Women Working: Do what you have to do

5 mins read
For Mary Jamison, owner of Mary Jane’s Slice of Heaven, opening a business during a pandemic has been no easy task.

FARMINGTON – Mary Jane’s Slice of Heaven is one of those small businesses that opened just before the start of the pandemic. For owner, Mary Jamison, getting up and running and keeping her doors open has been no cakewalk.

“It’s a long process; there’s not an A,B,C in the right order; there’s no ‘Opening a Business for Dummies.’ Everything is all over the place— when you think you’ve got your ducks in a row, one of them goes off and does its own thing,” Jamison said. “There were lots of struggles along the way opening it, but we did, and then less than two months later, Covid happened and we were shut down, and we’ve been struggling since, but we’re still here so I’m assuming I’ve done something right along the way for us to still be open.”

For Jamison, laying off brand new employees was painful, and soaring product pricing has made keeping staff and providing work difficult. However, she has a firm understanding that running a business is not easy, with or without the pandemic.

Struggles aside, Jamison is happy to be working toward and seeing a glimpse of the business she’s always envisioned having.

“I’ve always wanted to do something like this— have my own place,” Jamison said. “I love this…we had comic night, and it was a ticketed event. The house was full, people were laughing, they were eating good food; they were commenting on the food— they loved it. They had a great time, and I just stood there in the doorway for a few minutes and watched, and it’s exactly what I wanted; it’s what I envisioned when I decided to have my own place.”

Mary Jane’s Slice of Heaven has a full bar and menu, though Jamison does not want her business to be known as a bar hangout; she wants it to be a family place where people can have fun.

Jamison runs her business in a way that consistently embodies her values and the pandemic has only intensified those beliefs. Supporting other small businesses in the area remains a part of her core practices because her experience has been frustrating.

“Whether your opinion of me is good, bad, indifferent, I am going to support you. I have ordered from every restaurant in this town, I showcase them; I will go and support because that’s what we should be doing,” Jamison said. “I’m not a fan of big box stores…I know it’s convenient, but they didn’t get hurt through this whole thing…they got all kinds of help and they didn’t need it…it makes no sense to me.”

As a woman in this industry, Jamison has not always been treated respectfully, but she’s faced any gender-based biases by standing her ground.

“I don’t let it happen,” she said. “You have something to offer me, I have something to offer you, and we’re going to be respectful. If you’re not, there’s the door and you’re welcome to go right back out it… I don’t take it, but I know that it’s out there.”

After speaking about all the challenges and hardships she’s faced as a business owner amidst the ongoing chaos of the pandemic and being relatively a new business, Jamison’s continued resilience is just the piece of advice she would share with anyone looking to get started with their own business pursuits.

“This has been tough, and I’ve felt defeated…but I still get up, I come in, I do what I have to do. For me, I have two daughters…it is my job, every day, to get up and show them that you don’t ever give up,” Jamison said. “You keep trying and you keep trying, and when what you’re doing isn’t working, you come up with another plan and you keep going.”

Print Friendly, PDF & Email