Women of Westfield

Local Business Owners Share Their Success

Lisa Bush 

New England Custom Countertops and Kitchens 

What is one leadership lesson you've learned in your career? 

Communication with organization! Always be in contact with your customers to make sure they know every step, as to what will be happening with their project. Also timing is everything! When you schedule a time for something to be done - be there as planned. Obviously, events may arise, and sometimes things happen beyond our control.  But communicating with the client is key! 

What are some traits you think great leaders possess? 

Understanding your customers and employees. Without them, there is no business. Treat everyone how you would want to be treated if you were on the other end. 

To what values are you committed? 

I am committed to have my customer leave the showroom with a great experience and an excited feeling of working with NECC. I am committed to making sure my customer is confident in what they have learned about the products I offer.  I am committed to making sure all of their questions and concerns are answered before they make their purchase. 

How do you balance work and life responsibilities? 

It’s not always easy! I have to admit, though, that it has become easier. Now that I have teenage children, I have more time to be at the office. Most moms, if not all, can vouch that there's just not enough time in the day to tackle everything. But, you do your best and it all works out! Lucky for me, I do have high energy which keeps me motivated and dedicated.


Basia Belz 

Vivid Hair Salon & Spa 

What is your Why? 

Really there is no why. Just Why Not?

How did you get your idea or concept for the business?

At a very young age, I had a passion for creativity, and when I was in high school I was able to express that in Cosmetology school. As I advanced my learning in college, I took business classes which enabled me to envision myself as a business owner in the community. I knew I had the skills and knowledge to take a leap of faith, to solely open up my own salon in Westfield, at the young age of 23.

What is unique about your business?

I have to say the staff and gratitude we all have for everyone that walks through our doors. The second you walk in, if someone is at the desk, you will get greeted with a great smile. Staying unique and educated in today’s latest styles and techniques allows us to give our guests the best service.  

What’s one leadership lesson you’ve learned in your career?

Always put your best foot forward and ignore the naysayers! With this mindset, success is endless!

Karen Kopeski  

Union Crossing Realty 

What is unique about your business?

We are a small niche company of professional realtors that demonstrate the highest level of customer service, while making lifelong relationships, through every transaction.  

What's one leadership lesson you've learned in your career?

One important leadership lesson I have learned was to be a good listener and to lead by example.

What are some traits you think great leaders possess?

I think some important traits of a great leader is to be genuine, authentic, and transparent.  Also, it is important to be direct and to always be open to others’ ideas and suggestions.

To what values are you committed?  

Honesty - Integrity - Trust. These are the most important values in our company.

The vision to create the best customer experience for YOU. The ambition to accomplish YOUR goals in a negotiation. The trust to reliably execute a positive, seamless, and transparent transaction for YOU.

Think back to five years ago.  Did you envision your career as it is today?  

When I look back five years ago, I would have never dreamed I would have a successful real estate company with 6 amazing realtors, a billboard on Route 20, and a feature in a magazine. My message to women is to never give up on your dreams!  Step out of your comfort zone, and go for what you want - that is where you will see the most growth!


Kim Starsiak 

All-Stars Dance Center 

Does your company help your Community?

Community is extremely important to us. We love to participate in all areas of community - volunteering our time, performing for special events, etc. We have been part of so many events: Trunk or Treat, our Christmas Show, and Spread the Love, just to name a few. If you are looking for some community support, don’t hesitate to give us a call!

What are a few pieces of advice you can share? 

Never give up and always be willing to learn! We are never too old to learn, and we can always be better than we are today.  Networking is a great way to help run a successful business.  

To what do you attribute your success?

I attribute my success to hard work, hard work, and more hard work! When you love what you do, the hard work comes easier than you expect. I make sure to be present and interact with all students, parents, and staff that come into my studio - whether it’s part of our recreational or our competitive families. I love the personal connection and kindness we foster throughout the studio. Kindness makes everyone feel good! When you are happy, you are successful!

What is your why? 

I love everything about dance! The way it makes me feel is indescribable.  I love being able to express myself without saying a word. Dance is my world, and there was never anything else I ever wanted to do. . .well, except become a Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader! 

Jillian Knapp

Rosewood Home & Gift 

As a female leader, what has been the most significant barrier in your career?

I haven’t exactly noticed obstacles because I’m a woman. The gift and boutique industry is a women’s world. I had barriers in the beginning because of my age. At the time, it was so discouraging.  I didn’t let it get me down too much, though. I embraced the attitude of just watch me! I will succeed!

How do you balance work and life responsibilities?

Honestly, this is something with which I struggle! As most know, I work in the Department of Anesthesia at Baystate. Between keeping up with my per diem status at the hospital, running the shop, and trying to run a household - it can be challenging. I’m so lucky to have a huge support system, and my fiancé David is so good about picking up the slack. Work/life balance was on my 2020 resolution list, and I do plan to eventually get to a yoga class! It’s May? I still have 6 months to get there! 

Think back to five years ago. Did you envision your career as it is today?

5 years ago, I was turning 22 years old! My goodness,I never thought I’d be sitting here, talking to a local magazine, regarding successful Women in Business! I sometimes catch myself, when I’m being hard on myself, and I just have to remember - I’ve accomplished so much in such a short amount of time!

If you had one piece of advice to someone just starting out, what would it be?

GO FOR IT! You can’t let fear hold you back. I never wanted to have that “what if” feeling. If you try and you don’t succeed, you will have, at least, tried. Lean on the people around you, use your resources, stay positive, upbeat and enthusiastic! Excitement breeds excitement. Remember that. If you have that type of mindset, you will succeed. 

Sofia Zanzarella, M.S., P.T., ART, CEO, MP

Results in Wellness 

What is the biggest challenge you have faced so far? 

COVID 19 has been the biggest challenge, to date. It has impacted all business owners and, the decisions I made on a day-to-day basis, affected the foreseeable future of all my employees. The viability of my small physical therapy business and now, Results In Wellness, LLC, a company with the vision to inspire people to believe that they can thrive, has been halted.  In the midst of the stress, it was a text from an employee that gave me the energy and confidence that I needed to carry on, and be the leader my employees see every day.

What is your why and what is your company about? 

As a physical therapist I have always wanted to make a difference in the lives of my patients. I have done this since 2004, with Rehab Resolutions, Inc. My company has grown from a small office of 2 employees, in a sublet space, to 3 separate locations in three cities with over 18 employees.  Over 70% of our growth and new business comes from word of mouth referrals, from patients who appreciate our unique team and hands-on approach to getting results.

What would you say to someone thinking of starting their own business. 

Are you thinking of doing the crazy thing of leaving your secure income, with regular hours and managed risks, and jumping into the entrepreneurial life, where the sky-is-the-limit, the hours are endless, your risk is high and your sights are set on freedom? Go for it!  It is worth it. Be sure to hang on to your true self, for you will be tested, the road will twist and turn, and your quality of life will often be questionable. However, with the right mindset, goal setting, self regulation, networking and mentors, you will do what you were born to do.  You will move mountains!

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