In 2010, the Norwell Chamber board revamped the Business of the Year Award, and created different categories, this year we are awarding for Community Support and Entrepreneurial Spirit.

Entrepreneurial Spirit Award This award recognizes a newer business that provides a valuable service or an innovative product.  The business should be no more than five years old, or be one that has undergone a significant shift in focus within that period of time.  The business should show the ability to become established while facing the challenges that face a start up business in today’s economy.

LaserLight Skin Clinic, LLC:

Owner Patricia Funder founded LaserLight to fulfill a need for aesthetic laser services for men, as well as women, that had not been met on the South Shore by the few existing providers and the business models they operated.

LaserLight provides technology-based solutions for non-invasive, safe and comfortable treatments to permanently reduce unwanted hair, often a necessity for self-confidence rather than a purely cosmetic desire; and for skin rejuvenation services to remove unsightly pigmented lesions and broken blood vessels, and to improve the texture of skin to generate a more youthful, healthy look.

In 2006, only about six providers, most of them physicians, offered aesthetic laser treatments in the vicinity. One or two women-focused spas had begun to add limited laser services as well. For those – especially men — wanting privacy as they received this highly personal service, there was no other option.

LaserLight filled the void, offering a more private but easily accessible facility in which both men and women of all ages could come for services, certain that their privacy would be preserved. Despite the risks inherent in self-funding a high-capital business, the market appeared on the verge of readiness for it.

LaserLight doubled its revenues from 2007 to 2008, despite the advent of the October 2008 stock market plummet. Believing that there would be an urgent need among both men and women (the thousands in the area who had been laid off, and those 90 percent who remained employed) to look younger and gain confidence through improvements in their appearances, Patty initiated a number of aggressive marketing campaigns. LaserLight formed cross-referring alliances among local businesses serving similar markets; it established a second location by virtue of transporting the laser and supplies to perform services at the site of one of the allied businesses; and it added 30-minute teeth whitening to the list of its offerings. It also created financing options for truly deserving potential clients.

Understanding the need for mass education about aesthetic lasers (people generally believe laser treatments to be painful and expensive), Patty took LaserLight into the era of social media marketing, initiating a regular Email campaign. In the summer of 2010, in business in Norwell for three-and one-half years, LaserLight kicked off a stronger image based a slogan that Appearances Matter — Confidence Counts, and launched a new website that included video testimonial and an interactive, proprietary Return on Investment tool to help prospective clients see the hidden benefits of laser over traditional methods of hair removal or skin rejuvenation.

In the meantime, some local competitors fell victim to the economy and closed, while others narrowed their offerings to more traditional services.

In 2009, at the height of the fear and austerity of the recession, when all other businesses were losing 10 to 15 percent or more of their revenues, LaserLight grew by almost five percent. It is on track to finish 2010 up by 15 to 30 percent.

Patty attributes LaserLight’s success to its strong presence in local networking venues, participating in as many meetings, service projects and on select Boards of Directors as possible for a single-person business; and to purposely choosing NOT to develop a fall-back plan in case the market did not respond quickly enough. “Failure is simply not an option for LaserLight.

It has always been a good idea, it will always serve a broad and deserving clientele, and it continues to track toward reaching profitability before completing its fifth year in existence,” she said.

Studio 123:

Norwell resident and twenty year veteran of Newbury Street’s top skin care salons, Ewa Deveney opened Studio 123 in 2008 when many businesses were closing their doors. The Salon is located on the lower level of the new Tinker’s Son restaurant and is part of a resurgence of business in Norwell’s center. Studio 123 offers South Shore residents the best clinical skin care treatments based on modern European scientific methods and techniques. With twenty years of experience in European Skin Care, Studio 123 offers preventative skin care and corrective skin care.
As a teenager Ewa left her family in Poland during the 1980 social unrest that plagued the country. She stayed with an uncle here in the United States while she struggled to learn English and work two jobs to support herself. After mastering English and saving enough money for her education Ewa enrolled in the Catherine Hinds School of Estheticians in Boston, MA. She began her career under the direction of “Boston’s Best” Zofia owner of Astrid and Zofia European Skin Care on Newbury Street in Boston and became a highly regarded skin care specialist with an extensive local and international clientele during her twelve years at the Spa. In 1997 she joined Les Amis Salon on Newbury Street where she
became one of the first European Estheticians on Newbury Street to be trained in Microdermabrasion treatments. Surviving the worst of the recession Ewa restructured Studio 123 this year, selling the hair salon portion of the business and moving into larger space next door to focus on her skin care clients. She is active in the Norwell business community and has hosted a blood drive for the American Red Cross. Ewa is living
the dream of owning her own business and as it continues to thrive Ewa looks for additional ways to give back to the local community.

Vantage Point Realty Advisors:

In uncertain economic times, Margaret Dawson and partners took on a major challenge by opening a new real estate business known as Vantage Point Realty Advisors. After moving into a new location on Washington Street, Margaret and her team set out to redefine the local real estate market by customizing their services to their client’s needs. By offering clients personalized services and advice, they establish and build lasting relationships. They offer the latest in marketing techniques using professional digital photography, home staging services and expanded online presence for clients. The undertaking of this new venture qualifies them for the Entrepreneurial Spirit Award.

Vantage Point is a boutique style real estate company. We pride ourselves on being able to cater to each of our clients in order to serve their needs best. We are a group of dynamic, experienced Realtors who are dedicated to our clients. Selling or buying real estate is a very important transaction and investment for most people. We strive to get the best results for our clients in the least stressful and most productive way possible for them.

Some of our unique services include:

  • Staging by a specialized interior designer for our listings
  • Quality professional photography of our listings
  • All agents are Accredited Real Estate Consultants
  • Electronic management of listing appointments and feedback
  • Custom designed web site and specialty print advertising
  • Consulting Services
  • A large referral network for services our clients may need

We have been in business in Norwell for just over a year now and have been successful due to the support of our clients, the superior efforts of our agents and the experience and expertise that they bring to the table for each client. We are happy to support our local organizations including: the schools and their clubs and teams; the Norwell Food Pantry and Little League to name a few. We are proud to be a business in the Norwell community and an active member of the Norwell Chamber of Commerce.