Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Entrepreneurs in Oklahoma Take a Chance amid Recession

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Entrepreneurs in Oklahoma Take a Chance amid Recession

Article excerpt

When it comes to launching a new business venture, timing is everything.

Oklahoma City-based Office Interiors has been selling office furniture for nearly 20 years.

Ron Homesley, president of Office Interiors, said the company's client base stems from all around the Oklahoma and Southwest markets.

With business continuing to do well, the company looked into opening another facility.

It considered the expansion about a year ago, about the time when the economy started to deteriorate.

"We did look at the fact the nationwide economy was down," Homesley said. "We saw the Oklahoma economy was still strong and we went ahead with the move."

Office Interiors opened its two-story, 6,500-square-foot showroom in May.

"It's about finding the right time, the right people and right opportunity to put it all together," he said.

The shattered economy forced other companies to close, while job layoffs reached record highs.

But for some, the economic crisis is the perfect time to turn an idea into reality.

Several months ago, Jonathan Cox learned the head of his marketing firm planned to step back from the business for health reasons.

While surprised by the sudden news, Cox saw it as a chance to launch his own company.

"I had wanted to start Aqua Vita, but I didn't want to stab anyone in the back or leave customers high and dry," he said. "But when he decided to step down, it seemed maybe the timing was right - kind of a sign."

Cox started Aqua Vita Creative, a Web design and development company. Several former clients switched to Aqua Vita and referred their associates, Cox said.

He said his company is able to reduce costs because it doesn't have to deal with the overhead that a large corporation has.

"There's been a lot of 16-hour days and a lot of coffee during this setup phase, but it's paying off," he said. "Starting a business in this economy has been a little like sitting in a rocking chair - exciting, but scary. …

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