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Oct 1, 2009
by Judi Perkins
Dean freely offers that much of the company's success is due to Kathy, who he describes as, "very creative and attuned to the western market." Dean asserts that she is the best person for choosing products, because of her ability to, "select the best of the best; the products that have the richest, most valuable, highest quality look and ability to last, all at a very attractive price. There is nothing on our site that does not look like it is worth a great deal more than the end user will pay for it." Kathy believes her ability to select product was strengthened from being a buyer for a western store at age 17. "I could see what people bought, so I have been able to develop that ability over the years."
The result is an ever evolving range of unique and stylish products, purchased faithfully by gift stores, museum shops and western stores throughout the U.S., Australia, Europe and Japan. "Our focus is the family-owned business. Some have two or three stores, but generally they are single owner, family-operated businesses," said Kathy. Many of the products are made by local artisans. Their quality t-shirts are done by a local artist, with whom they collaborated recently to introduce a line of burnout t-shirts. "We are excited about these shirts because of the beautiful detail, stitching and hem lines," said Kathy. "Everything is very high end and finished." Their hats and hand painted signs are also done locally, and much of the jewelry is one of a kind, crafted by a local jewelry maker. Said Kathy, "There are no duplicates. She will bring me ten or 20 pieces, but there is only one of each piece, so when a particular piece is gone, it's gone."
Other products are purchased through distributors or the manufacturers, as well as locally. "We have hair on hide purses that look as good, or better in some cases, than ones that cost several hundred dollars, and ours retail in the $50 to $100 range," said Dean. "It is a win-win situation for the retailer, their customers, and us." Mirroring their growth, a line of branded products designed exclusively for Red Barn Ranch will be debuting sometime in the fall of 2009. Their very first catalog will be sent out in November. "It will help our customers order, but will also be a tool for them to help their customers buy additional products that the store may not stock," said Dean.
The Red Barn Ranch website is a boon to their business. Kathy maintains that their retail customers like the product selection and the ability to come to one place and find a wide variety of attractive items. "Our cast iron sells very well. Buyers can find fine art, rhinestone horseshoe bracelets, apparel and a baseball cap all in one place," she said. Since the product categories require logging in to view prices and descriptions, the best way to view products prior to registering as a buyer is to click on the Product Gallery button, which provides clear, detailed product photographs. Requirements to purchase wholesale are easily accessed via the left navigation button titled "Wholesale Information." Registering also entitles customers to receive the newsletter, which goes out twice per month.
"The newsletter occurs sales and display tips, new product announcements and fashion trends," said Kathy. "We also run specials three times per year, and if a customer does a certain volume, then they receive display items or free product." There are about 700 products on site, spread throughout 12 categories, as well as a closeout section which changes quarterly. Additionally, Red Barn Ranch offers their customers dropshipping. Kathy said, "For a small fee of $3 per shipment per address, we include their paperwork with the order, so it looks like a private label. It works very well."
Orders are generally shipped within 24 to 48 hours. Dean adds that they have freight calculators to make sure an order is shipped in the most cost effective manner. "But," he adds, "there are always the rush orders." He goes on to tell about a time when a customer was at a show and sold out of all her Red Barn Ranch products on the first day. "We were on the road at the time," said Dean, "and she said she needed the products right away. We called the office and had a whole bunch more packaged up and shipped off by second day air. She received them in time to finish the show."
Kathy further emphasized the focus on their customers. "Our goal is to provide them with affordable quality products that are relevant to their marketplace," she said. "We update our items daily, weekly and monthly, so they always have current items." Added Dean, "We see ourselves, our customers and our suppliers as partners. If we are providing good value and making sure we are all partners, everyone is going to prosper. Their success is our success, and we do not want to lose sight of that." Minimum order: $100.
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Topic: Company Profiles
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