Business Name: The Dragonfly Salon & Firefly Lodge, State Route 12, Copenhagen, NY
Number of Years in Business: The salon and motel are celebrating their 7th year in business!
Number of Employees: I am self-employed but do have a second chair and could hire someone if I chose to.
Describe your Success Story: I graduated from high school having attended BOCES in their Licensed Practical Nursing program. I completed my state boards and decided I wanted to attend college for Occupational Therapy. I attended Herkimer Community College and received my Associates Degree in Occupational Therapy and completed my state boards in this as well.
After 25 years as an OT, I had the realization that this would not be long term and I needed to have a plan. I decided I wanted to own my own business. My mom had been a hairdresser for 30 plus years and despite saying I would never be a hairdresser, I knew deep down I had a hidden skill and all the years of observing lead me to inquire about the Adult Ed. Classes, once again at BOCES. I was fortunate to make contact in Glenfield and they enrolled me in the high school classroom, learning with 16, 17 and 18 year old students. I was up for the challenge. My oldest child and best daughter headed off to college and she inspired me. If she could take on this scary adventure, so could I.
Over the next year and a half, I attended Cosmetology classes at the BOCES Center in Glenfield, completing my 1000 hours of training as an adult student and passing my NYS Boards. During the final days of my education, I knew I had set the goal to own my own business, and I needed to get moving as that time was drawing near. Long story short I purchased 1950’s built motel, located in Copenhagen, that had sat abandoned and needed a lot of "TLC." This became a labor of love for my entire family. During this renovation time my dad passed away and despite him being my biggest cheerleader, I knew I needed to make this great for him. We purchased the property in November of 2009 and the salon was open for business in February of 2010 and the motel portion was open for business in April of the same year.
Things moved quickly and my nerves of owning and operating a salon were at times overwhelming but I knew I could do it. I wanted to do it. Being a motel operator, that was a different story. The saying, “If you build it, they will come” was really my motto. In a short time, after creating a Facebook page, putting a couple ads in the local newspaper, driving around to local businesses to hand out flyers, I sat and waited. It took some convincing, but soon I created a web site and within a short period of time I had my first lodgers. They actually arrived from Copenhagen, Denmark. Traveling from Canada headed to NYC, they saw Copenhagen, NY on the map and wanted to pay us a visit. The rest is history. Each summer becomes busier, with many return lodgers. Snowmobile season continues to grow and be a learning experience each season. In the fall I have hunters and leaf peepers and in the spring I have a variety of visitors. My goal is to have everyone who visits, appreciate and respect our small family business.
Here I am 7 years later. They say if you can make it 5 years in the business, you can consider yourself a success.