Sisters Shredding - Success Story
File and Document Shredding Service - Sisters Shredding
Shari and Jessica Steward are mentally and physically challenged, but with the help of their mother, Shannon Hull, they provide a needed service in the community.
Retinitis pigmentosis has reduced their sight to less than 5%, as well as leaving them developmentally disabled. However, they each graduated from Special Education programs at the Developmental Learning Center.
After graduation, Shari and Jessica wanted to work, but their combination of disabilities made it very difficult to find jobs. They didn’t waste time and energy on what they couldn’t do. Instead, they concentrated on what they could, and solved the problem by starting their own document shredding business, called “Sisters Shredding”.
It combines their deep-seated interest in recycling with a job they enjoy and can do well. How did they progress from the idea of working at their own business to the reality of becoming successful local entrepreneurs? According to their mother there are a number of people and reasons for their achievement.
NeighborWorks Umpqua (formally Umpqua CDC) is one of those reasons. This non-profit corporation, in partnership with Connecting Oregon for Rural Entrepreneurs (CORE), offers many community services to small businesses in rural areas. One of these services is to provide assistance programs and no- or low-cost classes, including how to determine the feasibility of a business and developing a practical business plan.
Shannon got help with the plan and took a small business class, which increased her eligibility for a loan. “That loan was very important to us,” Hull says. “Without it, we couldn’t have bought the lockable totes and cabinets we needed for collecting and securing our customers’ documents.”
In addition to privacy and security considerations for the intact documents, arrangements had to be made for recycling the shredded material. They’d already purchased two heavy-duty shredders and had a truck, SHRED 1, equipped with the needed Tommy Lift to transport the locked documents to the shredders and carry the shredded material to the recycling site. The sisters were ready to go to work, so Shari and Jessica handed out brochures that described the shredding service to potential customers.
At first, business was slow. It took time for word about Sisters Shredding to circulate through the community, but their client list gradually increased. By the end of the first year they had steady customers.
Their business has doubled since then, and continues to grow. Today these extraordinary sisters have a diverse client base which includes health care providers, legal professionals and county agencies.
Professional and secure document shredding service, Sister Shredding, serving Roseburg Oregon and Douglas County.
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