In just four years, Simply Business Cards and New Look Upholstery and Embroidery have grown from a garage to a warehouse to a larger location at 623 Ohio 18.
Kyle Lisy and Matthew Raymond started with business cards, flyers and brochures as their main business and they did upholstery as a sideline for furniture and campers. About six months into the business, they bought an embroidery machine and added embroidery for items such as shirts, hats and bags.
Now they have 3,400 square feet and plan to add more lines to their businesses. They soon will be selling candles and upholstery fabric at the new location. Lisy said they will sell discontinued upholstery fabric for $4 a yard and will also have newer fabrics for $25 a yard and up.
Since they are doubling their size with the Ohio 18 location, Lisy said they also plan to offer classes to teach people the basics for simple projects, such as a single-seat chair.
"We're opening it up," Lisy said. "The new building has allowed us to do that. It is only going to grow."
He said it didn't take long for the upholstery side of the business to take off and match the business card side so they originally moved to a warehouse on East Summit Street. They found the new location after they realized they were quickly outgrowing the warehouse of 1,700 square feet.
Lisy said one of their business' strengths is the ability to tailor a project to any budget and any size. They can embroider just one shirt, he said, or they can supply as many as a team, school or business needs.
"We don't mind single items," he said. "We'll do single items or something for a whole corporation."
Lisy said he and Raymond, his nephew, have a simple goal "a good product at a good price." Both graduated from Edison High School, Lisy in 1987 and Matt in 1997.
Growing up in the area has shown them that responsibility and honesty will lead to return business and the reputation for quality that can help their business grow, Lisy said. They are planning for growth in the future.
"If you're honest with your customer, they'll come back," he added. "Right now it is just the two of us. If everybody makes us busy, we'll hire people"
Lisy said customers can depend on the men to give an honest opinion.
"We'll tell people if a piece really isn't worth re-doing," he said, but some people find that updating quality, old furniture is cheaper than buying possibly inferior pieces new.
"The quality of furniture you buy today is not always what it was 20 or 30 years ago," he said, so people can save money by reupholstering old pieces if it has a good frame. "We can put in new springs or whatever it needs."
One of the most interesting jobs for Lisy recently was upholstering quite a few chairs for Fisher-Titus Medical Center.
"We evidently saved them a lot of money," he said.
Simply Business Cards and New Look Upholstery and Embroidery can be reached at (419) 668-8300.