Morgan Frisch/Recorder staff.
From left, Kaitlyn Pritchard, of Galway, has Christine Muran-Szepatowski demonstrate Motive Cosmetics on Thursday during the Girls’ Night Out at the Century Club.

By MORGAN FRISCH

Recorder News Staff

Dozens of women gathered in the Century Club on Thursday night to their products, networking and enjoy the Girls’ Night Out.

The event, which included 20 vendors, was the Lady Entrepreneurs of the Amsterdam Area’s first event.

Christine Muran-Szepatowski, founder, said she started the Lady Entrepreneurs as a Facebook group in the fall of 2016 so women could exchange ideas and help each other grow their local businesses. She said her and a few core people then reached out through the social media site, their own circle of friends and by word-of-mouth to gain what is now more than 50 members on the group’s Facebook page.

She said it’s a women’s group because a majority of the products being sold are geared toward women. Some examples of vendor items at Thursday’s event were makeup, homemade soap and candles.

In the future, Muran-Szepatowski is hopeful the group, which holds monthly meetings, can have seminars and speakers.

Lori Stern and her daughter Ashley Keatley, from L.A. Farm on Swart Hill Road in Amsterdam, make homemade goat milk soap and bath bombs.

Stern said joining the Lady Entrepreneurs group has been a great way to build relationships with local women.

Keatley described it as “everyone holding hands and helping each other.” She said members share each other’s products on social media. Currently, the two women sell their products on the farm and online.

Amy Lanzi and her niece Toni D’Agostino also attended the Girls’ Night Out and are a member of the Lady Entrepreneurs of the Amsterdam Area. Lanzi owns Chatter Box on Route 30, which been a boutique in the town since 1971.

D’Agostino said Chatter Box is one of the oldest and first boutiques in Amsterdam. She said her aunt joined the Lady Entrepreneurs group after hearing about it from a friend.

“It’s important for women to stick together and help one another out,” D’Agostino said.

According to the group’s mission statement, women will motivate, encourage, engage and respect one another, as well as form lasting relationships and collaborate with other organizations to gain experience from women who are operating successful businesses.

Many of the vendors who took place in the Girls’ Night Out are members of the women’s group.

Muran-Szepatowski specializes in Motive Cosmetics, which she was selling Thursday. She said woman of all ages are group members, and even a woman from Altamont has joined.

“One thing lead to another, people started talking and people are asking to join our group now,” she said.

Muran-Szepatowski said the purpose of the Girls’ Night Out was to grow businesses, gain customers and let the community know about the Lady Entrepreneurs of the Amsterdam Area.

Carol Jordan of Kitenkaboodle Arts Crafts & Caricature said she only knew two of the women who had vendors at the Girls’ Night Out before joining the Facebook group and it’s been a great networking opportunity.

“We need to encourage one another,” she said.

Linda Risch, of Amsterdam, came to the event with her cousin.

“It’s a nice idea for people to come and look around,” she said.

Muran-Szepatowski said the  Lady Entrepreneurs of the Amsterdam Area are hopeful to hold similar events in the future. The group is always looking for new members and can be found on Facebook.