Wildlife and Outdoor Themes
Create a Unique Niche for
Rocky Mountain Carpet Gallery
Michael Barnett spent 16 years in law enforcement, working in jurisdictions
as diverse as Aspen, Colorado, and Los Angeles, California.
Yet despite the exitement of a law enforcement carrier, Barnett says
he didn't find his true calling until he began Rocky Mountain Carpet
Gallery, the carpet sculpture business he now operates from his home
in Pocatello, Idaho.
"I just wish I hadn't been over 40 when I finally discovered this,"
Barnett jokes. "These days I'm working harder than I ever have, but
I'm enjoying every minute of it."
In the two years that he has been operating Rocky Mountain Carpet Gallery,
Barnett has developed a speciality -- creating carpet sculptures with
wildlife and outdoor themes. Although referrals generate much of his
business, he has found wildlife and hunting shows are also a good source
Barnett is unusual
among Carpet Sculpture Gallery® licensees in that he has never exhibited
at a home show, although he plans to do so, soon.
"I find I'm as busy as I want to be," Barnett said. "In fact, I plan
to take a few weeks this winter to work on some projects that I want
to do, including creating some samples I can exhibit. Until now, I've
been borrowing back finished pieces from my customers, just so I would
have something to show -- that's how busy it's been."
Barnett says he knew from the start that this enterprise was right
for him. "It just clicked the minute I saw the first ad about it," he
recalls. "I recognized right away that I'd finally found a practical
way to make a living as an artist."
He adds, though, that artistic talent is not essential to success.
"You need some manual dexterity, but you don't need to be exceptionally
gifted," he said. "The main thing is to do exactly what Volker tells
"The most difficult thing for me is to keep up the discipline of marketing,"
he added. "I'm always tempted to just lock myself in the shop and go
to work when I have orders waiting, but I discipline myself to make
time every week to get out and talk to people to generate future leads."
Mike sent us this update together with the picture some time ago:
"Things are moving right along. I’ve been running a pretty consistent
8-10 order backlog -- knock on wood! Plus, I need to find time to make
pieces that aren’t pre-sold to exhibit in upcoming shows.
I’ve been invited to create several Native American theme pieces to
show in New York in November, and am booked into a couple of wildlife/hunting
shows over the next 6 months. I just had a wildlife piece featured in
a coffee table book on building/decorating trophy rooms, and the cougar
piece was submitted by the client for a magazine cover ..."
Sculptured Carpet Selections:
The Right Idea at the Right Time
She doesn't claim to have planned it this way, but Sonja Cox will be
the first to tell you she and her husband Robert have had great timing
in the launch of their Raleigh, North Carolina business, Sculptured
"We've only been operating for about six months, but we've had
some fortunate timing," Mrs. Cox said. "Everything followed
in a logical order, and when one step was finished, the next was ready
The Coxes decided to become a Carpet Sculpture Gallery® Licensee
after the 1995 International Franchise Exposition in Washington, D.C.
They completed training in June (95). July was spent setting up their
in-home operations, and August was devoted to completing an initial
collection of samples, with the goal of exhibiting at a September home
"It got a bit hectic toward the end, and we were still backing
and binding on the last day before the show," she recalled. "But
we got it done, just in time."
As soon as the home show ended, they realized they already needed to
expand, Mrs. Cox said. But again, their timing was just right.
"We found the shop and built the tables we need to really do the
work right," she said. "and that very day the shop was finally
ready, the first order came in."
Since then, referrals have generated many more orders.
"I'm amazed at the responses we get," she said. "In
fact, just to see the look on a customer's face when you deliver a product
that pleases them so much -- that's very rewarding."
That type of reward is exactly what the Coxes were seeking after spending
nine years in retailing. "We weren't ready to retire, but we were
looking for something we would both enjoy, without having to tie up
a lot of cash in inventory," she explained.
In addition, the Coxes wanted something where they could exercise some
creativity and work with their hands, she added.
"And, of course, this also gives us a lot more flexibility than
retailing, where you are tied to the store," she noted.
The business has grown so quickly that the Coxes hired their 24 year
old daughter to handle customer relations, helping customers choose
from among the design patterns.
