From shoe designers to a private concierge, passionate Hingham business owners carve their niche with unique products and services.By Colby Radomski
Photography by Derrick Zellmann
Bobby Rohla and Brad Selland:
Co-owner Bobby Rohla became intrigued by the rising popularity of craft distillation in 2007 while representing start-up distilleries in Kentucky. He toyed with the idea of someday opening his own operation, applying his training as a lawyer as well as his biology degree toward the foundation of a business plan. But it wasn’t until 2012, after moving to the South Shore, that Rohla got the ball rolling. He approached his uncle, Brad Selland, a retired neurosurgeon and Scituate resident, with his idea; Selland immediately jumped on board.
Their concept is simple: keep it local. Spuds are sourced from Szawlowski Potato Farms in Hatfield, Mass., and a Hingham-based artist drew the vodka’s label. Since launching last year, Rohla and Selland’s handcrafted spirit, which features notes of vanilla and a smoother texture than that of traditional grain vodka, has been a hit. It even seized a gold metal at this year’s prestigious San Francisco World Spirits Competition. bradforddistillery.com
NOBULL is exactly as its name suggests: “No gimmicks, no excuses, no bull.” Founded by longtime friends and colleagues Michael Schaeffer and Marcus Wilson, the fitness line features simple, functional footwear for CrossFit athletes, sans the flash. “We really started with the name and the attitude first—’no bull.’ It reflects our beliefs in what brands should look and feel like,” Schaeffer says.
The pair, who met while working at Reebok, saw an opportunity several years ago to combine their skills: Schaeffer is a seasoned product and footwear designer and Wilson specializes in marketing and advertising. As passionate “CrossFitters” themselves, designing footwear to fit their own lifestyle was a no-brainer.
Since launching NOBULL in May 2015, the brand has exploded, generating a fan base that now spans the globe and gaining endorsements from nationally recognized CrossFit athletes including Jared Stevens, Sam Dancer and Brooke Ence. But despite the company’s exponential growth and success, the pair maintains a humble attitude. Says Schaeffer, “Every day we wake up and are like, ‘I can’t believe we beat yesterday.’” Follow NOBULL on Instagram @NOBULLPROJECT. nobullproject.com
From orchestrating moves and organizing closets to planning intimate dinner parties and five-star vacations, Kimberly Kosanovich’s work runs the gamut “from the gritty to the glamorous.”
The owner of Considerate Done!, Kosanovich offers concierge services to busy individuals, from high-profile executives to suburban moms. A former real estate attorney, she launched her business two years ago upon realizing her passion and skill for planning assistance. “I found myself doing a lot of concierge-type services for myself and my family and friends,” she remembers. With her creativity, attention to detail and industry connections (she was just invited to join luxury travel site Virtuoso’s network), Kosanovich takes ordinary experiences to the next level. “Anyone can make a reservation,” she says. “But I am always trying to think of the extras—I always treat someone’s trip or project as if it were my own.”
And while most consider concierge services a luxury, Kosanovich insists it’s worth the saved time, energy and stress. “Today, outsourcing just makes sense,” she says. “People don’t want more stuff, they want more experiences!” consideratedoneconcierge.com
After spending two decades working in television and other media, holding a variety of positions ranging from network news producer for NBC New York to director of public relations at the Boston Harbor Hotel, Kelley Doyle decided it was time to hone in on her passion and embark on a solo venture.
Launching Kelley Communications & Image Consulting three years ago, Doyle focuses on a niche clientele that includes luxury lifestyle and hospitality brands, as well as philanthropic organizations. “In a way it was like moving from the buy side to the sales side of a business,” she notes. With a media-insider perspective, Doyle offers services ranging from communication strategy to event planning. As a one-woman operation, her clients’ needs and ideas don’t filter through layers of an account team. “I become very invested,” she says. “When you are that invested, you germinate the really big ideas.”
While Doyle has landed large accounts, it’s the philanthropic ones that remain most meaningful to her. Locally, she has been involved in several events, including Chel Bella for Charity’s Pink October fashion show, and most recently, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation’s annual Hot Pink Gala.
THE MUSIC MAN
If Andy Bergsten’s instruments could talk, they’d have a lot of stories to tell. The Beach Boys, Frank Sinatra, Ray Charles and Sir Paul McCartney are just a sampling of the music royalty that have touched his extensive collection of instruments, which includes everything from rock-and-roll staples like Fender Stratocaster electric guitars to orchestra instruments like the Zildjian Gong.
A lifelong musician and 1977 Berklee College of Music graduate, Bergsten got started with instrument rentals as a rep for Syndrum Electronic Drums, selling and leasing drums to noteworthy acts like The Cars. “People started to ask, ‘What else have you got to rent?’” Realizing the potential for a legitimate business, Bergsten gradually built up his inventory, establishing Bergsten Music in 1979. Nearly four decades later, his 14,000-square-foot industrial space in Hingham is filled to the brim with instruments and sound and lighting equipment waiting to set the stage at venues like Gillette Stadium, Boston Symphony Hall and South Shore Music Circus. bergstenmusic.com