It was a small quest that turned into a career-changing adventure for this 32-year old Trumbull resident. A licensed massage therapist with an in home business, Carissa Algeri-Gulyas simply wanted to create her own all-natural massage cream. "I wanted to try and keep the ingredients for my massage cream as local as possible. But it was really difficult to find what I needed." It was Algeri-Gulyas' frustration that inspired her "Ah-ha!" moment, and the sprouting of her newest venture, www.buylocallyCT.com.
So Carissa put out a statewide call to products and artisans, farms and farmers markets. "Connecticut has hundreds of state-made goods, from cheeses to wine to candles to pet care products, that many state residents don't know about or have access to," says Jennifer Spaide, founder and editor of Simplicious Magazine, a Connecticut based online resource for healthy living. "BuylocallyCT.com provides a very unique service of making these products available under one virtual roof." It's essentially the yellow pages for Connecticut-made products. And as Algeri-Gulyas says, "It's a win-win...consumers can easily find a farm or fabulous product near them, while local businesses are able to expand their market base."
While the website only launched this past April, it is already generating excitement from producers and consumers alike. Carissa Black, of Carissa Black Bags, makes creative handmade bags that are featured on buylocallyCT.com. "I love the idea of buying locally, so this site is perfect. I have been sending my customers to buylocallyCT.com and the feedback has been very positive!" Diane Apicelli, of Sunroom Herbals, loves being a part of buylocallyCT.com because it gives her business internet visibility without having to front the expense of a website. "BuylocallyCT.com makes it possible for small businesses like me to have internet access. I have no plans to stop participating in Carissa's website."
Algeri-Gulyas is urging Connecticut-based companies, producing anything from homemade consumables, to body care, to clothing, to contact her about being on the site. Subscibing as a "Featured Buisness" gives companies an individual page where they can showcase products, photos, links, contact information, etc. There are two subscription options currently being offered: $9.99/month and $5.99/month, both include the first month free. For details, contact Carissa through her website, or call her at (203)223-0127.
While buylocallyCT.com is just taking root, Algeri-Gulyas has big plans to grow the site. Be on the look out for special content features like product write-ups and "Meet the Maker" interviews.
Carissa Algeri-Gulyas, Founder
Facebook: buylocallyCT.com by Carissa Algeri-Gulyas
Twitter - @CarissafromCT