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Success Stories

Chapman Manufacturing - Woman Owned Small Business

Tracy Cammasar is a woman with a vision, and a love for her country. Her life experiences have given her the opportunity to learn the industry of manufacturing from start to finish.  As nearly every company she previously worked for has either been outsourced, gone bankrupt or simply closed. Over the past few decades the manufacturing industry has been plagued with restructuring, economic issues and out sourcing.  Cammasar’s journey at Chapman Manufacturing began in 2010 when she was hired as an administrator.  Chapman Manufacturing is a company that has been in business for 80 years, the founder John Chapman manufactured precision midget ratchet and screwdriver bit sets.  What was immediately apparent to Cammasar was that there was a 3 month backlog for orders due to the lack of inventory on many parts. 

Most of the machinery was outdated and in various stages of disrepair. Being the true agent of change that she is she got busy ordering machinery to be repaired,... Read More

Ashley Stone - Beauty Entourage

Ashley Stone is a Hair Stylist and founder of Beauty Entourage, located in Farmington, CT. Ms. Stone began her career in the Beauty Industry 14 years ago, she has a passion for fashion, art and styling. Beauty Entourage is a company that specializes in formal styling and make-up application for formal occasions such as weddings and proms by providing hair, makeup, air brush, photo shoots, and beauty tips.

Recently Ms. Stone has met with Business Advisors Joe Waxman & Joe Barone from the Hartford SCORE Chapter for business counseling as she has experienced rapid expansion in the past few years. In the past Waxman & Barone helped her obtain a line of credit with one of SBA’s participating lenders - First Niagara Bank. She is currently seeking assistance from Farmington Bank for an 7(a) SBA Loan to further increase her capacity.

Although Beauty Entourage currently provides services in several states; New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts they’d like to expand... Read More

From Plastics to Corn and Bamboo Made Products

As the founder and CEO, Virginia P’an has a long term global vision for Yumi EcoSolutions, Inc. That is to create a healthier world now and for future generations by replacing the plastics with eco-friendly natural green products made from corn and bamboo.

In 2010,  Virginia P’an incorporated Yumi  EcoSolutions , Inc. and started the houseware and tabletop products business with her husband Albert P’an in Norwalk, CT. Yumi means  “corn” in Chinese and “beautiful” in Japanese. In July,  2012, Yumi EcoSolutions, Inc.  received the Small Business Express Loan of $250,000 with a matching grant of $100,000 from the State of Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD). Working with partners in China, P’an developed two main products of new innovative materials of corn and bamboo, that are sold now in more than a thousand retail stores in 26 states across the country and abroad.

The 1st main product line is called Yumi Return®. It is a replacement for... Read More

Heather Conley

Like millions of other business people in 2009, Heather Conley found herself fielding the brunt of the Great Recession.   As a corporate operation professional at Stanley Works, in New Britain, Connecticut for five years and another 20 in the marketing field, Conley was hit with the news of an impending layoff.    Viewing this as a chance for career reset, she reactivated a long-held desire to work for herself, skipped the usual panic, and handled the would–be crisis with a strategic plan, and unconventional implementation.

 A hint about her future surfaced after befriending a freelance commercial photographer, whom she had met at Stanley, when they collaborated on a photo shoot.    She was attracted by his creative experience and the variety of his work.  Conley, a photography enthusiast, hooked since getting her first point and shoot camera in 2005, began wondering if she could convert her hobby into a freelance career.  

Shortly after their initial conversation,... Read More