Business of the Month 2019
An initiative from the Staten Island SBDC to showcase the success and achievements in result of the hard work and efforts formed from business relationships with our expert advisors
May 2019: David Parker
David Parker, like many, was no stranger to putting off today what he thought he would do tomorrow. Being a procrastinator was becoming a way of life for him. As days turned into weeks, David began to realize that his procrastination was wreaking havoc on his moods. This self-awareness motivated David to write and self-publish the award-winning Self-Help book The More You Do The Better You Feel: How to Overcome Procrastination and Live a Happier Life. David’s book focuses on the relationship between habitual procrastination, mental depression, and self-esteem.
David first came to the Staten Island SBDC back in July 2011 to meet with Certified Senior Business Advisor George Telmany. He explained to George that he decided to write his book after he discovered that his lifelong habit of severe procrastination was worsening his low moods. As David explained, “I was living alone in London, separated from my then British-born wife and I found myself in a profound bout of depression. It was then that I recalled the advice a friend in Brooklyn once gave me. He told me that if I found myself in despair, I should immediately write down my bad thoughts because it would take away their power to affect me. I began carrying a small notebook and I took to writing like a duck to water.”
Once David completed his book, he realized that he needed help promoting it. Since he lacked the financial resources necessary to publish his self-help book, David went to ACCESS/VR, a New York State agency that helps disabled individuals to do things like start small businesses or to return to school for job skills. David was able to secure a $10,000 grant from ACCESS/VR after S.I. SBDC counselors George Telmany and Ed Piszko inspected his grant paperwork and wrote a support letter in favor of the grant. With that money, David was able to hire the services of a book publicist to help his book get exposure in the media.
David continues to meet with George for advisement sessions and attends training events hosted by the SBDC in order to manage, maintain and further develop his business. David now offers his own one-on-one counseling sessions to help hardcore procrastinators, as well as gives talks on overcoming procrastination at colleges, libraries, and organizations. You can learn more about David Parker’s self-help book by visiting his website.
“Not only has George met with me at local cafes and diners to analyze my problems and give advice, he’s even shown me his own professional and personal Facebook pages so I could learn how to utilize my own Facebook account.” – David Parker, Author
“David has written an excellent self-help book and he has really made progress in how to market his book. Wishing him continued success in the future!” – George Telmany, Staten Island SBDC Certified Senior Business Advisor
April 2019: T SUIT
There’s a new clothing and product line hitting Staten Island just in time for summer that truly “Fits Every Body to a T.” T SUIT is dedicated to the modern woman who wants to look and feel amazing in a swimsuit. T SUIT was founded by Denise Cesare and operates independently out of Staten Island, New York.
Denise is a wife, mother, and educator who empowers her customers to love the skin they’re in. Her products focus on exactly that! From a swim-friendly cover up to custom bathing suit designs, the T SUIT team is very intentional about selecting and creating swimsuit pieces and accessories to be in their collection. These products focus on four areas: style, fabric, comfort and fit.
Denise has been working with Staten Island SBDC Marketing Business Advisor Megan Ernst since September 2018. Through multiple sessions on marketing strategies and business plan development, T SUIT is reaching new heights and setting higher goals – including a new line of travel essential products released this spring! Denise has learned the keys of success through a variety of marketing and networking tools to grow her start up business.
To learn more about the exclusive T SUIT line and new travel products, check out their upcoming vendor and pop-up events on their website and social media.
“Megan and I connected instantly, which is so important for Woman entrepreneurs. She is a wealth of information, always sharing resources to get you on your way to building a successful business. Most important, she is a beautiful person inside and out. Thank you for believing in me!” – Denise Cesare, Founder and Owner of T SUIT
“Denise has a unique and motivating story that powers not only her business, but her overall success in life. I’m proud to work with such an inspiring entrepreneur and I can’t wait to see where T SUIT will land in the future!” – Megan Ernst, Staten Island SBDC Marketing Business Advisor
March 2019: Meseroll Shop
A new shop for BMX bikes, city bikes, skateboards and a new streetwear brand has just opened in Williamsburg, Brooklyn – Meseroll. Moving from North Carolina, Andrew York has found not only his niche, but also his home in New York City and there is no place he would rather be. After working out of a test site for a few years, the Meseroll Shop opened its first storefront at 108 Scholes Street this past month.
Two years ago, Andrew began working with Staten Island SBDC Certified Business Advisor George Telmany through their Outreach Office in South Brooklyn. Advisor Telmany worked with Andrew through his test site phase as he fine-tuned his business plan as well as his network. He finally discovered a path to a winning strategy that would meet his goals. Andrew had searched for a new site for over a year as he used a garage-type space to focus on repairs, meet his customer base, and develop relationships with vendors that matched his ultimate clientele.
After brainstorming, Andrew decided to add four vending machines that are an innovative twist to the street biking community. The vending machines provide replacement biking supplies and access around the Williamsburg neighborhood.
Andrew developed his shop for bikes and skateboard enthusiasts and he has been successful in building a valuable relationship with his customers. Eventually, he utilized an opportunity to include a new streetwear brand to his business. George helped him through the process of adjusting his business plan to fit the new addition to his business, and will continue to be a guiding source as Meseroll grows in the Big Apple.
To learn more about Meseroll Shop’s products, services, and events, please visit their website and follow them on social media.
