Women Owned Businesses

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LEAD Consulting and Coaching, LLC
60 Adams Place, Delmar
aleaderinyou.com
Owner: Dr. Diane Albano
Tell us about your business in your own words.
Women are caretakers and multi-taskers, all while leading a successful career. With so much on your plate, it’s easy to postpone your goals. “It’s Your Turn” is the line in the sand when you are an empty-nester, retired, long for meaningful relationships, or simply ask yourself, “what’s next?” Since 2009, I’ve helped women and small groups live a life they love.
What was the catalyst to start your own business? 
As a single mom, I juggled my responsibilities by working long hours in a high-stress job while staying focused on providing a loving home. I rarely asked myself what I really wanted. Like all children, mine grew up. It was my turn.
Deciding to retire was the catalyst to launch my successful coaching business.
As a Professional Certified Coach with the International Coach Federation and the Life Mastery Institute in California, I work with clients integrating 34 years of leadership, teaching, consulting, and coaching skills.
When you began your business, what kept you motivated through any stumbling blocks?
Starting a business as a second career, I felt like a little fish in a big pond. To stay motivated, I was supported by a coach to stay accountable for achieving my goals.
How many people are on your team? What do you look for in potential employees?
Currently, I am a solopreneur.
What do you do to bring your passion for your business to your employees and customers?
I communicate and encourage my clients to borrow my belief that they are far greater than their circumstances, and when committed to action they can have greater happiness and freedom in their lives.
What is your dream vacation?
My next dream vacation is a Sea Turtle Research Expedition in Costa Rica.

Evolve Handcrafted Soap Company
518.368.5518; evolvesoapco.com
Owner: Jill Sullivan-Keating
Tell us about your business in your own words.
I launched Evolve Handcrafted Soap Company two years ago, after spending many years making soaps and bath products as a hobby. Receiving positive feedback and encouragement from friends and family,  I decided to take the leap and start up a small business while working full-time as a Nurse Practitioner.
As a person who has always been committed to health and well-being, I devoted myself to handcrafting soap and body products made with organic and natural ingredients and that are free from harmful chemicals, pesticides, and antibiotic residues. Our soaps are animal-friendly and never tested on animals. I source many ingredients locally and try to use environmentally friendly, sustainable, and recyclable packaging whenever possible.
What was the catalyst to start your own business?
After reading about potentially harmful, skin-irritating, drying ingredients in commercial soaps, I decided to forge ahead with developing a healthier, more environmentally sound, handcrafted alternative that people could feel good about putting on their skin. After all, the skin is the largest organ in the body. The love and support of my friends and family empowered me to start a business.
When you began your business, what kept you motivated through any stumbling blocks?   
The positive feedback and encouragement from my friends, family, and customers kept me motivated.
How many people are on your team? What do you look for in potential employees? 
There are five people on my team. For a potential employee, I look for someone dedicated, honest, hardworking, and willing to learn.
What do you do to bring your passion for your business to your employees and customers?  
I try to have fun, be down-to-earth, and not take myself too seriously. I am passionate about physical, emotional, and spiritual health. I try to let that passion shine through in my interactions with my employees and customers.

Patty McGee Health & Wellness, LLC
Comerford Chiropractic
3403 Carman Road, Schenectady
518.221.9923; pattymcgee.coach
Owner: Patty McGee RN, MSN Integrative Nutrition Health Coach
Tell us about your business in your own words.  
The conventional medicine model is broken and is making us sicker. I’ll work with you to get to the root of the problem and provide the support you need to achieve your health goals once and for all. I offer highly effective health and weight-loss programs for women, men, and couples.
What was the catalyst to start your own business?
After working in conventional healthcare for 30+ years as an RN, MSN, hospital and practice administrator, and losing my mother, it was time to focus on my own health. I studied functional medicine and integrative nutrition. I applied all of the principles of Functional Medicine and Integrative Nutrition and healed myself of hypothyroidism, stopped taking synthetic hormones and lost 30 pounds. My pain and stiffness went away. This experience motivated me to become an Integrative Health Coach and open a practice focused on transforming lives.
When you began your business, what kept you motivated through any stumbling blocks?   
My clients’ emotional stories keep me motivated. Helping them get off medications, reverse chronic disease, lose weight, navigate their cancer diagnosis, and live fulfilling lives is extremely rewarding.
How many people are on your team? What do you look for in potential employees?
Currently, I’m a solo-practitioner. I envision hiring a team of support people and healthcare providers who share the same philosophy.
What do you do to bring your passion for your business to your employees and customers?  
My passion is to live my best life and share with others the experience and knowledge that I have gained to be the healthiest, happiest person I can be.
What is your dream vacation? 
My dream vacation is being with my family and friends on the beach in sunny warm weather preparing delicious meals.

