Christmas Designers plans to expand and diversify its operations in Sherman, which means the company is looking to eventually move into a larger space and grow the number of local jobs.
The company, which is a supplier of Christmas lights and decorations, located its central distribution warehouse in Sherman in 2010. Jason Woodward, the company’s director of e-commerce, said company officials plan to add lawn and garden products that will increase their operations throughout the year.
“We’re finding that as the Christmas business grows we need something to offset us the rest of the time of the year to kind of stabilize us and balance us out,” Woodward said. “We’re looking to move more into the lawn and garden — outdoor home accent area — that would be your fountains, your décor pieces, your bistro patio lighting and just outdoor accent that have become popular in recent years.”
Woodward said the new products are slated to begin in 2018, and he expects it to become a big part of the business. As this operation rolls out, Woodward said the company will probably need to add secondary warehousing next year. In about three years, the company expects to start looking for a new building in Sherman, he said.
“We’re going to start planning next year that next step,” Woodward said. “We’re looking to team up with a developer, and see about getting between 150,000- to 200,000-square-foot warehouse here in Sherman.”
The company currently has about 14 year-round employees and about 40 seasonal, and projects that in about three years it will employ 30 year-round personnel and about 100 seasonal personnel.
“We are going to bring more jobs into the area,” Woodward said. “We’re excited for what Sherman is doing. The lower cost of living, low operating costs for businesses here is a huge incentive for businesses as well as young professional moving into the area. So we’re wanting to help that out by offering jobs and offering full careers here with good benefits packages.”
On Tuesday, the company received its last payment, a $20,000 check, of a $75,000 grant from the Sherman Economic Development Corp. SEDCO President John Plotnik said it was an incentive that has benefited Sherman.
“Whenever we can work with a company and assist them in their growth, it’s always great for the community — it’s great for the region,” Plotnik said. “It’s not only an exercise of growth, but also a lot of fun. It’s a lot of fun seeing these come to Sherman, grow and create investments and jobs.”
Woodward noted the grant was substantial in helping with the company’s capital investments, and getting its facility ready to function the way it needs to during the holiday season. He also noted that it demonstrated that the company felt like it was valued in Sherman.
“Being a dot-com in Sherman, most people think of Dallas or Plano or over on the West Coast as where all the dot-coms are, so we’re kind of showing that a small town is really the place to be,” Woodward said. “We can operate at a fraction of the cost — a fraction of the overhead that our competitors operate at and be in a great place like Sherman.”
Plotnik said Christmas Designers is indicative of the growth coming to Sherman. He noted that to the south in cities like McKinney, space availability is scarce and the space that is available is pricey, so business is moving north.
Woodward said officials don’t have anything specific planned as to where the company will move its warehouse, but it’s important Christmas Designers stays in Sherman.
“We’ve got a big employee base that’s continuously growing here, so we want to stay within a few mile of the center of Sherman,” Woodward said. “As far as an exact location, we’re going to be discussing that more with SEDCO and more with some of the city folks and find out what the best options for both the city as well as for us would be.”