The SUNY Fredonia Business Club presented its 37th Annual Business Person of the Year Award to Rita Canfora and Debbie Michalak.
These women form the partnership that owns The Cutting Crew on Eagle Street in Fredonia. Their business has been open for 10 years and both have over 25 years of experience. The Cutting Crew can take care of all of your basic hair care needs as well as waxing and very soon they are hoping to continue doing manicures.
Early on both of the winners decided that they were ready to try their trade in a more personal direction.
Pictured are Rita Canfora and Debbie Michalak, owners of The Cutting Crew in Fredonia. They are the winners of the 37th Annual Business Person of the Year Award from the SUNY Fredonia Business Club.
"I was working for someone else, but I just wanted to do it my own way," Michalak said.
Canfora came out of a similar situation and when she met Michalak, she said they "just clicked." They built up a company and became their own bosses and it was all "on a pinky promise," Canfora said.
Canfora and Michalak have built up their customer base by giving clients a nice, friendly environment in the community for their beauty needs.
"What we take from the community we give back," Michalak said. "We'll do anything we can to help anybody." The Cutting Crew was proud winners of the 2012 Putting People First Award which was given by the Western New York Developmental Disabilities Services Office.
Looking toward the future this dynamic duo plans on keeping a small, cozy and comfortable business with a focus on having a personal touch. Their keys to success have always been focused on organization and keeping clients happy. Michalak offers advice to students wanting to start up their own business. "Go for it. Just keep in mind that whatever it is you do you have to enjoy it," she said.
Their motto today is "be your own kind of beautiful." This statement welcomes the idea of having all different types of people as customers who can feel beautiful at The Cutting Crew.
The Business Person of the Year Awards dinner will be hosted in the Williams Center Multipurpose Room on Thursday, March 6. Tickets are $30 and can be purchased at the SUNY Fredonia Ticket Office in the Williams Center MPR, or online at www.fredonia.edu/tickets. The last day to buy tickets is Feb. 26 for catering purposes. The event has a guest speaker and past Business Person of the Year winner of 1979, Margaret Valone. Valone was the first female to win the award, and the oldest living past winner of this award. Tickets are on sale now.