Small cataloger benefits from power of the press

A six-page feature story in the September issue of “Country Living” magazine provided small home furnishings cataloger Frecklefarm with a sizable boost in sales, reports owner/founder Robin Sherwood.

Unionville, PA-based Frecklefarm, which charges $4 for the annual catalog, has doubled the number of new subscribers since the article ran from 5,000 to 10,000. At the same time, the catalog’s average order size has nearly quadrupled, from $125 to $450, as many of the new customers ordered quilts, which costs as much as $600. “They ordered a quilt, then called again to order another quilt as a gift,” Sherwood says. “I really didn’t expect this much business.”

The $18,000 company, which relies on the paid subscriptions to its annual magalog for 65% of its business and the rest on its catalog merchandise sales for the rest, attracted many visitors to its Website, which isn’t equipped to handle orders. So they then phoned the company. “They called us and said, We want that new look that the magazine article seemed to create,” Sherwood says. “They wanted to know how we could help them create the look for themselves.”