| By Rick Sobey |
AGAWAM Sometimes, a college student will be unsure about his or her future plans. Cathy Lapointe's example shows that the first career path will sometimes be one's future. Lapointe started college as a business student and finished college with a degree in horticulture which is the study of plant cultivation. She returned to her first concentration and owns a retail store called Wrap It Up Sports.
Her business sells sport themed gifts that feature various sports and professional teams. Sports range from baseball, basketball and soccer to karate, hunting and motocross. Customers can purchase gifts that showcase any professional team, including the Boston Red Sox, New England Patriots and Boston Celtics.
Lapointe decided to sell sport apparel and souvenirs because sports are popular activities. "I was motivated to sell sport themed gifts because everyone I know either likes a sport, participates in a sport, or knows someone who participates in a sport," she said. "When occasions come around for birthdays, holidays, congratulation gifts, or remembrance gifts, we all think about what that person likes - his or her favorite sport."
Before opening this retail store six and a half months ago, Lapointe had already been in the sports industry for 10 years. As the co-owner and director of the Massachusetts Youth Indoor Soccer League, she "deals with thousands of customers in a busy week."
Lapointe has managed the league's gift counter for the past decade. However, the indoor soccer season is only between November and April, so she needed somewhere else to sell soccer gifts.
As a result, she founded a store on the Internet, which has been shipping gifts around the country for three years. Since her customer base was worldwide, she decided to sell a variety of sport gifts.
The Internet store was successful, and Lapointe believed a similar local business would do just as well. "While I witnessed the rest of the country enjoying our gifts, I thought surely our local customers would like to have this unique concept in their backyard," she said. As a result, Lapointe established Wrap It Up Sports.
The store sells sport themed clothing, which includes pants, hats, scarves and T-shirts. In addition, the business carries sport themed jewelry, such as pins, necklaces, bracelets and earrings.
Items for around the house are also sold at Wrap It Up Sports. Wall borders, bathroom d cor, chairs, lamps and clocks are found at this store.
Sport themed party favors, such as balloons, flags, signs, and chocolates, can be made for customers as well.
Custom engraving, embroidery and screen-printing are available. Team gifts and gift certificates can also be purchased.
Wrap It Up Sports is located at 312 Springfield St. in Agawam. For more information about the business or to purchase an item, call 304-2033 or log on to www.wrapitupsports.com.
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