Boudreau Salon and Boutique
1208 Loudon Road, (Route 9), Cohoes
Owner: Suzanne Boudreau
Describe your business: Boudreau Salon is a full-service family salon, an alternative to a typical day spa. We are known for our relaxed “come as you are” experience and we treat you like family. We pride ourselves on our affordable prices for today’s families. Our stylists continually educate themselves on the current trends and we specialize in Goldwell color. We also provide complete skin care, natural nail services and massage services.
How long have you been in business? I have been in the industry for 30 years this coming March and have owned and operated my salon for 18 years in its current location.
What are some of the hardest problems women business owners face today? I don’t believe that we are any different.The economy poses struggles for all small business owners in my field.
Is there one thing that really surprised you about owning a business? Everything!
What is the most important piece of advice you were given before starting your business? Don’t ever forget the clients you started with, they are your bread and butter and should be cherished.
What is your favorite product or service? I love color! Whether it’s “getting rid of the gray” or making a total transformation, color truly changes someone’s outlook immediately.
How did you survive the holiday season? Perfectly! I am blessed with an exceptional and very experienced staff. I love this time of year!
Hours: By appointment Tuesday – Saturday.
It’s Fur Real Mobile Pet Spa
Owner: Sandra Porter-Gonyea
Describe your business: It’s Fur Real Mobile Pet Spa is a state-of-the-art mobile pet salon that comes right to your door and provides quality pet services in a healthy, stress-free environment, catering to small and medium size dogs (50 lbs or less) and groomer-friendly cats. I specialize in hand-scissoring and perform everything from breed-specific trims, de-shedding services, to fabulous mutt makeovers. Also available are “spaw” services such as mud baths and pawdicures. My decades of experience in the pet care industry provides your pet with knowledgeable, professional care.
How long have you been in business? Although the mobile pet salon service was started in November of 2013, I am the past owner/co-owner of two grooming salons and a boarding kennel from 1988-2004. Owning a mobile salon has been a dream of mine for 20 years.
What are some of the hardest problems women business owners face today? From my own experience, the hardest problem faced was balancing owning a business and caring for a family. This puts extreme demands on a woman’s time, energy and resources. It is important that she have a good support system in place to succeed.
Is there any one thing that really surprised you about owning a business? Today’s modern technology can be utilized in every type of business and I feel it is important to discover what is available in your industry and incorporate it into your day-to-day operations.
What is the most important piece of advice you were given before starting your business? It was impressed upon me, by others successful in business, to create a strong network of like businesses. For me, they are pet sitters, dog walkers, veterinarians, trainers and boutique owners.
What is your favorite product or service? The one complaint I hear over and over is about pet hair. Most dogs (and cats) shed and our de-shedding service can help reduce shedding hair 60-90% with regular treatments. I have provided this service for years with many happy pet parents. This is great for short-haired dogs like pugs and beagles, as well as their fluffy cousins.
What do you enjoy doing in your down time? Being a single Mom to two college students now gives me time to explore interests I put on hold for many years. I am an artist who dabbles in mixed media and jewelry making. But I spend most of my free time at the barn, caring for my OTTB (off the track thoroughbred),”Jerry”, and learning to ride dressage.
Hours: Monday- Friday by appointment
MiaMaria Beauty Boutique
2664 Hamburg Street, Schenectady
Owner: Maria Colomb
Describe your business: I am in the business of making people feel great about themselves. This can be with a relaxing facial or finding an outfit or accessory that makes the person feel special. I bring in clothing that is timeless and classic, but with a unique twist to it. One of the goals when I started this business was to open a boutique that offered quality clothing and results-driven facials, but at a fair price.
How long have you been in business? I have been in the skin care industry for 10 years, but opened MiaMaria’s in October 2013.
What are some of the hardest problems women business owners face today? I believe women have always had to endure some hardships in business, not just in these times. It’s always hard to juggle family, friends and run a business. Also being a military wife is hard. My husband is an Officer in the NY Guard and gone for an extended period of time. I have to make sure the business is running smoothly and have double chores to get done at home.
