Daniella Cippitelli Brings The New York City Art Scene to Nassau County, Long Island

daniella cippitelli

Daniella Cippitelli, the owner of The Breadth Within art gallery in Roslyn, NY, has been a successful small business owner for over a decade. Her love for creating new ventures and watching them grow has taken her into various industries, including web development and martial arts. In addition to her professional responsibilities, Daniella also devotes her time to giving back to others through her non-profit foundation. During a conversation with Sonic Boom New York, Daniella gave us a deeper look into who she is as a businesswoman and community member.

What urged you to open your art gallery in Roslyn, NY?

Daniella Cippitelli: I’ve been an artist myself pretty much my whole life, and I always wanted to open up an art gallery. Matter of fact, my Bachelor’s Degree is in Arts Management. I wanted to learn the business side while I was in school.  It was the perfect degree for me to be able to get the business with the art.  I actually have a non-profit foundation for individuals living with cancer, and I was looking for a space to do a yoga therapy class for the foundation, and when I walked into this space that is now the gallery, it was my gallery.  I wasn’t looking for it; it came to me. I didn’t want to give up the space because it was everything I wanted in my gallery, so I decided to go for it.

From an entrepreneurial perspective, have you always been a small business owner or is this your first foray?

Daniella: This is not my first business; I actually owned an online web development and marketing company in the past. I was in the kickboxing franchise arena as well. I still hold shares in three of the kickboxing locations. I no longer own the franchising company. I sold my shares to my partner, who was also my partner in the web development business; I sold those shares to him as well.  As I mentioned earlier, I have a non-profit foundation that I started in 2012, so the gallery was a jump into something different, but it wasn’t my first foray into entrepreneurship.

What are some of the struggles you’ve faced as a small business owner?

Daniella: The economy is always a huge problem and talking with other small business owners; they say the same thing. With different modes of advertising, there are a lot more that you can do, like social media, but there is so much competition. There are a lot more small businesses that pop up because we have these things like social media that makes it really easy to market your company.  You have to figure out what sets you apart from your competition. Like me, my gallery is not your typical Long Island gallery. Most Long Island galleries feature local artists and many are also frame shops. My gallery is really more comparable to New York City galleries because the idea was to bring the New York City art scene and the Hamptons art scene to Nassau County and open those different types of art cultures here in Nassau County.

You can’t have the struggles without the rewards, so what has been rewarding for you being your own boss?

Daniella: The reward is the fact that you build something from scratch.  For a woman, it’s like your kid. You’re building this thing from nothing, you’re watching it grow, you’re hiring new employees, which is something I had to do for my past businesses. Not the art gallery, but it’s a neat thing as a business owner when you hire people and watch them develop, watch their careers blossom. It is even nice to watch them move on to other companies because it is time for them to grow. That aspect I like a lot about having a business. Coming up with different ideas to how I can better serve my customers and the people coming into my business. Standing out from the typical business that is out there.

What’s your future plans as an entrepreneur?

Daniella: I am hoping to franchise the gallery within 10 years.  I would like to open up multiple locations in various cities across the United States.  Hopefully, with a lot of luck, hard work and good networking, I will be able to open up in Europe also. This is my 10-year plan, focusing on that and building on it and expanding and seeing what other projects I can do and go from there.

Check out Daniella’s art gallery by visiting thebreadthwithin.com.

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Sony’s Holly Jacobs on the Return of Nostalgia in Programming

Sony's Holly Jacobs

Holly Jacobs, Executive Vice President of U.S. Reality and Syndicated Programming for Sony Pictures Television, oversees and directs all non-scripted TV programming development for broadcast, cable and first run syndication. Her efforts have created such landmark programs as the multiple Emmy Award-winning shows “Shark Tank” on ABC and “The Dr. Oz Show” for first-run syndication. She has deep experience in program development with stints at Fox Television Studios as Executive Vice President of Alternative Development; Buena Vista Productions as Executive Vice President, Programming and Development, and ABC Daytime as Vice President, Programming where she had oversight for “The View.” In addition to her professional responsibilities, Holly also devotes time to mentoring as part of the Women in Entertainment Big Sister program. “Mentoring has to be part of one’s internal job description,” she told me during a recent conversation. “It has to be more than just your own corporate climb. It is also who you are lifting up.”

Charlene Weisler: How is non-scripted programming evolving in this more technological, data-driven media ecosystem?

Holly Jacobs:  When we launched “The Dr. Oz Show” in 2009 it was a very different world. There was not the wealth of information at everyone’s fingertips.  Everyone now can Google every ache, pain and funny looking spot on their skin. As the show has always been a key destination for conversations about health and wellness, we’ve learned to adapt and evolve with the times. While the show continues to lead these conversations, we’ve also shifted focus and now also help the viewers curate and have context for what they gather online. We don’t just present; we help decipher the vast amount of information out there.

