reSET’s Floor–Plan Retail Incubator Entrepreneurs to Kick Off Hartford’s Winterfair Holiday Market
Thirteen Emerging Retail Businesses to Showcase Their Products at Winterfair at Union Station in Hartford on Friday, November 24 from 4-8pm
HARTFORD, CT (November 17, 2023)– reSET, the Hartford-based entrepreneur support organization committed to nurturing businesses with a social mission, will showcase thirteen entrepreneurs who completed the third Floor–Plan Retail Business Incubator cohort at the ribbon-cutting and opening shopping day at Winterfair at Union Station in Hartford on Black Friday, November 24 from 4-8pm. The event is free and open to the public for shopping and meeting the entrepreneurs.
“This third cohort of businesses in our Retail Incubator offers an exciting mix of products, from skincare, to pottery and wood items, to fashion and accessories, and we’re thrilled to be able to open Hartford’s Winterfair on Black Friday with them,” said Sarah Bodley, reSET’s Executive Director. “These dedicated entrepreneurs have worked hard to refine their businesses during the incubator program, and this shopping experience is a great opportunity to see them all in one place and get some things crossed off your holiday shopping list!”
Extending the partnership between reSET and Hartford-based Breakfast Lunch & Dinner, the community venture building studio and producer of Winterfair, the opening session of Winterfair will open with a ribbon cutting at 4pm on Black Friday, November 24. The Friday shopping session will exclusively feature these exciting emerging retailers who are passionate about making a positive impact on their communities through innovative retail businesses.
“More and more, holiday shoppers are seeking experiences that offer unique products that are locally made and support the community,” said Josh Jenkins, BL&D partner. “Opening this year’s Winterfair with a collection of some of the newest retail entrepreneurs in the community starts the holiday shopping season with impact.”
Over 12 weeks, reSET engaged the entrepreneurs in the Retail Business Incubator program that provided mentorship, resources, and education, helping these entrepreneurs refine their business strategies and bring their retail concepts to life. During the incubator program, business owners worked closely with experienced mentors and industry experts to develop sustainable and impactful retail businesses.
Thanks to a $2.225 million 5-year grant in 2022 as part of reSET’s participation in the Connecticut Department of Economic and Community Development Grants Program to Support Small Businesses, reSET has expanded programming to include the Floor–Plan Retail Incubator, Including awarding grants to each participating entrepreneur for business expenses upon completion of the program.
This year’s Retail Business Incubator entrepreneurs have a unique vision for retail success with social impact:
Brittany Beans, a natural self-care enthusiast, is on a mission to teach sustainable self-care practices and provide health-conscious products for busy women through her company Whipped Shea Nature’s Moisturizer. Her passion lies in catering to the holistic needs of the community.
The Chenet brothers (Dimitri, Ronald, and Stanley) along with their family friend, Alamin, are up-and-coming entrepreneurs focusing on innovative toy cars that come equipped with built-in Bluetooth speakers. These cars offer a truly interactive experience that combines classic toy fun with modern audio technology.
Cocco is a talented wood artisan from New Britain, CT. During the pandemic, he crafted a coffee table for himself and quickly fell in love with the beauty of wood, especially locally sourced hardwoods. From coffee tables to cutting boards, Cocco has turned his passion into a thriving custom furniture and home decor business.
Brandi Dawson, founder of Organic Essentials By Bee, turned her severe eczema into a passion for natural skincare. She creates all-natural, vegan-friendly body products one organic essential at a time.
Taylor Dennin, the creative force behind Crafted to a T, creates functional handmade ceramic wares that are as practical as they are stunning. From plates and cups to dresser knobs and jewelry, Taylor’s work is a testament to the endless possibilities of this medium.
Justin Heriot is a lifelong collector of movies and music and a fixture in the New England punk scene. He brings that knowledge, as well as several years working for a record store to his own venture, Unapproachable A/V. Heriot specializes in physical media and merchandise, offering new and used CDs, vinyl, cassettes, VHS, DVDs, Blu-Rays, books, comics, and games, as well as streetwear and other merchandise.
Alison Kennedy, a fashion aficionado and travel enthusiast, is the creative mind behind PALM Resort Wear. Palm offers a collection of handbags, hats, and resort wear that will elevate your closet and style and bring the beauty of vacation to life.
Sade Nicole started sewing in her late teens with just a machine and YouTube. Today, her women’s ready-to-wear line is known for its vibrancy and femininity. With each garment, Sade Nicole brings sophistication and style to any wardrobe.
Oddette Staple-Brown, founded Oh D’Luxe Candle Company during the pandemic, when she had the time to pursue her passion for candle making. Oh D’Luxe offers eco-friendly, vegan, non-toxic, cruelty-free, and sustainable candles and room sprays, made with unique, in-house blended fragrances.
Ally Switzgable is the fashion guru behind Ally Bea, an online and pop-up women’s boutique. With a lifelong passion for fashion, Ally curates outfits that make you feel great. From unique finds to closet staples, Ally Bea has got you covered.
Terri-Ann Williams is a skilled Herbalist in Hartford who founded Natura Sol Medisun to promote balance within the mind, body, and spirit through the use of Herbal remedies. Her extensive experience with Herbs inspired her to use various Holistic Healing modalities to encourage a lifestyle deeply rooted in our connection to nature.
Sarah Wollman founded Eunoia Uncommon – a mobile handmade goods retail shop. Eunoia, meaning beautiful thinking, connects local artists and makers with the community, providing an avenue to showcase their talents. Sarah’s vision reminds us of the importance of supporting our neighbors, especially at a time when global connections dominate our attention.
Dakotah Zaskey, founder of Glass House, draws on his graphic design background and screen printing skills to create eco-friendly clothing that’s inspired by the natural world. With a fun and professional approach, Dakotah is redefining sustainable fashion for a new generation.
reSET is a nonprofit organization in Hartford, CT, whose mission is advancing the social enterprise sector. reSET specializes in social enterprise ― impact-driven business with a double or triple bottom line. In addition to providing coworking space, accelerator, and mentoring programs, reSET aims to inspire innovation and community collaboration and to support entrepreneurs in creating market-based solutions to community challenges. reSET’s goal is to meet entrepreneurs wherever they are in their trajectory and to help them take their businesses to the next level. Visit reSET | Where Great Companies Grow (resetco.org).
About Breakfast Lunch & Dinner
Winterfair: Hartford’s Holiday Market (winterfairhartford.com) is hosted by Hartford-based community venture building studio, Breakfast Lunch & Dinner. The studio’s vision is to bring about collective culture in the region. The studio has worked on projects and events including KNOW GOOD Market, KNOW GOOD Nights, and First Night Hartford. Winterfair is part of the studio’s Floor–Plan retail activation initiative which aims to develop a local, modern, and robust retail community in Hartford by supporting local, small businesses. This multifaceted project is a collective effort between various Hartford-based community partners to transform the vitality of our city’s retail and small businesses, including a technical assistance retail incubator program with reSET Social Enterprise Trust, an incubator store in store at Semilla Cafe + Studio, and an e-commerce platform in partnership with Cafeteria Media. The program beneficiaries are largely Hartford-based, small, local business owners with an emphasis on Hartford residents, minority-owned businesses, as well as businesses owned by low to moderate-income individuals. The retail community the program seeks to support aims to reflect the diverse demographics of Hartford by supporting Black, and Hispanic business owners.