Magazine Interviews


Chrissy’s Advice: “Go For It!”

For Chrissy Mazzola, the payback from her involvement in Business Connect was immediate and unexpected.

“I went to Business Connect meetings a year ago,” she explained. “And I was overwhelmed by the number of people there. It was standing room only, and I figured I’d never have a chance.”

Chrissy’s small business is a promotional products company, North American D.F., Inc., founded in 1992 and based in Staten Island, NY.

She became the sole owner when her business partner passed away in 2003, making her company “100 percent woman owned.” With annual sales approaching $2 million and 20 employees, she’s happy, with no desire to become bigger.

“I don’t want to lose the personal touch,” she said, “and even my sales force is an extension of me. They’re completely focused on customer service.”  Her clients range from Fortune 500 companies like insurance giant AXA to the City of New York to advertising agencies.

Chrissy’s industry is competitive and price-driven. The first project she bid on and won for the NY/NJ Super Bowl Host Committee was bracelets for the Super Blood Drive. Her first order was for 100,000 bracelets, which she delivered within the 30-day timeframe. Her second order was bigger than the first – 175,000 bracelets.

She believes she won the bid for three reasons:

1. Competitive price
2. Willingness to work with a tight deadline
3. Delivering a high quality sample

She won the bid working through a NY/NJ Super Bowl Host Committee ad agency, and within no time, the agency asked her to bid on a large project for another client.

“And guess what?” Chrissy reported. “I got that job, too. So this goes beyond just Super Bowl business. It’s opening doors for me.”

Chrissy’s advice to other Business Connect participants is: “Don’t be afraid when you see thousands of people at these meetings. Go for it! I’m impressed with the process and how much they want to help us. Sign up for the workshops, because you’ll learn new things and make great contacts.”


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