Caroline Morris took a non-traditional path to the retail industry.

Her resume includes banking in Baltimore, managing a wholesale foods business, a management role at Kraft Foods, serving as chief financial officer for a Canadian-American firm, running a hazardous chemical company and consulting.

But for the last 10 years she has owned and operated Kimman's, a gift store at 57 N. Beaver St. in York City.

"This is the most fun and has allowed me to be supermom," Morris said.

Morris and Hilary Arthur, owner of Arthur & Daughters at 49 N. Beaver St. downtown, were the featured speakers Tuesday during a luncheon workshop hosted by the York College Women's Business Center Organization.

How it worked: Throughout the last decade, Kimman's expanded to have gift shops in two local hospitals, but the owner closed them to better focus on the growing downtown shop. The store has expanded its retail footprint to 1,200 square feet at the corner of North Beaver and West Philadelphia streets, taking over vacant space next to the store.

She attributed some of her success to Kimman's associates who give her the flexibility to be an active mom and do a great job in the shop. "You have to find the skills your associates have and let them shine," Morris said.

Arthur took a more traditional path to owning her own boutique.

For 14 years she worked in the New York City fashion industry, serving as senior account executive for Calvin Klein Collection and previously representing Escada. That experience, as well as working on the sales floor at Gap when she was a teen and young adult, gave her what she needed to sell luxury consignments in York.

"It all comes back to sales," Arthur said. A person has to like sales and working with people if they want to have a successful retail business, she said.

When people learn what she does, they usually say, "'that sounds so fun,'" Arthur said. "It is a lot of fun, but it's also a lot of work."

— Reach Candy Woodall at