March Small Business Startup: Hearing Solutions of NNY

AMANDA MORRISON / NNY BUSINESS
Amy DeMar has opened her hearing aid business above the Quik Med on Washington Street in Watertown.

THE INITIAL IDEA

     For many years Watertown native Amy DeMar worked in the health industry, something she was passionate about and that ultimately led to her opening her own business, Hearing Solutions of NNY LLC.

     “I had taken a short break from the working world, but it wasn’t long until I wanted to get back into it. So I put my resume out there and was soon contacted for an interview,” said DeMar.

     She began employment with Hearing Health in Walmart in the town of LeRay and began taking her New York State certification training. After two years of employment with Hearing Health she spent time working at Center For Sight, but when the company decided to close its hearing department, she knew she didn’t want people to lose that service.

     “I felt the need to be here to help all the patients. So that’s when my husband and I began to do some research and found the location we are currently in,” said DeMar. She says since they opened their doors in mid-January her patients are happy to continue services with her and business is doing great.

THE JOURNEY

     After Center for Sight’s hearing department closure, and after turning down two prominent job offers in Syracuse with other audiology groups, DeMar spoke with her husband and decided that she couldn’t work in another area, that Watertown was exactly where she needed to be.

     “Because my roots are in Watertown and I am very community-oriented, I decided it wouldn’t be a good fit for me because I didn’t want to let anyone down,” she said of her choice not to relocate.

     The decision was made; Watertown was where she would open her office. But finding the perfect location was what DeMar called, “A big task.” She had to scramble quickly to maintain the care to her patients she felt they deserved, and with whom she also wanted to continue working.

     When the office located in Millie and Jeff Smiths QuickMed building opened it was clear to DeMar that this was the place she could begin her next journey as an entrepreneur and hearing aid specialist.

     “Millie and Jeff have been wonderful. Anything that we needed, they were right there to help with,” she said.

TARGET CLIENTELE

     According to DeMar, there are many reasons why someone needs to be fit with a hearing aid, and it’s not just those over the age of 55.

     “We work with a lot of different people and there are different reasons why people have hearing loss,” she said. “There are four major reasons, but the main one is exposure to loud noises. We have a lot of mills and factories in the area, and back then they didn’t care for their hearing as they do now. They didn’t know they needed to.”

     She continued that age is an inevitable reality and that with age we lose hearing. That’s why she recommends anyone over the age of 55 visit her office for a free screening, as well as education about hearing loss itself.

     “When someone comes in for a screening they are walked through the process before any sound tests are conducted. I try to educate them as much as possible because I think being educated about their own hearing is extremely important,” DeMar explained.

     For her, it’s about making sure that she is giving the quality of care that she feels everyone deserves and that’s why she offers screenings for free. She emphasizes, though, that she is not a doctor and that because she is not, Hearing Solutions NNY LLC does not treat medical conditions. She refers anyone with a health-related hearing problem to a doctor.

IN FIVE YEARS

     It’s simple for DeMar where she wants to be in the next five years, “I see myself doing the same thing I am doing now.”

     As any business owner, she wants to continue to grow as a reputable health representative in her community and to continue to give back to those who have supported her and her family throughout the years.

     “The community has provided me with such a great quality of life, and my children with a great quality of life. So that is why I want to always give back,” DeMar said.

     And give back is what she is doing through her business. A portion of her sales are donated to sponsor Hospice of Jefferson County. As acting vice president for the organization, there was no question as to how she could continue to work and give back to her beloved community.

~Holly C. Boname