SUPPORT EASTSIDE BUSINESSES
Mr. Jason Maclin, owner of the Chopafellaz enterprise, attained entrepreneurial leadership by what some may consider, divine appointment. The story of Mr. Maclin’s business journey is filled with a pattern of brilliant timing that could have only been orchestrated by the Grand Conductor.
Before we illustrate his first remarkable rendezvous with a saving grace, here is a bit of background. In the early 90’s, the 20-something, Maclin made a choice to follow his passion for the barber trade and his love of people. So, Jason decided not to further pursue a career in computer technology, the study in which he received his college degree. Instead he drew upon the wealth-building lessons of his father and grandfather, who between them owned a cab company, delicatessen, cleaners, and an auto parts store. Jason’s grandfather instilled in him the importance of multiple streams of income. Business ownership, real estate and the stock market were the cornerstones of his grandfather’s lessons in financial success.
Now, onto that fateful day that saved and changed Jason’s life.
The valor of Codelia Coble started with her mission to raise her two young children alone, without the support of a nuclear family. As a single mother, Codelia could not allow for her children (one of whom struggled with asthma) to be subjected to the subpar daycares that a number of her friends and family experienced. Codelia was determined to find a way in which she would be able to stay home with her children and still generate income. After much prayer, inspiration came upon her. She realized that her heart was large enough to love and care, not only for her children, but for those of her family and friends, and even the children of her community. Codelia knew that this was her calling and she refused to ignore the guidance of her heart.
And so, Ms. Coble set out to establish an in-home daycare. It immediately took off. In fact, there was no doubt in her mind that she was on the right track. Two months after forming the in-home daycare, she applied for a group daycare license. This would allow her to care for a larger number of children and support more families. In particular, Coble could offer support to more of her fellow single mothers. Codelia operated the group daycare in one location for several years and eventually opened a second home-based operation.
BATTERY & TIRE
BATTERY & TIRE
Arthur Todd is the fortified father of honest and fair automotive repair on Buffalo’s eastside. Every single last one of his thousands of customers will attest to his perpetual practice of “doing unto others as you would have done unto yourself.”
Mr. Todd watched his father work 16 hours days to raise nine children. With so much at stake, his father chose not to pursue owning his own business; although Arthur observed within his father all the characteristics of an excellent businessman. Growing up, one of the many principles instilled in Arthur was to always have a trade that he could fall back on. His father stressed the importance of cultivating a skill that adds value and could sustain him through the flux of the job market. Following his father’s advice, Arthur studied the auto mechanic trade. After graduating, Arthur went on to pursue a business management career at a world leader in the print industry. Arthur would match the skills and knowledge he gained as a business manager with the guidance of his father.
BROWN SUGAR, INC.
Lisa Daniels, owner of Brown Sugar Inc. hair salon is a story of standing on the shoulders of giants. At the age of 19, Daniels sought the wisdom and experience of a community leader in beauty and hair care. She was led to a life-long mentor. Under the tutelage of Yvonne Hudson of Yvonne’s Beauty Cutique, Lisa worked as a stylist and began mastering the science of growing and properly caring for hair. Not long after receiving her license and becoming a bona fide beauty professional, Lisa made a name for herself with her undeniable talent for growing and strengthening hair.
Word spread fast and her clientele list grew. Her love and care for the crowns of those that trusted her was being reciprocated. Her mentor witnessed Daniels’ exponential growth, professionalism, and talent. This was the hands-on experience and the one-woman audience that Lisa needed for the next stage in her career.
Paul and his wife Mandy Singh started City Fashion when disaster struck nearly 30 years ago. Ironically, the couple experienced the promise of a positive new start that was simultaneously met with an unexpected twist of fate. After an arduous interview process, Mandy received a job offer for a NYS government position. The family was elated by the opportunity. Mandy submitted her formal resignation to her employer at the time and prepared for her new career.
Then, on the eve of her new dawn – the day before she was to start her new position… the worker’s union went on strike. This meant that Mandy was out of a job she never started and could no longer return to her former employer. The Singhs were devastated. Paul wasted no time finding a way to sustain his family. In true New York fashion, he hustled nonstop to make inroads with friends and family until an opportunity of value presented itself. Finally, he was advised to reach out to a far removed relative, who owned a successful clothing store in New York City. After several back and forth treks to the NYC, City Fashion was born. Their start was meek and unassuming; setting up booths at open marketplaces and selling clothing from their home.
