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Copy Queenz

Anne Stanton - November 3rd, 2008
With the name “Copy Queenz,” this new business is proud to declare its female ownership.
But the name has caused some awkward moments with a few people, said owner Cindy Lyskawa.
“A man, from another shop, asked us if we only wanted female customers because we’re doing the ‘female thing.’ I thought, ‘What is he talking about?’ Then I realized, it must be our name. Other people have walked in and said they were expecting to see two big guys dressed in women’s clothing.”
The truth is, Lyskawa isn’t a drag queen and would never turn a male customer away. Lyskawa and co-worker Gayle Gallagher just consider themselves royally experienced in copying, collating, and designing all that is paper. After all, they’ve worked a combined 30 years in the business.
After Lyskawa set up her shop on 14th Street in Traverse City a year ago, the two women feminized it with wooden blinds, new carpeting, paint and pretty flowers. The store feels relaxed with Buddy, a yorkie-poo, greeting customers as they walk in. The women say they’ve been together so long, they speak their own language—and sometimes they don’t need to speak at all, as they quite easily read each other’s minds.

DISCOUNT FOR FUN
Lyskawa’s husband jokingly calls himself the bookkeeping servant of the Copy Queenz, (the slave!) and they all seem to have a great time—think Car Guys without the radio show.
“One customer told us, we should give a discount for fun people, and sometimes we do! ‘Hey, that’s a great joke. By golly, here’s 20 percent off,’” Gallagher said. “Um, don’t write that. Okay, go ahead—we can always use a joke.”
So what’s special about Copy Queenz?
Lyskawa said there are a lot of talented people who want to showcase their creative art with their special greeting cards or note card. Others, who haven’t yet discovered their inner artist, come in with beautiful photos, drawings or other creations, be it their own or their children’s.
“They aren’t quite sure of what to do with it... so we show them. You can take this art and put it on a note card, in a calendar, or on a placemat. I feel like I’m helping people put their dreams into print,” Lyskawa said. “They love It!”
In her new role as owner, Lyskawa holds to one principal for success—treat all people with respect, no matter what their station in life.
Gallagher and Lyskawa themselves rarely disagree.
Gallagher handles the copy and production work, while Lyskawa designs business cards, flyers, posters, invites, you name it, on the computer. She’s self-taught, having made up her mind several years ago to become proficient with desktop publishing.
More challenging has been her new role as a business owner. The stress, responsibility, hours and the bills were initially overwhelming, and the hours still are. But it’s ultimately been very satisfying. She has three words of advice for any woman—or man for that matter—who wants to open their own business: “Go for it.”

 
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