Home-Based Occupations Give Local Entrepreneurs The Business

After returning to Walla Walla in the early 1990s, he opened Digital Heroes in a Boyer Avenue strip mall. That was back when the Internet was so new it mostly contained bulletin board-type postings. For a computer science expert, it was perfect.

Watson found a marketplace there for loyal collectors. The storefront, he felt, sometimes distracted from where the bulk of sales were taking place.

So around 1997 he closed the physical shop and moved the business to his home. It stayed there, continuing to build clients and business for more than a decade until Watson hit another snag.

"Honestly, our basement is full," he said. "I was maxed out on what I could do from my house on my own."

He needed space and he needed help -- two things he couldn't get where he was.

Now located at 1617 E. Alder St. in the space he remembers from his youth as the home of Hot Poop, his square footage is packed with graphic novels, sports and nonsport collector cards, action figures and other collectibles.

His hours are filled with sorting, scanning and data entry. He continues to ship anywhere from five to 25 packages a day. "Any day the post office is running, I'm shipping," he said.

But now he's got Anthony Elia, who knows more about the contents of comics than Watson does, and Marcus Kisling, who knows more about "Magic: The Gathering" for games.

For Watson and his years in business, what that ultimately means: a long-overdue vacation. Far, far away.

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