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Working With a Friend



Here is an article highlighting two of our members, Donna Mock and Mary Korzinski, talented artisans who live and work in and around Saratoga, NY. Donna has also served on

the IDAL board and continues to be a valued volunteer. The first part of the article explains how they formed their partnership, and the next part describes special projects they have completed. We think you will find the article interesting and gain some knowledge to apply to your own businesses. Mary narrated the text for both parts.  



Part 1-The Partnership: 

“On a snowy December eve, 2019, in New York's capital region, I got a call from a favorite paint contractor asking if I could replicate a wall covering in plaster and get him a quote to install it in a new Mexican Steakhouse ASAP.


Love to...sez I!


I pulled off into a slushy parking lot to think and then called my good coffee friend and fellow artisan, Donna Mock, to see what she was charging for commercial jobs. I have always been primarily residential, and Donna has been involved with local builders and commercial projects. 

My joke...if they think Donna's too expensive, call Mary K- lol!

They did call her, minutes after asking me, humph!!

After a laugh we decided to put a bid in together and they were stuck with both of us. And yes, Donna and Mary are now expensive.. but they get 40 years of combined experience.

We completed the project and COVID hit the day our beautiful Steakhouse opened for its first lunch. It closed before dinner, with lots of tears.

Donna and I have similar strengths and work ethics. We washed our hands and masked up during COVID (we tested positive the same day😑) We ate lunch in our car and stayed out of porta potties! We took jobs outdoors, like limewashing lake houses, plastering foundations, worked new construction where they took temperatures to check for fevers and both avoided sketchy contractors.

We trusted each other, very informally made a partnership, and didn't miss a day working.

Donna takes care of social marketing, signs us up for every professional networking event, and she follows up on leads and torments me with tight schedules...which we keep!

I am ideas, research, safety officer, complaint dept, label reader and prep!

I think.....Donna does!

We share many skills and recognize that there are some things the other just does better (or enjoys more)!

Donna likes her scaffolds. I will hang off the tallest ladder I can find. We compromise.

Donna has real professional tools from conventions, I troll dollar stores, hardware stores, art stores, and own 2 good trowels. I love a nice brush. Donna.. chip brushes.. toss. I clean and baby my brushes. Donna sharpens her trowels. I need my little table or a nice corner for my stuff .. a place to hang my coat...Donna.. nope

Mary VS Donna

Coffee....Diet Coke  

Apron......No apron

Worry....What me worry

Sand..for the love of Pete..meh

Make nice...accounts receivable

Almost on time...butt crack of dawn

But we both love a challenge,can chat for hours, work until we drop, compromise, stay creative and current, and are tenacious when solving problems. We love a good bag to keep our stuff in and will talk to anyone about what we do.

That snowy day, it was a lucky phone call..for both of us!”

Part 2- Saratoga, NY:

Saratoga is a historic small city at the foot of the Adirondack Mountains. It is famous for its spas, horse racing, and great restaurants.

We are lucky to get to work in this charming part of the world. One such project we did is a gem of a gilded age hotel. “The Adelphi”, and her Broadway sister, “The American Hotel”, are

now one beautiful destination/event/residence and dining space. The hotel's new owners are lavish in their investment.

We have silvered  , gilded and glittered walls and ceilings to compliment its modern velvets and sculptured lighting.

South on Broadway, overlooking Congress Park, is home to the Canfield Casino (still standing and beautiful), where Diamond Jim Brady gambled and dined with Lillian Russell. On the other side of the park was the massive Victorian Convention Hall. Sadly lost to fire in 1965, the site is now a six story residential complex.

We recently updated one of the 4 bedroom apartments. Wood panels on most of the walls had ambered and yellowed, and were not to the new owner's liking. Using many different troweled plasters, we transformed this to a beautiful new space. It has lovely views of our special town.

Win some, lose some! Luckily Saratoga survived the worst of urban renewal in the 60s and continues to attract visitors and investors to rediscover her history. Come visit! 

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