At just 24 years old, Brooke O’Hair took her love of the beach and great customer service skills and opened her own store, Blacktop Surf Shop. Only ten minutes from the nearest sandy shores, her location in Largo attracts plenty of customers eager to hit the waves.

“I Could Use Artisan In My Sleep”

Florida locals and sightseers agree: having the right outdoor wear is a necessity. Living up to its “salty and sunkissed” motto, Blacktop has the solution for a sunny day, right down to the sunscreen. Lightweight dresses and tops line the walls while snapbacks and bucket hats line the shelves. UV-protectant long sleeve shirts are a popular item, as well as swimwear, shorts, and tote bags to carry all beach essentials.

The men’s selection includes boardshorts, pocket tees, hoodies, and more. For the younger crowd – much younger, that is – there are swaddle blankets and Florida-inspired sheets for cribs.  

O’Hair thought about the little things, too. A variety of stickers, some bearing the company’s logo or tropical scenes, are perfect for decorating water bottles and bumpers. Candles and soaps are available as well – for those who want to take the vacation back home with them. 

Though her store only opened in early 2022, O’Hair is no stranger to how businesses run. At 15, she started working at Overhead Surf Shop in Madeira Beach, and it was there she realized the power behind a good point of sale system.

“I had already used Artisan for a long time,” O’Hair said. “It’s been years of Artisan.” When it came time to start her own business, she already had the program in mind. Instead of having to launch her first store with a completely unfamiliar system, she wanted to stick with what she knew. 

“It’s to the point now,” O’Hair mentioned, “where I can use it in my sleep.”

Among her favorite features, the layout of the program is what she favors the most. “The interface is super smooth and easy to pick up on,” said O’Hair. “I started training two employees a few weeks ago and they’re already picking it up.”

Setting up hardware wasn’t an issue either. “It works well with my touchscreen computer. I love being able to just press on the screen to get to where I need to go.”

As for any hiccups along the way, she admitted they’ve been user errors. “One time I didn’t have the printer plugged in correctly. I called the support line and got that squared away really quickly.”

O’Hair is hoping to welcome some new members to the Blacktop staff in the next few months. She’s also considering trying the employee time clock feature to help keep track of employee hours. “Right now I just write all hours by hand, which isn’t a great way to keep things organized. I also need to send that information to my accountant. So, I’m definitely considering talking to CerTek about using that feature for my store.”

“Someone Is Always Ready To Help”

The CerTek staff is grateful for O’Hair’s trust in the program. “Whenever I have an issue, which doesn’t really happen that often, I know I can call you guys. Everyone is so friendly, and someone is always ready to help me out,” O’Hair said. “I really appreciate that.”

We’re always happy to see Artisan working so well across different industries. Each business is unique, and we look forward to helping more first-time store owners remain successful for years to come.