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SBA Helps Entrepreneur Expand Thousand Islands Business

Emilie Cardineaux, owner of The Golden Cleat in Clayton, NY.

After a decade of earning her living as a freelance musician and composer in New York City, Emilie Cardinaux was ready for a break from the daily urban grind and frequent commutes to LA recording studios. So she set out to transform her jewelry side hustle into a profitable business. Cardinaux’s original nautical designs draw inspiration from her love of life on the water. Having spent childhood summers on the St. Lawrence River she considers the Thousand Islands region of upstate NY home in her heart. It was only natural that she decided to relocate there from NYC, where she developed her nautical jewelry collection and began to build her unique brand, The Golden Cleat. Each piece is handcrafted in sterling silver, solid gold, and ethically sourced gemstones. In 2017, embraced by the small-town community of Clayton, the business expanded from an upstairs studio space and online store into a rented brick-and-mortar flagship storefront in the heart of the village’s commercial district.

In 2018, Cardinaux recognized an opportunity to invest in her future and her community by purchasing the downtown waterfront building where her flagship store is located. An SBA-backed loan from Watertown Savings Bank financed store renovations and additional materials and inventory to develop and diversify product lines. The loan also helped finance the opening of a second store on Wellesley Island which operates seasonally.

Customers can find a wide selection of unique jewelry, accessories, and home goods handmade by The Golden Cleat and other independent designers in Cardinaux’s shop. With these timely investments she has seen a significant increase in profits in a short period of time.

Company Name: 
The Golden Cleat
Clayton, NY
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