Innovative family enterprise sets standard in printing/shipping industry
Submitted by Christina M. Abt
Island Ship Center
When your business accomplishments raise not only your bottom line but the standard in your particular industry, what do you do? If you’re Seema and Fahim Mojawalla, owners of Grand Island’s Island Ship Center (ISC), you offer to host a conference and share your steps to success with fellow business owners from across the United States. Then, according to Fahim, six years later when you have grown that business into a million-dollar operation, you offer to do it all over again.
“We hosted an Association of Mail & Business Centers (AMBC) event in 2017,” Mojawalla said. “At the time, we had just celebrated the 10-year anniversary of our business, expanded our building by 2,000 square-feet, and incorporated a 24-hour mailbox and business center facility. Now, six years later, we have taken ISC from mid-six-figure gross sales to a multimillion-dollar operation and added more space and services, including a retail boutique gift line.
“So, we are again stepping forward to host one of only three AMBC conferences in the United States, this time welcoming business owners from California, Oregon, Texas and Ohio who have heard about us, as well as owners from across America who attended in 2017. They are all coming to witness our success and learn ways in which they can achieve similar growth in their own businesses.
“It is truly gratifying and fulfilling that, while building a business in our little-known hometown of Grand Island, New York, we have become respected as national experts in our industry.”
The AMBC conference will run Sept. 8-10 at the dual locations of the DoubleTree by Hilton Niagara Falls Hotel and ISC on Whitehaven Road on Grand Island. In addition to the event workshops – which include “Retail and Relationships,” “Details Matter: How You Present Yourself and Your Business,” and “Be Frugal, Not Cheap” – conference attendees will enjoy free time at Niagara Falls and on the Maid of the Mist, along with a gourmet dinner at Savor Restaurant.
AMBC Board Chair Norman Froscher acknowledged the benefits of a conference offering both a world-class business, and a world-renown tourist attraction.
“As our members learned in 2017, Fahim and Seema are genuine, authentic, and truly interested in helping other store owners reach their maximum success and potential,” Froscher said. “The combination of the diversity of their store, their knowledge and experience in the retail and relationship aspects of our industry, and the appeal of Niagara Falls made the Mojawallas and their Island Ship Center the perfect package for this event.”
From Seema’s perspective, serving as a member of the AMBC board of directors has been pivotal to their growing business achievements.
“My time on the board and interacting regularly with AMBC members gave me the opportunity to learn from other business owners’ experiences, and to be fully aware of the positive effects of new marketing materials, relationships, and business synergies,” Seema said. “Incorporating those lessons into our own business has helped our company grow and truly reflect who we are and what we do. We don’t settle for anything less than being the best we can be for our clients, in our products, and through our processes.”
Grand Island’s Island Ship Center
More About Island Ship Center
Island Ship Center (ISC) is an award-winning, innovative, family-owned packing, printing, private mailbox, shipping, and storage company founded on the principles of people, product and process.
Co-owners Fahim and Seema Mojawalla launched their company in 2006 on Grand Island, operating as an e-commerce retailer selling personalized leather gifts. Expansion to a larger location and certification as a USPS postal provider increased their business to a new level, and in 2013, Seema joined Fahim full time as the company’s solutions provider. In that role, she created a new company logo and name – Island Ship Center.
Within 10 years of launching their business, the Mojawallas applied for and received approval as an UPS Authorized Shipping Outlet and added 2,000 square-feet to their location, complete with a 24-hour mailbox, business center facility, and warehouse. Four short years later, Fahim and Seema were tapped by the Association of Mail & Business Centers (AMBC) to host an industry conference at their store, sharing their service and business development ideas with more than 40-mail and business center store owners from across the U.S.
In 2019, ISC was recognized from a field of 5,200 packing and shipping businesses as a top partner for the international packing/shipping conglomerate, FedEx. ISC is also one of only three independent stores across the U.S. to be spotlighted on the FedEx website as a resource for becoming a FedEx Authorized ShipCenter.
Most recently, Fahim and Seema have expanded their staff to include their son, Yusuf, and a team of guest service associates. They have supplemented their existing print capabilities with a larger printing unit, allowing for more in-house printing, added/developed cross-border (U.S./Canada) logistics fulfillment to their core services, and created a dedicated print room with all-new equipment and capabilities.
Future company plans include development of a consulting operation and continued ISC advancements.