As a property manager in Syracuse, NY during the late 1990s, Donna Glassberg noticed a problem that needed a solution. Renters struggled to find housing in an easy, accessible way.
While walking in her Syracuse University neighborhood, Donna would see cars pulled off to the side of the road, writing numbers off the for-rent signs plastered on the sides of the buildings. She thought this was a terribly inefficient way to find housing for students and faculty moving to the area. Since she was immersed in the industry and understood the process well, she knew she could create something that would help both her employers and her renters to connect in a more efficient way.
We often ask ourselves where great ideas come from. The answers are many and varied but for Dan Russell of Butt Be Dry the answer was simple.
Russell and his Dad were attending an LPGA Championship event in Rochester a couple of years ago. It had rained heavily the night before and although it had dried out and the ground appeared dry, when Dan sat down to watch the match he found the seat of his pants soaked and covered with mud. He and his Dad had a good laugh, but right then a great idea was formed that just needed some nurturing.
It all began in 1991. Dawn and Jeff Zarnowski bought a hill top property in McGraw, NY and started what they then called a 'very serious hobby'.
After 25 years of continuous hard work growing and hybridizing hundreds of walnut and chestnut trees, they decided to turn their hobby into a business. Now, Dawn and Jeff Zarnowski are the owners of Z’s Nutty Ridge LLC, a native nut nursery.
Everyone has a past—some are good, and some are not as good. But whatever you’ve gone through, translating your background and experience to shape and position your business can be transformative.
Eric Maliszewski was able to translate his skills and experience into ownership of the Canal Side Café & Bistro in the heart of the beautiful village of Baldwinsville. While Eric’s story may not be completely unique, it is a story about progression, perseverance, patience and opportunity.
Have you ever thought of doing something that feeds your soul, allowing you to live the life you’ve always dreamed of?
The owners of Aster Weddings and Events sought to create that kind of ideal lifestyle for themselves when they started to build their small business.
Anyone in the business world will say that partnerships are the toughest form of business organization, but not for Aurora Roe and Caity Pfohl.
These two childhood friends turned their dream of working with one another into a reality by forming Scrap Paper Social, a social media management business based out of Hamilton, New York.
In 2015, Cortland New York became home to the technology development company CNY Point of Sale (Catch Clients LLC).
Jonathan Milton, CEO and chief technical officer, is no stranger to the small business lifestyle. So, it should come as no surprise that he would be familiar with the many needs of small business owners. In fact, he has spent years developing a knowledge base and a passion for small businesses that he now uses to serve his customer base.
Brian Bartholomew is the owner and operator of 'A Cozy Hearth Fireplace & Stove, LLC' located at 1086 State Fair Boulevard in Syracuse, NY.
With a background of over 15 years in the hearth industry, Brian knew he had the experience and knowledge necessary to help customers make the right choices for their homes.
THE WOMAN BEHIND THE CAKES - Stacey Lorraine is the owner, cake artist, office manager, and dishwasher (yup she does it all!) at The Cake Shop located in Skaneateles, NY!
Born and raised near Washington DC, Stacey got her start working at a local bakery when she was 16. From that point on she fell in love with everything baking, going on to become a graduate of The Culinary Institute of America. While she spent a short stint in restaurants Stacey found her true passion in custom cakes.
For as long as they can remember, Tucker and Colin Ray have wanted to start their own business.
The brothers grew up working for their Grandfather in his furniture and floor covering business located in Hamilton, NY. There they saw the great impact a small business can have on the community it belongs to, and how that community can rise up and support the small business in return.
The owner of Natural Solutions, Erica Spencer, M.S. L.Ac., is a very motivated, hard working, and uniquely qualified entrepreneur.
A graduate of Finger Lakes School of Acupuncture at NYCC, Erica received a Master’s Degree in Science and Acupuncture (MSA). She is a Licensed Acupuncturist certified by the National Certification Commission of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM), and Erica is also a United States Marine Corps (USMC) Veteran with over four years of experience working in the Mental Health and Chemical Dependency fields.
Terry Powers lives with her best friend - a Golden Chow mix named Shadow - that she rescued from the shelter. Dogs have always been an important part of her family. That is why she decided to open 'Stay and Play Doggie Daycare' in 2014.
Terry opened her business not only to help pet owners while they were away from their dogs during the day, but also because she wanted to surround herself with these loving animals.
Martin Butts was burned out after seven years working long hours in the cramped and bustling aisles of the Syracuse Cooperative Market.
He was passionate about working with small scale and local food producers, but unsure about how to continue that work when he left. A chance encounter with a vendor from his time at the co-op in 2009 flipped a light switch and in a matter of days, Small Potatoes went live.
Sometimes start-ups take some time to pull together both technically and mentally, as was the case with Sarah Curtis who is now operating Syracuse Mom’s Blog, LLC as a home-based business.
In Sarah’s own words from the website at https://syracuse.citymomsblog.com/ – “Syracuse Moms Blog is a collaborative blog, parenting resource and community that strives to inform, empower and connect families in Central New York.”
Eva Zaczynski had absolutely no experience running a restaurant when she first opened Eva’s European Sweets in in 1997.
She picked a red brick building on Milton Avenue, just west of Syracuse, because she could afford the rent. As word got out in those pre-internet days, the staff kept written directions by the phone to help lost diners when they called.
Stephanie McCall began her journey filling homes and businesses with custom, high-quality, quilts and art pieces, in 2006. An award-winning Master Quilter, Stephanie brought her creativity and skills to each residential or commercial installation.
She has her own dedicated studio, and she also teaches private lessons and project classes at her home studio in Auburn, NY and at Cayuga Community College.
Brooks Mullahy started beekeeping in 1984 as a backyard beekeeper in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania with only 2 hives.
Life took many turns from there, including a 13-year stint in East Africa working in International Aid and Development. Upon returning to the United States in 2012, she embarked on an apprenticeship with a master beekeeper in Moravia, New York. After 4 years as an apprentice, Mary set out on her own to turn beekeeping into her livelihood and Sunswick Farm began to take form.
Bill Smith, owner of Universal Step, Inc., has been in business for over 50 years.
As a self-proclaimed "grunt," he says he is more of a builder/inventor than a business man. It is the inventor in him, as well as a need to transition his business to be less labor-intensive, that inspired Bill to create a new modular step product.
Cathie Perry already had a successful excavation business when she noticed a need in the market for a professional, clean, and reliable dumpster company.
Cathie contacted the Onondaga SBDC in early 2018 and was assisted in developing a business plan and financial projections for her new companion dumpster business. During the planning process she created a new entity, which she named 'Dumpster Diva,' that features her signature purple dumpsters.
Dr. Annette Otis started Compassionate Crossings of CNY (which has turned into Stillwaters Veterinary Care) as an in-home euthanasia and end of life care service for pets, in September of 2017.
'Stillwaters Veterinary Care' offers the opportunity to say goodbye to your beloved pet in the comfort of your own home, at your own pace. The mission is to make an always heartbreaking process as peaceful and personalized as possible.