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‘I Can Do That!’ Spurs Opening of Imagine That Studio and Gifts

BUFFALO, NY – Jessica Malloy’s path to successful business owner began through her fondness for art and education.  The women-owned business owner was attending a painting entertainment event with friends in the Summer of 2014, when she realized “I Can Do That!”.

The thought remained with her as she raised her children.  At the time, her 6-month old and two-year old boys.  As the children grew and there was more free-time, Malloy began researching the idea of starting her own painting business.

Malloy sought the assistance from the SBA’s Small Business Development Center at Niagara County Community College and received extensive counseling that resulted in the opening of Paint with Personality, a home-based art and entertainment business. 

“I started out promoting my business hosting events and classes at schools, wineries and neighborhood gatherings before eventually opening Imagine that Olcott in 2018,” said Malloy.

Today, Malloy is moving to a new location in Newfane, New York and has renamed her business “Imagine that Studio and Gifts.

Imagine that Studio and Gifts is a walk-in paint and ceramic studio that offers a wide variety of art classes, crafting, take home projects and canvas painting.  The studio’s gift shop, consists of over 20 different local artists gifts from handmade jewelry, knitted items, candles and more.

“Every day, small business owners across Niagara County work hard to make their entrepreneurial visions a reality,” said SBDC Business Advisor Maureen Henderson.  “For Jessica it meant looking to the SBA’s SBDC for guidance with reviewing her business set-up, business insurance, and strengthening her marketing strategy including enhancing her already robust social media. By offering a wide range of management and technical assistance services, we help entrepreneurs take the next step in their business growth.”

Fast-forward to March 2020 and the start of Covid-19 pandemic, Malloy’s business continues to thrive.  Unlike other small businesses, her studio saw and uptick in requests for at home projects and other art driven experiences.

“I knew I needed to adapt to the pandemic,” said Malloy.  “I could have quit.  Instead, I was able to pivot through the changes, move to a new location and take the time to keep my customers happy and figure out what works and what doesn’t.”

Malloy credits the SBA’s SBDC at NCCC with helping her become a successful start-up.  She says it’s also critical to have good advisors and mentors. 

SBA is here to help small businesses overcome the challenges created by this health crisis. We help in financing, education and training and government contracting. We aim to help entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses and keep them thriving. For more information, please contact your local SBA Buffalo district office at (716) 551-4301 or visit us online at sba.gov/ny/buffalo.