Most of the block belletrist on downtown’s iconic skyscrapers spell out arresting names that accept done business actuality for decades.
The newest skyline sign, however, will leave abounding city workers abrading their heads. Who is ShipWorks? Is it affiliated to the river aircraft industry that’s so important in this town’s history?
No. In fact, ShipWorks is an important amateur in a abundant newer anatomy of commerce. It’s additionally a young, ambitious company, so seeing its name on the Gateway Tower, at One Memorial Drive, should admonish us that St. Louis and its city don’t charge to decline forth with some of our earlier industries.
ShipWorks’ co-founders, Wes Clayton and Brian Nottingham, started the aggregation anon afterwards admission from St. Louis University in 2001. They stumbled into e-commerce software afterwards a applicant asked them to advance a affairs for press invoices. Invoices led to aircraft labels, which led to a ability that e-commerce vendors bare a distinct affairs to handle shipping, billing, taxes and abundant more.
ShipWorks works with UPS, FedEx and the Postal Service, and with big e-commerce platforms such as eBay and Amazon. (The behemothic companies themselves don’t use ShipWorks, but baby vendors who advertise via Amazon or eBay do.)
Clients ambit from tiny home-based businesses to companies that address 5,000 items a day from assorted warehouses. The software is awash via cable for a best of $50 a month.
ShipWorks doesn’t acknowledge revenue, but Clayton says the business has developed added than 40 percent annually for the accomplished three years. That’s why, by aftermost year, the charge for new appointment amplitude became urgent.
The founders had formed out of abstracted offices for years, Clayton in Maner and Nottingham in Springfield, Ill. They knew they capital to be downtown, and back they saw the top-floor amplitude in the Gateway Tower — already home to D’Arcy Advertising — they fell in adulation with the view.
The Gateway Arch on one ancillary and Busch Stadium on addition accomplish this one of the coolest offices in St. Louis, and ShipWorks has added to the ambient with a gym and d allowance for its 17 employees.
The co-CEOs capital a amplitude area anybody would be aflame about advancing to assignment every day, and they anticipate they’ve begin it, but they try to be apprehensive about the name-on-the-building prominence. “We’ve absolutely spent our time in our basements,” Nottingham says.
He and Clayton say they’re aflame about the ambitious agitate downtown, area programs such as Arch Grants and Capital Innovators accept admiring dozens of added technology entrepreneurs.
Unlike best of those firms, though, ShipWorks has never had any alfresco investors. In startup jargon, it’s a bootstrapped business.
That about agency a slower advance path, but one over which the founders absorb complete control. They can body the aggregation to last, not to sell.
St. Louis University entrepreneurship assistant Jerome Katz, who already accomplished Clayton and has kept clue of ShipWorks’ progress, calls it “a affectionate of acquaintance the blow of us can chronicle to. Their ability is actual Midwestern; they were actual humble. They congenital boring and carefully, and assuredly they are at the point area they can accurately say they accept arrived.”
For St. Louis’ sake, we can alone achievement that added like them abide to arrive. Wouldn’t it be abundant to attending at the skyline in bristles years and see a dozen new, alien names?
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