Charlene: Are the types of non-scripted shows changing over time?

Holly: Yes. We are always evolving. And it also goes in cycles. There is a trend now in nostalgia. ABC is launching a Sunday Night Fun and Games block which includes classic game shows from the 1970s and 1980s, like our new version of “The $100,000 Pyramid” hosted by Michael Strahan.

Charlene: The nostalgia trend is interesting. Is it coming from Millennials and if so, why?

Holly:  I think it is a combination of things. Millennials are embracing origin stories and are interested in knowing where things began. Birkenstock shoes are a great example of a nostalgic brand making a comeback. But there is also a comfort zone of nostalgia that is multi-generational, particularly in a time where there is a 24-hour news cycle.  People are looking for an escape.

Charlene: How much do you depend on research and data to help guide programming decisions?

Holly: I love research but I am not a slave to research. We don’t just gather data, we also follow the narrative and cultural relevance behind the results.  We also use online panels to get a real time pulse-point on content. Then we compare and contrast to look at the 360 of the brand.

Charlene: How do you find talent today?

Holly: There are many platforms where we can find talent so we look everywhere and on everything. It is a creator economy — everyone creates content — and we like to see who is bubbling up, who is connecting and resonating. We look at Vine stars, YouTube stars and of course recognizable talent from traditional media.

Charlene: Is it easier or harder to make talent decisions with all of these options?

Holly: Well, it makes it exciting and exhausting. It is a very dynamic time.

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Interview With Singersroom.com Founder Gary Gentles


Finding hip-hop music online is easy. There are literally hundreds of blogs and sites dedicated to the genre and it’s myriad sub-genres but when it comes to R&B it’s a different story. As popular as the genre is there are very few sites that cater to the niche. Sure there are entertainment sites that cover a range of different types of black music but there are very few that focus on the world of R&B, its rising stars and the community of people who are are passionate about it. Enter Singersroom.com. Founded in January 2006 by Gary Gentles and Adeniyi Osimore, Singersroom was created to fill that void. Omisore and Gentles met at Manhattan College, where they both ran track.They became fast friends when they realized they both had a passion for IT and Web design. Partnering to form the MusicLife Entertainment Group (MLE Group) they set out on a mission to “Live.Create.Entertain.”

BE Next spoke to founder Gary Gentles to hear how they did it!

BE Next: Was Singersroom.com always intended to be a business venture or was this a passion/hobby that turned into one?

Gary Gentles: Adeniyi and I both majored in Computer Information Systems and Finance so once we started collaborating together, everything was about business. As far as Singersroom goes, this was a niche that was missing online at the time. There was a lot of hip-hop sites and a few soul sites but no online portal that showcased Rhythm & Blues as a whole.

What was the original concept behind Singersroom? Has the Singersroom brand evolved into something else or something bigger since it started?

Gentles: Our core values have remained the same but like any product or service, we’ve made strategic additions to increase our fan base. Programs like Acoustic Conversation (offline/online) and 30 Under 30 (online) are examples of becoming more innovative, while adhering to our mission.

Who is your target audience?

Gentles: Our goal is to reach general consumers participating in the R&B lifestyle, which tends to be mainly women of all ethnicities.

How did you reach them in 2006 and how will you reach them now?

Gentles: Prior to launching Singersroom, we promoted showcases so once the portal launched, we had a decent email list to promote the product to. In addition, we used our relationships at record labels to secure exclusive content. We have several new products we plan to take to market, which will help us increase our consumer brand penetration and diversify our audience.

Was it difficult for SR to wrangle celebrities and get content at first?

Gentles: Not to brag, but we interviewed Trey Songz, Chris Brown and Yolanda Adams during our initial inception [and early in their careers] so I don’t think it was ever difficult because we had great relationships. We also didn’t come out the gate thinking we could interview Beyonce… [laughs] Everything we did was very strategic.

How do you all measure success?

Gary Gentles: Me personally, success is measured by several pieces. This includes, growing revenue, helping to break artists, empowering our consumers, development innovative products, amongst other things.

At what point did you realize that you all had a successful endeavor on your hands?

Gary Gentles: I think we realized from our inception that this product would be successful due to its demand. Our user retention rate was over 70% and record labels (small to major) saw us as a great marketing tool for their roster. Being recognized by Soul Train was a huge stepping-stone for our brand but our success really came down to proper implementation.

Interview by BE Next and edited to fit Sonic Boom NY.

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