Most mornings there is a line winding out the door of Hi-Five Doughnuts, a sunny yellow building on East Main Street in Butchertown.
But today, it’s completely empty. And the pink door covered in painted sprinkles is locked.
There’s a small sign that reads:
Hi-Five Doughnuts will be closed on Wednesday, March 8, in celebration of International Women’s Day. We are truly sorry for any inconvenience . We will see everyone bright and early on Thursday. Thank you — Ladies of the Morning.
The shop is owned and operated by Annie Harlow and Leslie Wilson. Wilson says closing up today was a way showing of solidarity with women all across the globe.
“And we feel like it’s important — right now especially — that women stand by and support one another and show our worth,” she says.
Many women-owned businesses across the country are following suit and participating in “A Day Without Women,” a protest designed to highlight the role women play in society.
Wilson recognizes this isn’t a viable avenue of protest for everyone. In fact, the lack of consideration for working mothers, minorities, or others who can’t afford to take off work is one of the main problems some activists have had with “A Day Without Women.”
But as small business owners, Wilson says she and Harlow spent weeks considering how best to make a statement for women’s equality. They went back and forth — and definitely were leaning toward closing shop — when they heard something on the radio: The Indigo Girls.
“They started playing, and Annie and I started looking at ourselves and said, ‘That’s kismet,’” Wilson says, laughing.
Making a statement of any kind as a small business is a scary prospect, Wilson says, but she’s confident they did the right thing.
“This is one of the questions I said to Annie: ‘If you could put a dollar value on this day, how much would you have to make to stay open?’” Harlow says. “And both of us were like, ‘There’s not a dollar value.’”
She continues: “What we could potentially make wasn’t worth it for our values.”