Cabela’s: From Home Business To World’s Foremost Outfitter

December 21, 2006 by Chuck | 0 Comments

Home businesses don’t always stay small. Sometimes they become wildly successful and go world wide. That’s what happened to Cabela’s. After a less than promising start Dick Cabela observed what other successful marketers did and tried his own hand. An eternal optimist, he kept at it and outgrew that kitchen table mail order business in his home.

In the winter 1961, Dick Cabela accompanied his father in a drive from Chappell, Nebraska to Chicago to purchase products for his father’s furniture business. Dick stopped at a place called Walker International and bought some bulk fishing flies.

He had a place in his father’s company, Cabela’s furniture, where he learned about running and owning a small business. But he also had an idea of his own. After reading Field and Stream ads, Dick decided to place his own ad for some of the fishing flies he bought in Chicago. No one answered his ad. And the flies sat in the Cabela’s kitchen pantry, between sugar sacks and corn flakes.

But he persisted and placed an ad in the Casper Tribune of Wyoming. Sure enough, his first order came. He went back to Field and Stream and offered five free flies with $ .25 postage. Dick received 23 orders, and he placed more ads in Outdoor Life and Sports Afield.

“Mom never questioned his decision because she knew he was an eternal optimist  who would surely succeed,? said David Cabela, one of Dick and Mary Cabela’s six children.

Here’s the rest of the Cabela’s story

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