Our company is a privately held company. The company was established in 1994. Prior to 1994, I was in the Navy at NAS Whidbey Island. I joined the Navy in April of 1987. I attended boot camp in Orlando, Florida and my first assignment was a reserve squadron attached to the USS Belleau Wood and later VAQ-129. Next, I joined active duty and was assigned to VAQ-35 and VAQ-142. After my first active duy assignment, I re-enlisted and went to FASOTRAGRUPAC for another 3 years as an Instructor. When that enlistment was up, I left the Navy (with many great memories). After leaving the Navy, I stumbled across a man selling coat of arms at a department store. I was instantly hooked. I immediately bought into the coat of arms franchise, and started selling at a local mall during the Christmas Holiday. I also started my web page at this time, which brought almost zero income. The Mall was a disaster! We barely broke even for the two month holiday period. During that holiday, we started selling Flag accessories to supplement the coat of arms sales. After christmas, we decided to try our luck in a permanent location. We opened a Flag / Coat of Arms store in downtown Portland, Oregon in a high rent district. Another Disaster! That store lasted a little over a year. However, one really good thing came out of the store in Portland. We were invited to the Portland Rose Festival, which was taking place only a few blocks from our store. We made more profit at that festival than we had made in our entire year at the store. So, that was it. We closed the store, and signed up for as many Fairs & Festivals as we could find. It was an instant success. We dropped the Flag accessories, and sold only Coats of Arms. We continue to attend a few of these Fairs today, but we are now mostly web based. Our Web business increased little by little. Originally we would get 10 visitors a day to our site. We now log over 10,000 unique visitors a day to our web page. Counting our suppliers, our company now effectively employs dozens of people.
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