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An Update on Bethenny's $20K Giveaway Winner

Check in to see how The Lanyard Ladies are doing, sincing winning Bethenny's $20K Skype Video Message Giveaway!

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Meet the finalist in the 'Bethenny in Your Business' $20K Giveaway!

After sorting through thousands of Skype video messages, "Bethenny" narrowed it down to three finalists. These businesses have a chance of winning $20,000 to advance their unique business idea. First, they'll come to New York and discuss their businesses live on the show!

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Some colorful string and an idea
Local moms take home $20,000 prize in national small business contest
Courtesy Lanyard Ladies
Colleen Demas, left, and Heidi Cohen, took first prize in the “Bethenny in Your Business’ $20K Giveaway!” after launching their company in 2011.

It started as a simple idea in the summer of 2011 for two friends to make some extra money on the weekends. Now, it has two local moms hammering out paperwork with attorneys to franchise their company across the country.

Heidi Cohen, of Oceanside, and Colleen Demas, of Valley Stream, launched Lanyard Ladies with an initial investment of $500 to purchase string and lanyards, and to mail some fliers out. In November, Lanyard Ladies took first prize and $20,000 in the “Bethenny in Your Business’ $20K Giveaway!” contest on FOX’s daytime talk show “Bethenny.”

Cohen and Demas submitted a Skype video in September to enter the contest and were named as one of three finalists in mid-November. The following week, on Nov. 21, the duo was named as winners. After host Bethenny Frankel announced their win, Cohen and Demas raised their arms in victory and hugged as balloons began to fall.

“It was crazy,” Cohen, a mother of three boys, said of the experience, adding she never thought they would win. Demas, who has two twin boys, said she believed their idea was unique enough that they had a shot to win, but “didn’t think it would happen.”

The two women didn’t know each other prior to working together at a local summer camp in 2011. Cohen, a former courtroom reporter, and Demas, a teacher’s aide in Hewlett, were in charge of the camp’s lanyard and friendship bracelet making station, which was very popular with boys and girls at the camp. They thought it would be smart to offer this summer activity year-round at birthday parties, graduations and religious celebrations.

According to Cohen, the business first started taking off after three months, but within six months it “went crazy” with people looking to book them. They have launched a popular website and put out an instructional DVD and craft kit.

Demas has some experience in managing a retail store, but for the most part, they taught themselves how to operate a small business. They have two other full-time employees and book about six parties per weekend, Cohen said, adding that the month of June is normally the busiest with graduation parties. The Lanyard Ladies typically stay at a party for one hour and do three projects with kids.

LEAP at Hewlett Elementary Ends on a High Note!

The Lunchtime Enrichment Activities Program (aka LEAP) finished a successful season last week with the making of Friendship Bracelets. The Lanyard Ladies, Heidi Cohen and Colleen Demas, volunteered their time over the course of the week and students in all grades had a wonderful learning experience during recess, discovering the many ways to create lanyard and friendship bracelets. It was certainly one of the most popular lunchtime clubs of the year, and we owe a great big thank you to Christine Belluccia, who planned, organized and supervised the 2012-13 LEAP activities for our students. She and her team of volunteers did an amazing job!


The Lanyard Ladies, a duo that provides birthday party entertainment, recently opened a Nassau County party location in Garden City Park. The duo also offers a crafty camp.

Lanyard Ladies Garden Park City location

The party space at the
Lanyard Ladies’ new
Garden City Park location

Lanyard Ladies, a traveling lanyard-making birthday party entertainment company has been bringing friendship bracelet and lanyard making to birthday parties in the New York area for years. The duo recently opened a new location in Garden City Park.

After working at a summer camp teaching kids to make friendship and lanyard bracelets, owners Colleen Demas and Heidi Cohen decided to bring the summer to kids all year long at birthday parties. Before they knew it they were booking parties, coming out with craft kits and instructional DVD’s, and were even featured on local news.

“We took an old craft and made it unique, and it’s become very popular,” Cohen says. “We do birthday parties, bar mitzvahs, Sweet 16’s, corporate events, charity events, everything!”

Parties include three full projects and can last an hour when ladies travel, or 90 minutes at the Garden City Park location. Projects include rainbow key chains, friendship bracelets, and lanyards. The Lanyard Ladies offer four different packages, with add-ons including popcorn, balloons, goodie bags, sign-in boards, and different time intervals.

