Not really having any experience or education in business, everything we've learned has been by doing, so we listen to advice and read everything we can.
One of the guys (John) we were buying radio advertising from (his retirement job) said that he had a business of his own for 30+ but the only reason he was able to retire was because he owned his real estate. We had tried to purchase a building in downtown 7 years before but the price and the appraisal did not match up, of course this was when our Downtown did not look like it does today. His comment got us thinking about it again in 2001.
The old Chinese restaurant/Metropolitan Club had been gutted (the peoples plan for it never got it off the ground) and sitting empty for a couple years. It was way bigger than we needed but the downstaris would be perfect for us.
We were told that the people we were renting from needed the building we were in so we really needed to find a new place for Carolina Creations.
The people wanted way more than the going rate, it would need A LOT of money to renovate. So we started talking to a local architect about buying the place together. While trying to come to an agreement on the price, we met a neighbor on the sidewalk (Charles) and he said "you ought to buy that building", we said we were trying to but they wanted too much money and we weren't getting anywhere. He said "Make them an offer and say it's good until the end of the month." So that's what we did, and they took the offer!
But then we lost the guy who was going to go in with us who would know how to develop the building into a commercial condo, which we knew nothing about.
While we were panicking wondering what to do another friend said go talk to M. Which we did.
Whew!! Yes he was interested so we bought the building together, we made it into a commercial condo, we own 1/3 he owns 2/3, and here we are 11 years later. It was a good move for us and, like with our last location, as our space grew so did our business.
We love our space!
Thank you John, Charles, Dan, Marvin for planting the seeds and helping us see them grow.
- Jan Francoeur