Wheaton College Norton, Massachusetts

Newsmakers: Barbara Doran ’77

Barbara Doran ’77Kitchen KuffsYou are washing dishes by hand. You have pushed up your sleeves, but they keep sliding down into the suds. What to do? Barbara Doran ’77 knows. In fact, she has created a whole business that answers that question—Kuffco, LLC. Her company makes KitchenKuffs®, fashionably designed cuffs that slip over your own sleeves to hold them in place while doing dishes, cooking, gardening and the like. Her business caught the eye of MarthaStewart.com, which in April featured her on the website’s “Dreamers Into Doers” page, as a “Doer of the Week.” In a long Q&A, she talks about her business: “I came up with the idea for KitchenKuffs®, and formed Kuffco, LLC, in 2008. At the time I was, and still am, the owner (with my husband Frank) of a small advertising agency. I had left corporate America in 1995 as a vice president of marketing. I’ve long had an entrepreneurial spirit and never quite fit the corporate mold. Additionally, in 2006, I earned my certification as a professional dog trainer. Dog training, a lifetime passion, was my original post-agency retirement plan…. I wear a lot of sweatshirts (dogs’ nails and teeth don’t get caught as easily in sweatshirts as they do in sweaters). I also spend a fair amount of time in the kitchen, preparing meals and cleaning up after. I’d forever be pushing my long sleeves up while cooking or washing something in the sink. My sleeves would always fall back down my arms and I’d end up with wet sleeves. Yuck! I hate that. So, I decided to do something about it.” At Wheaton, Doran majored in psychobiology. Although her major doesn’t sound like it would lead to KitchenKuffs, she says that Wheaton was the perfect preparation for creating her business: “I found Wheaton to be a very supportive and nurturing environment, where I was pushed to think outside the box, resolve problems, and always strive for excellence. These qualities have served me well throughout my professional life.”

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