Sara Silver is one of those people that might have you believing that starting a business from scratch is as easy as getting your business cards printed.
That’s exactly what she did in 1988, with a combination of curiosity, confidence and unbridled determination.
“Honestly, I never imagined having even one employee when I started my business as the whole thing began as an accident,” Silver admits.
Today the “accident” – or Silverware Inc. – employs 35 people in Arizona and Washington State and the rapidly-expanding software company expects to generate $8 million in revenue this year.
Timing, as they say, is everything and that certainly figured in getting things rolling.
Silver started her firm when companies were purchasing their first desktop computers but didn’t really know what to do with them.
“I too was learning on the job, but learning more quickly than my older colleagues,” she says with a grin. “Today it is still about training up people so they can be comfortable with our software.”
Silverware serves hundreds of companies in multiple industries by providing resource planning and management software systems.
Sara attended Northwestern University in Illinois, earning a degree in math and economics. She met her husband, Bob, while working in downtown Chicago and confesses that the romance was originally about getting out of the cold. “Truth be told, he was my ticket to warmer weather.”
They moved to the Valley, where Bob grew up, and have never looked back. They have two sons, Adam and Jeffrey, both of whom have headed east to launch their careers. The Silvers still live in what may be one of Arcadia’s most alluring homes as it is where Steven Spielberg grew up.
“We just love Arcadia and that’s why we choose to live and work here,” Sara said. “We have no plans to ever leave.”
When not working, her favorite indulgence is none other than Bruce Springsteen. “I’ve seen ‘The Boss’ more than a hundred times and have traveled all over the world to hear him perform.”
Another bucket list ambition? Just hiking the Milford Track in New Zealand, which further underscores her tolerance for risk and adventure.
Asked about her formula for business success, Sara answers quickly and with resolve. “Seize the opportunity, manage customer expectations, and most important of all, do what you say you’re going to do.”
She adds that the best advice she ever received came from her father who admonished, “You can’t plan everything out in life so be open to opportunities as they come along.”
By all appearances, Sara was a very good listener.