As a child in Argentina, Nancy Gerardi soaked up the Spanish and Italian songs of her grandmother—many of them filtered through her father’s spirited accordion playing. Naturally, this musical upbringing led her to discover her talent for dance at a young age. It wasn’t until she arrived in the United States, however, that she decided to combine this talent with her skills as a businesswoman to open her own dance studio.
Today, at My Passion Dance Studio & Entertainment, Nancy translates the music of her youth into fun and fluid dance steps. Whether in private classes or small groups, her students strut and stomp on helpless piñatas as they learn spirited Latin dance styles such as merengue, bachata, tango, and flamenco. Nancy’s studio doesn’t limit its offerings to the styles she grew up with, though. Students can also learn the graceful moves of ballet, jazz, or hip-hop, or take lessons in piano and guitar.
The Champagne Sommelier's founder, Oumy Diaw, knows everything about champagne—and what's more, she's distilled it into "Le Geste Champagne," a nuanced web of details that can impart champagne-savvy status to any client. She and her team of consultants teach everyone from wine enthusiasts to advertisers how to decode a champagne's region, understand its image, and follow the etiquette for serving and drinking it, including the rule that the ice in the table's champagne bucket must be dumped, Gatorade style, on whoever picks up the tab. The team also hosts champagne tastings, where guests sip and learn about hand-picked samples of bubbly.
Fluent City's campuses train tongues in the basics and nuances of up to 10 languages, depending on location, through interactive group classes. Experienced teachers introduce groups of students to vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation in a student's chosen language. Languages are divided based on students' incoming level of proficiency, and group courses run for a total of 20 hours. Although not included with the class, students can also meet with instructors in flexible private lessons tailored to each pupil's individual needs.
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Staff Size: 2–10 people
Parking: Parking lot
Most popular offering: Website Design Package
Pro Tip: Take time to list all areas of your business which you want to present online.
What sets your business apart from your competition?
We are always available to our clients. Regardless of what we are doing or how busy we are, when our clients call us, I personally call them back. Weekends, holidays, evenings. If something needs attention immediately, we take care of it immediately. If our client wants to meet with us, either at our office or at his/hers, we will meet with them at the very earliest possible time. As for our work, I can honestly say that our clients are completely satisfied with our websites as well as with the attention we give to them. We truly care about their businesses. Aside from that, we create really beautiful websites which work perfectly and are completely unique and specific to each individual client.
What was the inspiration for starting this business?
I had been a designer/illustrator for many years. I had been employed by other firms so I already understood and had experience in the business end of design, but I wanted more creative freedom. In 2005 I decided that I knew enough about designing, and managing a team, and felt I was capable of managing my own business. I was very positive about taking that step and I'm very happy I did!
What is the best reaction you’ve ever gotten from a customer?
One of my clients told me that he could never have built up his business without me. I know that's really stretching it, but it felt great hearing that! We did go the extra mile for this client (probably several extra miles) and we wanted so much to see him succeed. We not only set up his website, but we also advised and helped him set up advertisements, amazon sales, an online membership club, etc. It's a very nice feeling to know someone appreciates what we do and it's even nicer knowing you've been helpful in someone else's success.
What’s your favorite part about your job?
Personally, I love conceptualizing a site for a particular business. I like to incorporate, if I can, the personality of the client with unique design elements specifically for that client/business. I am the visual designer here, so I do enjoy designing most.
For Lezama's Catering founder Leti Salama, a passion for cooking comes from growing up in Spain with French parents, which led to time at Cordon Bleu in Paris and Telva Cuisine School in Madrid. For her partner Juan Suarez De Lezo, it was passed down from his mother and grandmother. Both have built their lives around Spanish food, and both have taught cooking techniques to amateurs and professionals all over the world.
Lezama's services can take many forms. First and foremost, there's the cooking classes, where students might learn to make gazpacho, Spanish omelets, tuna empanadas, and delicate pastries. Then there's the pop-up experiences—one-off dinners built around a theme that could occur in any restaurant. The duo also oversees catering and private events to add a tangy flair to any party.
Signature service: Hey-Partner
Staff Size: 11–25 people
Average Duration of Consultation: 30 Minutes or Less
Pro Tip: Accomplish your goals and more with your accountability partner encouraging you everyday.