The finishing touch for any new home is often found at the end of the driveway.
“The mailbox is the last thing that goes in,” said Britta Weitzel, owner of Community Accents. “The builder has to have a mailbox to get his (certificate of occupancy).”
Community Accents, which supplies decorative mailboxes, opened last year as an offshoot of the sign company owned by Weitzel’s husband, Jeremy.
“The mailbox side of business came when one of our old sign customers approached us,” she said. “They own a woodworking company out of Oxford and were moving out of the mailbox side. They wanted us to take over.
“It was different from what we were used to doing with retail signs.”
Mailboxes from Community Accents are higher end and mostly aluminum, with prices from $350 to $1,000.
“It’s not your $50 Home Depot mailbox,” Weitzel said. “They are made to last.
“We work with a lot of major builders, so we do a lot of installation for track site builders.”
An unforeseen event already has changed the focus of the business.
“Shortly after getting into it and unbeknownst to us, the U.S. Postal Service instituted a rule requiring kiosk mailboxes in all new communities,” Weitzel said. “That was a kick in the knees.
“There’s a lot of pullback. A lot of homeowners like the curbside mailboxes.”
In response, Community Accents shifted to upkeep of existing mailboxes.
“Our bread and butter is repairs,” she said. “We have relationships with homeowners’ associations and management companies. We have enough products under our belt. There really isn’t a mailbox we can’t replace.”
Weitzel said the need for Community Accents continues to expand.
“One lady in Fayetteville called because her daughter had one done,” she said. “It’s not in our area, but we did it.
“It can be hard if you don’t know where to go. We go as far west as Burlington, as far east as Clayton, north into Oxford and now south into Fayetteville.”
Weitzel takes advantage of technology to help customers needing repairs or replacements.
“If it’s a neighborhood I know, I will know what kind of mailbox they have,” she said. “Or I can pull up Google Maps and look at their mailbox. We try to be pretty flexible. We keep an inventory.”
After a busy first year, Weitzel already has her eye on the future.
“Our goal is to expand geographically,” she said. “I’d like to expand into all of North Carolina. … You have to find a niche and if that’s what I have to do, then I do that.
“We are a small family-owned business, but we dream big.”
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About Community Accents
Contact: 919-883-2337; email@example.com