Open by appointment only is one of the catch phrases of the global pandemic. Remember when it used to be doctors’ offices that required appointments and only fancy restaurants required reservations? How the world has changed since December 2019 or in the US, since March 2020. Now, it seems, you have to reserve your socially distant space wherever you go.
And so, it is for Julie Akers as she opens a brick and mortar store to complement her other sales activity at Ability2Access. Julie is confident in her Ashland, VA, location where her store is adjacent to Allied Instructional Services, owned by Karen Walker. The two women are delighted that store customers will spark traffic to the ed center and vice versa.
Julie’s store is called the Magnification Station. In her logo, she cleverly uses a tilted magnifying glass as the “i” in magnification. The location of the Magnification Station on England Street is half a mile from I-95 and close to the train station, providing easy access from Washington, DC, and much of Virginia.
As we talked about Julie´s decision first to enter this space selling assistive technology (some thirteen years ago) and second to open a store that sells products for those who are visually impaired, we discussed the drastic need for information in the population we all serve. Who among us doesn’t have a story of an end user in tears upon getting something back that they feared was gone forever? We’ve all heard, “I can read again” and “I can see my grandchildren’s pictures.”
Sadly, we’ve all heard “I haven’t been able to ‘fill in the blank’ for ten years.” Everyone we’ve ever talked to in this industry is passionate about spreading the word. We’re all in this to win independence and vitality for our customers, who often become our friends. We want to help them find not just a solution, but the exact right solution for them.
By displaying products such as the LVI’s MagniLink S, Zip, TAB and Voice in her store, Julie will be able to meet one-on-one with her customers in a relaxed atmosphere and help them choose what best fits their life.
We wish Julie the best with her new venture. She hinted there may be more news coming from her, so stay tuned. And if you’re near Ashland, call and make your appointment; be one of the first shoppers at the Magnification Station. For the first month, Julie will be collecting entries at the store for an LVI keyboard give-away.
Contact Julie at 540-639-9732 or firstname.lastname@example.org.