Business Spotlight SEries
David Batson is the founder and owner of Tuby's Catering. Based in Elkton, Maryland David offers a wide range of cuisines and unique combinations and creations from his knowledge of Eastern Shore traditions, family recipes, his culinary training, and his 11+ years in the industry. Listen here as we interview David about his unique approach he calls “barbecue fusion,” and learn about his remarkable resilience going from restaurant chef to catering entrepreneur in the face of COVID-19.
He serves private parties of 2, small events, and gatherings of up to 300 guests for events in Maryland as well as across the United States. Whether it is wine tastings, weddings, intimate special occasions, or large celebrations, David delivers an impressive and savory experience.
You can reach David via his website https://www.tubyscatering.com/ or call/text (410) 618-8238.
We had the pleasure of talking with David Siperko, owner of Viking Brothers Contracting. He opened their doors for business in early 2021, and their services include residential remodeling of any kind, but primarily kitchens, baths, and additions. He and his team also do light commercial interior buildouts. He's been in contracting since age 16, for 27 years total and counting! Home remodeling was a family affair and much of his skillset has been learned starting at a young age. David enjoys the variety of the work and being able to help make people's visions a reality. He prides himself on the quality and honesty of his communication with customers and his goal is to continue building strong relationships in the community. Out of their large array of home remodeling services, David really enjoys doing additions, because he gets to work on a bit of everything, from digging the foundation to doing finishing touches and custom cabinetry. Listen here where we speak with him for a few minutes on the job! You can sense his passion for helping others and delivering quality work.
If you're looking to finally create the home of your dreams via remodeling project or a home addition, contact Viking Brothers Contracting via their website www.vikingbrothercontracting.net or calling them at 330-VIKINGS (330-845-4647).
the virtual Hailey group - helping Maryland businesses thrive with email marketing, web design, social media management, and more
Need help with your mountain of tasks for your business? We had the pleasure of speaking with Nadine Hailey, CEO and founder of The Virtual Hailey Group. She and her team specialize in providing executive assistants, social media management, email marketing, website design and more for small businesses, new entrepreneurs, and non-profit organizations.
She opened her doors in 2018, and she prides herself in the personal touch she is able to provide each and every client. The partnership starts from learning about the business and their goals and mission, to planning and executing a strategy for success. Take a listen as we hear what drives Nadine's endeavors. After 31 years working for the state of Maryland, including 21 years directly with executive staff and 11 years in leadership development, Nadine's transition into starting her own company was a natural one.
Stay tuned to her updates at https://thevirtualhaileygroup.com/ on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/thevirtualhaileygroup and on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/virtualhaileygroup/ as she and her team will host a special event October 18-22,2021 called Five Winning Tips and Tools for Businesses. Registration opens on August 16, 2021. The five modules cover:
Also in the works is her campaign to help non-profits manage their organization memberships. If you have any questions for her, contact The Virtual Hailey Group at email@example.com.
Get personalized executive help from the Virtual Hailey Group. Contact them today by clicking here!
Meet Jon Ramey, Army veteran, owner, and founder of Hydris Group, a company he founded in 2016. He and his team provide top tier residential and commercial construction services in Maryland and Washington, DC.
In this video, we learn what makes Hydris Group unique, how they provide value to both residential and commercial customers, and their growing focus in 2021 and beyond on land development and custom home building in Maryland.
Things that make Hydris Group unique:
Their business address is:
700 12th ST NW
Washington, D.C. 20005
Have you worked with Hydris before? Comment below!
Looking for reliable dumpster rental in central Maryland? Call Richard at Bin There Dump That at (301)695-2739. In this video, Angie deBorja of Choice Exposure Marketing speaks with owner Richard Ferragut to learn about the premier services he provides for homeowners, remodelers, roofers, contractors, service restoration providers, home rehabbers, move-outs, commercial projects, and more. Richard prides himself in excellent customer service, surface protection for the client for each dumpster, efficient sweep clean up after the project, and clean, bright green, low profile dumpsters that fit the size of a parking space.
