The history of Northwest Gifts is not a very glamorous one, nor one that has a lot of excitement for others, but maybe a little inspiration.
I started Northwest Gifts in 1998 only a few months after my first experience of using the internet. We didn't even own a computer at the time and had not been using computers in the line of work I was currently in. I was immediately intrigued and my past interests of computers all came back! From the time I was a child I had an interest in computers, I had bought a Commodore Vic20 then the Commodore 64. These were a couple of the first home computers back in the 80's, you could program in languages such as basic and machine code.
Well with my renewed interest in computing and the thought of selling something on the internet had me thinking of my options. My dad had a company at the time manufacturing a number of golf gifts and golf ball displays. I also had a contact with a small company manufacturing curio cabinets and shelves. Well, within a couple of phone calls I had acquired our first two suppliers for this new idea.
Next was coming up with a name, one that fit what I was going to sell. Since we were living in southern Oregon, part of the great Northwest, I figured that as part of the name and gifts being a large part of the concept, we put the two together to create Northwest Gifts. It was also available for a domain name, hence the beginning of Northwest Gifts.
So August of 1998, we purchased the hosting, the domain name, and had set up with a company that processed the credit cards without large monthly fees, but with a large percentage of the transaction. This allowed us to start quickly. After publishing the website it was about the 7th day we recieved our first order for a golf gift.
After about 3 years I was able to leave my job to run Northwest Gifts full time. Since then there has been ups and downs. Some suppliers have since gone out of business and many items are now made in China that compete in the market but normally at lower prices and sub-par qualities.
In 2010, we updated the website to a database driven system which allows for better store searches and product sorting for the customer. Let us know what you like or don't like about the website and we will see how we can improve it.
Just a side note, in 2000 we also started selling cremation urns at Urns Northwest.
Currently I am serving, with my wife and 4 of our children, on the mission field in the Dominican Republic. All sales from Northwest Gifts help to enable us to help others. See what we are doing at our website at To See The Glory.