Stay Connected


Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content



Posted on

Kimsu Mandly, 25, grew up wanting to follow in her father’s footsteps as a commercial artist and wound up giving lessons in navel architecture. Under the pseudonym Sudana Odalisque (the surname is French for “harem girl”), she is the founder, owner and principal dancer of Boston’s thriving $3,000-a-week Bellygram gag messenger service. Kimsu, who grosses another $300 weekly undulating in local Middle Eastern restaurants, employs seven other dancers—including two men. “Women,” she explains, “want something too.” For $45, a dancer carrying a message scrawled in grease pencil across his or her tummy will shimmy up to an unsuspecting target and do a five-minute routine. A full 20-minute floor show costs $75. A native of Manchester, Conn., Mandly majored in education at Lesley College in Cambridge, Mass. after her dad refused to foot the bill for art school. There she studied modern dance under Kitty Dukakis, wife of the then Massachusetts governor, and on a 1976 trip to Israel Mandly became intrigued with the ancient art. After graduation she took over a dance studio, and last year she delivered her first Bellygram to a delighted member of the Hartford Whalers hockey team. Now Kimsu, who lives with manager-fiancé Joe Kouyoumjian, 38, wants to go national—”something,” she muses, “like FTD.”

Jeffrey Hollender, 26, attended four high schools before graduating and dropped out of Hampshire (Mass.) College in his sophomore year. Yet Hollender has found his niche, establishing the Network for Learning, one of the nation’s largest noncredit continuing education programs. Since opening its doors in a Greenwich Village loft in 1979, the school has grown to 50,000 students a year—some attending up to four weeks. They pay between $15 and $45 to take such courses as “Around the World on $15 a Day,” taught by travel expert Arthur Frommer, and “How to Be a Preppy,” by best-selling author Lisa Birnbach. To date Hollender has grossed $1.5 million from his brainchild. The son of a former president of Grey International Advertising and his real estate agent wife, Jeffrey was an entrepreneur even at 15 with a window-washing business in the Long Island Hamptons that grossed $100 a day. After quitting college he founded, in 1976, the Skills Exchange of Toronto. Two years later, with the school drawing 20,000 annually, Hollender turned his attention to New York. The bachelor plans to sell franchises to other U.S. cities and London within the next year. “As far as I’m concerned,” he says confidently, “we’ve only scratched the surface.”