Local PR firm owner starts online retail venture with focus on American-made goods
The owner of a Central Pennsylvania public relations firm has launched an online retail business selling U.S.-made hats, clothing, drinking tumblers and other items.
Neal Goulet of Derry Township opened Stay Apparel Co. this month, calling it a brand designed to promote pride in hometowns, regions and the U.S.
It offers some 20 items for sale, ranging from a $2 pin to, a $50 hooded sweatshirt with the word Chocolatetown (for Hershey, of course).
"I have always had this interest in well-made U.S. products, and the more I researched this and the more I wrote about the products, the more I wanted to try this," said Goulet, owner of Goulet Communications LLC and a former newspaper reporter.
All items either have the Stay name or something that promotes the story of a place or region.
Goulet said his main goal, which he met, was to have Stay launched by the start of October for the upcoming holiday season.
He now wants to increase sales, make a profit with the side business and sell the items at holiday sales and other events. He also
Each item is custom-made in the U.S. by a manufacturer contracted by Stay.
Goulet said he also wants to emphasize quality in what he sells.
"I don’t feel like anyone should sacrifice their standards just to buy something that’s American-made," he told the Business Journal. "I want there to be value in the product beyond that – with a top-quality product and a great design."
He said he eventually hopes to get his products into retail stores.
Goulet, who declined to give his initial budget for Stay, said the idea for the venture goes back several years, to a blog post he wrote for his communications business.
He wrote on the Fourth of July about some of his favorite American-made consumer products and brands, and his admiration for the entrepreneurs creating them.
"I wanted to be a part of that in some small way," he said.
He will continue to be the full-time owner of Goulet Communications, which he has owned for 15 years. Goulet represents clients including Royer’s Flowers & Gifts and Drayer Physical Therapy Institute, Hummelstown.