Women of Influence: The Ivy House

Evelyn Nussel, Mimi Hale and Waica Micheletti

Can you tell us about The Ivy House?

“We have been in the boutique and gift shop business since 1968. Since 1992, we have also been in the restaurant business. We currently have two locations, one in Ocala and one in Williston. The love of fashion, food and design is what has brought us to where we are today. Learning from the best, our Mimi, has taught us the meaning of hard work and perseverance. There is no better team than the three of us. We like to ‘make things happen.’ We each play an important role as co-owners and operators of both locations. Each of us has our own strong suit, which makes us a wonderful team.”

How do you feel about Ocala?

“We have our roots in Ocala. Mimi grew up in Marion County and attended grade school here. Every morning before school, she had milk and donuts at Bennett’s Drug Store in downtown Ocala. This was in the 1940s and cost just ten cents. Making it to our current location, at 53 SW Magnolia Avenue, is certainly fitting for us—knowing that the matriarch of our family once walked this street on her way to school and watched movies just across the street. We love Ocala/Marion County. It’s unique big city with a small town feel sets it apart from most. The people here are gracious and very welcoming. The city has been so supportive to our downtown location and we feel that we have been an asset to the downtown community as well!”

As women of influence, what advice do you have for others who want to follow a
similar path?

“There are many influential women in Ocala/Marion County, in various professional areas, be that politics, the arts, real estate and business owners, to name a few. Women can do many different things to be more influential and powerful by being genuine, compassionate, honest, accountable, dependable. This enhances their reputations. Find a balance between work and home—work hard and play hard! And never give up your dreams or what you believe in.”

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