Tales of Business Expansion in Westchester
How two County companies grew business beyond our borders.
Whether an international corporation using more traditional means of travel or a young entrepreneur making connections via the Internet, Westchester County businesses are reaching farther than ever before.
Find out here how two companies are growing their operations.
DORIAN DRAKE INTERNATIONAL
For nearly three decades, Dorian Drake International has thrived in Westchester. With its mission to offer international sales, services and marketing to mid-sized U.S. manufacturers, the White Plains-based company is enthusiastic about its future and the county it calls home.
Managing Partner Edward Dorian, Jr. explains, “We represent manufacturing companies that want to develop international sales and distribution but have neither the desire to staff up or the expertise to handle all the required details.” Dorian Drake handles customer service, logistics, billing, export documentation, and credit and collection, the latter of which “is particularly important since reluctance to extend credit strictly limits where, and how much, business can be conducted,” Dorian says.
Dorian Drake’s multi-lingual sales and marketing professionals provide manufacturers with immediate market presence that otherwise might take years to build. The firm also bears all export operation fixed costs, including inside and outside staff, international travel and communications.
As to the advantages his Westchester location offers, Dorian cites transportation convenience, a deep local and regional talent pool, and major operational cost savings.
Since long-distance – particularly international – travel is a constant for Dorian Drake employees, the company greatly appreciates its easy access to the JFK and Newark airports, as well as domestic services out of Westchester County and La Guardia.
Dorian also points to the sizable corps of Westchester-based people with international business experience – just the kind of backgrounds he seeks when hiring new staff.
Lastly, Dorian notes, “The cost of our Westchester office space rental might be one-third to one-fourth that of what we’d pay for similar quarters in midtown Manhattan, 25 miles to the south.”
On the web at: doriandrake.com
The name Tommie Copper contains the essential ingredients of the relatively young, Mount Kisco-based firm that has prospered via sales of unique physical therapy gear. Tommie is a nod to Tom Kallish, the driving force that created the company. And the mineral copper is at the heart of the organization’s success, since it is infused into the yarn that’s a key part of the company’s products.
Tommie Copper offers a “natural solution” to increasing muscle and joint performance and/or relieving pain. Calling on a strong background in textiles, Kallish stresses, “Everything we make is infused with copper. We developed the fabric that acts as a compressor but which is
so comfortable people forget they are wearing it.”
Much of the three-year-old company’s copper-infused apparel is designed to compress knees, elbows and other joints that require extra support, either during the healing process or over the long haul.
Many people believe copper to have medicinal benefits. In addition, Kallish is certain his fabrics retain their strength and capabilities much longer than conventional, stretchable products commonly found in drug stores. Via an extrusion process, the copper is incorporated and permanently embedded in the yarn so that it never washes out.
The company also produces a line of outer garb, including women’s and men’s tops that, Kallish notes, are both attractive and long lasting. Other products include compression sleeves and gloves. And it’s all available for online shoppers visiting the company website.
A Westchester native, Kallish has definite reasons for why the area is so positive for his business. “We’re located a block from the railway station. That means employees can easily get here from Manhattan via trains that originate at Grand Central Station and also stop at 125th Street,” he says. “Indeed, many [employees] really enjoy their commute from the city into the countryside. I don’t think you can say the same for the greater number of people who commute in the opposite direction!”
The staff now numbers 70, with plans for expansion to more than 100. Kallish says many are young adults with limited job opportunities. But, via his compensation practices, “kids starting to work for me in their 20s are paid enough to be able to live on their own.”
All in all, Kallish says, “Westchester offers a great quality of life. And that is a real draw for people who – given a comfortable and reasonable means of commuting – really enjoy coming here to work.”
On the web at: tommiecopper.com