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Ecommerce Success Stories of Idaho

A USDA grant through the Rural Development Council in partnership with the Idaho State University Special Programs Office and Lone Eagle Consulting is supporting the creation of a collection of Rural Idaho Ecommerce success stories for statewide distribution.  

Please send your Ecommerce success stories to
Frank Odasz, Email: frank@lone-eagles.com
PH: 406-683 6270
Lone Eagle Consulting http://lone-eagles.com

The following growing collection of Idaho Ecommerce success stories is intended to help clarify and validate what's working, from entry-level Ebay sales to business web sites, and beyond. The Idaho Rural Partnership and the Small Business Development Centers have all received requests to contribute success stories. We've already determined that the level of local ecommerce success stories in most communities is much higher than most people realize. Most communities have not yet begun to list and celebrate their own local Ecommerce success stories. A model for a local business web directory from Montpelier is at http://www.clovercreekmall.com/business.html Such a listing makes local and non-local online shopping for a particular community or region much easier.

Montpelier's new interactive community website will support convenient information sharing of all types http://www.clovercreekmall.com/community  If you'd like to see a fine example of how a community might use a site like this, visit Caithness, Scotland at http://www.caithness.org

At issue is the need to grow awareness in all communities to stimulate widespread innovation at the grassroots level. An article highlighting these issues is at http://lone-eagles.com/reality-check.htm

The pioneering community of Montpelier is well into the second year of a pilot project intended to serve as a model for all rural communities, worldwide. Our progress report is at

Idaho's future will most likely require coordinated listings of local, regional, and statewide business web directories similar to those in Canada. The Community Access Program has created 8000 rural community networks with community sites such as the one in Lumby, British Columbia, http://www.monashee.com A Such sites encourage efficient communications on many levels.

Canada's community access program (CAP) http://cap.ic.gc.ca/english/8000.asp
Select programs and resources for the following.

Fundamental to CAP projects is computer and Internet training, as well as Internet access for community members. Full-service CAP projects offer a combination of the following:

Community Storefronts Marketplace http://www.communitystorefronts.com/
Ecommerce success stories listed by providence and category
Ecommerce in Canada - resource links page
Online learning links http://cap.ic.gc.ca/english/8307.shtml

While many robust online Ecommerce Guides exist, real leadership will be required to validate the potential and counter the assumptions based on the tech stock slump that the Internet and Ecommerce was simply a hyped false promise.

Montpelier Ecommerce Success Stories   

A Rural Ecommerce Success Story 
Shane Johnson retired from his job as janitor at the local High School after creating a successful Ecommerce business selling baseball bats globally. He started with Ebay selling sports cards, then baseball bats, and after a couple years created his own website http://batsbatsbats.com. 50-120 packages are now shipped daily both nationally and internationally. Shane is mentoring local Ecommerce businesses who are eager to learn from his success. This model can be replicated for many other products. He has successfully homesteaded his global niche and and is expanding with five new websites, which are:

Halloween Products
Golf Supplies
Hockey Supplies
Sports Balls
Sports Cards

Walton Feed's Emergency Survival Products
http://waltonfeed.com  and http://rainydayfoods.com
A success story of Ecommerce survival selling emergency food products.

Magic Stables Designer Carousel Horses
Compelling music and animations on a very well designed site! Averaging roughly 100 visitors a day.  Click on Pamela's MIDI page for more music. Created by Pam Bywater Email: Pam Bywater at spellbinder1222@hotmail.com 

Other Ecommerce Success Stories from Idaho

DebaNae's LDS Young Women Store'n More
Rockland, ID. It all started with Women's value stickers and once they created a web site, they added more products and it really took off!

Idaho Gift Marketing
Extensive resources for selling crafts!
Malcom Dell Email: giftmarketing@idaho.net

Razor Wire www.razor-wire.com
Perry Shumway, shumway@razor-wire.com
is brokering razor wire internationally from Bailey Creek, Idaho.

Bully Dog
Located in Aberdeen, ID, offering a full-line of high quality diesel performance products for Ford, Chevy, and Dodge.ly  state.

