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.
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.