New e-commerce site 'eases' off the ground

Friday, February 20, 2015

BEVERLY HILLS, Mich. – To most new HME business owners, navigating the industry can be a daunting task, but Alison Emerick, owner of Ease Living, isn’t exactly new. 

“I feel like I know the products and what people need,” said Emerick, an occupational therapist with 20 years of experience. “But the business aspect has been a learning curve.”

Ease Living is an online company that offers lifestyle aids—everything from stylish compression socks to incontinence underwear to 14K gold plated canes—for the fashion forward consumer.

Still, while appearance is important, it’s not everything. When choosing products for her online store, Emerick looks at function first, form second. 

“Sometimes, I have to back away from products that I think are cool, but don’t fit in with what I’m trying to do,” she said. 

One thing Emerick has learned is the power of catalogues. She recently printed 500 for a roadshow and intends to mail more to home health agencies and upscale senior communities. 

“I find that a lot of older people—while they are online—won’t shop online,” she said. “They want to talk to somebody.”

In addition to catalogues, Emerick plans to hammer out a marketing strategy and experiment with different options, such as print ads, to find out the best way to reach potential customers. 

Above all, she tries not to overthink it.

“I would look at the website over and over again and say, ‘I could tweak that,’ but there’s always something that could be tweaked,” she said.