CT Women-Owned Startup Helps Empower Businesses
Innovation Destination Hartford Website Curator Nan Price met with The Bolder Company’s founding partners, Ellen Feldman Ornato and Jenny Drescher, to discuss their startup journey and how they encourage others to be bolder.
NAN PRICE: Give us a little background. Have either of you always had an entrepreneurial spirit?
ELLEN FELDMAN ORNATO: Yes. My father owned the Milt’s Army Navy Store in Bloomfield, CT when I was growing up and I worked there from the time I was 12 through high school.
Prior to launching my first company, I had corporate jobs in municipal government/planning, economic development, and retail marketing. Then, in 1997, I started my own business doing public relations, event marketing, sponsorship sales, and special events.
NAN: Jenny, how about you? Do you want to talk about your entrepreneurial experience?
JENNY DRESCHER: I do have entrepreneurial experience prior to this, but not nearly as many years as Ellen. I spent more time in different corporate arenas doing operations, sales, and accounting. I didn’t break free of Corporate America until 2013.
I always wanted to do things differently, which got me in trouble in most corporate settings. Becoming an entrepreneur was a natural fit for me because entrepreneurship is about creating the rules that work best for you, even if they’re unusual.
NAN: That’s very entrepreneurial.
JENNY: It wasn’t until I started studying entrepreneurship that I understood that! I do have a strong entrepreneurial drive, it’s just that it never had expression and I didn’t have a model for it. I think it’s cool that Ellen grew up with her dad as an entrepreneur, so she’s had that role model.