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Beautiful Earth, Fort Bragg

“Geology enthusiast makes dream store a reality”

BACKGROUND
Gary Mason read a book about starting a rock shop in 7th grade and has been thinking about it ever since. His dream came true on December 5th, 2013 when he opened his business, Beautiful Earth. Beautiful Earth is a small retail shop in Fort Bragg that offers minerals, fossils, meteorites, gems, stone beads, gem elixirs, and supplies. It is also a gallery for art of all media inspired by the Earth. In addition to being a retail shop, Mason uses Beautiful Earth as a classroom for a mineral and gem elixir course series. Having taught high school Earth Science and Mineralogy Lab at Chico State, Mason is able to share a wealth of knowledge about the specimens he offers.

CHALLENGES
Gary sought help from the Mendocino SBDC because although he had an extensive background in rocks and minerals, he had no formal business training. He came seeking help with general business start-up, bookkeeping, marketing, and needed someone who had knowledge of local business trends and seasonality.

ACTIONS
During their first meeting, Mendocino SBDC Advisor John Brorsen visited the space that would become Beautiful Earth and began working with Gary on his start-up needs.  After Beautiful Earth opened for business they began working to develop a marketing plan for Mason’s unique products. Gary recently met with SBDC Advisor Donna Montag to review his bookkeeping and financial management systems.

RESULTS
Beautiful Earth opened for business on December 5th, 2013. Gary celebrated the occasion by having the grand opening during Fort Bragg’s First Friday Art Walk. Being part of this established community event helped draw community members to the store. Since it’s opening Beautiful Earth’s profit trend line has been steadily rising, with an increase in profits every month. The five part mineral and gem elixir course series was a success and was full at six participants.

“[I’m] so lucky to have this resource. I really appreciate that the Mendocino SBDC is here in Fort Bragg. I can call my consultant and ask questions to get the help I need when I need it.”

Beautiful Earth
CEO: Gary Mason
Fort Bragg, CA
Web: beautifulearthgm@gmail.com