The Roundup -

Sonda's Solutions Offers Oilfield Apparel And Expertise

 

Pictured left to right are owner Sonda Shandy, Coleen Williams, Lori Wise, Ardis McKinstry, Tommi Wise and Courtney Anderson.

In the oil industry, most workers don’t have the luxury of a typical nine to five hour work schedule. They work long hours, both day and night. So, in their off-time, shopping for work related clothing probably doesn’t make the top of the list of things to do. For an oil worker needing to buy fire retardant clothing, one-stop shopping probably couldn’t sound better.

Sonda Shandy, of Sonda’s Solutions, was betting that was the case when she opened her fire retardant clothing store at 2221 S. Central, in Sidney.

Bitten by the entrepreneurial bug back in 2006, she decided she wanted to utilize her experience in retail to go into business for herself. At the time, she was already ordering fire retardant clothing to supply her husband, Lester’s, employees at S/L Services, an oilfield and industrial construction company, in Sidney. “I was always making trips to Billings to get the clothing he needed and many times could not find what he was looking for. It got to be very inconvenient,” she said. With other local oil industry related companies also needing similar clothing she was also often asked to locate and pick up needed items for them as well during her trips. “I decided there was a need for a store like this in our area and decided to go for it,” she said.

After opening her doors, even more businesses began looking to her for purchasing their employees’ safety apparel.

Together, she and her husband of 25 years, moved to Sidney in 2006 after he was asked to come and do some contracting work. “Lester worked at the Still Water Mine in Columbus and was asked if he wanted to help fill the need for the construction industry. So, we took a chance and moved and have been here ever since,” she said.

Today, she sells everything from fire retardant pants, shirts, jackets and bibs; to steel-toed work boots, safety glasses and hard hats. “I wanted this to be a store where an oil worker could come in and get everything they need to get out there and start their job,” she said. Over the years she began noticing there were other hard-to-find specialty items that were difficult to find in the community. She has since added Honda generators, pumps and concrete to her list of inventory.

Bringing in the right brands and sizes has been a challenge she has perfected over the years but says it is always changing. While Carhartt, Wrangler and Bulwark are seemingly the most popular brands her customers ask for, she just never knows what sizes they may need. “One week it seems everyone needs an extra large and then one week everyone seems to be asking for a size small,” she said.

Together with her daughter, Whitney, Shandy carries out the daily business operations. Her other daughter, Leslie, and both son-in-laws, Shawn and Jamie, work with Lester in the other family business. “It’s nice to be able to leave and have full confidence the store is in good hands. I never have to worry when I am away,” she said.

Not long ago she was contacted by a representative from Amazon.com who said he was impressed by her website and requested Sonda’s Solutions be added to their endless list of vendors.

“I really enjoy my work. I like getting out there and doing something that benefits others,” she added.

The store is open Monday through Friday from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and on Saturday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

For more information, log on to http://www.sondassolutions.com

 

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