It has been said one mans trash in another mans treasure. In todays very competitive business environment, survival can very well depend on what is known as the all-important niche.
We find one such niche-oriented business in Creative Touch, whose owner, Amanda Bellino, describes it as a furniture transformation business. And what a transformation it is. She and her partner, Joe Brady, turn old clocks into cabinets, chandeliers into candle holders, silver plates into mirrors and doors into fireplaces, and that is not all.
They maintain a basement operation at 195-12 Station Rd. in the Auburndale area of Flushing; however, they are experiencing growing pains and are shopping for a combo store/warehouse with preferences in the Williamsburg or Dumbo (Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass) areas of Brooklyn.
Being so pro-Queens, I emphasized the advantages of Long Island City.
Bellino and Brady make a perfect match for this niche business; Bellino is quite handy and has a degree in interior design. Her expertise covers Peruvian-style painting and culture, and she also is well-versed in faux glazing and wall finishing.
If you match Bellinos expertise with Bradys background in graphic design, art and dexterity, an interesting combination comes into play. So hows business to date? They are doing rather well, having established retail outlets in Manhattan, Bayside, Roslyn, New Jersey and the Hamptons.
Their most popular line, shaby shic, features picture frames which retail for $35 and up, and the partners are having a hard time keeping up with demand, Bellino said. Angel figures, which they plaster mold themselves, are very popular, as well as anything with angels, Bellino said.
Also very popular are mirror etchings. Profit margins are quite good since inventory costs are minimal in this business of combining what people discard and transforming it into art.
Bellino said they are looking to hire several people. When theyve found their new location (and I hope it will be in Queens), they will be able to beef up production and really start to grow. Business is always good when you find the right niche.
Joe Palumbo is the fund manager for The Palco Group, Inc. and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 1-718-461 8317.
©2003 Community News Group
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