Locally Owned Businessess

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locally owned business

East Grenbush Window Coverings
568 Columbia Turnpike, Suite 8B, East Greenbush

477.9025; www.eastgreenbushwindowcoverings.com
Owner: Lorraine Greaney

Describe your business with a brief history:

East Greenbush Window Coverings was started in 1987 by Lorraine Greaney as a decorating firm that quickly evolved to specialize in beautiful window treatments. In 1992, the company successfully completed certification as a NYS Certified Woman Owned Business and launched the commercial side of the company.

East Greenbush Window Coverings specializes in customized designs and products that provide solutions for residential and commercial windows. We combine practicality,  beauty and budget (if necessary) together to create a unique look that will add that finishing touch to any environment. We work in concert with our clients by understanding their likes and dislikes to make their vision a reality.

How have you weathered this economy? Have you made any changes to your business to adapt to the changing times?

The economy has been a true challenge and I have made it through by stubborn determination and a positive attitude. I made key decisions that included maintaining my marketing and advertising while cutting other areas that were not as vital.

I am optimistic about this year. I saw the last quarter of 2010 improve; the calls to the showroom are on the rise. New products that combine beauty and energy will continue to attract our customer’s attention in 2011.

What are you most proud of?

I am most proud of our showroom and extensive library of fabrics and trims. Last year we also became a Hunter Douglas Showcase Dealer that allows us to offer the exclusive Alustra Collection to our clients. I invite you to stop in and see this exclusive line, along with other displays in the showroom and talk about your specific or future project.

How did you become involved in this industry and what advice do you give to those interested? My advice to others is to love what you do, believe in yourself and surround yourself with positive influences.

Inspired Occasions
Clifton Park
487.8128; www.Inspired-Occasions.com
Owner: Taia S. Younis

Describe your business with a brief history:

Inspired Occasions is a wedding and event planning company born in 2008 with the goal of making wedding and event planning services accessible to anyone. Since then, it has grown exponentially each year. We specialize in creating unique and detailed events and providing personal and flexible service to all of our clients. Our values and skills afford us the opportunity to design high-end couture events for our more affluent clients while also providing more basic planning and coordination services to those on tighter budgets.

How have you weathered this economy? Have you made any changes to your business to adapt to the changing times?

I am so fortunate to say that the company has continued to grow despite the downward shift in the economy.  I think it’s because we have completely flexible services that allow us to work with just about any client.  Because we offer a free no-obligation initial consultation, we are able to meet with any potential client, learn about their main needs and budget and then create a unique service package that will work for them.  We are always thinking of new ways that we can serve more clients.  For example, we now offer low-cost educational seminars for couples planning their own weddings and we just launched a consultation-only package that provides affordable professional guidance to couples just getting started in their planning process.

What makes you optimistic about the future for your business?

From its beginning, Inspired Occasions has been built on a model of adaptability. Knowing that we’ve been able to grow during one of the toughest economic periods in recent history, we are confident that we can continue to grow as long as we are willing to meet our clients “where they are” and stay true to our value to make these services accessible to a wide range of people.

How did you become involved in this industry and what advice do you give to those interested? Planning events professionally has always been my dream career. It capitalizes on all of my natural strengths, talents and interests. Before taking on the challenge of starting my own business, I was fortunate to gain basic experience planning corporate events for a private company for several years.

For anyone interested in starting a career in the event planning industry, I would suggest looking for internship opportunities to gain some hands-on experience and get a realistic picture of what it takes to run such a business successfully.

Who are your role models?

All of those successful female entrepreneurs out there who are also mothers. The biggest challenge for me everyday is finding a healthy balance between running a successful business and running a happy household. I take great inspiration from all those who have and are doing it everyday!

What are you most proud of?

All of the beautiful events we’ve been a part of and the wonderful relationships we’ve built with our friends (aka clients) over the past few years.  I look forward to many, many more! 

Hours:  By appointment only.  Please call 487.8128 for more information or to schedule a free consultation.

Jake Moon
2082 Delaware Avenue, Delmar
768.2570; www.jakemoon.net
Owner: Chef Daniel E. Smith, CEC

Describe your business with a brief history:

After opening in January of 2009, this breakfast/lunch eatery has become the darling of the Heldebergs, as well as the nearby suburbs of Delmar and Slingerlands.

