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Somers Entrepreneurs Build on Their Skills

SOMERS, N.Y. -- When North Salem residents Ken and Ginny Ryan decided to pursue their skills as entrepreneurs, the initial question was, where do we start?

Ken already had degrees in hotel management and English literature. Ginny had a degree in psychology. He loved to make things out of wood. She had a talent for painting. The result was Somers Custom Framing , a shop that reaches far beyond picture frames.

“Ken made the furniture in our house and he always framed my artwork,” said Ginny Ryan, so this was a natural step.

Ginny has also painted murals in people’s homes. To see some of her work, stop in Mount Kisco’s Little Kabab Station and admire the Indian street-scapes covering the walls.

“We always sold gifts at the shop, besides doing the framing,” Ken said. “But we’ve added printing and photo restoration and we sell original artwork.”

Just as the Ryans evolve, so does their merchandise. Right now they are gearing up for Easter, with custom-made baskets and bunnies. In addition, they have soaps from France, toys from England, fancy teas, custom- made pillows, jewelry and accessories. You can munch on one of Ginny’s homemade cookies as you browse. “Everything is priced right,” said Ginny, “so we never have a sale.”

Now the Ryans have their fingers in yet another pie. Last fall they opened Fro-Yo Fusion , a frozen-yogurt shop, at the Brewster Sports Center . As the parents of six children, they understand that even a short stop at a yogurt shop can become expensive, so they have priced their yogurt as low as possible.

With a thriving multifaceted shop, a yogurt business and six children ranging from 5 to 15, how do the Ryans manage?

“We wake up at 5 every morning,” Ken said between bites of his lunch. “The kids get up about 6 or 6:15 a.m., so that gives us an hour. They’re out by 7:30 a.m. Then we have an hour and a half before the store opens.”

Thinking back on his extended education, he added, “Apparently I didn’t need that English degree.”

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