Bin There Dump That - Central Maryland
250 E 7th Street Frederick MD 21701
Angie deBorja of Choice Exposure Marketing interviews Jill Kauffman of Reaching for the Stars Tutoring in Bowie, Maryland. Jill has been tutoring for nearly 20 years and has the knowledge and life experience to help students get results in their academic lives. Listen in as we speak to Jill about the services she offers.
You can connect with Jill at:
Mon -Thurs Hours: 9:15am - 8pm
Friday and Saturday tutoring by appointment only.
With face to face meetings, a face mask, negative Covid test, and temperature checks every hour or half-hour are required.
Managing your finances, creating a budget, preparing to buy your first home, saving for retirement, and starting a plan for college funding, are all big initiatives we may face at some point in our lives. It can be overwhelming for many. Financial advisors can be a “wealth” of knowledge to help individuals receive guidance. Often, however, only people who make a certain amount of income can fit a personal financial advisor into their budget.
Thankfully, there is a new company, Filance, LLC, and its mission is to provide expert financial services to the regular everyday person, from the convenience of your mobile device. The vision is to “significantly close the wealth gap by providing affordable access to financial experts, knowledge, and resources.” We sat down, “virtually”, with Founder and CEO Ronda Reid-Mohammed, to learn more. An IT professional with over 18 years of experience in leadership and information technology, she has a passion for finance, discovered a need, and jumped in to fill it. Watch the interview here, or read the overview below.
When did you open your doors?
Ronda’s idea came about in 2018. After a discussion with other financial advisors and some consideration, she decided to get into the mobile market. “Everyone has a phone and being able to offer the service via the mobile app was a little different… out of the ordinary for financial services. So, in 2019 we started working on the iOS app, and it was released in July 2020.” Ronda and her team are working on the release of the Android app now.
How were you drawn to this idea?
Ronda: “A little over two years ago, I attended a free class on financial planning and investing. At the end, they offered a more individualized experience. For a two-thousand-dollar retainer fee, they could help you. The idea of having to pay such a crazy amount of money was insane for me. Many people are living paycheck to paycheck. They’re trying to figure it out. They don’t have two thousand dollars to sit down and talk through their situation. I felt there had to be a better way, so I decided to create one.”
Who do you hope to serve with the Filance mobile app?
Ronda explains how “typically, financial advisor services are for people who make a certain amount… most of them have retainer fees and all other sorts of fees that regular people cannot afford. I wanted to reach out to everyday people. My audience is that middle class, you know the people who typically find themselves in a situation where they make too much to get any assistance and don’t make enough to pay for assistance on their own.”
Ronda explains how a common scenario is someone that thinks, ‘I feel I make enough, but for some reason, I’m living paycheck to paycheck. I just need someone to take a look at this for me and just help me have a plan for my money.’
“Not everyone has the goal of being a millionaire or being a trader or investor, but I think everyone deserves an equal opportunity to live comfortably,” Ronda shares. “The target market may be the average person who needs a little help because they don’t have a portfolio. Or perhaps they need someone to help them with a budget, or plan for retirement. Or maybe they are looking to purchase a home, want to figure out their finances, and figure out how to fix their credit to prepare for buying a home.” This is made available to anyone using the app, from the convenience of their mobile device.
How has the market responded to your initiative?
Fortunately, the response has been very positive with Filance, LLC. “We’ve gotten a lot of great reception from the market and also from financial advisors,” says Ronda. “Oddly enough, that was kind of my reluctance. Are financial advisors going to be willing to go away from having retainer fees and that type of model? … I think the environment is right for people to say, yes, we're certainly open to helping people we don't typically help.”
Breaking the Access Barrier to Financial Services
Ronda: “Another big factor for me was access. You know, me being a black woman raised in a black community, black neighborhood, we never saw financial advisors in our neighborhood. And so, this type of app breaks that barrier as it opens access to everybody no matter where you are. And again, the platform is very client-driven. So, if I am looking for a service, I can post that service on the app and say, ‘hey, I only have one hundred bucks to spend on this. Who can help me with this service?’ Filance breaks down barriers for people who have financial issues but cannot get access to live expert guidance
So what does someone do when they go onto your Filance App?
