Image of Yael Alkalay, Courtesy of Small Bevy
Like millions of Americans, especially New Yorkers, no one in their wildest imagination could fathom that New York City would shut down to all non-essential workers on March 13.
Millions of New Yorker City dwellers have survived 9/11, various financial crises, black outs, the AIDS crisis, but the COVID-19 pandemic seems to have a far-reaching and uncertain path of destruction that has the globe reeling.
Yael Alkalay, CEO & Founder, red flower, and Scott Kruger, COO & CFO, red flower talk with us on their thriving organic beauty and wellness business before mid March and after, and the steps they continue to take to survive in our brave new world.
Listen below on what life was like before and after mid March and how the Harlem-Columbia Small Business Development Center (SBDC) provided a much-needed lifeline to red flower.
Alkalay is resilience personified. When she was 25-years-old, and a student at Columbia Business School, she was vacationing in the French Alps on Christmas Eve.
She suffered a stroke. Although conscious, she lost the ability to communicate. A friend visited her in the Boston hospital where she was recovering. The friend washed her hair with a mint shampoo.
The smell of the shampoo and the sensation of having her skull massaged brought her back to life and gave her hope for the future.
That experience led her to start her own business of creating organic beauty and wellness products that, 20-years later, is the successful, red flower.