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Outsider to Insider: Why this businesswoman followed her heart and invested in Buffalo

Growing up in Marblehead, Mass., Jessie Shetterly never thought about owning a business. She never imagined she’d live anywhere else but the small sailing town outside of Boston, either. But things change. Shetterly lives in Hamburg now and owns three Edible Arrangements franchises throughout Western New York. unnamed-2

“It’s a lot of hard work, but it’s been my life. I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else,” the 31-year-old said. “Being a part of the small business community here is amazing. And I love the Hamburg Village. It’s a quintessential small town. And I love quintessential things.”

Still, Shetterly admits that she didn’t fall in love with Western New York right away. Her mother moved to Buffalo right when she was finishing up high school, and Shetterly was young and restless. She was ready to get out in the world and explore, so she attended community college at the College of The Redwoods in California, then enrolled in Humboldt State University. After graduating, Shetterly moved back east and considered her options.

“My mother had worked her way up through the Ma Bell system and had become a national sales manager before women even were national sales managers,” she said. “I always saw a strong, independent woman being successful. I always figured I’d be in corporate America somehow. I just didn’t know how.”

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Name: Jessie Shetterly
Age: 31
Current location: Hamburg
Previous location: Marblehead, Mass.
Loves most about Buffalo: The community, connection and small town feel
Misses most about Marblehead: Good seafood and the ocean

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Shetterly ultimately decided to enroll at Bryant & Stratton College and study business. Six months later, she invested in an Edible Arrangements franchise with her mother. Knowing that franchises are expensive and hard to get off the ground, Shetterly asked her husband – who she met at Bryant & Stratton and is a Buffalo native – to give it a year. Even then, staying in Buffalo wasn’t a sure thing.

“In the beginning, I had to work a lot. I took on side jobs at various places and waited tables,” Shetterly said. “Even after we got the Orchard Park store up and running, I was busy all the time. Running a business is hard. I get up at 6 a.m. and don’t stop until 10 p.m. But I love it.” unnamed

After opening their first Edible Arrangements franchise in 2005, Shetterly and her family opened up a second store in Buffalo in 2012. Nine months later, they opened a Tonawanda location. As if that wasn’t enough, Shetterly’s mother recently moved to Florida to “retire.” And they decided to open a store down there as well. “My mother doesn’t know how to stop,” Shetterly laughed. “I’m a lot like her in that way.”

Between traveling back and forth to the Sunshine State and running her businesses here, Shetterly still finds time to pursue other passions including scuba diving and traveling. And every now and again, she heads back to Marblehead to be with her extended family – a whole slew of cousins and aunts and uncles. Shettlerly says she misses being near the ocean most of all, but moving back to Marblehead isn’t an option anymore. Buffalo has won her heart, even if she still is a New England Patriots fan.

“I have such a sense of community here in Western New York. It’s funny because the first three or four years I was here, I wanted out. Anyone who knew me back then knew the clock was ticking. But in the end, I decided to stay and invest in Western New York and it returned the favor. It was the best thing I ever did. I wanted to have a child and buy a house. We wanted to put down roots. And we have. We’re here to stay.”

If you or anyone you know has a story to tell about moving back or to Buffalo, or about moving away, email LynsD21@gmail.com.

Lyndsey D'Arcangelo is a freelance writer and award-winning author. Visit her website at www.lyndseydarcangelo.com or follow her on Twitter @darcangel21.

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