The new centrally located space allows parties to last longer, and removes the stress of hosting parties at home. Lanyard Ladies also offer classes and three different camps during the summer. Classes are 45 minutes long for 6 weeks and cover various bracelet-making techniques. Camps are available in four-, six-, or eight-week sessions and cater to kids ages 5-16.

The Lanyard Ladies to be Featured in the Gift Bags for All Award Attendees

New York, NY, May 7th, 2013 -  The Lanyard Ladies are a new and upcoming business, founded by Heidi Cohen and Colleen Demas. These two mom’s have hit the entrepreneurial world by storm – they do friendship bracelet and lanyard birthday parties and events. They have become a big success in a short period of time. They have managed to take a very old and loved craft of lanyard and have reinvented it into an amazing business. From across the country, only 30 companies have been chosen by Off the Wall Gifts to be represented in this years 34th Annual Sports Emmy Awards, and will be presented to approximately 900 attendees.


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Monday, September 3, 2012The Lanyard Ladies
I was offered a great opportunity to review a new product from The Lanyard Ladies this past weekend with my nieces (14, 12, 10 & 4 years old...  the 4 year old needed help from her Mommy, but still had fun picking out her materials and flaunting the final project!)  :)  Who are The Lanyard Ladies you ask?  Well, they are female entrepreneurs who created their own party business (and now have products to sell)...  making friendship bracelets and lanyard bracelets!  Located in East Rockaway, NY you can book a party or sign up for one of their classes! 

BUT - If you aren't close to that location you can have all the fun in your own home!  By ordering one of their Friendship & Lanyard Making Kits for only $19.95!  It comes with an instructional DVD "that will make you an expert in no time." Their kit also includes: 6 colors of plastic lacing-4.5 yds each, 8 skeins of embroidery floss-8.75 yds, 18 in. piece of rattail cord, 6 metal hooks, Approx. 30 beads assorted colors.  You can order directly from their website: 

My son was excited and totally would have loved doing this too, but he got busy playing with his other cousins at the time! 
   Please check out The Lanyard Ladies...  and remember with Christmas coming around the corner this would make a great gift!!  Support small businesses!!  :)
You can also find The Lanyard Ladies on Facebook & Twitter...

Review: The Lanyard Ladies

Submitted by Maria A. on October 23, 2012 – 12:01 amNo Comment

I am sure we all remember lanyards from our days of summer camp when we would spend hours trying to create these intricate designs out of strings of plastic. I was never very good at it, but then again I am not very artistic. Twenty something years later lanyards have leapt out of camp obscurity into the mainstream, and it is all because of the Lanyard Ladies. I attended a class held by the Lanyard Ladies to find out first hand why kids love their parties and programs.

The two owners of the Lanyard Ladies, Heidi Cohen and Colleen Demas met while at summer camp; they were working, not attending. They bonded over teaching kids how to make lanyards and friendship bracelets. They saw how popular the lanyard area was and thought it might make a good business. Now, the Lanyard Ladies are one of the most sought after party “entertainers” on Long Island.

For the past year, the Lanyard Ladies have been working parties all over Long Island. They will come to the party location with spools of lanyard cord in a variety of colors. Guests can make as many lanyards as they like during the hour and a half party. They also do parties in their party room at their studio in East Rockaway. They provide everything except the cake for the in-studio parties.

Starting at the beginning of this month, the Lanyard Ladies began offering lanyard classes in their studio. Classes are held on Wednesdays from 4 pm to 5 pm, and on Sundays from 11 am to 12 pm. The cost is $15 for all-you-can-braid during the hour. Class participants choose from different lanyard designs displayed on a board. Colleen or Heidi will start off your lanyard design and then show you how to continue working on it.

I attended a class last week with my 13-year old niece and her 14-year old best friend. Anyone who has kids this age know that they talk constantly. They did not talk at all during the lanyard class. They were completely focused on what they were doing. The rest of the kids in the class were younger, but no less focused. Interestingly, a lot of the moms, once they saw how much fun their kids were having, decided to make something too.

At the end of the hour, both girls had started about three lanyards which they planned to complete at home. Upon leaving, I heard the six sweetest words one can hear after taking a child to an activity, “I would like to go back.”



The Lanyard Ladies
21 Ryder Place
East Rockaway, NY


Related Topics: business q and a, colleen demas, friendship bracelet, heidi schectman, and lanyard ladies

Business Q&A: The Lanyard Ladies

Start up is becoming big business for birthdays and more.