BH Bar Ranch - New Dude Ranching Business
Click on BH Bar Ranch to see how one struggling cattle ranch
has added a new income source. See also http://ranchweb.com

Bo Hudson - Voiceover Productions
Bo's email is bo@allidaho.com 

National and Statewide directories exist for hotels, flowershops, hatmakers, and many other kinds of businesses. Above is a national directory of dude ranches with special listings by state. At www.fishing-links-online.com is a similar national system listing all the fishing businesses by state and by category. Here's the link to Idaho Fly fishing businesses as an example.

Lost River Ballistics http://www.lostriverballistic.com
Warren Jesen, Arco, Idaho PH: 208 527 8611

Bing's Auto Graphics and Design
From Paris, Idaho; a growing graphics design business for automobile detailing.

Web page authoring and Technical Support and Training
Karen Merritt offers web authoring and technical training services

Soda Springs Phosphate
Recently sold, John Hatfield has used the Internet to market his unique organic phosphate fertilizer. A new web site is being created.

Dallas and Jim Murdock market "Dentist Office Management Software"
via their web page from Grace, ID. URL pending.

Max Nielsen markets his engineering consulting
via a web page from Grace, ID. URL pending.

AP Ashley, Poetry
A poet from Soda Springs self-publishes her poetry, entwined with images and sound.

Grandma's Recipes
2500 recipes on CDROM, $19.95

Spark's Knives

The SunValley Potato Producers cooperative (http://www.idaho-potatoes.com/ )  comes the closest with hats, shirts, a framed burlap bag and, of course, boxes of potatoes for sale.  But what about “Idaho Spud” candy bar?  I found a site that specialized in blown glass ornaments and contacted them to see if they would be interested in promoting a potato ornament.  I’ve even made fridge ornaments out of old nylons stuffed with a little batting and some eyes that are cute potatoes.  Shouldn’t the game, Mr. Potato Head, be a feature on such a site?  The Idaho Producers do have a cute doll for sale. http://www.idahopotatoes.org/buddy.html

Carol Williams created a Potato Web Tour at
while taking the Ecommerce online course at

Customized lullabies CD's

Idaho Virtual Incubator Success Stories\

This listing, the only listing of Idaho Ecommerce Success Stories on the web, was presented at the Connect Idaho Conference, Nov. 20-21. LaMoyne Hyde, in his final speech before stepping down as director of the Idaho Department of Commerce, told how in 1993 his son-in-law strongly recommended he create a web page for his Hyde Drift Boats company. LaMoyne decided against it, but the son-in-law persisted. LaMoyne told the Connect Idaho audience how his business rapidly grew to become international due to his business web page at www.hydeboats.com and that he'd received business orders from three different countries that very week.

The Lone Eagle handout for the conference is at http://lone-eagles.com/connect-idaho.htm  The prevailing theme of the conference was decidedly different from the previous four years. The theme that popped up in nearly every session was the need for educating Idahoans about what's proven to be possible via rural Ecommerce. The organized conference notes are attached to the conference handout referenced above. The problem is no one acknowledges whose responsibility this new form of education belongs to. The hard truth is this is everyone's responsibility.

David Poole's Web sites
www.woodthings.com www.2kstore.com

Idaho Virtual Incubator Portfolio
http://www.idahovi.org/portfolio/   Main site is www.idahovi.org
Levels of success unknown. 54 businesses received assistance getting web sites. Below are four success stories shared by the Idaho Virtual Incubator:

AAA Precision Tool and Cutter Grinding
Devon Bunyan and Lorelle Lambert
Devon and Lorelle contacted the ISBDC after discovering that they had saturated their local market. ISBDC consultant, Bryan Hossner and IVI Coordinator, Lou Ann Vanhorn went to Orofino to visit their manufacturing site and see how they could help. With the creation of a website and search engine marketing plan, the IVI has helped AAA Precision Tool and Cutter Grinding market their high-end custom drilling tools to the world market.

QUOTE: “The IVI has been instrumental in creating our website and encouraging us to develop a business plan that will benefit us, and the community" say owners Devon Bunyan and Lorelle Lambert.

