Success Stories

Madelyn Rich, owner of Accents by Madelyn, stands with one of her hand crafted bags.

New York, NY – Entrepreneur Madelyn Rich has jumped aboard the social media bandwagon to improve her small business. At 71, the former social worker, loan officer and paralegal is embracing e-commerce to increase her profits.

“I was always reluctant about using Facebook until an acquaintance said how it helped her business,” Rich said. “Now I see that it’s a real marketing strategy.”

For more than twenty years, Rich has sold handbags, totes, scarves, clutches, makeup bags, fingerless hand-knitted gloves and organizing cases at craft fairs around New York City. Friends and co-workers have long been buying her work to give as presents. Because she is tall, Rich said, she started altering and sewing her own clothes when she was ten.

She said that when the women in her family got together, her father called it a “meeting of the amazons.”

Just talking about exposed seams makes her grimace; and it’s for this reason that she hasn’t hired anyone to help with her... Read More

The founders of Teachley, LLC: Dana Pagar, Kara Carpenter and Rachael Labrecque

The education technology firm founded in 2011 by three graduate students Dana Pagar, Kara Carpenter and Rachael Labrecque, is receiving accolades for a new iPad application to help young children learn addition.  The app, called “Addimal Adventure”, uses different games to teach learning strategies for solving addition problems.  With the success of their first app, Teachley recently launched its newest math app called “Mt. Multiplis” designed to help struggling students master multiplication skills.

“Kara, Dana and I were graduate students at Teachers College at Columbia University.  We were working on a research grant to develop math software, which was still a relatively new concept.  As we worked, we saw a disconnect with commercial products and apps not coinciding with what research shows about young learners,” said Teachley co-founder Rachael Labrecque.  “We decided to develop our own math apps for kids based upon cognitive research.”

Teachley credits their... Read More

Ayala Donchin’s Evelyn’s Kitchen defines delicious with culinary creations

 

NEW YORK, NY--- Ayala Donchin’s path to to becoming one of East Harlem’s community gems started at a young age.  At the age of 11, in an effort to raise money to attend summer camp, she launched “Ayala’s Magnificent Mousse and Cheesecakes,” delivering treats in her community to secure the funds.

 

Ayala would later gain experience by waitressing with catering and fine dining establishments through college and graduate school. In 2006, Ayala’s godmother, and namesake for her business, was diagnosed with lung cancer prompting Ayala to step away from work to spend a transformational 18 months as one of her godmother’s primary caretakers.

 

Evelyn had a love for desserts and once told Ayala that, “No one makes a good blondie,” referring to the classic brown sugar sweet dessert bar that would soon help cultivate Ayala’s baking reputation. Seeing this as a... Read More

Center Line Studios disaster planning and preparedness helps business grow

 

NEW YORK, NY--- One of the most challenging events that a small business owner can face is dealing with a natural disaster.  Center Line Studios owners Shelley and Roger Gray have seen a few disasters with over 25 years in business, and their continued partnership with the Mid-Hudson Small Business Development Center, a resource partner of the U.S. Small Business Administration, has helped them overcome these challenges and continue to grow as a small business.

 

Center Line Studios is located in New Windsor, New York and is a theatrical scene shop that specializes in building scenery for Broadway shows, operas, and television.  Founded in 1986 by Shelley and Roger Gray, Center Line Studios has grown to support productions such as Hamlet, West Side Story, Phantom of the Opera, War Horse, Godspell, and performances at New York City’s Radio City Music Hall. With... Read More

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