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  1. Meet Ginger & Nicole of Allure Hair Spa

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    Tell us about your background.

    Ginger:  I have been doing hair for over 20 years, I’ve always worked in the Boros. Nicole and I worked together for years and wanted to go out on our own and definitely be in Northboro.  This is our 7th year in business now and its great.

    Nicole: I come from a family that has owned a small business in Shrewsbury for 96 years.  I grew up here in Northboro, went through the school systems and graduated from Algonquin.  I graduated from Rob Roy hair academy in 1995 and jumped right into the business.  I have been an assistant manager and manager of salons.  Ginger and I had worked together for years when deciding to go out on our own and start a new adventure together.  In 2009 we opened Allure Hair Spa.

    What inspires you?

    Ginger: People inspire me.

    Nicole:  My inspiration is helping people in any way that I can and making them feel good about themselves.

     

    What do you love about small business?allure002

    Ginger:  I love that you can be a little more personal with people.

    Nicole:  I love the ability and freedom it gives you to make decisions that help people and the community that I personally feel are important.

     

    Why did you choose Northboro?

    Ginger:  We love Northboro and all of our clients are in this area.

    Nicole: There is not a better town than Northboro.  As a true “townie” raising a third generation here, I wouldn’t go anywhere else.

    allure003Why do you feel that supporting local business is important?

    Ginger:  We need to support eachother and work together to keep this a great community.

    Nicole:  Local business makes a town what it is and keeps the community close.

     

     

    allure004Being local and small, tell us what you feel is the most
    important element to customer service?

    Ginger:  I believe you need to be as helpful as possible, make people feel welcome and comfortable.

    Nicole:  It’s so important to be available and there for your clients. communication and support is so important.

     

    Quick-fire Round

    • My first job was:  Ginger – Chelo’s Restaurant.  Nicole – Country Candle in Northboro.
    • My favorite movie is:  Ginger – Forrest Gump.  Nicole – Titanic.
    • I cannot live without:  Ginger – Family, wine & cheese.  Nicole – Coffee & family.
    • Beach or mountains:  Ginger – Beach.  Nicole – Both.
    • The best advice I ever received is:  Ginger – in trying times, it’s time to try.  Nicole – Follow your heart and always stay true.
    • A cause I care deeply about is:  Ginger – Cancer research.  Nicole – Alzheimers.
  2. Meet Alicia William of Aliste Marketing, Inc.

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    Tell us about your background and how Aliste Marketing, Inc. came to be?

    In 2008, Alicia Williams, Founder of Aliste Marketing, decided to pursue the dream of owning a business. With zero investors or clients, she took the leap of faith to build a creative marketing company that brought businesses to the forefront of their target audience.

    Growing from a one-person operation to gaining a global reach, today Aliste Marketing specializes in developing unique marketing strategies that are enhanced through original content creation. With a dedicated team of partners bringing over 75 years of executive marketing, operations, design and IT experience, our clients’ success reaches over hundreds of industries and countries.

    The focus at Aliste Marketing is to enhance existing businesses through effective content creation, while fostering budding businesses and entrepreneurs through inspiration and education.  Our niche is understanding your business and target audience in order to implement strategies that achieve your company goals.

    Aliste Marketing is unique because we identify the opportunities in your business and design a custom plan that is geared specifically to the campaigns and content that resonate with your target audience. Our team is hyper-focused on what makes you unique and I think that is what makes us in turn unique.

     

    aliste-facebook-profile-180x180

    What inspires you?

    If you are going to spend the majority of your life working, it better be something you love and enjoy. My family from day one supported me in that mission and encouraged me to pursue my idea.  Every day, creating a fun place to work and designing strategies with amazing clients…that is what inspires me to keep growing!

     

    What do you love about owning a small business?

    It is hard for me to stop and look back at how far I have come….my instinct is to continue looking forward and hitting that next milestone.  After having my son, I am slowly learning that looking back at where I started is the key to forging forward.  My biggest accomplishment would be creating jobs for other passionate people.

    Why did you choose Northboro for your business location?

    I grew up in Southborough, went to Algonquin High School where I met my husband and decided to settle in Northboro to raise a family.  We love Northborough because it is that small New England town with big business opportunities to grow a strong network of like minded entrepreneurs.  

    Why do you feel that supporting local businesses is important?

    As a local business I understand the impact that one sale has on the bottom line, the payroll and being able to grow a solid team.  Supporting local businesses isn’t just about keeping companies in the town, it is about creating a community that attracts more amazing members, unique products and services that you can’t get online and growing family businesses for years to come.  We live in a digital world…that is what my business is all about… but when it comes to where you want to live, we want to be able to say hi to the Butcher and have them remember our name or walk every Sunday to the coffee shop and they immediately know your order- that is in essence what a community is…you can’t get that through online shopping.

    Being local and small, tell us what you feel is the most important element to customer service?

    That feedback is not something you should take personally (they don’t know you personally), the feedback is targeted at work you did (good and bad). Once I realized this I was able to gather so much information from clients on what they didn’t like and most importantly what they loved.  This helps us do more of what is working and less of what isn’t.

     

    aliste-facebook-profile-180x180Do you have a favorite customer story you want to share?