Ronda: “So, they log in, click to post their request with a title, and they put a description with a little information. Then they enter their budget.”
“For example, someone recently posted they have a budget of 50 dollars and they wanted help with creating a basic plan for their money. They click submit, and then financial advisors will reach out to them and say hey, I’m willing to help you. The client chooses the advisor they want to work with. Each financial advisor has a profile they create, and they can post a video introducing themselves. You see all the information about their certifications, and you can do everything, from live video meetings, chatting, talking, and transferring documents, all from the mobile app.
How is this different from the robo-investor type advisory services?
Ronda: “Some people have moved to this type of service, which is just a technology base. It tells you where you should invest and what you should probably do, and it is just not personalized.”
“And then for the more personalized services, some firms require you to have at least $150,000 in a portfolio before you can use their service. So, it has kind of marginalized some people who may be able to use the service. You know, I think regular people can probably use those services more than people with a lot of money. Everyday people don’t have the room for a lot of mistakes. They kind of have to get it right the first time.”
Are you looking to add more financial advisors to your platform
Ronda: “Absolutely. Most work for a big firm, but this is something they can do in their spare time to make a little extra money. It is no skin off their back to help someone for, you know, 50 bucks or 100 bucks. Then it expands their market. They can to people in California and Nevada and wherever to increase their client base and make a little money.“
What’s the number one way you bring in new customers?
Ronda’s primary way of increasing exposure for the Filance App has been word of mouth through other financial advisors. LinkedIn has been invaluable for networking.
Additionally, the amazing team behind her has gotten their core groups out there on the app.
Creating an Instagram account has also helped significantly in her growth as well as an initial email campaign and prelaunch.
How do people find your app?
People can find the Filance app by searching Filance, or search keywords such as finances, budgets, or debt management. The app is live on iOS. The Android app is coming soon.
What is the best way to reach you?
Thank you, Ronda, for helping provide on-demand live expert financial help to individuals of all income levels.
Kindred Hair & Skin Center- Cutting Edge Treatment for Hair Loss, Specializing in Natural Hair Care and Styling for Persons of Color
Hair loss happens to many and it can be very disheartening. How we look in the mirror directly affects our self-image, and ultimately our quality of life. For persons of color or African descent, there is increasing medical evidence that chemically relaxing your hair to straighten is related to breast cancer and fibroids. In this case, you may have the challenge of styling your hair without the need for strong harsh chemicals or processes that may harm your health in the long term.
Dr. Chesahna Kindred of Kindred Hair & Skin Center, has been providing solutions and positive results for such clients since December of 2017. After completing her residency in dermatology at Howard University in 2012 and gaining valuable experience in a group practice, Dr. Kindred opened her own clinic specializing in hair loss. Prior to her opening her doors, natural hair stylist and natural hair industry expert Susan Peterkin approached Dr. Kindred and proposed opening her clinic with an in-house natural hair salon. Without hesitation, Dr. Kindred said yes. In fact, Kindred Hair & Skin Center is the only dermatology practice in the world that has an in-house natural hair salon. Together with Susan Peterkin, they founded the PeterKINdred Hair and Scalp Wellness Center. Peterkin and Kindred run the salon, lead hair loss discussion groups, and host public speaking engagements in person and via online webinars, where they educate the general public as well as hair stylists about the medical aspects of hair loss and safe natural hair care.
Dr. Kindred’s passion, needless to say, is empowering patients with hair loss. Thanks to her training at Howard University, she is also fully equipped and adept at treating patients with melanin-rich skin. “A lot of times with darker skin tones, you have to be very careful, or certain treatments may backfire. We’re well versed in all types of skin care, and we get results in a safe way.”
