Christmas and City

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Neslihan Hidirligil headshot
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Location: Hauppauge, NY
Founded: 2004
Industry: Retail

Christmas and City

Neslihan Hidirligil
Founder and CEO


Christmas and City operates year-round Christmas stores in Manhattan, New Jersey, Boston, Hollywood, San Francisco and Niagara Falls, with temporary operations in other cities. Founder and CEO Neslihan Hidirligil personally designs the store displays and trains the staff “to make each visitor feel the Christmas spirit in a personal way, wherever we host them,” she says. Showing that extra level of care for visitors is one of the reasons Christmas and City has been successful, she says. “For example, our Hollywood store manager can greet people in more than 30 languages.”

Quick Tip: “A great leader offers a collective vision that inspires every member of her team to contribute all they can.”

When Hidirligil first started her business, she was a woman in her 20s who spoke English as her second language. “Many property managers did not want to lease space to me, but I persisted and got opportunities to prove that my vision of selling Christmas year-round could work,” she says. “Before long, the biggest property companies in the world were competing for me to open stores in their locations.” In 2015, Christmas and City’s Little Italy store was flooded due to construction in the building, and the company lost months of sales. “What I did was to open our largest store of all on Fifth Avenue, three times as big as Little Italy,” says Hidirligil. “When adversity strikes in the midst of growth, my solution is to believe in what you do and expand some more.”