Smittys Rancho – Slowly Creating a Brand

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There are hundreds of thousands of different approaches and ideas on brand creation. If you were to research the subject, you would find many different articles and blogs focused specifically on the subject.

One in particular states “An image makes a company distinctive, or unique, compared to others in the market”. “Creating a Brand”.   I like this description because it quickly sums up my thoughts on the Smittys Rancho products we offer on our website. The common thread tying our products to one another from my point of view is bright colors, clean lines, and pretty styling.

As we add products to our line one by one, we take many things into consideration including end cost to the customer as well as profitability for the company.

I wanted to take a few moments this week and show you some of the process behind our one of a kind, handmade Smittys Rancho Brand items.   Let’s head over to my workshop… and I’ll tell you the story along the way.

Last September I bought and refabbed a used construction trailer for a thousand dollars to use as my sewing workshop. Here it is after I purchased it and cleaned up the exterior.

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The interior took about a month to clean, paint, install flooring, and finally purchase and move in the equipment. Here are a few shots of the interior in the ‘early days

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So I had equipment and a nice new workshop, and I started puttering around with some sewing projects… all the while in search of some projects that would actually generate income to help offset some of the refab cost. I was scrolling through posts on Craigslist one afternoon and I spotted a post for sewing help needed. Little did I know the unique and fun opportunities that would come from responding to that one post.

I quickly made contact and discovered the project was constructing female oriented hunting bow cases. I was very excited when I saw a picture of the product and received the pattern and materials; I could hardly wait to get started on it. Here are some pictures of the bow cases in progress and completed.

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As the business relationship continued between Smittys Rancho founder Jeanette and I, we discussed new products, tested them, and added them to the brand. Currently we offer the beautiful bow and arrow cases pictured above, the soft and colorful tennis racquet tote, the regular and concealed carry totes, the cute and compact bow clutches, and our newest product, the reversible camo headband.

Here are some more pictures of Smittys Rancho Brand products in the process of being constructed in the workshop.

 

Camo Totes

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Bow Clutches

innards  1 2 4 3 5 laid out with bows ready in progress - one completed 1924350_683016875113151_7577275902816439798_n seven finished

Camo Headbands

torpedos

flattened torpedos

completed

Headband on foam head

 

As we go forward introducing more new and exciting female-oriented Smittys Rancho Brand camo products in the future, I know you will love receiving them as much as we love making them for you.

Thanks for joining me on this little tour, and see you next time!

Ree 2014

Advertisements

Sorry for the Interruption but there’s Big News! 20% off EVERYTHING in the Smitty’s Rancho Store now through Black Friday.

Yes, it’s the sale you’ve been waiting for all year long – the best handpicked products from our respected suppliers – all on sale right here, right now.

Browse the whole store or pick your favorite brands. Use the links below and get started right away because this offer is only going on until Black Friday.

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Wilderness Dreams  Montana west

Prois   Haley Vines

Gun Totn Mamas   Shady Lady

lizzy js  Wise Foods

Ducks Unlimited  Bushnell

Sawyer  webers

Cross Power   New Dawn

Kaito   Majer

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And finally our very own Smittys Rancho Brand Products

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Thanks for shopping and see you soon as we resume our usual blog offerings.

Ree 2014

Smittys Rancho – Pondering the Power of Social Media and Networking

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Being a lifelong learner, I am like a sponge when it comes to gaining new knowledge, and I love being able to share it and discuss it with others. This past week I was fortunate enough to have received an invitation to a seminar being held at a local college so I went.

I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but I was pleasantly surprised by the information included in the presentation, and I am going to share a few points I learned with you today… because I found it very interesting and pertinent to what we do here at Smittys Rancho – provide you with products that are unique and geared towards a specific niche audience.

In the past, retailers relied on media like newspaper and magazine advertising, as well as television to get the word out about their products. Of course it goes without saying – word of mouth has been around just about forever.  Today with the power of the internet in hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses, retailers can do business in a whole new way.

Tools like this blog, websites, newsletters, emails, and the like, all have been developed in order to exchange information and provide products to potential customers. But… as I learned in the seminar, it is all for naught if there isn’t the internet’s version of ‘word of mouth’.   This includes sites like Pintrest, LinkedIn, Face Book, etc… anywhere that people gather to talk, discuss, and share their opinions and thoughts on products and services.

In the seminar, we learned that if I were to share one thing on my Face Book page, there is the potential for close to 200 people (the number of contacts I have in there) seeing it and possibly sharing it or talking about it. That’s powerful when you think of the ‘trickle effect’ that could happen if those people shared it, and people they know shared it, etc.   It’s a retailer’s fondest dream (or worst nightmare as the case could be if customers have a negative opinion of their service or products).

