Rita Canfora (left) and Debbie Michalak, owners of The Cutting Crew in Fredonia, will receive the 37th Annual Business Person of the Year Award from the SUNY Fredonia Business Club on March 6.
The SUNY Fredonia Business Club will present its 37th Annual Business Person of the Year Award to Rita Canfora and Debbie Michalak, owners of the Cutting Crew beauty salon, located on Eagle St. in downtown Fredonia. The Cutting Crew has been in business for 10 years, and both women have had over 25 years of experience apiece.
The award ceremony will be Thursday, March 6, at 6:30 p.m. in the Williams Center Multipurpose Room. Tickets are now available and can be purchased for $30 at the SUNY Fredonia Ticket Office or at: www.fredonia.edu/tickets. Tickets will be available until Feb. 26.
In addition, Margaret Valone, winner of the award in 1979, will serve as guest speaker at the event. Ms. Valone, the founder and owner of Mar-Val Unisex Beauty Salon in Fredonia until her retirement, was the first female to win the award, having had her own business since she was 20 years old. She is presently the award’s oldest living winner.
Ms. Canfora and Ms. Michalak began their business after deciding that they wanted to make their career more personal.
“I was working for someone else but I just wanted to do it my own way,” Michalak said.
They began to build a company and became their own bosses. “It was all on a pinky promise,” Canfora added. “We just clicked.”
Canfora and Michalak have built their customer base by providing a friendly environment in the community.
“What we take from the community, we give back,” Michalak said. “We'll do anything we can to help anybody.”
The Cutting Crew also won the 2012 Putting People First Award, given by the Western New York Developmental Disabilities Services Office.
In the future, this dynamic duo plans on keeping a small, cozy and comfortable business with a personal touch. Their success has always come by focusing on their organization and keeping their clients happy.
Michalak offered advice to students that want to start up their own business by saying, “Go for it. Just keep in mind that whatever it is you do, you have to enjoy it.”
The duo’s motto is, "Be your own kind of beautiful," and they are proud that their diverse clientele represents that notion.
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