nicolemillerNicole Miller leads in the fashion world because it always follows its own path.

By Chris Petersen

Success in the world of fashion comes from being able to react to trends just as easily as you shape them, and for more than 30 years Nicole Miller has been at the forefront of women’s fashion for that very reason. With a broad base of upscale specialty retailers carrying the Nicole Miller brand, women around the world have been able to get their own versions of Miller’s designs, which have been worn by tastemakers including Beyonce, Jennifer Anniston and Angelina Jolie.

A graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design and l' École de la Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture Parisienne in Paris, Miller has become world-renowned for her combining of fine art with couture technique. But in fact she was creating styles that caught the fashion world’s attention even before she founded the Nicole Miller brand with CEO Bud Konheim in 1982. In addition to being found at upscale retailers around the world, Nicole Miller has two brick-and-mortar locations in New York City’s Soho neighborhood and West Hollywood, Calif.

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Miami Home Centers sets itself apart from big-box home improvement stores by offering the personal touch of service and unique, exclusive items.

By Stephanie Crets

Miami Home Centers might not be the biggest home improvement store on the block, but if a customer is looking to find an exclusive or unique item, they need look no further. Since 1959, Miami Home Centers has served southern Florida residents with four locations in Miami Beach, South Miami, Pinecrest and Tamiami, providing a convenient place to purchase home improvement products, while also serving contractors and businesses throughout the area.

Under the direction of second-generation President Dan Hitchcock Jr., it is now a complete home center with the expansion of its home décor department and Benjamin Moore paint department. Its kitchen and bath showroom has been expanded as well, and includes decorative hardware and lighting on display.

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Lifechek Drug celebrates 25 years of being the largest independent chain of pharmacies with 24 stores throughout the southwest Texas area.

By Stephanie Crets

Celebrating more than 25 years in business, Lifechek Drug is the largest independent chain of pharmacies with only one owner in the United States. Bruce Gingrich opened his first Lifechek Drug store in 1990 after receiving his pharmacy degree; the contract for the store was finalized the same day he got his pharmacy license.

He had gone back to school after pursuing several other ventures for the sole purpose of owning his own store. “I decided I wanted to do something where I own my own business and kept what I make,” Gingrich says. “And the market for drug stores was really good at the time.”


iStore provides the accessories for the technology that people depend on each and every day.

By Chris Petersen

Imagine if human beings woke up as a species one morning and discovered they had an extra set of arms. To say that this would have a disruptive effect on the apparel and accessories industries would be putting it lightly, and there would suddenly be new opportunities for companies that could provide accessories for these new appendages.

It sounds outlandish, but in a way it has already happened. Human beings have developed new appendages, but these are of the technological variety. iStore CEO Joel Teitelbaum says mobile devices like smartphones and tablets have become so ingrained into their users’ lives that they have become like a new set of arms, and iStore was created to fill the growing need for accessories for these new artificial appendages.


Elan Polo has been growing its footwear business for more than 40 years by staying one step ahead.

By Eric Slack

Founded in the mid-1970s as a specific business importing footwear from Brazil and India, Elan Polo has grown into a global footwear company. A mid-sized operation in its industry, Elan Polo designs, sources and delivers millions of pairs of men’s, women’s, and children’s shoes to retailers big and small around the world. The company distributes 40 to 45 million pairs around the world annually.

“The backbone of our business has always been developing high-volume, private-label programs for some of the largest retailers around the world,” says Troy Quinn, general manager and senior vice president of the comfort division. “Over the past 15 years, we have been evolving our business model by starting, acquiring, licensing, and sourcing global brands.”

Compare Foods Produce 2

Offering a diverse selection of affordable, high-quality products has helped Compare Foods expand its supermarket chain throughout the East Coast.

By Eric Slack

A small independent supermarket chain, Compare Foods has come a long way since it launched its first location in 1989. Today, the company has grown to include dozens of stores in New York City, Long Island, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, South Carolina and North Carolina.

“Compare Foods was a concept that Eligio Peña had since the mid-1980s,” Vice President of Operations Jenny Jorge says. “It was a venture by a family of immigrants that had a desire to attain the American dream and a concept that they felt could take them there.”

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