Aug 8, 201209:45 AMDaily News
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Hershey mom creates successful app, website
You could say Trisha Boughter tripped and fell into her own business.
Last year, the Hershey mom tripped on a rug and banged her shin into a coffee table and was unable to walk for six months.
As a hairdresser, she needed to find a way to generate income for herself and her 9-year-old daughter that didn’t include being on her feet. But first and foremost, she had to figure out a way to feed the family.
As Boughter looked for places to get dinner during her rehab, she created a database of various restaurants in Hershey. Compiling the database gave her an idea: why not develop a website and Smartphone app that is a one-stop destination for everything Hershey?
She created HowToHershey.com, a website and smartphone app which has grown into a company with its own sales staff.
The website got 6,000 hits in July—just one year after it was created.
HowtoHershey provides a directory of restaurants, hotels and entertainment locations, as well as a full events calendar. Boughter added the calendar when she wanted to find other, cheaper things to do besides the amusement park.
The website and app also provide weather, maps and videos from various spots in Chocolate Town.
Locals and tourists can use the app and website to plan their day, find something to do or simply find a place to eat. “Most people really love the events part of it,” Boughter said. “I have a lot of locals and returning guests downloading it. People that are local like the restaurant features.”
Some hotels in Hershey hand out cards with the website so tourists can find everything they need while enjoying Hershey. The coverage extends to Lebanon, Annville, Grantville and parts of Middletown.
Boughter got a lot of her original information about events from contacts through moms from Hershey High School, where she used to help with the cheerleading team.
At first Boughter expected her project to take approximately 20 hours per week, but as she learned quickly, it’s a much more in-depth gig. “Full-time and then some,” she said. “Just the new events take a lot of time. I do a lot of maintenance, but also keeping up with the new businesses in the area to add them to the list takes time.”
She also must manage her sales force, which focuses on selling ads, particularly for the Smartphones.
Boughter said she had no previous IT experience, so the technical side of creating a website and app was the most difficult part of the job. “I’m in my 30s, so when I learned to type, it was on the typewriter,” she said. “The hardest part was just learning to get the computer to work for me and not against me.”
Boughter learned from videos she found online to create step-by-step instructions to creating websites and apps.
Although she can walk a bit, Boughter will never be able to stand and do hair again. But she isn’t letting that bring her down—she’s too caught up in her business.
With her first endeavor on the web a success, Boughter is now looking to expand and try a new city. She’s researching Lancaster, Reading and Gettysburg to pick her next destination.
But first, Boughter plans to add more videos and content to the site. “I’m a Hershey mom, I’m raising a Hershey Trojan,” she said.
And she is grateful to the support she’s received for her endeavor. “I was down and out and had to think of a way to take care of my family. I wanted to show my 9-year-old that even when your mom can’t walk, she can do something. I fried two computers just by working on it. I just kept plugging away.”
Kurt Bopp is assistant editor/web for Central Penn Parent. He loves having a Smartphone, yet doesn’t use all of its capabilities. He mainly uses it to keep a grocery list.