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Thursday, April 22, 2021
CRL

The Capital Region Loves Local

One-of-a-kind locally owned businesses.

Fortune Realty Group, LLC.
641 Grooms Rd., Suite 233
Clifton Park; 518.858.2627
[email protected]
Owner: Jennifer Fortune, licensed real estate broker
How have you pivoted your business during the COVID-19 pandemic?
FaceTime and Zoom have allowed us to have much-needed face-to-face interaction with our clients from the safety of their own homes or businesses. Another useful tool we’ve been using is Matterport, which provides an amazing virtual tour of the properties we have listed. This allows potential buyers to click a link and take a tour of the entire house in 3-D right from their computer, and even measures rooms to help with furniture placement and planning!
What is one positive that came out of the COVID pandemic?
The fact that we’re still able to carry on business activities, even in a limited fashion. Had we not had all of the tools and amazing technology, it would have really taken a much heavier toll on the business. Additionally, we all had some much-needed quality time with our families.
What are you most looking forward to when the pandemic is over?
Getting the entire team at Fortune Realty Group together for dinner. I want to thank them for their hard work and dedication to all of their clients and to one another. I am also hopeful that our community is able to have a track season in Saratoga! It will be great to get back to the races with everyone, enjoy the horses and socialize with friends that we were not able to see last year!

Pause Gallery
501 Broadway, Suite 106
Troy; 518.203.1251
pausegallery.com
Owner: Gail Snitkoff
When and why did you open Pause Gallery?
We opened Pause Gallery in 2018 to bring together a community of artists, craftspeople and collectors in the Capital Region. Although there have been galleries like this in the past in the area, we are unique to the Capital District, with a curated collection of fine art, ceramics, glass and handmade jewelry. We also support local artists and institutions.
What’s one thing your customers may not know about your business?
I know all of our artists and am knowledgeable about the techniques that they use. With my background as a teacher, I love to talk about the artists we represent, as well as the techniques behind the artwork. I am always amazed at how different artists, using the same medium, can produce such diverse objects and styles. We are happy to explain the works in our gallery, or just let you browse.
What are you most looking forward to when the pandemic is over?
After hugs, the thing I miss most is going to art and craft shows to meet our artists in person. I’m really looking forward to meeting them in person, not just virtually.

Cross Eyed Owl Gift Shop
3143 US 9, #8
Valatie; 518.758.6755
crosseyedowl.com
Owner: Patricia Varga
How have you pivoted your business during the COVID-19 pandemic?
We pivoted to online videos as a way to stay in touch with our customers and help fill their shopping needs. Customers could watch the videos, ask questions and have them answered on the spot. We put product images online as well, and many customers called in orders and then picked up their bags using our curbside pickup. We’ve done online sales for years through Amazon marketplace—this was simply another new way for folks to be able to safely make purchases without paying shipping fees.
What is one positive that came out of the COVID pandemic?
The opportunity to really get to slow down and spend time chatting with our customers, both online and over the phone. Providing a peaceful and encouraging space has always been our main goal, and our nightly live videos gave Cross Eyed Owl customers a daily dose of happiness, as well as a brief escape from all the madness of the day. We really tried to be a positive, fun part of the day for all those we could reach.
What are you most looking forward to when the pandemic is over?
Getting to all be together again like we used to be. We want to host events, have samples, hand out fresh-baked cookies and have our annual Pj Party and tent sale. Our online shopping group wants to get together for ice cream so that they can all meet one another, too. It really is the gathering that we all miss.

Joyelles Jewelers
318 Delaware Ave., Suite 12
Delmar; 518.439.9993
joyellesjewelers.com
Owner: Mary Vail
When and why did you open this Joyelles Jewelers?
June 1990. I was recently divorced and had a 5-year-old daughter. Running a business gave me some flexibility to raise my daughter that I wouldn’t have had otherwise.
What’s one thing your customers may not know about your business?
That we repair, design and make jewelry on the premises and have a gemologist for appraisals.
How have you pivoted your business during the COVID-19 pandemic?
We are happy to do curbside or local delivery and send pictures via phone for customers to see jewelry without coming in.
What’s one positive that came out of the COVID pandemic?
When we were closed, I realized how much I love what I do and that I’m not ready to retire.
What are you most looking forward to when the pandemic is over?
Seeing customers who haven’t wanted to leave their homes, and everyone’s smiles!

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