Turtle Creek Gallery
Freeman Van Wickler decided to turn his passion for Native American art from the North and South America into a business. He relocated to the growing tourist area in Asheville, NC. "I started out on my own," he explains, "but quickly got in over my head." That’s when he remembered SCORE. "I called the local SCORE chapter, which partnered me with an experienced retail professional. It was the best business alliance I ever made."
Van Wickler attended another marketing review early in June of 1996. That’s one of the ways he’s hoping to branch out. Another way he’s growing is with technology. He began computerizing his inventory and record-keeping. Part of Van Wickler’s key to success is to keep learning and changing in order to stay current and respond to customer needs. The addition of the Turtle Creek Gallery web site is one more step in the evolution of Van Wickler’s business.
Van Wickler encourages folks to stop by Turtle Creek if they’re ever in the Asheville area. He'd love to talk SCORE with them and to show them his Native American wall hangings, pottery, sculpture, basketry and jewelry.
During the time Van Wickler and his SCORE mentor Stan Taxel met, they developed strategies to reposition the store and focus on in-store marketing. The strategies worked and brought this new retail business unprecedented success. Van Wickler says, "Stan had it all. He knew about display, lighting, logistics, advertising, financial management—everything I needed. He shared so many pointers that I would have spent years trying to learn. His expertise got my business off the ground."
Today, Van Wickler calls upon SCORE’s assistance as specific questions arise. "They’re my sounding board," he emphasizes
“I always have a back-up with SCORE. They give me the confidence to keep moving . . . to know I can do it. I could never have afforded the expertise SCORE has shared with me. It has been truly invaluable.” says Freeman Van Wickler.