The Leading Women Behind the Businesses in Pittsburgh

In celebration of Women’s History Month, we wanted to feature some of the female business owners in our backyard!


Roberta Weissburg opened the doors to Leathers back in 1991 and has been selling gorgeous outerwear and accessories for men and women ever since. This shop is definitely one of a kind.

In the beginning, Roberta was working toward her dream by running Leathers from her apartment! Fast forward to 2008 and one major storefront renovation, Leathers now happily sits at 5415 Walnut Street.

Read about her story and the opening of Leathers here.

*Photo credit to Roberta Weissburg Leathers via the website


“Now I gotta cut loose. Footloose, kick off my Sunday shoes.” 🎶

Jill Rubinstein is the owner running the Footloose Shadyside Boutique on Walnut Street since its opening in 1987. When you visit this shop you’ll be immersed in designer footwear, chic bags, and stylish accessories for women.

Read more about this story behind Footloose Shadyside boutique here.

*Photo credit to Footloose Shadyside via the website

Gardell by Graciana

This local jewelry shop has been described as “Organic Elegance.” The owner and designer behind this beautiful shop is Graciana Rodriguez Fennell.

Her love and instinct for art swayed her from practicing medicine, and with a focus in jewelry design, she opened the doors to Gardell in 2006. Graciana’s influence from traveling the world makes her craft so much more special.

Visiting this local shop on Walnut Street should definitely be on your to-do list. Read more about Graciana here.

*Photo credit to Gardell by Graciana via the website


When looking for contemporary fashion, Pursuits is the Shadyside boutique with high quality, name brand items. Roberta Brody actually founded Pursuits back in 2002, but it has since changed hands.

After being an employee for years, Maria McManus became the owner in 2008 fulfilling a life long dream of owning a business. She’s made one successful career from the retail clothing industry. She’s been featured in Pittsburgh’s WHIRL Magazine, as part of the “Class Of 2010 Women In Business.”

Ask Maria about Pursuits and she’ll say, “We help women feel great one outfit/accessory/handbag at a time… without breaking the bank.”

Discover more about Maria here!

*Photo credit to Pursuits Pittsburgh via Facebook

Studio Chiz

Ellen Chisdes Neuberg has been making and selling her art since the 70s. She recently opened her very own studio in Shadyside where you can watch Ellen at work and even buy her pieces.

Her artwork has been featured all over Pittsburgh as well as galleries in New York, Florida, and Texas. Listen to Captured Pittsburgh’s Darkroom where Ellen is the guest star of the podcast episode.

*Photo credit to Studio Chiz via the website

Pam Eisner Design

Pam Eisner is the businesswoman behind this local jewelry shop! Pam designs and hand makes all of the gorgeous pieces in her shop. Just last Fall, Pam Eisner Design was featured in several high-end publications like the August edition of Vogue magazine – Jewelry Designer Profile

You’ll find this local jewelry store on Walnut street. Read more about Pam’s story here.

*Photo credit to Pam Eisner Designs via Instagram

Williams Sonoma

Williams Sonoma is a pretty well-known retail store around the US, but did you know the CEO and President is Laura J. Alber? She is a University of Pennsylvania alum and became an American businesswoman who has led this retail giant since 2010!

The retailer is known for high-quality products for your home. You’ll be able to visit this store on Walnut Street!

“Our customers love their homes, and we have a singular focus on helping make them a reflection of who they are” – Laura Alber

*Photo credit to Williams Sonoma via the website

Eureka Chocolates and Gifts

When you have a craving for chocolate, you have to visit Susan McGinty at Eureka! Susan has transformed her passion into a business by offering the finest products and personalized shopping experience.

Check out Eureka on Facebook

*Photo credit to Eureka Chocolates and Gifts via the website.

Lily & Val

Valerie McKeehan is the creative soul and businesswoman bringing hand-lettered chalkboard art to life through Lily and Val. First hustling as a small, virtual shop on Etsy, Lily and Val is now a boutique on Liberty Ave.

Learn more about the Lily and Val story here!

*Photo credit to Lily and Val via Instagram

Alex & Ani

Carolyn Rafaelian is the CEO and Founder of Alex & Ani. As an American-Armenian entrepreneur and businesswoman, she runs her business with a force of positivity! You’ll find this beautiful retail/jewelry store on Walnut Street.

“We are connected with each other through signs, symbols, and things that resonate to our core.” – Carolyn Rafaelian

See more about the Alex & Ani story here.

*Photo credit to Alex and Ani via Instagram


President and owner, Stacy Weiss, has spent over two decades leading her family business toward success. This local home furnishings shop specializes in high-end flooring, furniture, and kitchens. Elle Decor has even pegged Weisshouse as, “The best home furnishings store in Pittsburgh.”

Check out more of the Weisshouse story here and visit them on Highland Ave.

*Photo credit to Weisshouse via Instagram

Happy Women’s History Month!