Amazingly Ageless Medi-Spa
1202 Troy Schenectady Road, Latham
518.608.1252; amazinglyageless.com
Owner:Virginia Giugliano, MD
Tell us about your business in your own words.  
Amazingly Ageless Medi-Spa is a full-service med spa specializing in non-invasive treatments including Vaginal Rejuvenation for urinary incontinence and sexual dysfunction, Bio-Identical Hormone Replacement Therapy, Hair Restoration, Microneedling, PRP, Body Contouring, Botox/Fillers, and age-defying facials.
My staff and I are excited to offer you cutting edge services to enhance your health and preserve your “ageless” look.
What was the catalyst to start your own business?
I am a Board Certified OBGYN who has been caring for women in the Capital District since 1995. I left my practice in 2013, when my husband became ill. After spending four years at home, raising my children, I was excited to begin a new chapter. I had always had a passion for women’s wellness and a dream to open a Medical Spa.
When you began your business, what kept you motivated through any stumbling blocks?
I had anticipated challenges and remained motivated by channeling my passion and focusing on creating personalized care for men and women in a relaxing environment.
How many people are on your team? What do you look for in potential employees?
My team consists of myself, a Licensed Medical Aesthetician with 13 years of experience, and three assistants who help me to provide the best care and service in the area.
What do you do to bring your passion for your business to your employees and customers?
I work diligently to create an atmosphere for both employees and clients that is welcoming and tranquil. My team and I ensure that every client receives attentiveness and individualized care. My clients recognize this and reward us with their continued business and the testimonial of their life-changing results.
What is your dream vacation? 
Anywhere where there is sand, sun, and culture. A Mediterranean cruise with loved ones would be amazing.

Panache Hair Studio
1661 Route 9, Clifton Park
518.348.1661; vagaro.com/pananchehairstudio
Owner: Angela Krasuski
Tell us about your business in your own words.  
Panache Hair Studio is a full-service spa, offering services for hair, nails, feet, skincare, and eyelash extensions. Panache opened in 2001, and in 2006, I was blessed to be able to purchase the business and property from Naomi Smith.
What was the catalyst to start your own business?
I have always loved doing hair and nails. I started doing hair for school plays and attended vo-tech while in high school. I received my license right after graduation. I had a dream of owning my own salon since 1985 and realized my dream in 2006 after Naomi fell ill.
When you began your business, what kept you motivated through any stumbling blocks?
When I first took over the salon, I was surprised at the amount of work that went into running a salon behind the scenes. Besides keeping books and ordering supplies, owning a building that is more than 100 years old has its own set of problems. I stay motivated by the amazing Panache team and my family. They are my biggest cheerleaders.
How many people are on your team? What do you look for in potential employees?
There are 16 contract stylists and four receptionists that make up our team. We all work so well together and are like family. Everyone encourages and motivates each other. I look for a positive team player who loves what they are doing.
What do you do to bring your passion for your business to your employees and customers?
I look at Panache, not solely as my business, but as all of ours. Everyone plays a part in making Panache the amazing salon that it is. Our guests see that, too. Everyone who enters through our door always says it is so welcoming and nice and clean.
What is your dream vacation?
My dream vacation is to take my family on an Alaskan cruise.

Finders Keepers Consignments
Town Center Plaza, 1603 Route 9, Clifton Park
518.371.5599; fkccliftonpark.com
Owner: Kim Sapienza
Tell us about your business in your own words.
A Clifton Park original, Finders Keepers Consignments offers the community and surrounding areas high-quality fashion, accessories, and home goods at reasonable prices and has for more than 11 years. We specialize in providing an excellent consignment shopping experience with a special boutique feel. We pride ourselves on our curated collection of ever-changing inventory. It is interesting, clean, and well organized. Our customers enjoy the hunt and of course, “the FIND.”
What was the catalyst to start your own business?
I’ve always had a creative side and like to express myself in different and unique ways; plus, I’ve always had a fondness for thrifting, repurposing, recycling, and resale in general. When the opportunity arose, I leaped to do what I love!
When you began your business, what kept you motivated through any stumbling blocks?   
Motivation is internal and innate. I had the desire; I had the goal; the rest was easy. Any bumps along the way are just that, “Bump!” There are also many intelligent and “been there before” people who can help and who are willing to advise. I’ve never been afraid to seek them out, ask questions, and listen for that sage advice. I take what is useful, do my due diligence and mostly, remember to be brave.
How many people are on your team? What do you look for in potential employees?
My current TEAM is my external support system. These include my family, friends, and many business mentors I’ve met along the way. When the need to hire an employee arises, the qualities and standards I cherish in my support system will be looking back at me.
What is your dream vacation?
For me, it’s ALL about perspective. When I stand at the edge of the ocean and see nothing but the horizon, suddenly, everything is right! Right here, right now…it’s all we have.

