Oct. 1, 2004 Christie and Chris Powers bought Judi of Croix, a car-rental business, last year and moved to the island in late February.
The business had been open for 21 years, and, of course, a woman named Judi, who lived on St Croix, started it.
She started the business because she always had a lot of visitors so she bought a few "beater" cars for them to use whenever they came to the island. These friends started referring her to other people so she started renting the cars out. She called it Judi of Croix, and the Powers believe it's a play on Helen of Troy.
The Powers originally came from Oregon. They wanted a change from gray, wet winters and wanted to be somewhere warm, sunny and beautiful. They thought they'd end up in Hawaii because Chris has relatives there, Christie Powers said. But then they found this business opportunity.
"Owning a car rental business was never one of my dreams," she said, laughing.
In the months they have been on-island, the Powers said they have come to enjoy the diverse culture, the beautiful scenery, the ocean and everything else.
The people here are another thing the Powers appreciate. "The people here are so kind. It's not like people anywhere else," Christie Powers said.
The Powers employ only one person, Kingsley W. Roberts. "We couldn't do it without him, he's invaluable," Christie Powers said.
"We go through each car with a fine-toothed comb. If it needs new parts, we order them. If the headliner needs cleaned from someone spilling coffee, we clean it," she said.
They said they don't want any more business than the three of them can handle, which they estimate at about 70 cars. Right now, they have 51 cars, so they plan on buying more before the busy season, which starts around Thanksgiving and lasts until April 15.
The Powers said they are stepping up marketing efforts. They have been going to all of the previous owners' acquaintances and business associates and have introduced themselves. They have also been talking to local businesses about renting cars to visiting consultants and associates.
Judi of Croix is run out of the Powers' home on top of the hill overlooking Christiansted Harbor, near Questa Verde. They love the location and working out of their home. They deliver and pick up their cars to and from the customers themselves. This gives them a well-appreciated opportunity to get out of the house and travel all over St. Croix, Christie Powers said.
The Powers have redesigned their logo and are working on a Web site, www.judiofcroix.com
To contact Judi of Croix, call 773-2123.
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