STYLES OF MAN
Styles of Man is truly a home-grown small business that has taken shape in the Delavan-Bailey community. Its story started several decades ago, in the heart of 15-year-old Hakeem Hicks. The owner of Styles of Man was once a young ambitious apprentice at a barbershop a few blocks from the building he would eventually own. As a teenager, Hakeem spent his nights and weekends in the shop learning the trade. Over several years, Hicks would work in a few more barbershops along East Delavan.
The last shop that he rented a booth in taught him the operational lessons he needed to take the entrepreneurial leap. During his time at the shop, Hicks became aware of the financial demands of property and business ownership. This experience equipped him with both the insight into business operations and the confidence to take a bold yet calculated risk. Now, a talented and locally famous barber, the only natural next step for Hicks was to own his own barbershop and his own building.
Friendly Nails was first welcomed into our beloved neighborhood 25 years ago. Owner, Tony Nguyen opened its doors after finding that the Bailey Business District was ripe with clientele and active with both vehicular and foot traffic. Prior to Friendly Nail ownership, Nguyen worked in the restaurant industry. While employed at the local Vietnamese dinery, Tony experienced numerous fires and other dangerous circumstances that made him rethink his initial plan of someday owning his own restaurant.
In his search for a new path, it was brought to Tony’s attention that the local cosmetology school was offering nail technician licensing for a significantly reduced rate. The discounted tuition just so happened to fit perfectly into Tony’s modest budget. As is the entrepreneurial spirit – Nguyen wasted no time in enrolling. Upon, his successful completion of the training and with license in-hand Tony set out to secure a commercial property. After an extensive citywide search, Tony decided irrefutably that Bailey Avenue was the ideal location. With confidence, Tony used the last of his savings to bet on himself and his dream of financial independence.
It paid off.
As fate would have it, Domenico (Dominic) Fulciniti walked into a local paint shop on Bailey Avenue in the summer of 1988. After spending the previous 4 years serving our country in the armed forces, he found himself in need of a job. The shop owner had an appreciation for Veterans and hired him that day.
Dominic immigrated with his parents and siblings from Italy to the United States at the age of 11 and brought with him an incredible work ethic. He made his way up the ladder into a management position, but in 2004 everything changed when the owner decided it was time to retire. Dominic was asked if he was interested in purchasing the business. That evening, he showed up to his son’s football practice, sat down next to his wife Laura and told her what had happened that day. It was one of those life changing moments. They collectively decided to move forward with the purchase of the business and in 2005 everything was finalized.
Dom was now the BOSS.
AN CHAU ASIAN MARKET
Andy Pham, owner of An Chau Asian Market is putting the Pham in “Family”. Coming from a large family of entrepreneurs including restauranteurs, accountants, and insurance agents – Andy continues his family’s entrepreneurial legacy with his extensive cultural food market located in the Ken-Bailey business district. In the late 90’s Andy inherited a convenient store from his sister. Naturally, Andy wanted to (in his words) fulfill the American Dream. Andy shares that he “wanted to be a bridge that connects different cultures together by providing products from around the world”. Shortly after stepping up to own and operate the small convenient store, Andy rented out a larger space next to the neighboring pizza shop.
Not long after the first expansion, Pham desired to expand the store even further. This second expansion would truly give him the space to bridge the culinary cultural and geographical divide. And so, in 2004 An Chau Asian Market underwent an extensive expansion into the current location. In this much larger space, Andy would not only be able to offer a wide variety of hard to find authentic Asian food and spices, but also various food items from a variety of countries that are represented in our local community. Pham says, “Having a grocery store allows me to help the community find the products that reminds them of home”.
Making a living from doing what you love. This is only the hope of… every living person. For, Ms. Annette Watts it is a reality. As a young girl, Annette’s mother taught her to sew. Her mother was a master seamstress – sewing her three children’s clothing, home décor, and special occasion attire. It was an art and passion of her mother’s that soon became her own. Annette loved making the perfect pieces for herself, family, and friends. It brought joy to those that wore her designs; to know that someone they loved and loved them put so much time and energy into making them feel good in their clothing.
Early on, Ms. Watts knew she had a gift for crafting clothing and an eye for great design. In fact, she was confident that she could earn a decent living from the trade that she worked day and night to perfect. As a young woman, Annette sought work as a tailor. The job hunt did not last long. After showing a manager at Brooks Dry Cleaning her work, Annette was hired on the spot. She would spend 10 years working for the local business legend. Though she loved earning steady wages for her craft, the seamstress aspired to operate her own business. With her own company, she would not only repair clothing, but she would be able make garments, gowns, suits, and home décor – just like her beloved mother.