In 1961 Dick Cabella attended a furniture show in Chicago where he purchased some fishing flies. Upon his return home in Chappell, Nebraska he put an ad in the Casper, Wyoming paper offering “12 hand-tied flies for one dollar.” He got one response – so he switched tactics – offering five hand-tied flies free, charging a quarter for postage and handling. The orders started pouring in. Dick and his wife, Mary, began adding more items to their inventory and a mimeographed copy was sent out with each order. They ran the business from their kitchen table.
Long story short, the endeavor went from the kitchen table to more than 250,000 square feet at their world headquarters along I-80 in Sydney, Nebraska. The company produces nearly 100 different catalogs per year, including many specialty publications pertaining to outdoor pursuits. Their internet sales have soared and they ship to 125 countries.
Cabela’s chartered the World’s Foremost Bank, N.A., in 2001, they made their debut on the New York Stock Exchange in 2004, and have received numerous accolades and awards over the years, including being listed as one of the Top 100 Companies to Work For in Fortune magazine’s January 2000 issue. Their retail stores, which are destination points, serve as wildlife museums and education centers as well.
Cabela’s has never lost sight of the fact that the customer is No 1- just as it always has been.
Never let go of your dreams. Many notable businesses today started on a kitchen table or in someone’s garage. It’s not easy, but dreams still do come true.
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