Holly '96 and Emily '00

by Clare Poth '81

Two local alumnae businesswomen are restoring the tradition of the neighborhood specialty boutique. This type of retail experience is a welcome antidote to mall shopping, and serves to enhance our city and the quality of our urban life. As owner Holly Constantine Ortman '96 shared with Newell Nussbaumer '86 of Buffalo Rising. "We are thrilled for our business to be a part of the vibrant Allentown neighborhood and to be a part of the resurgence of Buffalo."

Lace & Day opened to much acclaim this October in a beautifully renovated building at 445 Franklin Street. Owners Emily Constantine Doren '00 and sister Holly are providing area women the opportunity to find brands of lingerie and sleepwear previously unavailable in Western New York. Most important, women will have the benefit of being properly fitted for undergarments by a highly trained staff.

Both women credit the years they spent at Nichols as a critical factor in their intellectual and creative development. The skill sets needed to create and develop an independent business were initially fostered in the Middle School. Writing, public speaking, public service, research, mathematics and technology are fundamentals they rely upon each and every day. Both women acknowledge that the culture of Nichols supports risk taking, team building and a sense of achievement. This background, combined with their initiative, and the encouragement of their families, sparked a career shift some would consider quite daring, but a transition they remain confident about.

Establishing Lace & Day gives Emily and Holly an opportunity to provide personalized service and unsurpassed quality formerly only found outside of Western New York. Their hope is that the items they offer will not be considered "unmentionables," but rather essentials, and that they can help all women feel confident and well dressed whether they are presenting in the boardroom or chasing toddlers on the playground. Holly and Emily represent the current trend of successful professional alumni returning to Western New York to reinvest in the city. As female entrepreneurs they serve as excellent role models, and they look forward to partnering with business-minded students in the future by way of Nichols' Entrepreneurial Studies class and the proposed campus Innovation Center.