KNOXVILLE (WATE) - The state of Tennessee is growing significantly when it comes to the number of businesses owned by women, according to the 2013 State of Women-Owned Businesses Report from American Express OPEN.
That increase in evident across the state, as well as in East Tennessee.
6 News caught up with Terri Karlsson, who owns two stores in downtown Knoxville.
She opened the gourmet olive oil tasting shop Tree and Vine two years ago, and then in April added CitiFido, a specialty pet provision store, a few doors down.
"Decided that Knoxville was a really happening place, and that was two years and four months ago,” Karlsson. “It's a really wonderful thing."
She's one of the fast-growing new crop of women opening up businesses across the state.
According to American Express OPEN’s report, the number of women-owned businesses in Tennessee grew around 65 percent from 1997 to 2013.
Tennessee now ranks 14th in the nation in the growth of women-owned businesses in that time period.
Karlsson, who manages both store and her ten current employees, admits it’s a lot of work.
"It's a lot of work. I mean I can't tell you the number of 12 and 14 hour days I have. But it's fun,” said Karlsson.
She says it’s well worth it.
"I'm a people person and so in small business, where I have a personal relationship with my customers is important to me. I'm really happy that females are doing this,” said Karlsson.
She says she is glad to see and be a part of an increase in female entrepreneurs in Tennessee.
“I think it's empowering. Women are incredibly creative so it's really great,” said Karlsson.
According to the report, there are more than 8.6 million women-owned businesses in the United States,employing nearly 7.8 million people.