Androvise real estate has been rehabbing a new headquarters on Lisbon Street. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

New handbags, new headquarters, new construction — this week the Buzz is eclectic.

Let’s start with why Chad Sylvester is nearly ready to celebrate.

After an eight-month renovation, the president of Androvise Realty is slowly moving the company into new headquarters at 1008 Lisbon St., across from McDonald’s.

The real estate company, founded in May 2015, has had seven agents sharing a 500-square-foot office at a strip mall on outer Lisbon Street.

“It’s a little tight,” Sylvester said. “We were in an incubator space — low overhead was a good way to start. We’d been looking for a couple years (for a larger office). This came through because a client told me to go take a look.”

The former home had been a chiropractic office for many years. Since January, Sylvester has upgraded the plumbing and wiring and added a new roof and siding. When construction wraps in mid-August, they’ll have 2,000 square feet in the new office.

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Rae Anne Keene and her Trends Salon is on the building’s second floor and Ryan Boies and his Bonafide Builders is on the top floor. Boies has been doing the majority of the construction work.

“We’ve been excited for a while to get to this day where we can move in,” Sylvester said. “It was a major renovation, no question.”

New platform

 

Sofia Fima founder Dianna Pozdniakov with the new SF Market Tote made from a custom Italian woven textile. Photo courtesy Elle Darcy

This week, Forbes’ senior contributor Daniel D’Ambrosio wrote about Sofia Fima’s new crowdfunding effort on iFundWomen.

Founder Dianna Pozdniakov is looking to raise $50,000 to fund a new line of high-end handbags that are a lightweight Italian woven textile on the outside and a man-made leather alternative on the inside.

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“I haven’t raised any outside capital. I’ve bootstrapped everything,”  Pozdniakov said. “Before jumping all-in on a large production run, I wanted to see what the demand was. This campaign is a way for me to see, is there stickiness to this product? Does it make sense for my brand to include a bag like this?”

To date, all of her bags have been made of Italian leather. Using this new material cuts the retail cost almost in half.

Pozdniakov opened a store on Lisbon Street last year in the former Terry’s Bridal. The Forbes story is great for exposure, she said.

“It’s getting a good amount of views,” Pozdniakov said. “I just want more and more women specifically to know about the brand, that it exists. It’s awesome for me, it gives my brand more validity.”

We’re No. 170!

College Factual ranked 1,240 schools as part of its Overall Best U.S. Colleges & Universities for International Students study in July, and ranked Bates College No. 170, in the top 15%.

According to its figures, Bates has grown from roughly 102 international students in 2010 to 132 in 2017. The most popular major for those students was economics and the most students came from China, India or Vietnam.

Final fun fact: 1,444,804 college-level international students came to the U.S. to study in 2017.

Quick hits about business comings, goings and happenings. Have a Buzzable tip? Contact staff writer Kathryn Skelton at 207-689-2844 or [email protected]


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