Businesses get creative in slow economy

October 1, 2008 6:57:32 AM PDT
In these difficult economic times, small businesses are finding creative ways to stay in business. One Bay Area business woman is changing her entire product line, and a business man who has started producing a wine - specially made for these times.

Paul Kreider makes wine and sells it at the Ross Valley Winery in San Anselmo.

It was during a recent drop in sales that he invented Recession Red. Recession Red fluctuates in price, always at one-thousandth of the Dow Jones Industrial average. The day we visited, the market was just over 11,000, so a bottle was just over $11.

It's a blend of old vine zinfandel and leone cabernet, both of which, in two years would have sold for about $27 a bottle.

"For cash flow reason, that it was a smart thing to rob my future inventory and turn it into cash flow - so we could pay the rent," said Kreider.

On just the third day of marketing Recession Red, Kreider realized he was on to something:

"At the end of the day, I looked at how many bottles we'd sold of each wine, and only like 25-percent of it was Recession Red; so it's doing what I wanted it to do. It's getting me attention and its upping sales, not just in that particular wine, but all of our wines," said Kreider.

While the bad economy has led to the creation of Recession Red, at the Tela D Organic Clothing Store for Women and Men in Fairfax - it has led to a whole new business plan.

"People have a hard time paying $188 for a pair of jeans," said Anakela Carmassi, owner Tela D Clothing.

That's why those jeans and the entire high end organic designer stuff owner Anakela Carmassi has in stock are half off and on the way out. It will be replaced with a new direction. Still organic cotton clothing, made in the USA, preferably in the Bay Area and nothing will cost more than $100.

"My net numbers have been half off from last year - for June, July and August. I have to work night jobs and morning jobs, but it's worth it for me because this is one of my dreams. I'm going to make it work no matter what I do," said Carmassi.

So to every small business person out there who knows what it is to struggle, here's to you.


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