Neil A. Carousso produces and co-hosts WCBS Newsradio 880’s Small Business Spotlight series with Joe Connolly. Click here to watch the weekly video segments featuring advice for business owners on survival, recovery and growth opportunities.


  • Small DIY Home Furniture Business Turns to Organic Social Media Content to Elevate Engagement

    Posted by:

    By Joe Connolly and Neil A. Carousso

    NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Digital advertisements were a slam dunk for businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, but recent changes to Facebook and Instagram’s algorithms have made it difficult to break through and expensive to generate sales. A Brooklyn home furniture company found a strategy that works for their business.

    Hoek Home creates modular, quick assembly desks, tables and stools from their factory in Brooklyn. Brian Chu and Conor Coghlan started the business after hearing from family and friends about how difficult it was to set up and move furniture.

    “It’s not really about an aesthetic for us. It’s more about a system and simplifying people’s lives,” said Coghlan on the WCBS Small Business Spotlight, sponsored by Dime Community Bank.

    Coghlan and Chu met while studying architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. They reconnected years later to start their own design and fabrication firm, A05 Studio and later Hoek Home.

    Initially, Hoek Home got a sales boost by promoting their home office videos on Facebook and Instagram. Within the last few months, their customer acquisition costs have skyrocketed. Now, they rely on user-generated content.

    “We would ask our customers to send videos of themselves assembling the desk and share it on their story. So essentially what we’re trying to do is advertise through word-of-mouth,” Chu said.

    They’ve also partnered with micro-influencers to promote their furniture on social media.

    “We’ve gained quite a following through some partners that we work with, some advisors that have really helped us out,” said Chu.

    Hoek’s Home Office Desk sells for $495 on their website and accounts for 60-70% of their sales.

    “It really offers a huge amount of value to have your desk set up during the week, and then, say you’re having friends over for dinner, you’re having a party on the weekend, and you just need that extra space, you just click it back together. You can hang it on the wall, you can slide it under your bed,” Coghlan said.

    Coghlan and Chu say listening to customers’ feedback has helped them grow. They even have a whiteboard in their factory with a list of what they call “expanded ideas.”

    “We actually have outreach to our customers to hear what their experiences are with the furniture that they have so we can take their comments and really try to fine-tune and tweak certain portions of our design to to come up with a new product or a new feature or just make the product better,” said Chu.

    See growth ideas on the Small Business Spotlight video above.

    Read More

  • Giants Fans Start Super Bowl Dreaming

    Posted by:

    Executive Produced by Carousso Enterprises, LLC.

    Bayside, NY — Fans of the New York Football Giants are hungry for a playoff run after a six year drought. This year’s playoff team comes unexpected as Daniel Jones leads Big Blue into the Divisional Round against their rival Eagles Saturday night.

    Justin Joseph talked to Giants fans at Bourbon Street on Bell Boulevard in Bayside, Queens for NY2C’s On The Call.

    Read More

  • Islanders Host First-Ever E-Sports Night

    Posted by:

    Executive Produced by Carousso Enterprises, LLC.

    Elmont, NY — The New York Islanders teamed up with e-sports company FaZe Clan to host a gaming night they hope will attract younger fans to the sport of hockey.

    Justin Joseph reports from UBS Arena for NY2C’s On the Call.

    Read More

  • Bronx Fashion Entrepreneur Inspires Disadvantaged Youth

    Posted by:

    By Joe Connolly and Neil A. Carousso

    NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — Flora Montes overcame a broken home to become an entrepreneur and mother.

    She found purpose by cooking for corporations in the Bronx after culinary school and developed a network. She later got hooked on fashion after attending Latin Fashion Week in 2012 and launched her own fashion business, Bronx Fashion Week, two years later.

    “Fashion should never just be defined to, you know, six foot tall, size two. So that’s the main mission of Bronx Fashion Week,” said Montes on the WCBS Small Business Spotlight, sponsored by Dime Community Bank.

    Bronx Fashion Week has more events each year than New York Fashion Week and attracts more than a thousand attendees. It highlights local designers and models and benefits non-profit organizations with which they partner.

    “One thing I’ve learned is that fashion is more than fabric and there’s a story behind every stitch and we’re built on those stories.”

    Montes recently expanded to serve schools in the South Bronx, and the response has been overwhelming.

    “They actually came to me and told me that they had gone to the principal and told the principal that we had to come back,” she said. “We teach them fashion history, we’re teaching them the runway, we’re teaching them the behind the scenes of how a fashion house runs.”

    The fashion CEO believes future leaders are in those classrooms and hopes to inspire kids to pursue their career dreams despite disadvantages they might face in their upbringings.

    “For me, the fashion part of it is about the inclusivity and the diversity. And, fashion is in everything, In everything we do. You can wear a pair of pajamas like I tell my students and you’re wearing something that is defining who you are,” said Montes.

    See this uplifting and inspiring story on the Small Business Spotlight video above.

    Read More

  • St. John’s Basketball Program Captivates Generations of Fans

    Posted by:

    Executive Produced by Carousso Enterprises, LLC.

    Queens, NY — Attending a St. John’s basketball game at Carnesecca Arena has been an electrifying experience ever since the legendary coach Lou Carnesecca led the 80s-era Johnnies to two Big East championships.

    NY2C’s On The Call talked to fans before a recent St. John’s Red Storm game in Queens.

     NY2C’s On The Call is executive produced by Carousso Enterprises.

    Read More

Sign Up for Free Email Updates
Get the latest content first.
We respect your privacy.