A New Model?

•July 23, 2013 • Leave a Comment

Small business joint ventures and natural non-profits can make a powerful combination of thought. Look at the world of thought and products based on the American Buffalo!

The Buffalo Collection at Scenic Mesa makes fine hand-made furniture upholstered with American Buffalo leather.

American Bison Leather LLC tans and wholesales buffalo leather.

The Buffalo Leather Store LLC retails small amounts of buffalo leather.

The National Bison Association promotes all things bison and supports ranchers and the meat business.

The Intertribal Cooperative returns buffalo herds to the reservations.

Ted’s Montana Grills nationwide feature buffalo burgers as restaurant fare.

Holistic Resource Management advocates restoration of land health using livestock such as buffalo and timed grazing.

Biodynamics advocates restoration of land health using organic preparations made with buffalo.

The American public seeks reconnection with American roots and the iconic American Buffalo.

All these diverse sides of buffalo interest and activity can work together enhancing our connection to our heritage and cultural identity.

What avenue interests you most? Where would you like to connect with he American buffalo? dinner, leather goods, natural stewardship of the range with buffalo, supporting American ranchers? All these avenues are open to you!

Julie Littlefield

Values in the 21st Century

•June 20, 2013 • Leave a Comment

I’m grateful to be born an American. When we see the problems around the world, this is the best place to be.

But we have to support America – values, products, companies, fellow citizens who make it all work. Yes, we live in a global age. American products are a part of that.

So, I’d like to put in a word for the iconic American Bison. This animal is unique to our country and ecosystem. It thrives in a tough wild west environment that is hard on domestic stock from other parts of the world. Bison provided the resources for indigenous Americans – food, clothing, weapons, habitation. Now we are using Bison leather to make the very best furniture in America.

This is superb leather, thick, strong, soft. And it was being discarded in landfills not so long ago.
So what are these values to cherish?
American iconic animal
premium quality
thick leather
strong leather
soft leather
handcrafted leather trim
handcrafted maple frames
8-way hand-tied springs
classic style and design.

Where are your values in this list? What are the core beliefs and values you’ve redefined for yourself in this new age?

I know I have a more focused, simpler life. I know the well-being of my biological family and my corporate family are central to thought and actions.
I know values such as ethical treatment and behavior, responsibility for decisions and actions, paying the bill on time, rewarding ethical behavior and customer service, and building a strong future for corporation and family – are what I put first.

Come stand with us.

Julie Littlefield, The Buffalo Collection at Scenic Mesa

Work with the Best

•October 3, 2012 • Leave a Comment

The Buffalo Collection at Scenic Mesa has the honor to work with the best craftsmen in the furniture industry. These days value counts. You can’t afford to include under your brand umbrella anything of quality you can’t defend – with pride.

I’m happy to say our buffalo leather tanage and color selection is the best. It has a soft “hand”, wears like iron, can be deep-cleaned by a leather professional 9-10 times, and can either be finished smooth or “shrunken” with a rich grain. You can’t get better American Buffalo leather. Period.

Our furniture also boasts hardwood frames, eight-way hand-tied springs, and time-honored hand workmanship. It can also be built as one-at-a-time custom orders or by the container-load. This is the best of both worlds — the best in American traditional hand craftsmanship.

To fill out the Buffalo Collection look, we add tables, lamps, rugs, and home accessories – all made by the finest artisans and craftsmen we can find. Look at our website to see the depth of the collection and how these pieces compliment each other.

I can honestly say that in these tough economic times I am proud to be able to rely on these fine people, firms, and leather materials. You can be too!

Warm regards, Julie

Today

•September 28, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Do we have to wait for the elections to be over for consumer confidence to return and buying to begin? It looks like it. So, what do we do until then? PREPARE.

We’re making pillow, new furniture lines, accessories – all to be ready by early November. Yes, it costs money up front, but when customers begin to buy again, “just-in-time” inventory control doesn’t work. There isn’t time to order and restock. They want it now, for the holidays.

Getting ready up front costs the vendor real money. You don’t know for certain what they’ll buy. It’s a gamble. That’s business. As long as you have a discount outlet to move those items you thought would sell but didn’t., you’ll be alright.

But stocking up and sitting waiting won’t pay this month’s and next month’s bills. So what is your off-season plan?

