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Local trio empowers female entrepreneurs, supporters to 'Woman Up Cleveland'

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Posted at 6:42 AM, Jun 20, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-20 06:42:54-04

CLEVELAND — Women empowerment for this trio of Woman Up Cleveland founders, Shannon Biega, Chloey Dibartolo and Alexandra Ruggieri, begins with sisterhood.

“It’s so important that we become voices for other women,” said Biega,.

As Dibartolo explains, there was also a visual spark to create more of it.

“I saw Shannon’s amazing vison board and I remember telling my mom who was sitting next to me at the time, “you know this is really cool. We should do something.”

These young women, like so many others in Cleveland, say they’ve not always felt empowered.

“Even when it is a room of just women it still feels not only do you have to overcome being a woman and feeling qualified in that department, but also just feeling qualified in a room of your peers,” said Ruggieri.

While the pandemic proved even more challenging serving as “a time of separation” with not “many community events were going on,” the recent graduates and college scholars forged their own safe space and business last year, called Woman Up Cleveland. Its Summer Social event allows women to feel supported and celebrated.

“Last year we had over 260 guests in here and that was incredible,” said Biega.

The trio is determined to support the city’s female entrepreneurs.

“We had gotten the word out and people knew that this was a reliable event and somewhere they could make money,” said Ruggieri. “It was still a matter of did you meet someone? Did someone take your card? Were there orders to fill out later on?”

But most importantly their mission is to empower “all Cleveland women, all diversities, all ethnicities, all religions,” to “Woman Up” in Cleveland, as Biega explained.

“It means supporting one another, bringing out the best in one another and just shining a light on what makes each woman in our community special and unique,” said Dibartolo.

This year’s Woman Up Cleveland Summer Social Event is set for July 17 at the Ariel International Center. There will be 25 woman-owned vendors, activities, and experiences.

To purchase tickets and for more information, click here.