"She is very good at working with people, and a number of customers
have had very favorable comments," Mrs. Cox said. "That's
another reward we've found."
"You have to believe in yourself, and your product," she
added. "That's very important, especially when you're just getting
started. Once you start, you need to stick with it."
CSG Licensee's Success Stories by Gary Bokelman, Tilson & Associates,
Public Relations, 4400 North Federal Hwy., Suite 210, Boca Ratton, FL
Unsolicited Testimonials from
Denise Murray from Illinois writes:
"This training program was well worth the investment. The training
was well organized and each activity prepared you for the next (more
difficult) step. The professionalism of the Carpet Sculpture Gallery®
Staff is beyond reproach. I am amazed and extremely pleased with everything
that was presented in the last 4 days. Thank you!!! ..."
Steven Wright from California wrote:
... "Your Training Course is Excellent! Everybody is so helpful.
this is a Great Opportunity for me!"
Vicky Nordahl from Maryland comments:
"You could not have been more helpful. I learned a great deal
of very useful information regarding everything under the sun about
carpets and designing them. Thank you so much. I can't wait to start
my new career."
Paula Vinson of North Carolina has this to say after her training:
... ”I want to express my gratitude for the Key Palm Cutter, it is
truly appreciated. I would also like to say that I am in awe with one
of the most beautiful art forms I have ever seen. The pictures, as lovely
as they are, do no justice to the actual product. I have looked for
over a decade for a “labor-of-love” -- this is my blessing. Thank you
Vicky Switzer from California writes:
"Just a note to state that it is a pleasure (and very encouraging)
to be affiliated with a company that practices what it teaches.
We received much more than we anticipated. -- And the integrity and
follow-through were a great model for how to run our own business. Thank
you so much for the time, 100% effort and quality of work ..."
Alan Switzer, Vicky's Husband had these comments:
"This was a wonderfule experience. Gina, Volker, David and the
entire staff at CSG were helpful, caring, and went out of their way
to help us learn and understand our new business. You have created an
intense and invaluable learning experience. We are looking forward to
being associated with you for many years to come. Thank you very,very
Jim Kanter from Nebraska who started part-time in his new business
“Things are going well... started full time a couple of months ago
and have completed three projects and many samples. My first customer
is so pleased with her 5’ x 7’ entry rug she is ordering two more. One
9’ x 12’ inlaid all four corners with wild flowers for under her dining
room table and another half circle shaped rug with inlaid wild flowers
(she loves wild flowers) to be placed in front of her fire place ...”
Alexander Anissimov, formerly from Moscow, Russia, wrote:
... ”Thank you very much again for your help in organizing show samples
for home show we have had in L.A. Convention Center ... The show was
wonderful, we picked up about 60 leads there. The music we heard and
were impressed was, “It is gorgeous!”... It is my pleasure to work with
such nice people like you ...”
More Unsolicited Comments From CSG Licensees
"I was very impressed with your training for various reasons,
which I will try to address. My expectations were met, especially with
your follow-up support. You taught what I need to know about the hands-on
work and the video will continue to reinforce the learning experience.
I want to say that your professionalism and attention to detail were
exemplary. It was very evident that you spent much time and many resources
to have it all run smoothly. I did not need to waste a minute of the
very valuable time in training.
In your request to rate the training on a scale of one to ten, I
gave you a nine. Ten would be a perfect score, which means there is
no more room for improvement, and that is unrealistic even after the
tenth or hundredth class. Dave is a great sculptor and teacher. I feel
like I was being trained by the best. Volker, you and Gina are two of
the most delightful people I have met, especially in a professional
setting. I greatly value your honesty and integrity, and I look forward
to a long relationship with you."
Werner Lindemaier, Washington
The fastest, most creative business to be trained for that I have
ever seen -- and I was born in 1918 -- which means I have seen a lot
of opportunities. Hands-on training by competent trainers. Excellent
overseeing by administrators, follow-through in business part of program
- superb. This is a new beginning for us. We are ready!"
Stewart and Julia Douglas, California
"Thank you for giving me the opportunity to become part of
your CSG family. You don't know how long I've been looking for a home-based
business that would not only be challenging, but also fun to operate.
