By Ryan Waldrep, Assistant Director for Entrepreneur and Small Business Development
Small Business Spotlight | Thomas County | Region 10
Let’s face it. You wanted to be a superhero when you were little. But then things got in the way and wrecked those plans. High school. College. Careers. Families. House payments. Obligations. Responsibility. Or, as the kids today call it: “Adulting.”
Where did we go wrong? When did we give up on leaping tall buildings with a single bound, fighting the bad guys and standing-up for “truth, justice and the American Way?” Well, one family found the way back to superhero status, and they are bringing us all along for the ride!
Scott Chastain (aka “Captain Stretch”) was a successful landscape architect in Philadelphia. Eventually, the lure of moving back to Georgia became too strong, and Scott and his wife, Katie, moved to Thomasville in search of warmer weather.
Katie (aka EXCELorator), while teaching economics in the local school system, gave her students an assignment to look at business opportunities in Thomasville. One group of students was tasked with examining The Bookshelf, a locally-owned bookstore. During the project, the students discovered that the store was about to close. Within two months, Katie and Scott decided to buy The Bookshelf, which gave them the entrepreneurial bug.
Scott’s love of design and superheroes gave birth to Everfan. The Bookshelf’s second floor was converted from an unused space to the Evercave, where Everfan’s products are designed, customized and shipped to customers worldwide. The majority of the support for Everfan comes from within Southwest Georgia. But their reach is growing.
Running groups love the Everfan products to help them stand out in a race. Numerous organizations use Everfan capes, power bands and masks as a way of recognizing volunteers. And hospitals are using the superhero-themed products to help children feel stronger as they undergo cancer treatments.
After the couple bought The Bookshelf and with the growth of Everfan, the Chastains quickly realized the potential of Thomasville. Scott commented that “the energy from the Chamber is amazing. Banks invest in local businesses and are willing to invest in entrepreneurial ideas.”
Scott and Katie have since sold the bookstore to another very enterprising young lady to allow them to focus on the future growth of Everfan. Today, Everfan employees six people, four full-time and two part-time. They could add more depending on the season, especially as spring usually experiences an uptick in business.
“It’s a fun product that has an impact on people, not just kids. A superhero cape can have a big impact on everyone. It tees people up to have fun.” Scott Chastain, Founder, Everfan
Non-profits, fun runs and fund raising opportunities have each enjoyed tremendous success through the use of Everfan’s product lines.
With an eye to the future, Everfan is expanding into costume accessories. These can be customized for parties and themed events. They are also introducing capes for heroes of the four-legged variety as well as hooded capes.
April 28 is National Superhero Day. In Thomasville, people throughout town recognize members of the community that have meant so much to them and made a lasting impact. Last year, more than 120 people were recognized around Thomasville.
This year, Everfan will also be partnering with Thomasville’s Rose Weekend, and their annual parade will have a Superhero theme. Partnerships like this help make everyone feel like a superhero.
Scott credits much of the success of Everfan to the community. “We’ve seen Thomasville happen before our eyes. It brings a different type of energy.”
Got a Small Business question? Start the conversation! Contact Ryan Waldrep, Assistant Director for Entrepreneur and Small Business Development, at (404) 877-8406 or [email protected].