ZEN ZONE SENSORY GYM: Exploration, Independence and FUN!

What other lender would help us realize our dream and also provide us with this level of business support? Thank goodness we are working with Community Capital New York. We feel like we have hands that are helping us every step of the way.”



Margie Ferris and
Melissa Wassil

SUPPORT PROVIDED:  Small Business Loan
IMPACT: Woman-owned business, 2 part-time jobs created or retained


A shared mission to help kids reach their full potential, plus a combined 50-year track record of working in early childhood education and pediatric speech pathology, led Margie Ferris and Melissa Wassil to launch Zen Zone Sensory Gym. A sensory gym?  Co-founder Ferris explains “a gym like ours is specifically designed to meet the unique sensory needs of children, including those with sensory processing disorders such as kids on the autism spectrum or youngsters with other special sensory challenges.” And while children on the spectrum most certainly benefit from this thoughtfully designed play space, kids of all abilities can enjoy the equipment, making Zen Zone a particularly unique learning and playing environment.


“As a start-up, we knew it would be difficult to get a traditional bank loan. We are grateful that our Westchester SCORE counselor, Marty Levine, referred us to Julieta at Community Capital New York who guided us every step of the way so we could realize our goal” recalls Wassil.  This loan, combined with their own personal savings, enabled the duo to fund start-ups costs, purchase equipment and get the doors open in April 2019. Currently, Zen Zone offers open gym time, classes for various age groups (including adults) and birthday parties that are held in the beautiful gym space. In addition, individual private pay therapy is a large part of the product mix. Ferris notes “every day we learn more about how to run this business. The support from Community Capital has been incredible. We feel like we have hands that are helping us every step of the way.”