With the help of Senior Planet classes, nine 60+ entrepreneurs were open for business ahead of Mother’s Day at the Senior Planet’s Exploration Center on May 9. They took over the space in the Chelsea Center to offer jewelry, scarves, pillows, wall hangings, scented sachets, wallets, iPad holders, digital art, Mothers’ day ‘rose” corsages, soaps, bookmarks, and other fun and unusual gifts. (For a look at our photo album, visit here.)
‘The traffic was great,” noted Aaron Santis, Program Manager of Senior Planet Exploration Center, “people were coming in all afternoon; we had flyers all over the neighborhood and on social media.”
Throughout the afternoon, shoppers wandered in to browse the tables while vendors shared their experiences. Many credited what they learned at Senior Planet’s’ Startup! program for helping them make the leap. (Startup! aims to empower older adults with the knowledge and tech skills necessary to start an online business.)
Fiber artist and weaver Ella Murray is taking the Startup Program while creating a supply of lavender scented sachets, woven wall hangings and working on her business’ website. Marian Goldberg and Arlene Weitzman used their StartUp class to jump start their jewelry businesses; Weitzman just joined Etsy. The diverse group of entrepreneurs clearly welcomed the chance to display their wares, thanks to the classes (and exposure) Senior Planet offered them. Here they are:
Denise Alicea, at her Cultural Creations table, offered crocheted hats, delicate rose corsages and framed art; she says “I’ve been a Senior Planet member for years, I’ve learned how to use an iPad, about marketing and so much more, and I love those online classes at Senior Planet University.”
Susanna Beltrandi, of Blueworks, showed her Cyanotype prints of leaves and flowers in art prints and bookmarks, examples of her work can be seen here.
Joan Cantor of Hand Knits, a longtime Senior Planet member, offered her crocheted hats and scarves, with vintage handkerchiefs holding lavender sachets;
Marian Goldberg, of NYMamasbeadworks, took a photography class at Senior Planet and is planning a website for her handcrafted earrings, necklaces and bracelets; meanwhile they can be seen at her Facebook page here.
Ella Murray, a longtime Senior Planet member, had a array of lavender scented sachets, and woven wall hangings.
Arline Rubin, a retired college professor, offered bright, hand-sewn tissue holders, jewelry, button pins and pendants and felted soaps (‘using felt means we’re not denuding the oceans of loofa”).
Bathsheba Sherman took the Connect class and says “I became more confident on the computer, and my pastor, The Honorable James David Manning encouraged me and said I was a designer.” She offered handmade pillows, scarves, shrugs and inventive cloth Ipad holders.
Henry M. Soto of H.M.S Designs displayed a range of digital artwork prints, which can be seen at his website.
Arlene Weitzman, a retired social worker with a lifelong love of sparkly jewelry and fashion, had a selection of bright, sparkling necklaces, bracelets and earrings for “Arbling” her future Etsy business. “The Startup! class and Etsy class were a huge help,” she said. “The teachers were so helpful and informative.”
Photo (From left to right) Bathsheba Sherman, Arline Rubin, Denise Alicea, Susanna Beltrandi, Henry Soto, Joan Cantor, Marian Goldberg, Arlene Weitzman, Ella Murray.