The Speckled Hen
38 Saratoga Road, Scotia
518.369.8771; Find us on Facebook
Owner: Maureen Culver
Tell us about your business in your own words.  
The Speckled Hen is a unique home-decor store filled with new and old items from local artisans. We have a large selection of items including reproductions, candles, linens, a large selection of florals, and so much more. Explore new ideas to update and refresh your home with a visit to our store. Our items are ever-changing, and you will always find something new. We are celebrating our seventh year in business!
What was the catalyst to start your own business?
My sister Kathleen who has owned another local business, Chatham Flowers, for more than 25 years. She was the one to push me to take the leap because she knew I would succeed.
When you began your business, what kept you motivated through any stumbling blocks?   
Thankfully, I haven’t had any stumbling blocks. The joy and excitement of making people’s houses into homes keeps me motivated.
How many people are on your team? What do you look for in potential employees? 
The Speckled Hen is a one-woman show;  however, I have daily support from my husband, who I consider the backbone of my business.
What do you do to bring your passion for your business to your employees and customers? 
I love what I do and the products that I bring into my store. I strive to extend that passion and excitement to my customers.
What is your dream vacation? 
On the water somewhere, anywhere. With my toes in the sand and the water breaking on the beach…that is my happy spot.

KJ’s Gymnastics
3143 Route 9, Valatie
518.758.2554; kjsgymnastics.com
Owner: Karen Leggett
Tell us about your business in your own words. 
I opened KJ’s Gymnastics 20 years ago in an 800-square-foot garage bay. Three years later, we moved into our current facility. We are a recreational gymnastics club teaching basic gymnastics skills to children 18 months through high school. In 2016 we added an international program, Ninja Zone, which is a combination of gymnastics, martial arts, obstacle courses, and freestyle movements. Ninja Zone is perfect for toddlers to age 11.
What was the catalyst to start your own business?
I started KJ’s because I wanted to spend more time with my family and was tired of commuting to Albany. My father-in-law kept suggesting that I should do it.
When you began your business, what kept you motivated through any stumbling blocks?   
When I started KJ’s, it was the students’ smiles and determination that pushed me through any obstacles and stumbling blocks.
How many people are on your team? What do you look for in potential employees? 
We currently have 11 employees. We look for energetic, fun individuals who love working with and teaching children.
What do you do to bring your passion for your business to your employees and customers?  
I love explaining the benefits of gymnastics and Ninja Zone to parents, grandparents, and employees, many of whom were previous students of KJ’s. I love seeing the full cycle! I also love that we are a part of the community. Once a month, we host a four-hour “Parents Night Out,” so parents can go to dinner or a movie while we entertain the kids. We also offer both gymnastics and ninja birthday parties.
What is your dream vacation?
I would love to visit both Hawaii and Alaska.

Choices Hair Studio
180 Delaware Avenue, Delaware Plaza, Delmar
518.439.4619; choiceshairstudio.com
Owner: Leeanne Shade
Tell us about your business in your own words.  
I founded the salon to provide our guests with affordable luxury. We continually ensure that we offer the latest techniques and products.
What was the catalyst to start your own business?
Although I had always thought about opening my own salon, it just so happened that the salon I was managing offered to sell to me. It was fate.
When you first began your business, what kept you motivated through any stumbling blocks?   
My passion for this industry, along with the employees that were counting on me.
How many people are on your team? What do you look for in potential employees? 
I currently employ 22 amazing people. We have one common goal: to provide the best experience for each of our guests from start to finish. The BIGGEST quality I look for in a potential employee is that they are kind. I can teach them how to do their job but not always how to be kind; that is part of someone’s nature.
What do you do to bring your passion for your business to your employees and customers?  
In addition to catering to my clients, I also work as an educator, which requires me to stay up to date and trained on the latest trends. I travel across the country to train other stylists and bring [what I learn]back to my staff and clients.
What is your dream vacation? 
Out of the couple I have, my top is to travel to the Maldives. I may have a tough time sitting on a plane that long…I’m pretty used to standing a lot!
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