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.
Hey thanks much.
Can you advise me?
Thanks in advance.
For you, some will go south, some will stay. Also, they will lose their bright yellow color so they may not be as recognizable. With the weather up there (Sam grew up in Chicago) what I would do is only fill the feeder half full or less so when the seed gets really wet and you need to dump it out and clean your feeder, you won't be wasting a lot of nyjer (thistle). You can also feed them hulled sunflower.
The American and Lesser Goldfinches are beautiful birds aren't they?
Good to see you.
I've had as many as a dozen hanging around the nylon stuffed with thistle seed some mornings as I sip my coffee. They're really pretty birds.
I had a snowy egret land in my yard during the last T-storm here. Poor thing got confused and wandered about the front yard for about 10 minutes till the rain let up. Then he flew off. They're indeed impressive creatures.
Now I just need to find something to feed the hummingbirds in the summer that doesn't attract the hordes of yellowjackets. I'm really allergic to be stings so I'd much rather not attract them to the backyard along with the hummers.
Thanks again for the advice.
Good luck to you.
It would be hard to have one and not the other. Even with bee guards to keep the bees out of the feeder the sugar water alone or colorful flowers would still attract the bees.
Being an eviiiiil capitalist is a tough, dirty job, but Snippy and I are willing to do it. ;-)
UPS can get it to you in Wisconsin in a couple of days.
|November 27, 2005
In the 1700s, John Newton went to sea with his father on a merchant ship. Soon after his father retired, Newton was pressed into service on a warship. Facing intolerable conditions, he deserted and later requested a transfer to a slave ship that was soon to set sail for Africa.
Newton hardened himself to the trafficking of human beings, and eventually he became captain of his own slave ship. On May 10, 1748, however, his life was changed forever. His ship encountered a terrifying, violent storm. Just as it seemed that the vessel would sink, Newton cried aloud, "Lord, have mercy upon us!"
That night in his cabin, he began to reflect upon God's mercy. Through faith in Christ's sacrifice for him, John Newton experienced God's amazing grace in a personal way. In time, he left the slave trade and entered Christian ministry. Although he became a preacher of the gospel, he is most remembered for his much-loved hymn "Amazing Grace." It's an amazing testimony of his own experience.
God's Spirit convicts us of sin and gives us the power to forsake it. When we receive Christ as our Savior, He does for us what we are powerless to do in our own strength. That's amazing grace. Dennis Fisher
God claims by grace those who have no claim to grace.
Well God Bless you guys on your first year, I know what you mean about an area with no growth. Best of Luck to you and God speed!
Cute dog and cat.
Woah, that almost makes me seasick....
LOL. Just where is that pot o' gold?
Thanks PAR35. :-)
That's a big boat!
Thank you Mayor.
Congrats on your new computer. Flat screen?