EVANSVILLE, INDIANA -- It started with a problem. Marine Corps veteran Paul Saunders was looking for fine bedsheets to give his wife as an anniversary present in 2009.
"You know, I spent probably a little more than I should to impress my wife," he said. "The product didn't necessarily meet expectations."
From his bad experience, Saunders created eLuxurySupply.com, a way to sell expensive, high-end bed, bath, home and garden products, all done online.
"We're participating in the largest shakeup in how business has been done since the Industrial Revolution," he said.
"It's all based on values and not based on financial prosperity, although he's doing that too," Jim Schellinger, the president of the Indiana Economic Development Corporation.
One of the biggest reasons for Saunders's success is the e-commerce market, where buying and selling is all done online.
"They're not exactly teaching this in business school yet, but the neat thing is it allows us to compete with a global footprint," Saunders said.
And while the business is all conducted online, the emphasis is all on the customer.
"Every single thing that goes out has a personal note from every single person that's touched it to say, 'Thank you for using our product. Thank you for your business,'" Schellinger said.
Now Saunders is bringing his business back to Evansville, moving his Tennessee-based manufacturing operations to a warehouse on Kotter Avenue. And with this comes more than 100 jobs over the next few years.
"We want to have cool places to live, work and play," Schellinger said. "This is a cool place to work, and I think at the end of the day, Paul and his service and what he's done with the Marines and his service to his community is unparalleled."
"This is where I was from," Saunders said. "This is where I want to start my family and ultimately start and grow my business."
eLuxurySupply.com is investing $5.46 million in renovating its existing warehouse in Evansville into a manufacturing plant. Renovations started three weeks ago. Production is expected to begin next week.
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