeville Mall as well as Jefferson Mall in Louisville, Kentucky, and Northwoods Mall in N. Charleston, South Carolina.

This Women’s History Month, we are proud and thankful to support each of the woman-owned businesses across our portfolio and the work they do to bring light to their communities.

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