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Tuesday, May 14, 2024

January 2020: Women-Owned Businesses Section

All of the top women-owned businesses in the Capital Region.

Meier Law Firm, PLLC
10 Utica Avenue, Latham
Owner: Christina W. Meier, Esq.
Describe your business:
Counsel without judgment in the areas of elder law, estate planning and administration, guardianships and business law.
Why did you get into this business?
I enjoy helping people in need.
What’s the most rewarding part of owning Meier Law Firm?
I help people solve problems. Whether it’s assisting clients plan for their own incapacity and/or death; or the incapacity or death of a loved one; or helping clients who are in crisis; or who are grieving the loss of a loved one, I am able to leave work every day knowing that I made a positive difference in someone’s life.
If you could change one thing about the industry you work in, what would it be?
I would encourage more problem-solving through mediation, particularly when dealing with estate and guardianship matters.

Digital XPress
5 Sand Creek Road, Albany
Owner: Jodi Hess
Describe your business:
Digital XPress provides printing and mailing services to a wide range of commercial, institutional and retail customers. DXP also offers copywriting, design and large format printing for signs and displays.
How did you get into this business?
I was torn between becoming a lawyer and taking over the business that my father had founded in the late 1980s. So, I pursued both, attending school while working at DXP to learn the business from the ground up. I graduated from Albany Law School in 2010, and a few days after passing the NYS Bar exam, I joined DXP full-time. I loved the idea of being an entrepreneur and continuing my father’s legacy. I was named president of the company in 2013.
What’s the most rewarding part of owning Digital XPress?
The real reward is knowing that the business supports so many families—people who depend on us for
their livelihoods.
What’s the most surprising thing you’ve encountered since opening this business?
The positive impact we have on the community through holiday giving, volunteerism and innovative programming.
What’s your favorite thing about the Capital Region?
The region is full of energy, resources and opportunity, thanks in part to the wealth of new talent coming out of area colleges and universities. Coupled with the experience of seasoned workers, who have made this their permanent home, the region can compete on almost any stage.
If you could change one thing about the industry you work in, what would it be?
The perception that printers are the dinosaurs of the digital age. Far from extinct, we’re using technology to make printing and mailing more targeted and impactful than ever. We’re not bucking the digital revolution, we’re figuring out how to leverage it.

Healthy Cafe
Catering Company
50 Yardboro Avenue, Albany
Owner: Betsy Manware
Describe your business:
Healthy Cafe Catering is a full-service caterer that can provide food for an intimate party for ten, or an elaborate wedding for 200. From corporate breakfast and luncheons to showers, cocktail receptions and weddings, we are committed to providing you with delicious food at affordable prices.
What’s the most rewarding part of owning yourown business?
Having the resources to give back and be of service to the community is so gratifying! We work with a few local charities, and it feels great when they call on us for support.
What’s the most surprising thing you’ve encountered since opening Healthy Cafe Catering?
One of the biggest challenges is finding qualified employees to represent my business. It’s not an easy industry to work in; it’s a fast-paced environment that requires multitasking and being physically challenged on a daily basis.
What’s your favorite thing about the Capital Region?
I enjoy the diversity of people and food that the Capital Region offers. The majority of people in the area are accepting of cultural differences and willing to try new foods.

Pause Gallery
501 Broadway, Suite 106, Troy
Owner: Gail Snitkoff
Describe your business:
Pause Gallery is an art and fine craft gallery. We feature functional and sculptural handmade ceramics, glass, wood objects and jewelry, as well as painting, photography and mixed media two-dimensional work. We have a knowledgeable staff, and our gallery has a warm and welcoming atmosphere.
Why did you get into this business?
I started Pause Gallery, because my husband and I have been avid collectors of contemporary American craft for more than 40 years, and we wanted to share our love of this work with the local community. We represent more that 70 artists and artisans whose work is of exceptional quality.
What’s the most rewarding part of owning Pause Gallery?
I love being able to introduce our community to new artists and
new work. I taught for many years before opening the gallery, and I love explaining how the work is made to someone seeing it for the first time.

Joyelles Jewelers
318 Delaware Avenue, Delmar
Owner: Mary Vail
Describe your business:
We are a retail jeweler with repair and design services on premises. Our goal is to assist each client to the best of our ability. As a shop that’s family owned and operated, we are more interested in maintaining a warm relationship with our customer than making a big sale. We offer jewelry repair ranging from simple reattachments and solders to challenging restorations and redesign. Our inventory includes fine jewelry and diamonds, sterling silver, pearls, estate jewelry, watches, glassware, giftware, scarves, scents and lotions and much more. Our gemologist and knowledgeable staff are on hand to assist you with all of your jewelry and giftware needs.
How did you get into business?
I studied jewelry design at Skidmore and found that I enjoyed it. I was working for a jeweler when a friend told me that a location in my hometown was for sale. As a young mother it was appealing to be close to home, and I was ready for something I had a little more control over.
What’s the most rewarding part of owning Joyelles?
Making connections with customers and the community. Some of our customers have been with us nearly 30 years.
What is the most surprising thing you’ve encountered since opening this business?
That the children of our customers have become customers whom we’ve known from birth.

The Cross Eyed Owl Gift Shop
3143 Us Highway 9, Suite 8, Valatie
Owner: Patricia Varga
Describe your business:
If you’re looking for great original gifts, beautiful home decor, fun seasonal items or
just a little treat to make you smile, you’ll find all of that and more at the Cross Eyed Owl Gift Shop.
Why did you get into this business?
I’ve always loved finding just the right card or special gift for family and friends. The shop is an extension of what I’ve always loved to do, and now I get to help others make special memories with the cards they send and gifts they give!
What’s the most surprising thing you’ve encountered since opening Cross Eyed Owl Gift Shop?
I’ve been surprised at how willing people are to open up and share their lives with us at the shop. The people in the Capital Region are just so much fun to get to know!

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