Here at Smittys Rancho, we try very hard to treat our customers with respect and like family – because you and your opinions are THAT important to us. Growing a business and creating a brand are never easy, and every contact counts. That’s why I wanted to take some time to tell you in person that we really love hearing from you.

For us to improve what we offer and serve your needs better, we need to hear what you like as well as dislike about our products. And of course if you like our products, we’d love for you to SHARE us with your social media contacts… remember – trickle down.

Our owner/founder Jeannette always has an ‘ear to the ground’ scouting out the latest and greatest products which are hand selected and added to the Smittys Rancho offerings for you. And now that we have a brick & mortar location here in Massillon Ohio, we have an even better way to listen to you – in person!

Anyway, I just thought I would take a minute and let you know how important you are to us… and next time we meet – at the suggestion of Jeanette, I’m going to take you into my own personal workspace and you can see the infant stages of our very own Smittys Rancho brand products ‘being born’.

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I hope you will find it as exciting as we do.

Thanks for coming and see you next time.

Ree 2014

Smittys Rancho Presents November… Voting and Turkey Time!

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Today I’m going a bit off topic from our normal posts which generally include the awesome products offered to you on our Smittys Rancho website – to bring you a reminder about the upcoming election week, and a fun play by play on what to do after you bag that turkey this season. Soooo…. here we go.

In case you missed it, on September 24, 2014 we presented some information on the upcoming gun vote.  I wanted to refresh your memory on this today because this coming week is election week, where a lot of important decisions rest in our hands.

You can click on the picture above if you would like to either refresh your memory on the earlier post, or to have a look at it for the first time.

I feel it is important for us to have good information and be informed as we go to the polls, and as we communicate with members of the government about our rights and our needs.  Stand up for your rights and make sure to VOTE.

And now, about that bird…

So you got lucky and bagged yourself a live turkey for Thanksgiving… now what do you do in order to get all that delicious meat on your table?   Whether you are a newbie to cleaning a bird, or an old hand at it, I hope you enjoy the following information.

I did a bit of research on the subject and below is a basic step by step process.  There are many ways to accomplish the goal, so if you do it differently, by all means share with us and our other respected customers via the comment area of this blog.  We’d love to hear from you.  (Recipes are more than welcome welcome too).

The following  process and picture comes to us from the folks at Braided Bower Farm in Cheshire Oregon.  “Thanksgiving”.

bird

I have abbreviated their steps here, but you can read the whole interesting article (and view the pictures) by clicking the link or picture above.

The author states that rinsing throughout the whole process makes it easier to see what you’re doing and keep things cleaner.

  • You already have a dead bird on your hands so bleeding it out is the necessary first step. Now I read in the article that they bleed out better if you slit their neck while they are still alive so the heart pumps out the blood – but hunters normally already have taken care of the killing part, so cutting off the head and hanging upside down should be done asap after you have your bird.
  • Next the feathers need to be removed.  Bower Farm chose to do this outdoors with a cut down food grade 55 gallon drum atop a Coleman stove.  Water heated to 140 degrees.
  • The bird was dipped and soaked for about 30 seconds at which time most of the feathers began to loosen significantly. Feather removal was done in a wheelbarrow – but you may select any area you wish to do this – it will be super messy!
  • For the bigger diameter feathers (like the wing and tail areas) they scalded the bird – they caution this must be done carefully to avoid damaging the skin tissue.
  • Next the innards must be removed. A gentle slit was made between the breastbone and tail.   The area is soft so caution must be used to only cut the skin – not the innards.
  • Stick your hand through the opening you created and grasp the entrails to remove – leaving the intestines in there temporarily.
  • Make an additional slit in the bird’s rear orifice while holding the intestines away from cutting area (hand inside the bird for that). The vent allows easier removal of the intestines – which need to be removed carefully to discourage the contents from evacuating into the cavity.
  • Cut off the feet at the ‘elbow’ – this leaves you with a nice pair of drumsticks for folks to gnaw on later.
  • Next remove the neck.  Bower Farm used a hacksaw for this, but state a butcher knife can be used also.
  • Now it’s time to clean out the rest of the cavity.  The author states that the lungs will give you a difficult time so you may want to purchase what’s called a ‘lung scraper’ for this.
  • After it’s cleaned out it’s time to rinse rinse rinse, and then into a nice icy bath to assist with cooling it down if there is still any heat from the hot water earlier.
  • If you plan to cook your bird right away, now’s the time to get out your favorite recipe, if not pop it into the freezer and save for later.

Many thanks to the folks at Bower Farms for sharing their experience online – great article and pictures!

That’s all for today, we appreciate you joining us, and see you next time…. and remember to VOTE!

Ree 2014