25 Years of Excellence: Celebrating Your Store Wizards’ Legacy in eCommerce

As Your Store Wizards marks our 25th anniversary, we’re taking a moment to step back and journey through time. In an industry where technology evolves at breakneck speed and businesses come and go, reaching a quarter-century is not just an achievement – it’s a testament to vision, innovation, and the ability to adapt to change.

Our story is not just about the growth of a company; it’s a mini lesson in how much eCommerce has changed over the past two and a half decades. From the early days of online shopping to the challenges of navigating the complex world of eCommerce today, Your Store Wizards has been at the forefront, evolving, learning, and leading.

In this special blog post, we invite you to join us on a trip down memory lane. We will revisit the early days of Your Store Wizards, back when it was just a seed of an idea in the mind of our founder, Don Cole. It’s a tale of humble beginnings, ingenious solutions, and a journey that mirrors the dynamic world of internet commerce.

We’re passionate about technology, about eCommerce, and most importantly, about helping people realize their online dreams. We’re not just selling our tools and services; we’re building relationships, sharing knowledge, and cheering each other on.

~Don Cole

So, let’s turn back the pages to 1999, to where it all began, and celebrate the milestones that have defined Your Store Wizards over the last 25 years.

With a programmer’s mind and a geek’s passion, Don embarked on a journey that would not only redefine his career but also leave a significant mark on the world of eCommerce. This is the story of how Your Store Wizards, initially known as Y Store Tools, evolved from a side hustle to a cornerstone in the online retail tool industry.

Our Humble Beginnings

It all started rather unassumingly. Don, with his programming skills and an eye for opportunity, opened his first store on the Yahoo! Store platform. The idea was simple: selling bathroom accessories. This wasn’t just any random product choice; it was a strategic move, leveraging the manufacturing and drop-shipping capabilities of his mom’s business. The goal? To make a few extra dollars on the side. Little did he know, this small step was the first of many towards a much larger journey.

Don’s inherent desire to streamline and automate processes soon kicked in. “Now, I’m not gonna lie, I’m a bit of a lazy programmer. I’d rather spend hours automating tasks than minutes doing them manually. So, naturally, after a few months of managing my Yahoo! Store, I started tinkering around building software to automate a lot of the mundane tasks” according to Don.

This software wasn’t just a game-changer for Don’s store. He quickly realized that other stores on the Yahoo! platform could benefit from it as well. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect. Don was already a member of the Yahoo! Store Club, a community he joined at the start of his eCommerce journey. He later took over this club, moving it to the wildly popular ystoreforums.com where nearly every Yahoo! Store owner turned to for advice. This platform provided a ready-made marketplace for his software, just waiting to be tapped into.

From Y Store Tools to Your Store Wizards: Expanding the Horizon

The early success of his automation software marked the official birth of Y Store Tools in 2000, which would eventually become Your Store Wizards. Don’s venture into selling software was just the beginning. He went on to develop the first and only commercial RTML (the programming language that powers Yahoo! Store) uploader, a groundbreaking tool at the time, and began offering specialized Yahoo! development work.

Don's Y Store Tools website as it looked in 2000
Don’s Y Store Tools website as it looked in 2000

Meanwhile, Don’s original eCommerce site, buybathware.com, evolved into shower-curtains.com. But the real growth was happening behind the scenes at Your Store Wizards. The success of this venture allowed Don to shift his focus entirely. What started as a part-time job to supplement his full-time career soon became his main occupation.

The Growth and Evolution of Your Store Wizards

Over the years, Your Store Wizards has grown and adapted, always staying ahead of the curve in the ever-changing landscape of eCommerce.

What began as a simple tool to automate tasks for a single Yahoo! Store has blossomed into a company that has a comprehensive suite of time-saving tools for BigCommerce stores and a number of apps for both BigCommerce and Shopify. That’s in addition to being a full-service development firm that builds eCommerce stores and custom store features, and offers product data feeds and solutions to just about any eCommerce problem.

Celebrating 25 Years of Success

As we celebrate 25 years of Your Store Wizards, it’s not just the story of a business’s success but a tale of innovation, adaptation, and building trust with our clients. “We’re passionate about technology, about eCommerce, and most importantly, about helping people realize their online dreams. We’re not just selling our tools and services; we’re building relationships, sharing knowledge, and cheering each other on,” says Don.

Don’s journey from a solo entrepreneur with a side gig to the founder of a leading eCommerce solution provider is a testament to the power of embracing change, harnessing technology, and always looking for ways to improve.

Here’s to 25 years of innovation and many more to come!

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