2019-09-28 15:11:15

FREEPORT — For 25 years, Michele Gillespie of Pecatonica worked as an office manager, yet she yearned to be a small business owner, and when she opened Gone Postal in Freeport in 2017, she began living a dream.

She said that since she opened the doors to the shipping/clothing store there have been days she wondered if taking the chance was worth it, but when she interacts with her daily customers, she tells herself the hard work and the commitment she made is worthwhile.

“I always wanted to do something for myself and thought if I was going to work this hard, it might as well be for myself,” Gillespie said. “I took on something new and I have not looked back.”

Gillespie said she has two businesses in one with her shipping store and a place to sell medical and school uniforms to the community. Her business ships FedEx, DHL, UPS and for the USPS. When she decided to become a shipping center, she applied for the licenses and did the necessary training to be able to ship packages.

She also wanted more and decided to sell medical scrubs and uniforms, plus she also sells uniform clothing for both the public and private schools in Freeport.

“I say this is two businesses under one roof, but I have dreams of expanding to become a bigger copy place,” Gillespie said. “I do make copies for people, but I am thinking of growth.”

Gillespie bought the inventory for uniforms from a business that closed in downtown Freeport. She expanded her line and works with Freeport High School and Highland Community College to make sure she has the right uniforms required for the courses.

“I was excited and apprehensive at first, but I really think this business is the missing link in Freeport, and the missing link for me,” she adds.

Another addition she has in her business is helping out locals who make hand-crafted items for sale. She offers them a place to sell the items and admits while things are for sale all year round, she will see items increase through the holidays.

“Many of the local artisans lost a place to sell their items when the Visitors Center stopped giving them a place, so I opened my doors,” Gillespie said. “My business gives them the exposure and I love to help out the local people. That is what I am here for.”

Elizabeth Ohea of Freeport stopped in this past week to buy some candles. She also uses Gone Postal as her primary shipping place.

“Bringing my business to Gone Postal makes it easier for me since I have two special needs children, and I need to be in and out,” Ohea said. “It’s easy in and easy out.”

Gillespie said before tapping into her dream of small business entrepreneurship, she did her research. She knew she wanted a business to call her own, and also one to fill a niche. She knew that a one- to three-year span would be what she needed to succeed. As she nears three years, she is happy she made the leap to become a business owner.

“My goal is to have a business to call my own, and a place to make someone’s day a little brighter,” Gillespie said. “It’s where I want to be.”

Gone Postal is located at 640 W. South St. in Freeport. For more visit gonepostalmailing.com.

Jane Lethlean; jlethlean1210@gmail.com; @DOGWMN2



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