At the heart of the American Dream are small businesses, and in the Ohio Valley, the pulse is strong. But what does it take to make those businesses successful?
“I think it takes grit. It takes grit. You’ve got to be tough. You have to have courage. I applaud small businesses because if you look at the statistics, small businesses don’t last. That’s the negative side, but there are a lot of small businesses in our area that are thriving,” said Stacy Gilson, a long-time small business owner.
Frame and Fortunes in Moundsville is one of those thriving businesses.
Butch Inclan was a carpenter and decided to open a custom framing shop instead of retiring. Now, it has become a family affair, and his son Eric does framing and custom art work.
Frame and Fortunes opened more than ten years ago on Jefferson Avenue, and since then they have expanded from custom art and framing to becoming one of the town’s premier gift shops.
Butch’s wife Susan takes care of the gift shop.
She keeps an eye out for what is popular and talks to customers about what things they would like to see in the shop.
She says their priority is quality and customer service.
“Unfortunately sometimes people will get online and look and say, ‘Oh, this is a good price,’ maybe stop in some frame shops and find out the price is a little more but not knowing all of what they’re getting–not knowing they’re getting the one on one service. They’re physically seeing what they’re going to get,” said Susan.
The Inclans had no business experience prior to opening Frame and Fortunes, and they say they have learned a lot in the last 10 years about what it takes to be a “Homegrown Success.”
“I think it takes the dream, first of all. You have to have the drive to know this is what you want to do, this is what I’ll be happy at. Then you need to find out everything you can about it and share that with everybody you can talk to,” said Susan.
To other local entrepreneurs, they recommend getting involved in the community.