    Working with a company that had an internal marketing department, they realized quickly that something wasn’t working.  The Aliste team came in and creating a customized strategy that hit all of their pain points in order to accomplish their goals.  After only 4 months, our team implemented more than they had done in the past year, increased the ROI of all marketing efforts and changed the overall perception of factory to one of caring and community culture.  That is what we love to do- understand your story and share it so people fall in love with the products and services.

    Quick-fire Round

    •         My first job was:  Babysitting for local neighbors.
    •         My favorite movie is:  Anything that makes me laugh.
    •         I cannot live without:  Chocolate
    •         Beach or mountains: Beach
    •         The best advice I ever received is:  Everyone is the same regardless of their title.
    •         A cause I care deeply about is: Anything to do with children and supporting their growth.
  3. Meet Kate Shaw of Central One Federal Credit Union

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    Tell us about your background and how your career in banking came to be?

    I grew up in Shrewsbury and graduated from Shrewsbury High School. I then attended The Ohio State University, and thought I wanted to work in the social services field. After a short time in the field (10 weeks, I think?), I quickly realized that was not the career for me. I ended up managing a retail store, and eventually managed a branch of a very large bank. However, I still wanted to help people and the big bank did not give me the freedom to do so. Eventually I found a home at Central One, where I feel like I am able to help people with their financial goals.

    What is your favorite aspect of your job?

    My favorite part of my day is helping people. I will have members come into the credit union looking for guidance – typically after they have hit some sort of financial bump in the road. I remember one woman who was new to the credit union, and I could tell there was something going on in her personal life that was weighing on her. I set her up with her new accounts, and kept talking with her. Se started to tear up and told me that she was going through a divorce and I was the first person she had told. I wanted to cry with her. Having been through that situation myself, I let her know that although she couldn’t see it now, everything would be ok. We talked for over an hour that day. I can’t describe how touched I felt that she was comfortable enough with me to share something so personal — and after knowing me for such a short time. I still see her now and then, and she is doing very well. I am so happy for her and so proud of what she has accomplished.

     

    What do you love about working for a small business?

    1I love having the support from Central One to be involved in the community. For instance, I teach financial literacy classes in the schools.  We have a program for the 4th graders called “The Money Trail” – it is a program we developed at Central One to teach kids about where their money goes when they deposit it into their savings account – from the teller line to the Federal Reserve Bank. We developed another program called “Road to Financial Independence” that we teach in Shrewsbury and Westborough High Schools (Algonquin – I am available if you are interested :)). The senior math students learn about budgeting, balancing checkbooks, importance of savings, and managing credit. We want the high school graduates to be savvy about their money, and not fall into debts they can’t possibly imagine paying back.

    Why do you feel that supporting local businesses is important?  

    The small businesses are the ones who support the local Little League, or the G3arden Club, or the Girl Scouts. The  impact is seen immediately in the community. Without local sponsorship, the Little League team might not have uniforms this year. If we don’t support the businesses that support our towns, then eventually there will be no one there to give support.

     

    Being local and small, tell us what you feel is the most important element to customer service?

    From my very first job, it was instilled in me that you do whatever it takes to make the customer happy. If a customer wants something, you find a way to say yes. I have taken that advice with me to every job I have had. I always remember that without customers, I don’t have a job, so I better do everything I can to keep my customers happy and keep them coming back.  

    Quick-fire Round

    •         My first job was: cashier at Home Quarters
    •         My favorite movie is: Better Off Dead
    •         I cannot live without: TV (I admit it – I love TV!)
    •         Beach or mountains: neither – I like the city.
    •         A cause I care deeply about is: Hunger – no one should have to worry where their next meal is coming from.

     

  4. Meet Tom & Jane of Lowe’s Variety and Meat Market

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    headerLowe’s is located at 255 W. Main Street, Northboro.

    Tell us about your background and how Lowe’s came to be?

    Lowe’s has been a family business since my grandparents opened a store in Westborough in 1948. I have been working in our family store since I was 9 years old and in the third grade. I bought Lowe’s  Variety and Meat Shop in 1986 and successfully moved it in 2006 to Northborough Shopping Plaza.

    2016 NLF Lowes Market-1 JSWhat inspires you? 

    I am inspired by watching what it takes to be successful in a small town. We all want to belong to a team, a group, a part of history, but most importantly, we want to be seen and recognized.

    What do you love about owning a small business?

    I love owning a small business because of the impact you can have on the youth you hire, the families you connect with, and the community you serve.

    Why did you choose Northboro for your business location?

    2016 NLF Lowes Market-25 JSWe first opened on the corner of Route 20 and Route 135 then brought Lowe’s Meat Market to 23 West Main Street and then to the plaza we are in now. I would say Northborough kept providing me new opportunities.

    Why do you feel that supporting local businesses is important?

    Local Business is the wheel that turns a town into a home.

    Being local and small, tell us what you feel is the most important element to customer service? 

    The most important element to any business is to remember that your customers have made a choice to frequent you.

    Quick-fire Round2016 NLF Lowes Market-13 JS

    • My first job was: The family newspaper route
    • My favorite movie is: The Sound of Music
    • I cannot live without: A Lowe’s grinder
    • Beach or mountains: Both—I love the beach in summer and skiing in the winter.
    • The best advice I ever received is: Always fix mistakes and try to make them only once. 
    • A cause I care deeply about is: JDRF and Special Olympics