Our own Mark Pitonzo sits down with Michael Bower, Owner of Eagle Metalcraft here in Syracuse, to discuss his story, and the journey he followed to acquire and turn around a local manufacturing business.
Shawni Davis, owner and operator of Luminary Electrical, received the New York State Small Business Development Center’s 2023 Minority Entrepreneur of the Year Award on Friday, September 29. She was presented the award by Sonya Smith, State Director of the New York Small Business Development Centers. Davis is a client of the Small Business Development Center at Onondaga Community College.
Birch Tree Montessori provides comprehensive Montessori education to children ages 3 years to 6 years old. Their school is in Warners, New York. The mission of Birch Tree Montessori is to provide their students with a joyful experience in early learning. They provide guidance to help the children discover their own unique interests and abilities. They encourage their students to grow into independent individuals who achieve their full potential and contribute in a positive manner to society. Also, they offer curriculums with one-on-one and some small group lessons to meet individual levels and needs. In the time since they opened, their school has become so popular that the school now has a waiting list!
It’s not uncommon for lines from popular movies or songs to find their way into the cultural lexicon. “May the Force be with you,” is one such line. “Hasta la vista, baby,” another.
In terms of business start-ups, however, few lines have become as culturally entrenched, often to disastrous effect, as “If you build it, they will come,” (the actual line is “If you build it, he will come,” but pop culture quickly misquoted the phrase.) Week after week, would-be entrepreneurs walk through my door at the Onondaga SBDC convinced, often without a shred of accompanying research, that their start-up idea is a home run, and they merely need some coaching (and not infrequently, grant funding or unsecured financing), to hit the ball out of the park and round the bases. The fantasy of ready-made markets and effortless success, it seems, has found its way into the American Dream, alongside hot dogs, apple pie, and baseball.
Occasionally, however, a bona fide athlete-turned-entrepreneur comes through my door. Such is the case with Adam Ruszowski, PT, DPT.
The saying “perseverance furthers” dates back thousands of years and has been expressed variously in different ways by many different cultures. As folk wisdom, it remains applicable today, despite the frenetic pace of our modern, digitally interconnected world.
Through a desire to create slower, more meaningful lives for themselves, and as the result a few hard-earned lessons learned, it also summarizes the experiences of Marie and Jaya Weiss, partners and co-owners of Dead Branch Ranch, a 90-acre, off-grid, micro-farm located in Pompey, NY.
In 2020, Adrienne decided to start a business with her husband, Aric Potter. They embarked on a path to create custom fine jewelry for special occasions such as birthdays, anniversaries, engagements, and holidays.
Having worked many years as a project manager, Adrienne Peltz knew that in order to run a successful business, she would immediately need to create a team to help her get there. That is why one of her first calls was to the SBDC to see what resources might be available as she was establishing Forge Gone Conclusions, LLC, a custom fine jewelry business.
“The best way out is always through.” – Pulitzer Prize Winning American Poet Robert Frost
For Michael Bower, that quote, and those words could not be more descriptive of his entrepreneurial journey. Michael was born in Arkansas on a farm and grew up without many of the civilized things we take for granted. There was no running water or bathroom on the farm. It was where he would develop the work ethic that would help him achieve his goal . . . more to come on that.
SMALL BUSINESS SPOTLIGHT: Last Shot Distillery was not named by accident. Chris Uyehara had often thought about the business he would like to start. It takes a lot of juggling to get all the pieces to fit: product, location, funding, equipment, viable partners, etc. But, Chris recognized when the time was right and consulted the SBDC and worked with Nancy Ansteth on his business plan.
Take two creatively talented people, add a historic abandoned site with equal portions of imagination and vision, et voila: the answer to ‘where will we hold it?’ ‘where will we find the right ambience?’ ‘who makes stuff like that?’
When Katie Peck visited the SBDC at Onondaga Community College, she had a cornucopia of thoughts running through her mind.
The US Small Business Administration has celebrated America’s small businesses through this celebration for more than 50 years.
In conjunction with that, the Small Business Development Center at Onondaga Community College is taking the time to recognize outstanding small businesses from each of the six counties served by the agency. Each business has at some time leveraged the no-cost assistance provided by the team of business advisors to start or grow their small businesses.
Read articles and advice written by our very own Onondaga SBDC Business Advisors!