Many of us think of male pattern baldness when we think of hair loss, however, hair loss affects both men and women. “There are more than 15 types of hair loss,” Dr. Kindred explains, “and almost all of them are a disease that has to be respected. If you treat it nonchalantly, the patient can lose hair forever.” The most common form of hair loss is female and male pattern baldness, where the body’s own testosterone shrinks the hair follicles. The most common form in blacks is a scarring inflammatory form called Central Centrifugal Cicatricial Alopecia, or CCCA. Treatment for hair loss can include topical, oral, and procedural approaches like laser and platelet rich plasma. Generally, there is a targeted treatment phase, followed by an ongoing maintenance program. In the case of male pattern baldness, “if you stop treatment, the body will continue to do what it wants to do, and our body’s testosterone will shrink the hair follicles and cause hair loss again.”
When asked what are some of the most rewarding aspects of having her own practice, Dr. Kindred shares, ”seeing in 6 to12 months after a hair loss patient first walks in the door, how much we’re able to accomplish with their hair and to see the patient’s confidence come back.” Also rewarding, Dr. Kindred says, is “allowing young women who want to become physicians to shadow me in the office. There is always either a high school student, a college student, a medical student, even hair stylists that are shadowing me in my office, and learning from us so they can take it back to their careers.”
Dr. Kindred explains some cultural trends that are influencing her practice’s growth. “There’s a lot of pressure in society for black women to straighten their hair, but now there is more data showing that relaxers may be related to breast cancer and fibroids.” There is the CROWN Act in California (CROWN stands for Create a Respectful and Open Workplace for Natural Hair), that is taking foot across the US. It prohibits discrimination based on hair style and hair texture. “We have generations of women that always straightened their hair, who are now trying to figure out how to care for their own natural hair,” Dr. Kindred explains. Here is where Dr. Kindred and her team provide tremendous value, by educating and empowering women on how to care for their natural hair, and providing effective treatments to safely address their hair loss.
Another plus, Dr. Kindred explains, is “it has allowed me more flexibility and ability to do more for my patients. I’ve had hair loss patients whose stylists didn’t know exactly how to care for their hair because of the hair loss, so by having the salon in my office and being able to train the natural hair stylists here, we’re able to help coach the patients and their stylist through the disease process and teach them how to adjust. I would never have been able to do that if I didn’t open this practice.”
Hair loss clients make up about 50% of Dr. Kindred’s case load, while the remaining half is medical dermatology conditions like eczema, psoriasis, hidradenitis, and cosmetic procedures like laser treatments for dark spots, and anti aging treatments like chemical peels. Dr. Kindred performs about 97% of procedures, while others are performed by her qualified aesthetician. “When a patient comes in, they can rest assured they are being seen by a board-certified dermatologist.”
What are some goals for Dr. Kindred this year? A few include adding hair transplantation and scalp micropigmentation. “Some patients don’t come early enough to save the hair because the follicle is already destroyed. Some require hair transplantation, but some may not want to go that far, so we can tattoo the area (scalp micropigmentation), to make it look fuller.” This can help those that want an alternative to using products like Toppik, a pigmented filament you can sprinkle on your scalp to make your hair look fuller, but can lead to feelings of self consciousness about it rubbing off unexpectedly.
Dr. Kindred sees patients Monday through Thursday. On Fridays and Saturdays you can find her taking part in one of many volunteer organizations. She recently founded the Onyx Medical Society for black doctors that live and work in Howard County. She is a deacon at her church Celebration Church at Columbia. She chairs the Dermatology Section of the National Medical association and she heads the health committee for the African American Community Round Table of Howard County. She enjoys spending time with her husband, kids, and mother.
Be sure to check her out live Monday on Facebook @kindredhairandskin and Instagram @kindrederm, where she hosts “Derm Myth Monday” and debunks common myths about hair skin and nails.
To make an appointment with Dr. Kindred, book online at https://kindredhairandskin.com/ or call 443-424-7754. She is located at 8900 Columbia 100 Parkway, Suite F, Columbia, MD 21045
Jewelry plays such a large role in self expression and fashion, and it can play a significant part in preserving memories as well. A simple piece can represent the special moments and people we cherish, the events that shape our lives, and the characteristics that make us unique. Thomas’s Fine Jewelry in downtown Cambridge, MD , is the special place where you can find that perfect piece. As the only full-service jewelry store in downtown Cambridge MD, Thomas’s Fine Jewelry creates one-of-a-kind jewelry honoring the character of the Eastern Shore of Maryland.
