BUSINESS PLANS AND YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK
We are getting ready to deliver our first load of pottery to Xanterra for their summer season in Yellowstone National Park. Yellowstone has a real close place in Jennie's and my heart. Many years ago we both worked in the park and Jennie's step dad built the boat marinas. It was a buyer at Yellowstone Park that wrote our first large order from some pottery samples. This is what started us in the pottery business.In 1980 interest rates climbed to 21% and construction came to a screeching halt. With no work, Lockie Excavating closed down, and with 4 small kids to feed I needed to find something to do.Jennie had given me pottery lessons at the Ketter Art Center as a birthday present a few years back. I learned how to center a lump of clay and that was about all. A fellow potter suggested throwing pottery for a living. Jennie and I prayed about a market and Yellowstone came to our hearts. We called their gift shop buyer and he agreed to look at some samples. He wrote a $7200 order. We came home, poured a concrete slab in the shed in the backyard, bought a book on how to build a kiln, and we became potters.I took our three older kids with me the day I went to Yellowstone to build the displays for the gift shop. Their fondest memory was eating in the employees mess hall at Lake Lodge. My highlight was getting all the displays built in one day! On the way home I could not find a 24 hour gas pump. Some time after midnite, I drove 18 miles in the opposite direction from home to a truck stop in Idaho. Some thirty years later, I realize this is the closest thing I had to a business plan for a pottery business.Praise God for having a hand in it all!Many Blessings - Dave Lockie
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