The Lanyard Ladies want to provide your kids with some alternative entertainment.

Started in September by Heidi Schectman and Colleen Demas, the ladies specialize in friendship bracelet and lanyard construction. The idea has seen so much success that the team has decided to release a DVD and craft kit, due out in time for summer vacation.

Here, Schectman describes what has made her business such a smash. 

Why did you decide to start The Lanyard Ladies?

My partner and I worked together at a camp (making) friendship bracelets and lanyard bracelets. It was very popular and, as we saw how popular it was, we said ‘this is a good way to start a new career and we should start doing birthday parties.‘ We started doing birthday parties in September and it took off like crazy. We’ve been very busy.  

What do kids do at your birthday parties?

We come with everything. We set up tables, benches, and bring 26 colors of string and lanyards. We first started off with a lanyard pen project, where they made a pen - but with lanyards. We also do a lanyard bookmarks with them, where they weave in and out and can make different designs. We give private instruction to each child. This way, they can make as many as they want. We usually leave there and they’ve made about five to six bracelets. When we’re gone, they can still make bracelets. We also provide all the goodie bags for the kids. They are huge hits. 

What makes your business unique?

There’s nothing else like it. No one is doing birthday parties, or even selling friendship bracelet and lanyard kits. There’s not even an instructional DVD. That’s why we’re having that done right now. It’s a unique idea. A lot of people love it because they’re always looking for something different for their kids. They don’t want to keep doing the same old parties. When they find out about us, and we’ve had a lot of word of mouth business, everyone just goes crazy.

What kind of activities will you be offering at the Robbie Levine Foundation Run on April 29 (held at Norman J. Levy Lakeside Elementary School in Merrick)?

It’s a five mile run for the foundation. [Robbie] was a nine-year-old boy who suddenly died playing baseball. They have volunteers come to keep the children busy. We’re going to have a booth there and be giving out starter bracelets, string, and starting lanyards and friendship bracelets. We’ll be helping all the kids and keeping them busy while their parents are doing the run. 

What tend to be your most popular items or patterns?

There’s about 10 to 15 different kind of bracelets and lanyards. Candy stripe bracelets are very popular. Box stitches and barrel stitches are very popular for the lanyards the children like to do.

For more information and to book The Lanyard Ladies, click here.

Have you been to a Lanyard Ladies Party? Tell us in comments.

Take a Class with The Lanyard Ladies


Looking for a fun after school or weekend activity? Does your child want to learn how to make friendship bracelets and lanyard bracelets?

Learn to make your favorite bracelet patterns. You can make as many bracelets as you want. Each child will also receive a special gift for joining us. Spaces are limited. Please call to reserve your space. You can also book a private play-date for you and your friends (10 or more children neede

The Lanyard Ladies are definitely “Mommy Approved.” I hosted a lanyard party in my backyard for the Sparkle Empowerment Program for Girls and we all had a good time.  We had girls ages 5 – 16 creating lanyards, bracelets, and bookmarks.  Everyone was intrigued and really focused on their crafts.  I highly recommend using them for hosting a birthday party or girls night out/in.
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From Left: Colleen Demas and Heidi Shectman, The Lanyard Ladies. Website - 


Another local vendor in attendance was The Lanyard Ladies, who hold “friendship bracelet and lanyard birthday parties.” Owners Colleen Demas and Heidi Shectman, who both teach the craft at Rolling River Day Camp in East Rockaway, do Sweet Sixteen’s, weddings, Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, and special events.

Demas and Shectman said they were pleased at the turnout of the event, only an hour into it.“We did an event in Oceanside, and this has already exceeded sales,” Demas said.






Information • Ideas • Expertise
Lanyard Ladies
Friendship bracelet and lanyard party favors. Looking for a unique and exciting way to make your party the talk of the town? The Lanyard Ladies is the way to do that! We provide a beautifully decorated table set up with dozens of colors of string and lanyard. Hundreds of different designs to make. Make bracelets, necklaces, anklets, rings, key chains and zipper pulls for sweatshirts and packpacks. Your guests pick the colors and stitches and we begin it for them and provide instructions. For more information, please contact us at 516-578-2248.

Oceanside , NY11572
Sponsored by ORT America
131 Jericho Turnpike • Jericho, NY 11753
Tel: 516.876.8150 Fax: 516.876.8172
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