Is there any one thing that really surprised you about owning a business? Honestly, I am surprised at myself for taking the leap and opening a business. I was talking myself out of it, but there was passion in me that I just couldn’t ignore. At the end of the day, everything falls on my shoulders and I’m finding out how strong I am.
What is the most important piece of advice you were given before starting your business? I was going over all the “What ifs?” and the conversation always ended in “The biggest ‘what if’ will be if you didn’t take this opportunity.” That was true. I think the biggest failure would’ve been to not even try.
What is your favorite product/service? I can’t just pick one item because I have so many unique things, but in general I love that my clothes come from Los Angeles. They have an edgy, sophisticated look to them and exude confidence for all ages. My favorite services offered are the facials. I love helping people relax and feel beautiful!
How did you survive the holidays? One day at a time and one shipment at a time!
Hours: Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday 10am-7pm; Friday 10am-6pm Saturday 9am-1pm.
Spa Broadway at The White Sands Massage
453 Broadway, Troy
Owner: Gretta Taglione
Describe your business: What started as a solo massage therapy practice has grown into a multi-service wellness & beauty boutique. We are now in our third location in five years, offering massage therapy, nail care, skin care, waxing, body treatments and organic airbrush tanning.
What are some of the hardest problems women business owners have today? When I started the business in 2008, I was single and childless. Five years later, I’m married with a wonderful 3-year-old daughter, and a growing business with several staff members to manage. It’s a constant struggle to balance the demands of work while making sure we spend quality time with family. Finding good child care is often difficult to coordinate, and if you’re like me, can sometimes bring on feelings of guilt for being away from my child. I know I’m not alone. Many of my peers struggle right along with me.
Is there one thing that really surprised you about owning a business? Owning a business is a seven-day a week job. I’m not only a Massage Therapist, but I’m also responsible for all of the administrative work. Prior to owning my business, I had no idea of what real “hard work” was. Surprise!
What is the most important piece of advice you were given before starting your business? The best advice I was given as I was starting up my business was to “start small” and “keep overhead low”. When I first started out, I was in a tiny one-room basement office. Soon after, we were bursting at the seams. Last March we expanded again and now have just the right amount of space, allowing us to offer our specialized services at a price that is affordable, which has always been important to me.
What is your favorite service? Our 9- minute hot stone massage!
What do you enjoy doing in your down time? In my free time, I enjoy reading stories to my daughter and baking for my husband.
Walrath Recruiting, Inc.
3 Winners Circle, Albany
511 Broadway, Saratoga Springs
Owner: Renee A. Walrath, president
Describe your business: Walrath Recruiting, Inc. is a talent acquisition and recruiting firm based in the Capital Region. From our two office locations in Albany and Saratoga Springs, we provide Executive search, staffing and recruiting services to hiring companies, and free placement services to those who are on the job market. We work closely with our clients to ensure that applicants and candidates are fit with the perfect position – whether it be Executive level, senior to mid-level management, temp-to-perm or long-term contract opportunities – as we value both our clients’ and candidates’ satisfaction. In addition to staffing and recruiting, we provide complete resume counseling services as well as internship placement.
How long have you been in business? 3 years. During that time, we’ve been very fortunate to expand three times and we continue to grow!
What are some of the hardest problems women business owners face today? Work/life balance is always difficult for women business owners. Taking care of family, providing great support for staff members (who often feel like family!) and ensuring that business runs smoothly and continues to experience growth in all aspects is challenging, but also very rewarding.
Is there any one thing that really surprised you about owning a business? Before starting your business, it is important to have support from your family and friends. None of this would be possible without their continuous encouragement.
How did you survive the holiday season? The Walrath team helped me survive the holidays. I am very blessed.
Hours: Monday-Friday 7:30am-5pm.