2011 - Volume #35, Issue #6, Page #07[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
How To Start Your Own Xmas Business
“We’ve set up a ton of wreath making companies,” says Barb Jeske. “We walk them through how to set up their business, how to get sales, and how to market. We can often recommend bough suppliers or how to find them.”
In helping others get in the business, Jeske and her husband Dick are potentially creating competition for their other business. The 4th generation family business makes thousands of wreaths and miles of roping each year.
“Some people won’t share information,” says Jeske. “Our customers are happy with us, and we aren’t going to lose any.”
Making their own Christmas decorations is how the Jeskes got in the business of wreath-making equipment and supplies. It quickly became a new products lab, as Rick Jeske improved on existing equipment. For example, the Super Cam Clamper takes the stress off the knees that occurs with most volume, wreath-making equipment. The Elf Roping/Garland Machine offers options such as a timer and footage counter. It can produce up to 1,800 ft. of roping in 8 hrs.
“My husband saw a need for them, and we used them here in our business before we put them on the market,” says Jeske. “His workmanship is unbelievable, and we’ve never had anybody return anything.”
The Jeskes encourage buyers to visit their operation for one-on-one training in use of equipment and technique, as well as coaching. For those at a distance, the website offers links to a number of how-to videos. They also offer suggestions and advice by phone to buyers as widespread as Ireland and Puerto Rico, though most sales are in the U.S. and Canada.
The Super Cam Clamper is priced at $119. The Elf Roping/Garland Machine ranges from $995 to $1,295, depending on options. Smaller scale wreath makers can buy a hand-held crimper for only $9.95 or a crimper and 10, 12-in. rings (makes a 22-in. wreath) for $19.95. The company also offers a wide variety of decorative items for finished wreaths.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Santa’s Wholesale Supply, N9678 N. Summit Lane, Summit Lake, Wis. 54485 (ph 715 275-4188; toll free 800 772-6827; www.santasupplies.com).
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