With us it’s a change in venue. Our store managers switch to sales calls outside the store: to hospitality, to new high-end homeowners, to selling leather as well as specific furniture pieces. And that’s fun. It’s on-on-one. It’s getting outside of the store location. It’s arranging your own schedule.

So far we’ve had some nice sales of custom products during the slow season. People seem to have enough time to think purchases through and decide to move ahead. In other words, its a good time for our managers to get back to those customers who’d mentioned projects and plans earlier. Both buyer and seller seem to have time and inclination to think things through. (We’ve gone so far as to lock the store doors when sitting down on a project with a customer.)

It’s a whole new set of circumstances, yes, but it’s a retail situation as old as the hills.

Hang on. I wish you well! Julie

Business and Banks Today

•July 19, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Hey Small Business Owners!

We’re in the new world and apparently not going back to the way it was. Cash flow is now the whole game, without good options for borrowing, lines of credit, and general support and encouragement of business by banks. If you were smart enough to build your business the hard way – with cash earned and no mortgage – you are sitting pretty. If not, things are changing and likely to get too tough. But if you can self-finance, you can have anything you want – leases, materials, even contract employees. And that’s the new reality. And that is a great way to operate.

So, if you can slim down your overhead and live on what you make you’ll grow and prosper.

Now the flip side is tempting, but ultimately a killer: don’t be tempted to keep the incoming cash and commingle personal and business expenses. Ultimately that will fritter away the vital operating funds to keep the business healthy and growing.

Fundamentally your plan for success requires that you build a cash cow with your business – generating true net profits that you can indeed spend as you wish. I don’t know why that’s such a hard concept for some of us, but it is the key to success.

Over the years in business, we see a lot of different ways people operate – and we see the results. I’m watching a friend go down the slippery slope of retaining payments without reinvestment. It’s hard to watch; he’s headed for a fall, and I need his continuing services. So, learn from those around you – you don’t have to make those same mistakes.

Success to you! Julie

It’s the Little Things that Make All the difference

•July 9, 2012 • Leave a Comment

We make and sell American buffalo leather. It comes in all weights and colors – and soon it gets hard to stay on top of all the iterations. Do you throw up your hands, send wrong material, destroy your reputation in a flash? No. Cooler heads can prevail.

It takes the simple mindset of a housewife. Orderly. One thing at a time. get the dinner on the table all at the same time – meat takes 1 hour, veggies 10 minutes, potatoes 40 minutes, dessert 20 minutes. We do it every day. It isn’t impossible.

If all you can manage in your sales program is three choices, then limit your offerings to that until you can build from there. But don’t let things get so complicated that you lose control, send wrong products, and lose your business reputation in the process.

After all, it IS the little things that make the difference. The right color. The right weight. On time as ordered. A followup call to see that the customer is happy. That’s not so hard – but too ofter overlooked.

Maybe it’s the Golden Rule applied as well. How would you want to be treated? Now that we’re mired in the Recession, each sale is a blessing, each customer to be cherished and treated right. And it’s good for your soul as well; a sense of peace. knowing that you have indeed done things right.

So that’s how we do business at Great American Bison. How about you?

Regards, Julie Littlefield

Confidence in the New Economy

•July 3, 2012 • Leave a Comment

Interesting opportunities abound in this transition time. Plenty of commercial rental space is available in key locations. New items are hot, while what worked 5 years ago is not. Yes, more than ever it is the relationship and spirit of trust that give buyers the confidence they need to buy from you.
The Buffalo Collection at Scenic Mesa has two rental storelocations: in Aspen and Scottsdale. We can put our buffalo leather furniture and home accessories in front of the world for sales and comment. Feedback has been terrific. Sales are growing. We have our finger on the pulse of what consumers like and want.
These locations were unavailable and beyond us 3 years ago. Today’s market brought changes and new opportunities we’re taking advantage of. In addition to these stores of our own, we’ve been able to partner with Maverick’s in Santa Fe, Gun Powder Ranch in MD, and Rawhide in Oklahoma City. These stores now carry our products and expand our reach to customers.
It isn’t enough to be “Made in America” – the products today have to be beautiful and seen to be of real value. No more “cheaper by the dozen” running off the assembly line.
So, the time is right for us. For you too? I encourage you to look at your American product with the eyes of the new consumer. Are you making something classic and of lasting value here in America? If so, the time is right for you as well. Take advantage of this market and bet on the future. Now is your opportunity.
Warm regards, Julie Littlefield, proprietor

 
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