Internet Promotional Products Business Planning to Stay in Gahanna

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The growth of Gahanna-based is forcing the company out of its current home. But company officials said they are working hard to keep the Internet business in the city. Gahanna's location, amenities and opportunities, company president Stephanie Leader said, are worth it.

"Staying in Gahanna meant a lot of sacrifices," company president Stephanie Leader said. "We didn't have a lot of office sites available to us. If we went into Columbus, we could go anywhere.”

"I like the location and love the community and I think it will be a great environment for all our employees to be here," Leader continued.

The company has been in Gahanna since 1996 and is in a 6,000-square-foot space off Claycraft Road. Leader plans to build a 15,000-square-foot facility near the intersection of Johnstown and Hamilton roads. The move, Leader said, will allow the company to expand from 26 full-time employees to 50 in the next five years. In addition to adding more staff, the move to a larger facility will allow to house some of its custom embroidery work there.

The business produces custom promotional items, uniforms and promotional apparel and creates online corporate stores. In 2005, the company added six sales representatives and four administrative staff members, increasing sales by 60 percent.

Leader declined to say how much the company's annual sales are, but said they typically grow by 40 to 50 percent a year. While larger orders still will be contracted out, Leader said the ability to handle last-minute orders of up to about 150 pieces is a plus in a service-oriented business. The company's growth, Leader said, is a result of a number of factors, including keeping up with the latest Internet technology and search engine marketing strategies, strong customer service, a great team of employees and a conservative business philosophy.

"It's just a level of service we want to provide for our customers," Leader said.

The new building will include a room for employees' children when they are out of school. Children will have space to do homework, play video games and watch movies.

"Being a working mom, that is something I wish I had from time to time," Leader said.

Stephanie Leader is a Blacklick resident. Her two children, aged 5 and 7, are students at Columbus Academy.

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