This month Catalog Age debuts its “Getting personal” feature, a brief interview with someone in the catalog trenches. Our first subject is Dave Pimper, president/CEO of Wall Street Creations, a catalog of business-related gifts based in Rome, GA.
Q. What was your first job out of college?
A. I worked for my father’s car dealership. My father had taken over the business from my grandfather, who had purchased it in 1921. I started there in 1977.
Q. How did you get into the catalog business?
A. My wife and I moved to Rome, GA, in ’84 and started a stock brokerage firm, which we still own. Years later, in ’93, we were constructing a building for the business and commissioned someone to make a bronze bull and a bronze bear for the entrance. We received many compliments on it, so I thought, “I bet I can market that.” Our first catalog was published for the holiday season of ’94.
Q. What are your favorite Websites?
A. I have to say, I’m 44 years old and not too Web savvy. I ordered a Palm Pilot the other day, but I had one of the guys I work with actually go to the page and find the item for me. I’ve probably purchased only two or three items online. But I’m learning!
Q. What was your most embarrassing moment on the job?
A. In the very beginning I was taking orders by hand – I didn’t know how to use the computer – and I was asking callers lots of questions to build a customer profile. At the time, my photo appeared in the catalog with my name below it. At some point, a caller became annoyed with all my questions and yelled that she was going to send a letter to David Pimper about me and that she wanted our address. I gave it to her, and I did get the letter. But I never told her that I was David Pimper.
Q. Who is your favorite cartoon character?
A. The Roadrunner. Anvils get dropped on his head, and Wiley E. Coyote shoots him, but he never dies. He’s the absolute perseverance trooper.