Skip to comments.The FReeper Foxhole Enjoys a Lazy Sunday with an update on the shop - November 27th, 2005
Posted on 11/27/2005 7:34:17 AM PST by snippy_about_it
are acknowledged, affirmed and commemorated.
| Our Mission:
The FReeper Foxhole is dedicated to Veterans of our Nation's military forces and to others who are affected in their relationships with Veterans.
In the FReeper Foxhole, Veterans or their family members should feel free to address their specific circumstances or whatever issues concern them in an atmosphere of peace, understanding, brotherhood and support.
The FReeper Foxhole hopes to share with it's readers an open forum where we can learn about and discuss military history, military news and other topics of concern or interest to our readers be they Veteran's, Current Duty or anyone interested in what we have to offer.
If the Foxhole makes someone appreciate, even a little, what others have sacrificed for us, then it has accomplished one of it's missions.
We hope the Foxhole in some small way helps us to remember and honor those who came before us.
by request :-)
As we near our first year as eviiiil capitalists we can look back and see mistakes made. They weren't all huge, not all small but part of the learning process. We learned from them immediately. This experience will make next year go much smoother and hopefully profitable by next Christmas season. The trick is to be able to hang on (pay bills and eat) until we get the customer base we need to sustain us.
We still believe in what we are doing and we believe it will work. The store is moving upward ever so slowly.
We've learned where to spend our advertising dollars and where not to. What ads work and what doesn't, what "sales" work and what doesn't. We've learned about consumer spending habits and what works in what month as far as product.
Summer was much slower than expected and that set us back a bit but we learned from that also. We need to work summer different than last year, offer different products and carry less inventory than we initially thought. This will also allow us to bring in more items for the Christmas season. We will also probably take Sunday's off during the summer. Yippee!
We've changed our hours on a few occasions trying to get an idea of when folks shop here at this type of store. I'm building a chart with customer counts so we can see the trends and the growth.
I think I can safely say we both have gained confidence in ourselves and our abilities. This shop is the kind of place customers like to stay in and chat awhile. We have folks staying and talking for 30 minutes to an hour. They are comfortable with the store and us and they get attention they don't receive in the "box" stores.
We learned about location. Mind you, we knew it was important and our problem here is that there is no "good" place in our city to place a business so we had to pick what we thought was the best with what was available in this "no growth" state we are in. It isn't ideal but then again, there is no ideal place, at least not around here. We really like our short 2.9 mile commute.
We've learned to balance our strong points against each other, we each have certain tasks we do but make sure we both know the "other's" job.
We still have a lot to learn but I think we have the major areas covered. We need to be able to afford and take the time to go to trade shows, increase our vendor contacts and continue to get the word out that we are here and do all that while spending as little money as possible.
We are still happy about going to work everyday and though some days seem horrible and we get worried, the next day or week will surprise us and we are again encouraged.
I can tell you it is something we both wish we had done earlier in our lives but the timing would have never been just right, in our case, this time in our lives, it was this or McDonalds. LOL.
Health insurance is outrageous when you have to pay for it yourself. For anyone thinking of going out on their own, keep this in mind and save money ahead of time to cover it. We didn't and it takes a good chunk of change at our age to cover it even with very high deductibles.
We have some really wonderful loyal customers, just not enough of them. Word is spreading and word of mouth is the best kind of advertising but it is slow going.
The economy in Oregon doesn't help but like I said, if we can just hang on we know one day we will be able to make the store pay our personal expenses. We don't need to get rich or own more than one store, we just want to be able to pay for a roof over our heads and food on the table. Don't think we aren't aiming high, a nice vacation would be great too but we will be happy with not ever having to work for "someone else" again.
We do it all, too. From cleaning the store, buying and placing orders, managing and stocking inventory, bookkeeping, banking, window displays, cashier/sales clerks, advisors and window washers. LOL. It is truly a "mom and pop shop" and we are enjoying it and hoping for the best. It's ours and it feels good to be able to say that.
The website has some pictures but believe me, we change the way the product is displayed almost weekly. It's a must in this business.
We aquired a stray cat at the store about 7 weeks ago, just before we got the dog and he now lives in the store. Customers come in just to see the cat. Some carry him around the entire time they shop, some come in to see him and don't necessarily shop at the time! We have one customer that bought him a collar about a month ago and today brought him in some flea medicine because we found a few bumps on his back near his tail, though we see no fleas. The cat is perfect, he greets most of the customers and insist they pay attention to him! I have a list of customers that want the cat if we ever decided to give it up. We are having a contest to name the cat and we will select the name on Christmas eve so the cat finally gets a name for Christmas.
The dog on the other hand is too rambunctious to be in the store unfortunately. :-(
We take turns puppy sitting the dog away from the store and just this weekend splurged to get him a crate which we will try to ease him into staying in it, eventually for at least a few hours. The customers like the dog but at not yet 5 months old we are having difficulty teaching him to stay down off folks and he is just too big of a puppy to not knock things over when he gets excited (which is a mood he seems to stay in perpetually). He is very, very stubborn.
How can you not love a dog who sleeps on your head?
And brings you toys to play with?
So there you have it, the Sam and Snippy (and Sarge and "the cat") shop is plugging along and we are happy to share our experience and lives with our Foxhole family.
We wish you could all come and visit with us and see the store.
Thank you all for your continued support of Sam and me.
We love you guys.
That reminds me; I'm about a week from having to head to my local bird store to pick up more seed. If only Oregon weren't so far away,....
