9 entrepreneurs complete business training program

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 12 June 2013 at 12:00 am

Photos by Tom Rivers – Crystal and Timothy Elliott are working to open a pottery business in Medina. They discuss their business plan during Tuesday’s MAP graduation.

ALBION – They have the ideas, the passion and now the business plans to launch new businesses, stimulating the local economy and creating opportunities in Orleans County.

Nine residents completed the latest Microenterprise Assistance Program, a 12-week business training class run by the Orleans Economic Development Agency and The BEST Center at Genesee Community College.

The program is offered twice a year. There are 100 businesses operating from MAP graduates in the past five years.

The Spring 2013 class graduated on Tuesday with a celebration at the Crooked Door Tavern. The program has Dee Hansel of Albion more confident about her goal of opening a massage and skin care service business. Hansel has a business and marketing plan for Tranquil Moments Massage and Skin Care.

She plans to open next year. She is completing her certification as an esthetician, which will allow her to do facials and detoxification wraps. She is already a licensed massage therapist. She wants to run the business on Main Street in Albion.

“The class has been very helpful with the business plan and marketing ideas,” she said.

Dee Hansel plans to open a massage therapy business in Albion that offers skin care.

A Medina couple, Tim and Crystal Elliott, are working to open Brush Strokes Studio that would allow customers to create their own pottery at a site in Medina. Mrs. Elliott believes the site will be popular for parties, home-schooling groups and for other events. She and her husband need to find a spot for the business that they would like to open in late winter or early spring.

“People say we’re in the middle of nowhere,” Mrs. Elliott said. “But we’re in the middle of everything.”

Gaines Town Clerk Jean Klatt and her husband Reynold are working to open a custom wine-making shop on Main Street in Medina in the fall. Mrs. Klatt plans to keep working for the town, while teaming with her husband in what they said would be just the third custom wine-making business in the state. The others are in Gates and Syracuse.

Some of the MAP graduates already have opened their businesses. Eula Collins opened Baby Ribs in Medina about two months ago. She just added a mobile truck so she can take her barbecued food to parties and other events. Jacqueline Henhawk runs Lake Alice Motor Sports.

Eula Collins opened Baby Ribs, a barbecue business in Medina. She talks about her business plan on Tuesday with other MAP class members.

Other graduates include: Matthew Coles of Barre, who has a site secured on East Ridge Road in Greece for an embroidery business. He’ll also sell Yankee Candles; Jack Larkin is selling antiques through the Internet; Daniel Mathews plans to open a rib restaurant and bar in Albion; and Susan Orman will open a seamstress business in Holley.

One recent MAP grad, Kim Rowe, was the keynote speaker during Tuesday’s graduation. Rowe has launched “U Make Scents Products” – lotions, fragrances and shampoos.

She said the best business plans don’t account for surprises in opening and running a business.

“There are things you’re going to have to change,” she said.

She told them they need to create a superior product, work hard and count on word of mouth to build a customer base.

“Do an excellent job,” she told the MAP grads, “because your name is on the product.”

Editor’s Note: Hub editor Tom Rivers completed the MAP class last fall.