In 1985, while in my final year at NIU, I was beginning to wonder exactly what I was going to do with my life. I had a major in journalism, a minor in advertising, no game plan, no strategy, and no desire to work at a traditional 9-5 job.
While trying to figure this out, I heard about an operation in Downtown, Chicago that was closing after 30 years in business.They were a wholesale company that had been in business many years, so the building was filled top to bottom with consumer goods. I met with the owner who was retiring to Florida, and on a handshake we made an agreement that would change my life forever.
Although I had no idea what was going to happen, I bought the entire inventory with money I had been saving since childhood. I rented a U-Haul truck and moved everything from an old multi story building back to my parents house, where the living room was converted into a warehouse. With a little confidence and a lot of faith I managed to graduate college, sell everything within a few months, invest the profits into more merchandise, and begin building this company.
Although there have been speed bumps (and a few collisions) along the way, we grew from a living room, to a small storefront, to a 2,700 square foot garage, to a 7,000 square foot space, then 10,000 square feet, then 30,000 square feet, and today we occupy almost 100,000 square feet of space.
Thanks to our excellent customer and vendor relationships, in 2017 we will be celebrating our 32nd year in business.