We had the good fortune of connecting with Herb & Amy Kaplan and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Herb & Amy, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
The thought process of opening our own business was > Financial Independence (LOL – one of us worked at a “real” job and the other worked 90+ hours a week at the fledgling store)
> Reduced workload (LMAO – 90+ hours per week)
> Free time to take time off whenever we wanted (LMAO – 3+ years without a vacation)
> Be the boss and make the rules (ROTFL – now we worry about employees and their assorted issues.)
All of this was done while keeping the eye on the prize of growing a successful business. This vision of success is kept us going throughout the numerous battles of keeping the company moving forward
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
When taking the risk of opening our 4th business venture on a shoe-string budget,,.. we decided to call it “Lucky #4”. While the previous three ventures failed, we learned a great deal that we applied to #4. We started with an ecommerce business. However, it morphed into a brick and mortar game store that has an ecommerce component. As they say, go with the flow. The path to our current status has not been easy. We opened a retail business when the trend to do everything on-line, went through a bankruptcy, survived the lock-down of Covid-19 and learned about what to do and more importantly what NOT to do! We overcame all of these by supporting each other through the rough times and celebrating the good times. The world needs to know that our baby, FREE RANGE PUMPKINS, is happy and healthy and this is why. We have 8 employees, will be celebrating our 4th anniversary in March 2022 and are expanding from a 1,600 square foot location to a 4,100 square foot location in January 2022!!! What helped our growth, is our philosophy of creating a warm and welcoming community for all of our customers.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
There is so much to do in the DFW area it is hard to narrow it down. However, here is my list (in no particular order): > Of course you must start with a visit to FREE RANGE PUMPKINS! DFW’s best game, hobby and comic collectible start and winner of the prestigious Golden Avocado award.
> Maple Motor Burgers – fantastic burgers and fried baloney sandwich’s
> Fort Worth Zoo
> Deep Elum – for a funky experience
> Dallas Aquarium
> Museum of Nature and Science
> Kimball Art Museum
> Mesquite Rodeo
> Six Flags
> Take in a Texas Ranger or Dallas Star Game
> Lake Joe Pool to rent a boat and do some water skiing
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
They say it takes a village to raise a child. Well, the same thing can be said about opening and growing a business. We need to thank the support and guidance of our respective parents. While growing up they let us know that anything was possible if a person was willing to work hard, take risks and having a little bit of luck never hurt in the road to success. During the early years we found that other store owners were willing to share information about how they became successes. They provided us with information about displays, merchandise, marketing, shelving, etc. Some of the advise was great…some not so good. However in every instant, we learned and/or adopted something that worked for us. Lastly, you never know where a great idea can be found. We were fortunate in that our family, friends and customers made some great suggestions that has significantly helped our business. All of the aforementioned individuals deserve a shout-out.