Fall 2022 Hardlines Strategies
Support, Service and Success Celebrating Sole Ownership Since 1994
Sharri Fuller (second from right) has found success through hard work, determination, knowledge and a great team.
S harri Fuller purchased Toronto Lumber Co., in Toronto, Kansas, with her first husband Tom Hoag in 1980. The company was founded around 1880, and the original structure of the store is around 120 years old, with 2,000 square feet of enclosed storefront and 9,600 square feet of lumber outbuildings.
“We consider our rich history to be part of our charm, and we’ve had to learn to make the most of our limited space,” Sharri says. While Tom had worked in a few retail lumberyards and had a background in construction and electrical when they bought the business, Sharri had just completed an associate’s degree in data processing at Butler County Community College in El Dorado, Kansas, and had little knowledge of the industry. “I had a strong background in accounting and math, so I loved taking on the challenge,” Sharri says. “I also had a history of being shy, so learning to interact with customers was my biggest obstacle in the beginning.”
In 1994, Sharri took over complete ownership of the business, and has flourished as the sole female owner for more than 28 years in a male-dominated industry. Success was found through hard work, determination and knowledge, she says. “Take time to learn your business and never make excuses,” Sharri says. “Customers will respect you for your knowledge.” A Strong Base Located 110 miles southwest of Kansas City, Toronto has a population of approximately 300 people, with the
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32 Fall 2022 • Hardlines Strategies
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