How I Started My Business

Most of my posts have featured many different experts in the wholesale marketing field.  I have enjoyed reading tips and ideas from other folks, and have learn from these authors as well.  But I have never really shared about my own business and how I got started as a sales rep, gourmet food producer or a store owner/manager.

Following is the beginning of my story …..

My First Product Line

If you have read my story, you know that become an independent sales rep was an “accident” — a pleasant one, as it turned out, but nothing I had planned.

I was selling advertisements for a little newsletter we were distributing through the area.  The newsletter was themed around the coming Lewis & Clark Commemoration.  Naturally, when folks saw the newsletter, they wanted to know where to buy souvenirs.   So Malcolm (my husband and business partner) and I went to work.

Back then (2000), there was little information on starting a sales rep business.  We searched the internet and found a some info, but not much to run with.  We just stepped out in faith!

Malcolm, who has a solid business background, wrote up a sales agreement for me that, Lewis & Clark Sacagawea barswe hoped, covered all the bases.  Then, he went to work to find me some lines.  He finally found a chocolate maker in North Dakota who made Lewis & Clark and Sacagawea candy bars.  The producers owned a drug store along the Lewis & Clark trail and had just started distributing their chocolate bars.  They did not have any sales reps, so we learned together.

I sold hundreds of those bars along the trail from the Dakotas to the Pacific Ocean.  What a fun product to start with!

Later, of course, we added a large line of souvenirs, our precious huckleberry products (state fruit in Idaho) and a selection of any thing I could rep.  Not the best plan, but it worked in the beginning.  Later, due to the time frame of the Lewis & Clark celebration and the large amount of travel, I narrowed my territory to Idaho and my lines to what my Idaho customers wanted.

Looking back on it now, it is interested to see that I started a whole business on chocolate bars …. and look where it has taken me now!

To read more of my business story, click here!

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