Very best pals start ‘Sugar Sisters,’ a handmade gift small business, through pandemic

George T. Taft

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Obtaining fulfilled at dancing college when they have been 4 years aged, Madison Gattullo, 20, of New Springville and Rosebank resident Sophia Rizzo, 20, both of those graduated Wagner High School’s theater software and pursued faculty majors similar to the arts.

And each have participated in numerous theater productions — like with Highlight Theater SI — and miss performing live amid the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

With a lot of uncertainty about when the arts and theater communities will get better from coronavirus shutdowns, the pair place their imaginative skills to use.

“We miss our theater local community, undertaking in person and getting capable to actively take part in live theater. … We seemed for tiny pockets of hope in our day to day life that could depart us sensation connected and hopeful of theater’s return,” stated Gattullo, who is researching musical theater and law and politics at SUNY New Paltz in upstate New York.

“The remedy to this turned coming with each other to produce art that we could share with the group. We perform so very well alongside one another, for the reason that we are each so inventive and revolutionary in considering of distinctive concepts of items that we’ve still to see in the local organization current market,” she extra.

The pair introduced Sugar Sisters Staten Island and commenced advertising their handmade wares — which include personalized songs-themed keychains and photo frames, stationery, jewelry dishes and other objects — on July 27, 2020.

“This grew to become a way to be ready to keep on making artwork even when our market shut down,” stated Rizzo, who is double majoring in theater and instruction at Wagner College, Grymes Hill, and plays in a band called the Sherwood Challenge. “We ended up the two continue to carrying out virtual shows and on-line jobs, but we have been sensation disheartened with remaining not able to be with our arts families in individual. We determined on this name for our enterprise since we are like sisters to every other, so we wished to showcase that bond in our art.”

Getting rid of A Beloved A person TO COVID

And for Rizzo the business enterprise was also one thing she wished to launch as a tribute to her grandfather, Dominick Cosmai, 81, an artist in his have proper, who died of the coronavirus in April.

“This business enterprise indicates much more to me than anything at all, simply because it was a way to distract myself from my grandfather’s death,” she claimed. “My grandfather was really inventive and was into woodworking. He’d check with me, ‘What do you want for your home?’ And he’d make me a minor sign. … He absolutely is a massive inspiration to me.”

SIDEWALK Product sales

To produce consciousness of the business enterprise, the pair turned friendly with lots of other little company house owners throughout the Island and participated in socially-distanced sidewalk income in entrance of every single other’s homes and at modest outside venues in the summer season and slide.

“We’ve fashioned friendships with so many remarkable people today, and that on your own is a thing we’re so grateful for,” reported Gattullo.

Product Choices

Their first product offering — and even now their most well-liked to date — is a thing they dubbed “Soundtrack Frame.”

“These are frames that showcase a picture of selection, paired with gorgeous calligraphy crafting and a tune of the client’s choice,” explained Rizzo. They are obtainable in a number of hues and are absolutely customizable. These are so a lot pleasurable to make mainly because they are 100% unique and one of a kind each and every time we make them.”

For the holidays, Gattullo and Rizzo debuted their handmade stationery and other assorted handmade items, these kinds of as colourful jewelry dishes, hand-painted canvases, wooden plaques, keychains and dwelling decor.

A particular Valentine’s Working day presenting they produced are “Soundtrack” keychains.

“These plastic keychains can be manufactured with whichever image or album cover of alternative, and are a wonderful way to give the reward of music to a loved a single this Valentine’s Working day,” said Gattullo. “We also unveiled a further line of plastic keychains and pins that we make completely ourselves. We even make keychains with the Spotify Code of your choice. This link can be to a playlist or tune on Spotify to give a person audio. We’re also giving handmade souvenir publications for purchase this Valentine’s Working day, as effectively as Valentine’s stationery.”

Sugar Sisters also has a giveaway provide for Valentine’s Day on its Instagram webpage, reported Gattullo.




New Enterprises in Focus is a weekly column that relates the tales of new Staten Island companies entrepreneurs.

If you have a new company on Staten Island, e-mail

Tracey Porpora is the company writer and Sunday supervisor for < /b> Island Advance.


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