Featuring locally sourced food, this European-trained chef is turning out breakfast and brunch items with a flair not readily available in the Capital Region. Already declared the “Best Breakfast” in the Capital Region by Metroland Magazine, Jake Moon has won accolades from many other food writers. Most items are made on-premise, including the baked goods, sausage, Canadian bacon and famed “Red Flannel Hash” from the chef’s day at the Beekman Arms in Rhinebeck.

Jake Moon has expanded to doing weekend dinners, as well as some catering.
How have you weathered this economy? Have you made any changes to your business to adapt to the changing times? So far, the price point and choices of the restaurant has proven to be an important crowd pleaser and attraction given the current economic downturn. And, not having to make any drastic changes to keep the crowds coming in…which is often the case on weekends.

What makes you optimistic about the future for your business?

The future looks very bright for this little niche eatery, since there are very few places in the area and people from the Albany area are always going to be traveling out to the hills for recreational purposes, not to mention the growing number of homeowners looking for that house in the country.

How did you become involved in this industry and what advice do you give to those interested?

As a school-age kid, Chef Dan worked weekend at a local restaurant in his hometown in the Catskills, luckily enough under a notable chef and was inspired by a mother who herself was an inspired cook. For anybody thinking about this industry, it is advised that you spend time in “the trenches” learning from the ground up. And most of all, learn how to cook good food, not taking shortcuts.

Who are your role models?

Chef Dan had the very good fortune of working under world-class Master Chef Eugene Bernard, who molded him like a piece of clay, as he puts it, and despite many other training roles, made him into a chef in a classical sense.

Winter hours:

Breakfast: Thursday & Friday 7am-3pm; Saturday & Sunday 8am-3pm. Dinner: Thursday, Friday & Saturday 5pm-9pm

Jose Malone’s Mexican Irish Restaurant
405 River Street, Troy
273.2196; josemalones.com
Owners: Ray Wall & Mary Anne Stafford
 

Describe your business with a brief history:

We opened in October of 2005 with a commitment to doing very innovative Mexican inspired cuisine. Of course, the "Irish" part gave us the additional freedom to stray from the Mexican a bit and for Ray’s Irish band to perform regularly. He has an extensive history with Mexican food and is known for his "legendary" Margaritas and Mary Anne comes with a fine dining background.

How have you weathered this economy? Have you made any changes to your business to adapt to the changing times?

We have pretty much kept the attitude of "hang in there" and focused on our uniqueness. No one else in the area is doing high-end Mexican food. We cook almost everything from scratch, make our own tortillas and make our margaritas from fresh squeezed limes. This commitment to high quality has won us multiple awards for our food and margaritas, including the "Best Margarita in the Capital Region", the "Best Margarita in the Hudson Valley" and most recently the "Best Ribs in the Capital Region".

What makes you optimistic about the future for your business?

We have grown every year since we opened and just seem to get busier and busier. People talk about our food quality and our unique take on Mexican food up and down the Hudson River and our block, known as “Troy’s Marina District” is becoming known as an entertainment destination. We are also one of the few restaurants that while serving meat, takes our vegetarian dishes very seriously!

How did you become involved in this industry and what advice do you give to those interested?

Ray has been involved with Mexican food since the 1970s and in the industry since the mid-80s. His previous restaurant is very well-known in the area. Mary Anne studied culinary arts and fine dining and is a graduate of the original Le Cordon Bleau Paris.
Who are your role models? Rick Bayless is probably at the top of the list, but Bobby Flay and Alton Brown are certainly on that list for their commitment to excellence and attention to detail.

What are you most proud of?

The fact that most of our food is made from scratch and not factory made like most restaurants is a great source of pride. Our Executive Chef Ryan Cusack and Sous Chef Ryan Kick are rising stars and we are very proud to have them here.

Hours: Tuesday-Saturday from 4pm.

New Old Stuff
615 Pawling Avenue, Troy
274.3221; www.newoldstuffny.com
Owner: Eve Worden
 

Describe your business with a brief history:

I started at flea markets in 1981 working alongside my mother who sold antiques. I liked the look of the antiques, but most of the furniture was not durable enough for everyday use, so I did some research and found some nice lines of reproduction antiques. With my husband’s coaxing I decided to open my own store and after four moves we settled into our current location about 24 years ago.

How have you weathered this economy? Have you made any changes to your business to adapt to the changing times?

