As one of ten children growing up in a small Minnesota town, I experienced a childhood lifted straight from the pages of a Norman Rockwell book. We rode bikes to baseball practice, fished in the local river for whatever would bite, and delivered newspapers each afternoon through rain, sleet, or snow. (For stories about growing up in “A Simpler Time” you can read our blog).
With a two year old son (Cannon) and “colicky” newborn identical twin girls (Ellie & Morgan), somehow it seemed like the perfect time to leave a great job as the national sales manager of a small retail chain and start a new store concept based on that childhood (my wife begged to differ). We opened our first location in the Mall of America in 1997 in a temporary lease, and were soon off and running!
Eventually my wife left her job in medical sales to help out, and over the years we’ve probably violated child labor laws as our children pitched in to help ship signs or dispose of used boxes after school and on weekends. And especially in December!
We started our website, asimplertime.com, in the year 2000, which put us among the pioneers of the industry. We never imagined the site, which initially rarely got more than 3 orders in a day, would one day be the driving force in the company, or that we’d eventually need an actual customer service department to answer phones!
Our warehouse in Morrisville, North Carolina (near the Raleigh airport), is staffed by a wonderful group--- many of whom are parents of young children---who are far too talented for us to afford normally, but work here because of our very flexible scheduling. In fact, it’s not unusual to have spare offices turned into tent parties on weekdays when school is out, and an old barber chair shaped like a horse is kept in our reception area for similar purposes.
We currently have two retail stores in New Orleans, Louisiana, where my wife Lauren and I met while I was working in the 1980’s. You can find us on the historic Jackson Square in the French Quarter or at the new Outlet Collection at Riverwalk, a high end outlet center. If your travels take you near New Orleans, we'd love to have you visit.
Jeff King, President
118 International Drive, Suite 103
Morrisville, NC 27560