Allisa Harvey's Transition from Online Shop to Physical Storefront
Talk about going against the tides: 32-year-old Alissa Harvey has found success in opening a custom stationery business—and then moving it from online to a bricks and mortar shop, in Chappaqua.
It all started in 2007, when Harvey, then a real estate broker’s assistant, began selling her handmade cards to her coworkers as Christmas gifts. “They were so popular that I opened an online shop via etsy.com,” says Harvey, a Mahopac New York, native and an FIT alum. Eventually, her online business grew so much that Harvey built her own e-commerce site (mewpaperarts.com) and four years later, decided to give her online company a physical home. “I faced a lot of naysayers warning me about the risks of going brick-and-mortar during the digital age.”
The King’s Scribe opened last May. “When I left my office job, I was making about $45K with full health benefits. Within the first year of operating my business online, I was netting $40K—the health benefits were gone, but the other perks of the job were many; commuting across the hall was a major bonus. Moving to retail has brought in a whole new crop of expenses but I gained new exposure and a level of professionalism that doesn’t come from having a home-based business. My December gross sales have topped $30K.” She adds: “I’ve had several visits from former President Clinton and Secretary of State Clinton—and to hear them say that they are proud of how my small business is developing is a tremendous compliment.”