We haven’t noticed much difference at our store with the economy. We are always working hard to find new lines that are a good value for our customers and that ensures repeat business. We have not cut back on any of our inventory, but we have cut some expenses that really were not necessary to begin with.

What makes you optimistic about the future for your business?

What really makes me optimistic about our future business is the turn around we have seen lately with our customers really appreciating that we promote and sell AMERICAN MADE furniture.  Our customers are looking for solid wood, lots of choices and a good value, and we are happy to be able to offer just that.

What are you most proud of?

I am very proud of my family who has worked alongside me building this business up for the last 30 years. I could not have done it without them. I am very fortunate because I love working at my store and on my days off I am lucky enough to have my two beautiful granddaughters to play with. Life couldn’t get much better than that.

Hours: Monday-Friday 10am-6pm; Saturday 10am-5pm; Sunday 11am-4pm.

Please feel free to stop by and browse, but bet you can’t leave without sampling some of our old-fashioned candies and chocolates from our Sweet Shoppe.

Pure Elements An Organic Salon
1726 Western Avenue, Albany
608.5405; www.pure-elements-salon.com
Owner: Kristen Gaffney
 

Describe your business with a brief history:

We opened in 2009 as an organic salon with a mission to provide a healthy way to stay beautiful.
How have you weathered this economy? Have you made any changes to your business to adapt to the changing times? Opening a new business in this economy has been a real challenge. We are truly blessed with great customers that have been loyal to us and they have done a great job of sharing the unique concept of the salon with their friends and family.

What makes you optimistic about the future for your business?

I think society as a whole is becoming more aware about the choices they are making in regards to what goes into as well as onto their bodies. When the alternative does not cost anymore and provides the same results most people decide to eliminate the harmful risks for a healthier life style.
How did you become involved in this industry and what advice do you give to those interested? Hair has been a passion of mine ever since I was a little girl. My advice to others who are interested in this industry would be to follow your dreams. If hair is what you are passionate about get into a salon as soon as possible to start assisting and learning how a salon works and always keep up with the latest trends and styles.

Who are your role models?

I am very blessed to have many people in my life who have helped me reach my dreams.
What are you most proud of? I took my ideas, dreams and beliefs and turned them into reality. I was able to create a chemical-free environment for my customers to continue to stay beautiful without jeopardizing their health or budget.

Hours: Sunday & Monday closed. Tuesday & Wednesday 10am-8pm, Thursday 11am-7pm; Friday 10am-6pm; Saturday 9am-5pm.

Sampson’s Prosthetic & Orthotic Laboratory
1737 State Street, Schenectady
Patient care centers in Amsterdam, Queensbury, Saratoga Springs, and Albany
374.6011; www.sampsons.com
Owner: Bill Sampson, CP (Certified Prosthetist)

Describe your business with a brief history:

Sampson’s was founded in 1968 by my father, William Sampson Sr., who began his career in 1950 as an apprentice for a New York City prosthetics firm. After receiving his board certification, he formed a partnership with other practitioners in Schenectady, but eventually became an independent provider. After completing my formal education, I joined the practice. After his retirement, I became the president.

Sampson’s is fully accredited by the American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics & Pedorthics (ABC), which sets the highest standards for quality orthotic, prosthetic and pedorthic care.

What are you most proud of?

Countless patients of all abilities and disabilities have come to Sampson’s to reach their mobility goals. I’m proud that our staff works tirelessly to make this happen.

How have you weathered this economy? Have you made any changes to your business to adapt to the changing times?

The healthcare business nowadays is a very challenging one with insurance and Medicare constantly evolving. We do whatever we can to assist our patients through the insurance maze.

What makes you optimistic about the future for your business?

Realistically speaking, with the very large boomer population aging and needing a variety of levels of care, and with so many military returning from overseas with amputations, we see our business as continuing for a very long time. Having said that, Sampson’s has a long history helping people in the Capital Region and we take much pride in that. We don’t intend to let that legacy fall to the wayside.
Who are your role models? My father. He was a skilled practitioner, dedicated to improving the lives of his patients. He had a genuine concern for all he came in contact with – from patients to their family members and to all his health-care associates.

How did you become involved in this industry and what advice do you give to those interested?

I was exposed to this profession ever since I can remember, so it seemed natural for me to study prosthetics and orthotics and I never regretted it. My advice for those interested is, of course,  study hard and to remember that this is a field not only of science, but creativity as well. What that means is that a prosthesis or an orthosis undergoes many adjustments to meet every patient’s unique needs.You need to be able to think “out of the box”. Don’t enter this profession if you don’t have a true desire to help others and make a difference.