“Through the early years, Andrew created a firm network with customers and grew to become an expert in his industry. Customers are often looking for ‘the best’ and with the addition of his MESEROLL streetwear brand, they not only receive the top-quality service they have come to know but they can also be part of a growing company that presents NY fashion in a casual vibe.” – Staten Island SBDC Senior Certified Business Advisor George Telmany
“As a small business owner you can easily get pulled in many directions. Friends and family can be very critical and it seems that everyone has a ‘better way’. George understands the highs and lows of a small business and having his guidance navigating the ups and downs makes me feel good about my future. I truly feel that George not only sees my vision, but he is just as excited as I am to execute and achieve the goals we have set in place!” – Andrew York, Owner of Meseroll Shop
February 2019: Wise Therapy LCSW
Wise Therapy LCSW is a New York City therapy practice owned and operated by Kelly Wise, PhD, LCSW-R, CST. Wise Therapy is made up of a collaborative group of therapists working together to provide services for the community. They are dedicated to the idea that everybody deserves to have a vibrant, joyful and unafraid life. Wise Therapy actively works towards creating the change we wish to see in the world by being committed to offering sliding scale, promoting social justice, LGBTQ rights, feminism and sex positivity in our personal and work environments.
Kelly Wise first met with Staten Island SBDC Certified Senior Business Advisor George Telmany in 2011. Kelly was passionate as he expressed his dream to open his own therapy practice in Brooklyn. He worked for New York City and was fearful to take the leap and become an entrepreneur but realized that the risk was a chance he was ready to pursue. During Kelly’s initial meetings with Advisor Telmany, it was decided that it would be best for Kelly to test the idea by renting office space for one day per weekend. Although the first six months were difficult in reaching his initial clients, after nine months things began to change dramatically and suddenly Kelly’s dream began to take shape and became more of a reality.
Within two years, Kelly built a practice that afforded him his own practice with an office for himself in both Manhattan and Brooklyn. Finally, Kelly was able to quit his day job completely and fly solo. Two years later, he signed a lease for additional office space in Brooklyn while adding staff. Kelly Wise has now built a team of therapists that are successfully supporting the NYC community.
Since Kelly expressed his business concept to George Telmany of the Staten Island SBDC, he has actively met with George on several occasions and has consistently worked towards his goals.
To learn more about Wise Therapy LCSW, visit their website.
“Kelly has worked diligently to build his skills as a therapist, leader and business owner. He has pursued continued leadership in his field, set an example of excellence as he developed his team and did not overlook the importance of business management skills along the way.” – Staten Island SBDC Certified Business Advisor George Telmany
“Meeting with George helped me feel confident moving forward with my private practice. He helped me honor my own timeframe which allowed the business to build in a way that felt comfortable to me. Without his help, my doubts would have taken over and I would not be where I am today. Thank you so much George”! – Kelly Wise, PhD, LCSW-R, CST
January 2019: Phil-Am Kusina
Phil-Am Kusina is Staten Island’s only sit-down Filipino restaurant, located at 556 Tompkins Avenue. Phil-Am Kusina serves authentic eats and recently expanded to a mobile food truck known as Sisig City to serve the rest of the NYC area. Manny Imperial is the man behind these operations, a family-man and food-enthusiast who can be found on the tennis courts in his free time.
Manny’s inspiration to become an entrepreneur began while working at his family’s Filipino grocery store, Phil-Am Foods. Manny enrolled in the Entrepreneurial Program at the College of Staten Island when he first met Joseph Bottega, Certified Business Advisor at the Staten Island SBDC. Since completing that program, Manny continues to meet with Advisor Bottega to this day for business counseling. Advisor Bottega initially guided Manny throughout the business plan writing process that he later used as a guide to open his first restaurant. Phil-Am Kusina officially opened in 2014, conveniently across the street from his family’s grocery store that inspired him. Advisor Bottega and the SBDC team continue to support Manny with advisement on marketing tactics, networking connections, and growth strategies.
Since Manny was motivated to provide his patrons with an authentic Asian-style restaurant experience, Phil-Am Kusina’s menu and décor from peach and khaki green walls to tables that are protected with glass wrapped in butcher paper does just that. The menu includes favorable dishes such as: pinoy ribs pork ribs in a Filipino style barbecue sauce; beef sirloin in soy lemon sauce with onion rings; crispy pork with shrimp paste in coconut milk; and leche flan crème caramel custard. At Phil-Am Kusina, you can find dinners for large and small parties at reasonable prices.
Phil-Am Kusina has become a very popular spot for Asian and Filipino residents in Staten Island and New Jersey. Many of the patrons can expect the traditional Filipino dishes with exotic flavors that reflect the cuisine and culture. As Phil-Am Kusina continues to gain popularity, Manny has took his business to the next level by opening his food truck for business. The food truck is used at local events throughout the NYC and NJ areas where customers can sample a variety of menu items like of lechon sliders, mini dogs, and crispy bicol. The mobility of this cuisine has offered a chance for a large audience to experience his authentic culinary abilities.
To learn more about Phil-Am Kusina and to check out their menu, visit their website and follow them on social media:
“Manny’s in depth knowledge of Filipino culinary culture along with his excellent and innovative cooking skills have made Phil-Am Kusina one of the top Filipino Restaurants in the NYC Area.” – Staten Island SBDC Certified Business Advisor Joseph Bottega
“You don’t build a business. You build people and the people build your business. That’s how the Small Business Development Center of Staten Island pertains to Phil-Am Kusina.” – Manny Imperial, Owner of Phil-Am Kusina