Just after my eleventh birthday, my mom started hauling my siblings and me to a strange building in West Bend – every day. For the first few days, I did not go inside, and had no idea what Mom was doing inside. Then one day, she announced that we were opening a dollar store. At that point, I had never even heard of a dollar store, so this was a big surprise. I wasn’t even aware of anyone I knew owning a store. Very cool.
As the days went on, we started to get shipments. Lots of them. Within a week, over 10,000 boxes arrived, preceded by gondolas, grids, and other shelving units and fixtures. My step dad and some friends set up the shelves as my mother and I went though all of the boxes and invoices. I had never seen a mountain of boxes so high. It took just under a month to get the shelves stocked and everything set up, and we opened on July 30, 1999. Apparently there was excitement in the town, because on the Grand Opening, the store was completely packed form open till close. Woo-hoo!
As for me, I started out doing balloons, but then my mom showed me how to use the register, and forced me to ring up somebody. That is how I got started, and from then on I was a cashier, making a lot more dinero than any of my friends! Yay! After a number of years of that, I became involved with virtually every aspect of the store, and now I am basically manager of two stores, one in West Bend and one in Menomonee Falls. I close both stores each night, and do a great deal of the ordering. I also fly to tradeshows at least four times a year. How fun!