We spoke with the owners, brother and sister team Thomas and Amanda to learn more about their highly rated store. Thomas is a goldsmith by training and has extensive background working as an apprentice for a jeweler for ten and a half years before having the opportunity to fulfill his dream of opening his own store. There was a jewelry business in the old Ledlum building of downtown Cambridge, the store’s current location, that served the community since the 1930s. The store eventually closed their doors and the building was put up for sale. “We decided to buy it and give it a go,” Thomas shares, “and we set up a new business that offers fine jewelry and a full service repair shop.”
They opened their doors in 2016, and the brother and sister duo partner together to properly manage the store and offer excellent customer service. While Thomas is highly skilled in crafting jewelry, Amanda takes the lead on sales and marketing. Their store features a wide array of quality one-of-a-kind sterling and gold jewelry and engagement rings, and they have an extensive collection of Eastern Shore inspired fine handcrafted jewelry by local goldsmith Lynn Stavdal and store owner Thomas Robinson. Their Eastern Shore inspired collection features Lynn Stavdal’s designs, like her beautiful little muskrats charms, and charming 14K gold 3-D miniature crab baskets that open and close. ‘’It's something that no other jeweler has ever made and that's what we take pride in.” Thomas has just released a piece featuring the Snakehead fish, an invasive species of the Eastern Shore. He has a custom designed snakehead casting 1.5” long that he used to create a unique bracelet and necklace. Another original creation is his sterling silver fish hooks that he melds into a uniquely designed bracelet, necklace, and earrings. All their jewelry is Eastern Shore inspired, and designed and handcrafted in Dorchester County, MD.
Much of Thomas’s Fine Jewelry’s growth has been through word of mouth and social media. Their website has been another source of growth as they continue to add more of their merchandise visitors to peruse and order online. They are discovering visitors are coming from as far as 2 hours away to pay their store a visit and get their hands on their unique and beautiful collections. Fortunately this is leading to a boost to the entire area as visitors continue onward to explore other local businesses such as the popular RAR Brewery and Maiden Maryland store.
Thomas and Amanda know that jewelry is more than just an accessory. It could be a
family heirloom or something that has tremendous sentimental value and may need an upgrade so that it stays intact but is pleasing aesthetically. They may melt down a family treasure in order to repurpose it into a special piece for the next generation recipient. They also offer jewelry and watch repair, jewelry engraving, ring sizing services, custom jewelry design, and cleaning and polishing services. ‘’We always try to evaluate what our customers want and help them with what they need,’’ Thomas said.
For three years and counting their business has gained considerable momentum. The brother and sister team have the ongoing mission of providing exceptional service to their clients. Amanda explained, ‘’We’re personable. We're really trying to bring that back to a small town where you walk in the door and we know your name. We get to work with our customers on more of a personal basis.’’
As they take pride in featuring locally inspired jewelry designs and an amazing experience, Thomas’s Fine Jewelry is involved in community events. Check them out at the Boat Docking Contest hosted by the Dorchester Chamber of Commerce Saturday June 6, 2020 at Long Wharf, High Street, Cambridge, MD.
To learn more about Thomas’s Fine Jewelry and their collections, you can visit and shop from their website at www.thomassfinejewelry.com. They are located at 525 Poplar Street, Cambridge, MD, 21613. Call 410-228-0321.
If you had an amazing experience with Thomas fine Jewelry or wanted to let others know about them please share and comment below.
These are challenging times for local business owners. Hear how Daniela of PlantBar is making the most of it and continue to serve her customers. Specializing in vegan, raw, gluten-free, and paleo food and drinks, Plantbar is located at Belvedere Square Market Towson, Harbor Point, and Brewer's Hill in Baltimore. MD.
Fan of Plantbar? Comment below!