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Elizabeth Euer-Frankman never dreamed she would own a business, let alone one of the few remaining independent memorabilia and sports apparel stores thriving in the big box corporate retail landscape. Euer-Frankman is the owner and CEO of Bounce Back Sports, which sells licensed merchandise for all of the NFL teams and most of the MLB teams. The company also sells NHL, NBA, MLS, NCAA and has recently started selling military items. “A common misconception is that we sell used sporting equipment and it’s far from that,” said Euer-Frankman. “From drinkware to jewelry — you name, we have it.”

Euer-Frankman’s path to becoming a successful businesswoman did not follow a traditional roadmap. A series of personal tragedies shaped, then cut short, her chosen career of nursing. “Nursing was wonderful, but for some reason it wasn’t my career path for the rest of my life,” Euer-Frankman said.

Euer-Frankman has always had a hands-on approach to doing business. She is on site nearly every single day to assist and service customers’ requests. As a result, Euer-Frankman can react to the ever-changing trends immediately, as opposed to having to run it up the corporate ladder. “After I was in the business a couple of years, I decided it was time for me to cut out the middle man and go directly to the manufacturers themselves,” Euer-Frankman said. “I try to stay with what’s trending and whatever new item is hot. I’ll take a risk and see if it sells.”

What led you to nursing?

The summer after my junior year in high school, I was in a car accident caused by a drunk driver and five of my best friends were killed. I was the only survivor. After graduation, I left my small town and moved to St. Louis in order to figure out my future. I was struggling with survivor’s guilt and that contributed to my interest in psychology.

I knew I wanted to help people, but I didn’t know exactly what that looked like. Many of my teachers at Lindenwood thought I would do well in business, but I was still undecided. I earned my master’s in gerontology because I knew there would always be opportunities to take care of seniors. I also became interested in management and working with families.

I quickly learned that in order to get into nursing home administration, I would need to become a registered nurse. After graduation, I worked in different fields before landing at Saint Louis University Hospital in case management. One day after work in 2003, I was in a T-bone car accident that left me temporarily paralyzed from the waist down. I was no longer able to be a nurse, and it started my path to a long rehabilitation.

How did you transition into selling memorabilia and sporting apparel?

During my rehabilitation, I started attending auctions and found items to sell on eBay. I enjoyed the interaction with people. I eventually met a wholesaler who introduced me to sporting apparel. With his guidance, my first purchase of licensed apparel was 24 Tom Brady jerseys, and I sold them all.

How have you grown since opening your storefront?

I never intended to open a storefront in 2013. My original goal was to move the merchandise out of the house in order to live in normalcy. I had so many people tell me that it would be a success as a storefront and people would love what’s inside. I became aggressive in advertising three months after I moved in and have flourished ever since.

In fact, we will be moving to a new location in Hawk Point on April 1. Our new location is twice the size of our Wentzville store, with a front office and back warehouse. This larger location will allow us to offer other merchandise, including sporting goods, a camouflage line and fishing and hunting equipment. I’m also very excited to be introducing military apparel, including hats, flags and challenge coins.

Are you going to expand your services at the new location?

Yes! Our new location will have an area set up for an embroidery machine, and we’ve recently begun screen printing. We are also expanding into promotional products to include vinyl signs, banners and decals.

How does Bounce Back Sports help out in the community?

The Crider Health Center is near and dear to my heart. I was impressed with the organization and how they help the community. When the Center approached me about providing on-the-job training and coaching to their clients, I didn’t hesitate because I’ve always loved helping people. We also provide on-the-job training for the local unemployment office.

Advancing St. Louis highlights local leaders of small businesses and large corporations that are impacting the St. Louis region from a variety of industries. These leaders are Advancing St. Louis by inspiring change and starting conversations. Are you interested in having your story told? Contact Jennifer Mason, who coordinates marketing content, at jmason@stltoday.com.