By Jennifer Farnsworth
A gift store that has been operating online for the past 16 years now has a new storefront at 1088 Route 9, Queensbury.
Sharp Presents owner James Joseph credits his success to good timing, a great location and a knack for knowing what people want.
“Business has increased a fair amount since going from residential studio to storefront in September, but truth be told I had not been looking for a storefront or even had plans for a future storefront,” he said. “It all just sort of fell in my lap, right time, right location, right price.”
Sharp Presents was re-established in August of 2016 after Joseph spent the summer working with the Gideon Putnam resort on a multi-order design for their VIP clients.
Joseph said Sharp Presents is the “rebirth” of a similar business that he established in Michigan roughly 16 years ago.
“At the time I worked in graphic design, and I had never done a gift basket, or even thought about the concept. But my supervisor asked me to create a gift basket for his wife. Soon after, orders started coming my way and as they say, the rest is history,” he said.
Joseph has formal training in architecture and interior architecture. He said he has a long history in retail, specializing in display work and graphic design. He spearheaded a small department and assisted in catalog construction and photo shoots Those skills made his business so successful.
Joseph said his clientele is generally women between the ages of 35 to 65, a group, but added that the primary focus is corporate, business-to-business work.
“Sharp Presents has been doing a nice percentage of work with Realtors, mortgage reps, and a number of other business fields. Being near Lake George and the Adirondack Park in general, we are receiving more and more inquiries for special events like conferences, themed events and group activities. We create gifts for closings, thank-you for referrals, client gifts, cold-call and warm-call gifts, raffles and company donations, and, of course, a number of occasions for employees,” said Joseph.
Many of his corporate clients have a pre-designed branded gifts.
“That may include company swag, company colors, company labeling or imprinted ribbon. We love helping companies to do marketing and branding through gifting,” he said.
Joseph said he has a person who runs the store, creates the designs, updates the website, and does all social media work and networking. As it gets busier for the upcoming holiday season, he said staff will be added.
Looking ahead, he is working at building awareness for the company.
“ I do have some concepts on a companion wholesale company. In the past I did balloon work and I am interested in getting back into balloon art: arches, towers, sculptures, and wedding work. There are a number of ways to work with Sharp Presents. You can be as hands on, or hands off as you want. Our goal is to make you look good,” said Joseph.
The company website is sharppresents.com.