Aww, you're sweet. Can you believe we actually have one customer we mail seed to in Idaho! Wherever she is there is no place to buy it.
((HUGS))Good Sunday morning to you, Snippy and to everyone here at the Freeper Foxhole.
We were there another three or four hours because we weren't leaving the vehicle there," McCarver said. "We had a dead Marine inside.
A Glint of Silver at 23
The (Memphis) Commercial Appeal ^ | 27 November 2005 | by Jon W. Sparks
Posted on 11/27/2005 4:32:10 AM PST by Maigrey
Marine's help to comrades in Fallujah firefight earns medal
Abraham McCarver is slightly uncomfortable with the fuss.
He understands discomfort.
He's had three tours in Iraq.
So the 23-year-old Marine lance corporal is putting up with the attention that comes with being awarded the Silver Star -- the third-highest combat decoration given by the military -- presented to him last month. He came home Thanksgiving Day for a weekend of family and food. On Saturday, the White Station High School graduate was at his grandparents' home in the Sea Isle area, joking around with aunts, uncles and cousins. But to tell his story to a reporter, he retreated to a quiet corner of the house with his girlfriend, Elise Wainwright. There, his chronicle of gallantry in action on April 13, 2004, unfolded in amazing, heartbreaking detail. McCarver was already in his second tour and the Marines were making the first major push into Fallujah. Sixteen members of the Second Squad of the 2nd Platoon, Company B, 1st Battalion, Fifth Marine Regiment were packed into an amphibious assault vehicle ripping into the city. They were cut off from friendly forces. The fighting was ferocious. McCarver saw the vehicle's gunner die when the Marine took a rocket-propelled grenade in the chest. The platoon leader, Lt. Christopher Ayers, was seriously wounded in the leg. "When the vehicle started to vibrate and shake, we knew it wasn't going to last much longer," McCarver said quietly. The Marines jumped out and took cover in a nearby house. But there was still a dead Marine and the wounded platoon leader in the vehicle. There was simply no question what had to be done. "I went around front and gave covering fire. Then Gunny Sagredo climbed up trying to get Lt. Ayers down." Gunnery Sgt. Ismael Sagredo and McCarver struggled to get Ayers out of the vehicle and into the house. The lieutenant was big and weighted down with gear that got caught on a bolt. Enemy fire was pinging off the vehicle as the snag finally gave way and the Marines got into the house. Rescue came about an hour later, a long hour spent dodging grenades and killing any enemy that came in range. McCarver moved from room to room in the house, dragging Ayers along. The lieutenant, dosed up on painkillers, still had the presence of mind to keep ordering "save the ammo!" It wasn't nearly over yet. "We were there another three or four hours because we weren't leaving the vehicle there," McCarver said. "We had a dead Marine inside." That meant going back to the hot zone. "Me and a friend, Jeff Starr, went out and helped hook it up," McCarver said, describing how they jury-rigged it to be towed. "Then we took a Humvee in front of four tanks and two other armored vehicles and drove them out. That's with no armor on our Humvee, Jeff standing up with two guns and me driving." In fact, this is not a story he relishes telling, except for taking pride in how the men in his unit did what they were trained to do. "Everyone knew exactly where to go and what to do. Everything we learned kicked in." Eight Marines were wounded in the battle, in addition to the one killed. Nine grenade holes were in the vehicle. A hundred insurgents were estimated killed. McCarver, like most of the rest of his unit, had a couple of rounds left. After that April's three-week siege of Fallujah, the Marines turned over security to the Iraqis. The effort failed and U.S. troops overran the city last November. But McCarver has hope for Iraq. "In my three years, I've seen a lot of progress." McCarver is stationed at Camp Pendleton, Calif., and will be getting out of the Marines in April. "I'm coming home and going to school," he says. "I want to do something that will get me into federal law enforcement, something like the DEA or ATF." His family, many of whom have served in the military, backs him up. "My cousin Danny was in the Army and he went to Afghanistan," McCarver said. "My brother goes to West Point, my other cousin that's not here yet is an officer in Korea with the Army. My grandfather was in the Air Force." And of course, one more question comes up. Yes, he's seen "Jarhead." "It's a good movie," he grins. "It gets a little Hollywoodish with guys shooting guns in the air, but as far as the ..." he pauses to find the right word "... interesting things we do on a daily basis, it portrays it very well."
Great news about your shop, very informative. I hope you have a very successful Christmas season and an improved economy next year!
Thanks for posting this here Johnnie. The Marines are our country's best.
LOL. We're hanging on. It will be one year on December 10th although we opened just with product on the floor. It looks so much better now with a counter rather than my kitchen table!
Thanks tax-chick. I think we've seen enough already that we could provide good information to anyone just starting out.
Also your store looks charming, well organized with lots of light
The website looks great!
Thanks for the update there Miss snippy, looks like things are moving up for y'all.
Speaking of birdhouses besure to check out todays Blondie
I will post the link since we don't want to run afoul of the posting police at King Features :-)
May good fortune continue to build for y'all
And just maybe Mrs alfa6 and I will make a road trip this spring.
Sample caption... Look what our feed can do for your squirrels
He He He He
LOL. We do use it! I like your caption though. I'll add that to it!
Actually the lighting is low light (recommended for retail) and the windows are dark so customers complain they cannot tell if we are open sometimes. The lights are nice and non glaring but just not enough of them.
We recently were able to purchase a used "OPEN" sign from an old Costco and that hangs over the door now and helps somewhat.
LOL. Big Bird could live there!
We'd love to have you up here this spring.