Bonnie Bolinger has been involved in business, or has taught it at the community college level for many, many years. She has had to compete with men and often been discounted because she is a woman, and that has created a person who is tough-minded, focused, and very organized in her approach to life.
There has, however, always been a side to her that loved frilly, lacy, very feminine merchandise, whether it be clothing or things for the home which didn’t seem to match that more masculine persona she was forced to adopt. Toward the end of 2014 she woke up one morning with a business idea that could utilize both sides of her and that she was sure would please many women. The name, Feminine Mystique, came to her a very short time later.
Betty Friedan wrote about the feminine mystique in her 1963 book. Women were expected by society to have babies, stay at home, take care of the house and children and support their men. In her words, “The feminine mystique says that the highest value and the only commitment for women is the fulfillment of their own femininity.”
Her book was a wakeup call to society – women had more to offer and it was certainly possible to have meaningful careers AND be the nurturer at home. They could be masculine in business while being feminine at home. The name “Feminine Mystique” seemed perfect for a store that would specialize in very feminine Victorian style merchandise and giving local women a place to meet and relax.