Clearwater Country Cakes
Jody Pethtel
The IVI developed a basic site for Jody and installed a shopping system that allows customers to order products online. We have marketed the site to search engines and directories and continue to supply her with a traffic report analysis weekly. She is pleased with the results that marketing online has provided her business.

QUOTE: LCSC's Idaho Virtual Incubator program has been just what my business needed to determine if the internet was a worth while venture.  They have been excellent and patient with a beginner and have been instrumental in guiding me on the newest and latest technology and tactics that would get my web site noticed and profitable.  Businesses starting out need to be aware of the services offered by the IVI in order to get up and running.

Patrick Temple and Eric Hupp
The IVI is working with Patrick and Eric to develop a new business that is strictly e-commerce based. The website will be a complex database driven site that will involve players (buyers) and advertisers.  The IVI is working in conjunction with the Region III ISBDC to develop the website based on a business plan model.

 QUOTE: “My partner and I are realizing a dream we would not have been able to reach without the IVI’s help and professional service” says owner Patrick Temple.

New Pioneer Log Homes
Art Cochrell
Art and Barb came to the IVI after several attempts to get their website updated with current information. As a rural business residing in Weippe, they wanted to increase their sales by offering their products online. They are using the Yahoo store as a marketing tool and had had difficulty finding someone that was familiar with the format. We made changes to their navigational system, updated links and added additional pages from their old site. Using Yahoo’s software, we have submitted the site to 8 search engines and relevant directories and analyzed their search engine and directory visibility.  

 With our locale economy dragging, after 23 years as an
Idaho based business we found our selves facing a real threat of not surviving.  In an attempt to supplement our existing business we developed a new and unique line of log furniture only to find the marketing to be as difficult for these products as for our log homes.

With access to the internet being so popular, it seemed only correct to try to introduce these products to the public using this media.  With out the reasonable fees and efforts of IVI in the development of our new web page this would not have been possible for us at this time. 

 IVI has been instrumental in our endeavors in presenting our products to the public with the quality we have built and hope to continue growing our business on.  The importance of their support, patience and continuing work in the development of our web page and help with marketing ideas cannot be overstated.   After only the first week of the new site being up and one of the marketing ideas put into effect we are beginning to see some results.

 There are many just like us who need this type of assistance, all making demands upon an understaffed group of people at IVI.  The growth and development of this program can be very useful to many Idaho businesses. We for one, hope that the support needed for that growth and development continues, providing much success for us all.

Gift Marketing Institute
From Malcom Dell - Wholesale marketing of gifts and crafts.

Family Scrapbook Supplies

Eldon Meats
http://www.eldonsausage.com/ I understand he used to travel all the time, and do a lot of shows. His web site has allowed him to basically convert to an online business, instead of a road business.

Indian Dolls
I am told this business gets a lot of business from its web presence:

Northwest Pack Goats
I am told these folks sell goat pack saddles all over the world!

Idaho Mall
www.idahomall.com Run by an eastern Idaho newspaper,
they put up these products for free, and take 15% of the retail sale, no
strings. Their percentage even includes merchant fees.

Eastern Idaho Promotion Web Sites

Eastern Idaho Economic Development Council

Eastern Idaho Technology Corridor

ISU/NWAF Partners for Prosperity

Eastern Idaho Forum for Information Technology

Ecommerce and Related Resources from Idaho

Idaho Business Websites from the Idaho Virtual Incubator

Idaho Virtual Incubator's listing of Idaho's Economic Development partners

Idaho Virtual Incubator's listing of Idaho colleges and universities

Idaho Small Business Development Center with Ecommerce Resources

Idaho's Internet Masters program
I don't know if this every got off the ground in Idaho. I'd heard they went through 3 directors rather rapidly.
See also Missouri Internet Masters program (4H)
The concept is youth will provide community Internet training.  

Web Powerpoint presentation on Rural Businesses Online
An interesting way of sharing a presentation via web pages.

State of Idaho

State SDBC Office

A National SBDC Ecommerce Resources Hotlist
Worth the time for a thorough review!

Idaho Works

Idaho Dept of Commerce

International Economic Development Council

East Idaho Forum for Information Technology

Healthy Forests, Healthy communities
Emarketing for forest products.