Hours: By appointment.

Sweetleaf Boutique
601 Watervliet Shaker Road
250.4218; www.sweetleafbotique.com
Owner: Randi Vogel

Describe your business with a brief history:

The first store was opened by Randi at age 23 in Setauket on Long Island in 2006. It’s still in operation, run by Randi’s mother and sister. The Latham store opened in 2009. Since opening, Sweetleaf Boutique has succeeded in bringing a unique fashion perspective to the Capital District. Randi combines her love of styling and scoping out new designers with an obsession for shopping. She knows how to find quality pieces at affordable prices and offers a current selection of beautiful apparel and accessories and is always happy to help with suggestions and styling tips.

Sweetleaf will have you looking good from head to toe for any occasion from suiting to sportswear, cocktail to casual, for young and mature alike. Come in for our large selection of denim including the figure fixing Not Your Daughters Jeans and hot brands such as Anomane, Black Orchid and Blank. Also, you’ll find popular looks from Alternative Apparel, Chaser, Threads 4 Thought, Veronica M, C Luce and more, as well as jewelry and accessories. Check out Sweetleaf’s after-hour ladies nights and trunk shows to escape the daily grind.

How have you weathered this economy? Have you made any changes to your business to adapt to the changing times?

Sweetleaf always strives to offer fashionable pieces at affordable prices. I don’t want my customers walking out of my store feeling guilty about the purchases they have just made. 

How did you become involved in this industry and what advice do you give to those interested?

I was born a shopper. My mother would push me in a shopping cart and I would pick out my own clothing and dress myself at two-years old. I always knew that I wanted to own my own store. I went to school for business management, got an internship at a women’s clothing boutique during college and after I graduated, opened Sweetleaf!

What are you most proud of?

I am most proud and fortunate of starting a business as a woman at such a young age and keeping it successful in a downward spiraling economy.

Hours: Monday closed, Tuesday-Friday 11am-8pm, Saturday-10am-4pm, Sunday closed.

Teakwood Builders, Inc.
8 Butler Place, Saratoga Springs
587.2880; www.teakwoodbuilders.com
Owner: Jim Sasko

Describe your business with a brief history:

I founded Teakwood Builders in 1996 based on my vision to create beautiful buildings of high-quality construction and detailed craftsmanship. I started out by subcontracting for several residential builders, and increasingly saw a need for a builder/remodeler who would more fully understand and interpret clients’ unique design needs as part of the construction process. Building on my education in construction technology and management, and my forte in design, I decided to form my own company. I hired slowly, built strong relationships with clients and my own team of craftspeople, and grew the business into a full-service design/build company that today employs 14 full-time professionals.

The name “Teakwood” comes from a street name in the neighborhood where I grew up in Clifton Park. Coincidentally, it is also among the most beautiful and durable of the tropical hardwoods!  

How have you weathered this economy? Have you made any changes to your business to adapt to the changing times?

We have maintained great relationships with our clients over the years, and been fortunate to be asked back by many to do new and different projects. We have also grown our outreach through advertising and marketing campaigns, and now social media. To adapt to the growing competition for business in this economic climate, we have had to invest a lot more time and resources in the design and planning phases of our work, helping to educate prospective clients in the value of working with an experienced, professional design/build team that can ensure a successful project.
What makes you optimistic about the future for your business? We have developed a strong pipeline of sales leads, and are seeing an enduring interest in our company.

How did you become involved in this industry and what advice do you give to those interested?

I worked at my father’s building supply store in Cohoes when I was younger, and always had an interest in construction. I earned an associate’s degree in construction technology from HVCC, and a bachelor of arts in construction management from Utica College. My advice to others: Find a mentor, and follow his or her lead.
Who are your role models? I look to leaders who have managed to win the trust, respect, and support of others, despite adverse circumstances. As a fan of military history, I would cite generals Stonewall Jackson, George S. Patton, and Norman Schwarzkopf as people who have been successful in this.

What are you most proud of?

I am most proud of creating a brand that is recognized and well-respected in this area, and forging a positive company culture. I am privileged to work with great people who possess amazing skills and depth of knowledge, and who share my goal in creating distinctive and architecturally beautiful projects.

Hours: M-F 7:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

 

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