As a kid growing up in a small rural town, I liked to dress up in my suit and play the part of a business man. You could say I had a pretty serious entrepreneurial spirit.
I loved to shop. Even at a young age, my mind raced as I tried to understand the concept of buying and selling, and to grasp just where all that stuff came from. When we shopped, we usually shopped close to home. I can remember shopping at the ‘mom and pop’ stores that were located in older buildings downtown. Those areas thrived for many years. But soon came the chain store and ‘Big Box’ store era. Following that was the Internet boom. Moms and Pops: the proprietors of long-standing local hardware stores, salons and clothing shops – people you knew on a first name basis, began to fade away.
Today, you will find thousands of empty buildings that once were the home to some of our favorite shops. One recent study found that within 15 months of a new Walmart store opening, up to 14 existing retail stores would close in the same area. Smaller discount stores were hurt the most during the mega-retailer’s massive expansion in the 1980s and 1990s, their overall numbers declining by almost 40%.
What will become of the small town way of life, threatened by mass retail, closing plants, and bygone industries? Is entrepreneurship the answer? Absolutely!
As a young adult, I actually worked for one of those ‘mom and pop’ shops. It’s where I learned the retail market in terms of purchasing, merchandising and selling. College was rewarding but actually learning the business, hands on, was priceless.
I’ve grown to have a strong passion to bring back that small town shopping experience. Sometimes, I take my kids to the older shops that are still around, hoping to give them that entrepreneurial spirit that brought me to this point in my life.
When my wife, Shannon, and I started our company, we quit our jobs on a leap of faith. We worked out of a one car garage and reluctantly made our first inventory purchases on a high interest credit card. Our first 'BIG' warehouse was my parent’s basement which actually wasn't much bigger than our one car garage. Yes, it was a tough start! From there, with plenty of hard work and perseverance, Wholesale Accessory Market, Inc (aka eWAM) has become one of the largest fashion accessory wholesalers in the United States. Our customers, fashion boutiques, gift shops, salons, hometown pharmacies as well as thousands of self-employed independent distributors, can be found in every state in the country.
To let you know a little about our family values, we're Christians, and we run our business on Christian principles. We believe that it is by God's grace that Wholesale Accessory Market has endured.
Our mission, as a fashion accessory wholesaler, is to assist the small retailer, in the small town. To be a reliable source of inventory, supplies and support that they need to be successful. We have served thousands of small retailers across America since 2000. Let us serve you!
Let’s work together to bring back ‘Small Town America’ shops!
Wholesale Accessory Market, Inc.