When I saw your beautiful carpet sculpture, I knew right away that this
was it -- my search was over. But ... would I have the artistic ability
to create these stunning works of art? It looked difficult, but I was
willing to try. When I arrived at CSG, I was a little nervous, because
my financial future was at stake. However, your whole staff was great,
they treated me as family and gave me the encouragement I needed. It
was fantastic to learn so much in such a short time.
Now I am able to offer my customers totally personalized carpets
in any color and style they want. It's such a fun business because people
come to me with designs from their wallpaper, upholstery, or stainded-glass
windows. I can turn their designs into beautiful works of art. I want
to thank you and your whole staff for teaching me this wonderful business.
Gina, your tender, sweet personality reminds me so much of my own mother.
If I didn't already have a great mother, I might let you adopt me ...
Ha! Thanks again. Gratefully,"
Jeannie Hanks, Colorado
"The instructors were great! Very clear, very patient. Well
organized - Things were on time and time was very well budgeted. Low
teacher/student ratio made for lots of personal attention. Also it was
encouraging to watch progress of everybody."
Judith Krupka, Michigan
"Outstanding Training Seminar. Very Impressed By The Quality
Of The Product And The Courtesy Extended By All Gallery Employees. It's
A Pleasure To Be Affiliated With Your Organization."
Dale Skidmore, North Carolina
"All staff was very helpful and supportive. Excellent training
for a four day workshop ..."
Colleen Johnson, Pennsylvania
"I enjoyed the Course a great deal, and I am glad I signed
up. The staff was very professional and helpful. It is good to know
we have a good organization behind us."
Ron Cole, Maryland
"This has been a wonderful experience for me and for Dale!
We are truly thankful for the opportunity to be Licensees of Carpet
Sculpture Gallery®. Thank you Volker & Gina for all you've done
to help us get started! We appreciate how kindly we were treated. You
are wonderful Folks. Everyone has been so nice! Thank you, Thank you!"
Beverly Skidmore, North Carolina
"This is by far the best class I have ever attended. Everyone
was so helpful, you feel like a part of the family. I have learned so
much in such a short time. The Carpet Sculpture Gallery® has changed
my life forever. Thanks Millions!"
Jerry Tamayo, California
"This was a most comprehensive, most detailed, most enjoyable
learning experience! It's positive, it's encouraging, it opens up my
horizon as to marketing and sales approaches in addition to learning
a great new trade ... a business opportunity made feasible through genuine,
honest effort of Volker's and Gina's. At the end you know you got much
more out of this investment than you'd expect. My thumbs go up for this
Gerhard Sagasser, California
"I received true value for money spent and I rate your operation
Thomas Nishiyama, Hawaii
"Volker and Gina, I am so excited about my new career! I will
miss you both. Thank you!"
Dawn Liljestrand, Florida
"The class size is ideal and I liked the student/teacher ratio.
I just loved the family relationship that was present."
Brenda H. Hilliard, Michigan
"We are so enthusiastic about the new craft we just learned,
we can't wait to share it with family, friends and the rest of the world!
The 3 day training was very intensive, but it was a lot better than
any other we have attended. Volker and Gina - you are blessed with a
wonderful CSG family and we are very grateful for sharing with us. To
all of you - God bless!"
Ed and Nonette Feria, California
"I enjoyed the workshop very much and feel overwhelmed with
information. Everyone was so nice and very helpful. Thank you so much
for the training and hospitality."
Mary Yee, Massachusetts
"I was very impressed with the training I received at the Carpet
Sculpture Gallery®, exceptional class, helpful supportive instructors.
Every detail of Carpet Sculpture and design was covered. I would enthusiastically
recommend this training to anyone who wants to be successful."
Dean Reifschneider, California
"Good Course! I rate the quality of your workshop and marketing
a perfect TEN!"
George Ginder, Arizona
Thank you for a great opportunity to start my own profitable business.
It was a pleasant surprise that I received a lot more than I hoped for.
I not only learned an amazing craft that is fun to create, but was also
introduced to marketing techniques that aren't taught in any business
college. Most of all I learned from Volker how I can offer inlaid
carpet for the price of regular store-bought carpet. I can't wait to
get home and start on my successful future."
Kim Daues, Texas
"Prosperity is the reward of the righteous"