RUTLAND – Hilary McCoy brings lots of skill to her job as a hair stylist, but for her it’s more about the people. “It’s all about consultation,” she said, and that’s been key for the Rutland native who just moved back home. Over the years, McCoy said, “I listened, I knew my clients and I knew what they were looking for.”
After 16 years of building her career as a hair stylist in the Boston area, McCoy recently brought her talents back to her hometown of Rutland and is part of the team at Blush Salon & Beauty Lounge on Center Street. It’s a people business, and that’s what she loves most about her work. “I love interacting with different people every day,” McCoy said.
RUTLAND – When Dan Doenges graduated from Assumption College with a degree in marketing, his first job was at a bank. But it didn’t take him long to figure out a career as a banker wasn’t for him. So he returned to Rutland with his wife, Leslie, and found a job that matched his passion for athletics and physical fitness. And it just so happens that job turned up at the same place he worked while a student at Rutland High School. That was seven years ago.
RUTLAND — Ryan Greeno, owner of Pub 42 on Wales Street in Rutland, was spotted up on a ladder recently, leaning out to scrub off the vinyl where the logo for Pub 42 has been displayed for years. Greeno was getting ready for the unveiling a new sign with a new name for his venue.
A new fitness product that won the Rutland-area part of the Fresh Tracks Road Pitch earlier this year is entering the manufacturing process, following a successful crowdfunding campaign. Clustas, created by Rollin Rachele, is a portable weight-training system meant to provide a fitness option for everyone, including disabled people or those rehabilitating from injury. Rachele and his wife, Jude Smith Rachele, who is the chief operating officer for Clustas, are originally from the United States but spent many years in Europe before moving to Vermont. They now live in Sunderland. The seed for the Clustas idea was planted after Rollin Rachele’s mother was in a serious accident, and he wanted to create something that would allow her to safely exercise while she was undergoing rehab.
BURLINGTON — Rich Cassidy’s passion for the law was first sparked in 1970, when he was volunteering for former Vermont Governor Phil Hoff’s run for the U.S. Senate as an anti-war candidate. Amid all the controversy surrounding the Vietnam War, Cassidy said he learned about the wide impact the law could have, and that it could be “a tool for making the world a better place.”
Godnick’s Grand Furniture in Rutland is now home to Green Mountain Power’s largest installation of heat pumps, which have helped boost energy savings for a number of customers in recent years. GMP recently installed 20 of these hyper-efficient, ductless heat pump heads at Godnick’s, where they’re estimated to reduce fuel usage by 40 percent during the heating season. The heat pumps are also expected to save the business about 30 percent in electricity consumed by air conditioning in the summer. The heat pumps transfer air from the outdoors to heat the building, and in the summer, they transfer heat out to cool the building — making them far more cost-effective than traditional heating and AC systems.
Brian Godnick, owner of Godnick’s Grand Furniture, said the business had a 40-year-old air conditioning system which it hadn’t used in a few years, since it is highly inefficient. “It was old, not feasible to run,” he said.
RUTLAND – Vermont Electric Power Company marks its 60th anniversary on Thursday, October 27, with a fundraiser for the Greater Rutland Makerspace. The event, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at the Vermont Farmers Food Center, will feature music, food and demonstrations by small-scale manufacturers along with a short presentation on VELCO’s past, present and future. Admission is $20 per person. Proceeds will go to an effort, backed by Rutland Economic Development Corp., to open a maker space on Quality Lane.
There is a brand-new van parked in front of Phoenix Books in Essex Junction, and it is all decked out in colorful decals identifying it as the property of the store. If customers can’t come to their stores, in Burlington, Essex, Rutland and Chester, then maybe the books can still get to customers. “There is an untapped market for increased sales to off-site customers, and we need a vehicle to get the books to those customers — and those customers need to know who is bringing them their books,” said owner Mike DeSanto. Phoenix Books intends to capitalize on a potential to compete in school book fairs, business-to-business relationships, off-site author events, supporting authors at their speaking engagements and creating mobile bookstores for large community events. The van will allow Phoenix to do this in the market areas served by all four locations.
RUTLAND — A local family recently opened Rutland Toy and Hobby at 158 North Main Street, filling the niche that the former store Mike’s Hobbies filled for many years. In fact, 158 North Main now has two businesses selling treasures from decades past, with the recent opening of the vinyl record shop Rick and Kat’s Howlin’ Mouse in the former Mike’s Hobbies space next door to the city’s newest toy store. Rutland Toy and Hobby is owned by the father-and-son team of Wayne Thornton Sr. and Jr., and Thornton Jr.’s mother Denise handles the bookkeeping and also helps in the store. Thornton Jr., who is 25 years old, said he has expertise in toys and comics from the 1990s and early 2000s, and all manner of video games, and his dad’s specialties are toys from the 1970s and 1980s, along with cars, trains and remote-control toys. Together, that’s a wide range of expertise that makes the key attribute of the new business possible: diversity.