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Success Stories

Duran and Kristy Searles were college sweethearts who, upon graduating from Franklin & Marshall College, were married, purchased a home and were ready to start their life together. They began careers in their fields of study, started a family, and over the course of 10 years built a foundation for their family. However, watching their bright-eyed girls growing up made them realize two lessons that would shape their futures: Time passes quickly, and life is best spent doing what you truly love. 

As both Duran and Kristy had always been artistically inclined, the two began working on design-build concepts in their spare time.  Soon the momentum would build, and they found themselves creating works of art and taking their talents to the Brooklyn Flea, selling their pieces on the weekend in the very trendy NYC.  Eventually, they would take the biggest risk of their lives; leaving their full-time jobs to open their design-build company - Painted Karma.  After much research,... Read More

Harmony Oschefski and Cedar Hwang have always been called to the water. Rhode Island-born, Nova Scotian-raised, the sisters’ formative years were steeped in a culture of clean, sustainable living that exposed them to the powerful therapeutic nature of water on the body. 

As they grew, they began forging their own paths. Harmony, fascinated by the human body, earned her degree in Human Kinetics, and began working in nutraceuticals (functional nutrition). Cedar’s love of the water steered her towards a sailing career that enabled her to travel the world, eventually leading her to the captaincy of the Heritage, a classic America’s Cup yacht.

In 2013 they began planning The Bodhi Spa - a hydrotherapy day spa, focusing on whole-body wellness. The spa offers massage, esthetics, body treatment and, most importantly, the restorative experience of the ancient Roman-style thermal bath circuit. Harmony and Cedar secured an SBA 504 loan from Ocean State Business Development... Read More

VIBCO began manufacturing vibration solutions in 1962. A leader in their field, VIBCO continues to strive towards enhancing their customer's capabilities through innovative products and efficient service. Today, using lean principles of eliminating waste, VIBCO holds more than 46 U.S. design patents and has developed more than 1800 different pneumatic, hydraulic, and electrical vibratory units for use in the construction, food, chemical, pharmaceutical, agricultural, and transportation sectors. 

VIBCO’s CEO and President, Karl Wadensten, is steadfast in his commitment to ensure that VIBCO continues to stand by the qualities it was built on from the beginning – quality, trust, reliability. As time has progressed, Karl has added another element to that foundation, something he calls “True North”. For VIBCO, their “True North” translates to “Same Day, Next Day”; which incorporated their goal of 100% Employee Engagement, Innovation, Throughput, and Quality. “We get the order... Read More

In 2016, Sandra Giraldo began working on her vision for Enjoyful Foods, a small business that creates cacao products that merged both flavor and health. This idea was born from her childhood experience in Colombia, where drinks infused with cacao (chocolate) were a dietary staple. As Sandra grew, she began focusing more on her health, fascinated with the impact nutrition had on her overall wellbeing.

The more Giraldo learned the more she realized the benefits of raw cacao. She began experimenting with different mixes, creating concoctions that were delicious but also yielded incredible benefits for the body. Wanting to share these findings, she began her path toward entrepreneurship.

Giraldo would begin working with the Center for Women & Enterprise (CWE). CWE is the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Women’s Business Center for Rhode Island. CWE actively helps aid women entrepreneurs start and grow their small businesses. Giraldo would be paired with CWE... Read More