Location: Hauppauge, NY
Founder and CEO
N&F Global Corp.
N&F Global Corp. operates year-round Christmas stores in Long Island, New Jersey, Boston, Hollywood and Niagara Falls. “Although I had a university degree in economics, I came to realize that my preference was in retail sales, where I could interact directly with the customers,” says Neslihan Hidirligil, founder and CEO of N&F Global. “When I did a Christmas booth in 2004 at NYC’s Fetes de Noel celebration in Bryant Park, I knew I had found real joy in sharing the Christmas spirit with these visitors. I founded my company then, intent on making it into a year-round operation.”
Quick Tip: “We prefer to be open even at the slower times because we can keep a staff employed that has been trained to our standards, rather than hiring only temporary holiday help.”
“In seeking a year-round shop location, I found a lot of resistance from landlords, as most big property companies only want to deal with national chain operations,” says Hidirligil. “However, by 2006, I was able to convince the South Street Seaport in New York City to give me a chance, … and I proved the viability of operating year-round.”
Hidirligil’s most meaningful philanthropic engagement is inspired by her Turkish heritage: She helps recently immigrated Turkish women assimilate to American society, while also retaining their own culture.