The Power Women of Howell Plaza — Triumph Over Adversity

Howell, NJ June 2012 – If Route 9 was to have a section with Main Street, USA appeal, Howell Plaza would be it!

Why? You can stop by to mail a letter at the post office, drop off your wash and fold laundry, visit the barber, get your watch repaired, bring your kids to their music lesson and/or strike up a conversation with Dan — the shopping center’s onsite maintenance keeper. At each shop, you’ll meet the owners because they are hands-on and working there too!

Three intrepid women — each with a different inspiring story of overcoming obstacles that range from homelessness to widowhood to unexpected divorce — are key Power Women of Howell Plaza. They now run their successful businesses and support their families, as well as their local community.

April’s Story: “Once Homeless, Now I’m Fulfilling an Impossible Dream”

April Bamonte always dreamed of making a difference through dance. When she first started the Howell Academy of Dance over 28 years ago, it really was a dream come true. However, she was not prepared for the struggles that lay ahead. For many years, she worked second and third jobs, just to pay the dance studio rent. At one point she was even homeless. Always exhausted and burdened with huge stress, her love to dance and teach overshadowed all the adversity she was facing. Despite family and friends telling her to shut the dance studio doors and walk away, her indomitable spirit prevailed.

Today, her face lights up when she reflects on what she has accomplished over the past three decades, “I went from a girl that everyone thought would go nowhere, to an adult who owns three successful studios, employs amazing staff and trains beautiful students. I’m so proud and know I have been blessed by having the opportunity to live my dream.  Because of my love of kids, I knew I had to make this work.” She adds, “We all face obstacles in our lives, but when we can stop and enjoy children’s happiness, in the end, that’s all that matters.”

In addition to her dance academies, April founded the “Diamond Dancers Dance Company”, a competitive performance troupe, that showcases their talents nationally, as well as internationally. This invitation-only group will have a new home for their rehearsals in Howell Plaza, opening this summer. “I have a lot of students that are driven and dedicated to their artistic craft, and I am overjoyed to give them varied dance experiences to help them pursue their goals. I was able to live my dream and these kids deserve the same chance!”

Chrissy’s Story:“I Look for the Positive

After the tragic and unexpected loss of her business partner and husband, Chrissy Pardun has bounced back stronger than ever. “Somehow I’m figuring out how to make happen,” Now the sole owner of Shore Suds Laundromat located in the Howell Plaza shopping center on Route 9, she says “I want to see this business thrive. Despite the hand I’ve been dealt, I try to look at the positive. I keep it going because of my three young kids. My laundromat business gives me the opportunity to be flexible with my time. As their only parent, that time is very precious.

It’s been over a years since this young widow has run the business on her own, and things are getting brighter. “We’ve needed some repairs and new equipment for a quite some time…so you can imagine just how thrilled I was with the arrival of our new washing machines!”

While being a single parent and business owner could be overwhelming at times, Chrissy is confident with her feat and shares, “The one thing I will tell any one experiencing a similar situation is never underestimate your abilities. You can make things happen, even through extremely difficult circumstances. I am living proof of that!

Peggy’s Story: “Doing It on My Own

Loving what you do and knowing it brighten someone else’s day really gives me the incentive to sustain and improve my business a little at a time. I still have two high school age teens at home and I have to work,” says a determined Peggy Deltuvia, owner of Edible Arrangement. “I know I can do this on my own.”

In July 2011, Peggy and her husband purchased the Edible Arrangements franchise located in the Howell Plaza Shopping Center on Route 9. The former stay-at-home mom was ready to re-enter the workforce after taking a 20-year hiatus from the corporate world in order to raise her family. Excited to the start the business with her husband, an unexpected turn of events just months later, found Peggy in the midst of an ugly divorce. She vowed to remain active in her community and make her business a success despite the legal battle ahead. Failure was not an option.

Her bright outlook is evident when you walk into her immaculate shop. She is clearly passionate about what she is doing and enthusiastically talks about her commitment to her community. “When the local Little League, the schools or civic organizations need a raffle item or support, I’m excited to donate – and not just a small edible arrangement. When I give, I like to give big, since I know it can make the difference between success and simply surviving.” That unstoppable “think big” spirit makes Peggy a triumphant winner!

For press inquiries, contact Roberta Bouer, (212) 996-0443

For information about Howell Academy of Dance, call (732) 370-5520

For information about Shore Suds Laundromat, call (732) 363-8558

For appointments at Edible Arrangements, call (732) 730-0878