Northern Lite Fine Clothing

Rob Ferguson has worked with the Lock Haven Small Business Development Center (SBDC) since he had the idea of becoming a business owner. He attended the First Step for Starting a Small Business seminar during the spring of 2008. Rob say first-hand the deterioration of quality men’s clothing products in major department stores. Rob was the top sales representative in a major department store and had extensive background in men’s fashion covering several decades. He had been a top buyer/merchandiser for Saks Fifth Avenue and knew what quality clothing was. USA made clothing was becoming scarce and with it more jobs were being shipped overseas.

After attending the seminar, Rob worked with his consultant to further evaluate the need for a men’s clothing store in the Williamsport area. Rob worked through the business planning process, gathering information on the market, industry and start-up costs to make his decision. After careful consideration with his business partner, he decided instead of opening a retail location to open a home studio. He would market his business by appointment only to test the market. Running the operation as an appointment-based venture out of his home since August, Rob decided in April 2009 that he needed to move his business to a new location. His store, Northern Lite fine Clothing, is now located at 190 Broad Street in Montoursville.

Ninety percent of his specialty store provides superior merchandise that is made in the U.S.A. His philosophy is, buying American-made products can only benefit our economy, and he's been able to keep his prices very comparable to department stores where products most likely come from out of the country.

Rob’s business was growing as new clients were finding his quality products and the word was getting out that there was a new quality men’s clothing store in the area – the first specialty store in the greater Williamsport area for at least 30 years. Like many first time entrepreneurs though, the business owner finds themselves wearing too many hats and in need of assistance. Rob called his consultant saying help – his books were not up to date, vendors were calling for payments and his cash flow was a mess.

Rob met with his consultant, explained his situation and outlined what he needed assistance with. His consultant prioritized the needs of the client, developed a training schedule and through a careful, detailed plan of action helped the client to understand his accounting system and maintain a good understanding of his cash flow.

His consultant continues to monitor the progress of the record keeping, provide assistance as needed and help the client focus on growing his business profitably.