Success in business happens though education followed by experience, cooperation, collaboration, diligent pursuit by a leader and the agents mentors and vendors who support the goals and direction of the person leading the project. I want to thank the people and companies who have believed in my goal, sold me tools and materials, advised me wisely, answered my questions to foster my business to grow steadily since 2000. The list will soon be published in this blog.

HISTORY In the summer of 2000, my second season of wood turning on a foot lathe, I realized I needed to change my products of wooden mallets and rolling pins to items with better sales potential. I studied a book about old time toys and decided to make peg tops on the Folk Center’s foot lathe in hopes I could rebuild interest in toy tops. Kay Thomas was Craft Director and she gave her approval and good wishes to sell them. I made and sold 38 tops in September and October and during that time Bob and Connie Sykes of Russellville, Arkansas visited the Folk Center and watched me turn wooden tops. Bob commented that I might need an electric lathe if the tops sold fast and offered his as a gift for my new project. In November I made the trip to Sykes’ to get a bench lathe made in Rochester, NY before 1940 by Taylor Mfg. and it came with an electric motor. Once I got the lathe and motor mounted to a workbench I went looking for an adjustable platform base to fasten the motor to and found a bargain at in Mountain View making them my first vendor for this work. A saying about business is that you must spend money to make money…it was taught to me as a teenager and I repeat it to myself frequently.

Once this project took root all I could see was expenses to acquire books, hand tools, equipment and supplies. In 2001 for a seven month tourist season I made and sold 258 tops. Time was needed for study, research, writing my demonstration aspects and top spinning instructions, preparation of wood for turning, preparation of buttons to tie to cotton strings to accompany every top sold. The pace was fast and left no time for relaxation other than to crash in bed every night. Local vendors were great help yet I could see doubt in their expressions as I would describe my craft and goals. They included , , , and in Batesville, Arkansas. The Internet then became a viable source of information

Leave a Comment