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Meet Some of Ridgefield's Most Accomplished Entrepreneurs

Ridgefield women creating, innovating and making an impact beyond our town borders

Meet four Ridgefield women who are making a splash beyond our town borders with the ventures they founded and lead. 

Megan Searfoss

The Ridgefield Running Company, founded by Megan Searfoss in 2014, was recently named the best running store in America in 2022. You read that correctly. The best store in America. 

"My business is customer service and making people happy gets me moving forward," Megan states.

Asking what Megan loves most about being a female business owner, she responds that it's a difficult question as she has never thought about being an owner as "a gender specific thing." However, she mentions The Run Speciality Industry is predominantly male-owned, admitting she is aware she is the minority. "Perhaps that makes me want to work harder," she said. 

Discussing her accomplishment of the Ridgefield Running Company being recognized as the best running store in America, Megan states "this was the first time a woman-owned store has won, and it was pretty sweet. Our team is comprised of 90% women, which is also an anomaly."

Her answer to what the toughest challenge to get to where she is today is one all entrepreneurs can resonate with, but perhaps one that hasn't been said before.

"I think it is always believing in one's self that is the biggest challenge," she says. "A thoughtful plan, research, and surrounding yourself with a support network can help you with any obstacle," she continued. "Then, it is 100% sweat equity, keeping an eye on the prize and knowing that moving toward a goal is more chutes and ladders than vertical."

To that degree, Megan admits she has "failed forward a lot," and that while this part can definitely be a challenge, eventually you get used to it. "And the goal then is that much sweeter."

Amy Pal

Amy Pal is the owner of Whip Salon, a full service salon that launched in Ridgefield in 2016, and now has five locations across Fairfield Country, plus a location in Hilton Head, South Carolina.

The salon, known for its top talent, trendy and friendly stylists, and always welcoming atmosphere, was selected for the Salon Today 200 under the "Environmental Sustainability" category of Bobit Business Media, an award granted to salons annually for excellence in salon leadership and management.

Amy remarks connecting with other female business owners is what she loves most about being a female business owner. "I've been fortunate to find other local women owners who make up a kind of informal advisory board," she says. "Whenever I'm facing a difficult problem, their camaraderie and problem solving ideas make things seem less overwhelming. They've helped me through some times that would have been difficult to face alone."

Jill Rae

Jill Rae is an interior designer with a full-service design firm, Jill Rae Designs, that assists clients in luxury home builds, renovations, and home stagings. Servicing all areas of Fairfield County, Jill and her team pride themselves on "creating spectacular spaces" for their clients' home, office, and outdoor living.

Jill was recently awarded the Best of Houzz Service Award (for the second year in a row), an annual award that celebrates home professionals across the globe who demonstrate their excellence in design, service, or both. To provide context, the interior design pros who earn Best of Houzz badges is an exclusive group — only 3% win annually.

As for what women entrepreneurship means to Jill, she exclaims, "Everything! I have focused my entire career thinking out of the box. It's important for women to believe that entrepreneurship provides financial independence, flexibility, and the opportunity to pursue their passions."

Olga Chin

Amplifying innovation. This is what women entrepreneurship means to Olga Chin, CEO and Founder of InterPrice Technologies, a financial technology company that assists corporate finance teams to understand their current business funding costs. Currently, InterPrice already has over 70 clients including Honda, PayPal, Wells Fargo Bank, and Keurig. 

"Women entrepreneurs often structure their businesses around gaps and unmet needs they see within their communities," Olga said of women entrepreneurship. "I find that most often, women entrepreneurs are not going after the 'shot in the dark' crazy idea but rather focus on creating products around specific needs."

These needs, she continued, are often based on women's own experiences, and as a result, "are so needed by all of us." By pushing innovation in directions that may have gone unnoticed in the past, Olga says, "is a critical benefit for society and progress."

When it comes to staying motivated in her business, Olga claims "there is nothing more gratifying than seeing your product delight customers." She admits that building a viable business is "brutal emotionally," but that it all becomes worth it when you see your clients loving what you built. 

Discussing what she loves most about being a female business owner, Olga states she enjoys being underestimated. "I don't get affected by others' expectations," she tells us. "I don't fall into the stereotype of a tech startup operator or an investment banker (her past career) — in fact, I'm probably mostly known to local folks as a class mom that drives her kids around town to practices or art classes, and I like that."

"It is not enough to tell girls, 'you can do anything.' I want to actually show them what can be possible with perseverance and grit." -Olga Chin

"We have ups and downs in life — it's best to surround yourself with people who share your same dreams." -Jill Rae

  • Left: Amy Pal, Olga Chin, Megan Searfoss, Jill Rae
  • Olga Chin in Times Square
  • Whip Salon in Hilton Head