Get to Know Your Neighbors
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Gregg and Flora Stopher
How long has your company been in Peachtree Corners, and why did you choose to locate here?
Our initial move to (what is now) Peachtree Corners was in the latter part of 2006, when we purchased an 18,000-square foot commercial building on Crooked Creek Road, near Jay Bird Alley. The location was close to our home (less than 3 miles), it was accessible to major thoroughfares – yet still had a relatively low traffic count, and it was – and is - peaceful (we have even used the word “bucolic” to describe it).
We stayed in that location for 11 years, until we were forced to move earlier this year due to the purchase of our sign company (i.e., we needed both warehousing and manufacturing space, and that building was not zoned for that purpose). Fortunately, we found a new space that is still within the confines of Peachtree Corners, which was one of our goals.
What do you love about Peachtree Corners?
To borrow a phrase from Ms. Elizabeth Barrett Browning, “let me count the ways”:
The Chattahoochee River
Nice, friendly people
OTP (but just barely, which is ideal)
Accessible (to the locations you may want to get to in less than 30 minutes)
What does your company do?
We have three different companies at present, with each one acting as a complement to the other. The primary business is our advertising agency, Imagine Advertising, founded by Flora (then) Freuler in 1994 and incorporated in 1997 (we were married in June of 2000, and Gregg joined the company in 2001). The agency focuses on creative design and print services, to include large-volume print and mailing services. In late 2009, we initiated a joint venture (with two other partners), known as Imagine Retailer. This company was set up to serve the growing need for the design, management and hosting of web sites for independent retailers, most of which are in the furniture and bedding industries. Currently, we serve approximately 400 customers across the country. The third “leg” of the triad is our sign company, known as Global Signs. Global has been around since 1952 and has developed a niche in the real estate industry, currently serving most of the top home builders in the country.
What is unique about your business?
I would have to say the fact that we are vertically integrated, meaning we can fulfill virtually any need of people who are in the market for marketing and/or advertising services. Most of what we do is completed in-house, but we also have a number of high-quality vendor partners for services beyond our in-house capabilities.
Why are you in this business?
For the most part, advertising and/or marketing is both fun and challenging. On the other hand, anyone who has been in – or currently is in – small business, knows that it is not all “peaches and cream.” But advertising allows you to utilize your creative talents while simultaneously helping other people achieve some of their goals.
How did your company get its start?
Flora always had an “eye” for design and is an extremely talented artist (disclosing my obvious bias). She is also a graduate of the Savannah College of Art & Design (Savannah campus). Her mother is an entrepreneur, and currently runs (along with her husband) a large commercial painting company in North Carolina. As the saying goes, the “apple doesn’t fall far from the tree,” so after a couple of jobs post-college, Flora started the business from her kitchen table, equipped only with her Mac, a printer, and a companion - her yellow Labrador Retriever by the name of Winston. She quickly gained a reputation, mostly via word-of-mouth, for being a talented artist who was both very fast at her craft and very affordable (i.e., you will do things at age 23 that you would not do for the same amount 5 years hence, yes?).
How many employees do you have?
Currently, we have 24 employees, evenly split between the ad agency and the sign company. The web company employs another 12 people, with just one of them residing in Georgia.
To what do you attribute your success?
Hard work, luck, perseverance, and the grace of God (not to mention parents who raised us to acknowledge and value all of the preceding).
What are your company goals?
Same as they have always been: To maintain our current customer base while simultaneously attracting new customers. We know that growth is essential, but we prefer measured growth, particularly at this stage of both the company and our own personal life stages. We also hope to have a company where our employees enjoy their respective jobs and can continue to grow - both personally and professionally.
What is your hope for Peachtree Corners in the next 5-10 years?
As with our company, we think measured growth is a must. We are excited about the new Town Center, the walking trails, and the pedestrian bridge across 141/Peachtree Parkway (count us as supporters of this initiative). The world is moving at warp speed, and technology always outstrips humans’ ability to deal with it. Who knows what new technologies will be in place in 5 or 10 years, but we feel good about the people who have been chosen to guide us as we head down that path.