After a debilitating car accident left Elyissia Wassung’s mother, Barbara, unable to commute to work, she stayed busy in the kitchen, devising her own homemade chocolates. Nine-year-old Elyissia would then load her mother’s sweets into a shopping cart and sell them door-to-door around the neighborhood, learning entrepreneurial skills that would last a lifetime. After leaving a telecom job as an adult, Elyissia returned to selling chocolates by founding 2 Chicks with Chocolate (the other chick being her mom), teaming up with master chocolatier Patrick Coston and lead chocolatier Stephanie Vazquez. The dessert innovators create diverse flavors, such as spiced pear and caramel ganache, s’mores, and hazelnut praline, from scratch with spices and sea salt. Customers can also create their own bars online without venturing into the store, building on a selection of chocolate bases and toppings that range from pistachios to gummy bears. The store also hosts chocolate classes and enlivens parties with chocolate fountains and chocolate tastings.
A dancer since age 6, Dasha Sushko founded Ballroom Dream in 2011 after a successful professional dance career in both Russia and the United States. She and her instructors teach fledgling dancers at ballroom, Latin, and swing classes inside Ballroom Dream’s 4,000-square-foot facility, which features a floating hardwood dance floor. Mirrors help students assess their form during group or private lessons, and on every first and third Friday and fourth Saturday of the month, the studio turns up its professional-grade sound system to let students flaunt their newfound form during social dances. Classes are open to adults as well as kids, who discover dance basics during entertaining classes that help expend youthful energy faster than a feverish baseball-card trading session.
What do New York Fashion Week 2011, the Fall Into Beauty Tour, and Jerseylicious have in common? They all featured the award-winning makeup looks of Ereny Milad. Winner of WeddingWire's Brides Choice Award 2011 and 2012 and The Knot's Best of Weddings 2012 and 2013, the MAC Pro makeup artist and owner of LUSH ARTISTRY also served as a resident makeup artist at New York Fashion Week from 2008–2012. Harnessing her skills of contouring, highlighting facial features, and hiding blemishes, Milad—along with her staff of expert beautifiers—brings out clients' natural beauty with a slate of services including glamorous makeovers, airbrushing, and bridal makeup. Milad also leads hands-on classes, during which students learn the secrets behind her dramatic runway makeup and understated everyday looks for cleaning the bathtub.