By Casey Peacock: PNT Staff Writer
Shipping products to places such as Australia, Switzerland and Sweden has taken Webb Direct 2U.com Children’s Apparel and Specialty Store from a home-based business to an international company.
“We are an international business but we can offer comparable prices for an area like this,” said owner Suzi Webb.
Started in 2000 with $1,000 cash, Webb says she began selling children’s clothing, that are new, on the Internet through E-Bay.
“It was just a side thing when we started,” said Webb.
Approached in 2003 by Amazon.com Webb was asked to market her products through a store on their site, she said. After three months of going through the legalities, and lots of prayers, the store site went up in October 2003, said Webb.
“It’s been kind of amazing,” said Webb.
Through her business, Webb was able to purchase the old Saga Motel on South Avenue D in 2004 and began renovating the building to move her store into, she said. A Cut Above beauty salon was opened in one end of the building in November 2004 and her shop, which is located in the other end of the building, was opened in January of 2005, said Webb.
“I’m very proud of it,” (the building), said Webb.
With her business expanding, Webb has had to hire an employee to help with running the store and other duties, she said. The employee will be able to handle the day to day running of the shop so that Webb can handle other duties involved in her business, she said.
“The biggest challenge is how quickly we’ve grown,” said Webb.
Webb handles the maintenance of her Web site herself and through Amazon at times, she said. As far as customers go, she has incurred the same problems as any other business might have, she said.
“We’ve worked all the bugs out and have good policy’s in place,” said Webb.
Through word of mouth, Webb has sold her products in the local area, but most of her sales are done through the Internet, she says. Currently the store is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. She is also available by appointment for weddings and quinceñeras. In January, maypole and prom dresses will be available, said Webb.
“I think eventually we will have a fully functional bridal shop,” said Webb.
Besides caring for her family and running her business, Webb is actively involved in her church and a support group, Hope for Hurting Women, that meets at her shop on Sunday nights, she said. Geared for young married women, it provides prayer and support, said Webb.
“We encourage young women to care for and support their family,” said Webb.
Other future plans include turning the back part of the old motel into a safe haven for either young women in abusive relationships or possibly a place for people to stay if they may need it, said Webb.
“We are still in the planning stages,” said Webb.