FALLON, Nev. (KOLO) - One man and his passion helped him boost his sales to more than a million dollars a year.
Larry Lester is the owner of Hoof Beat Gates and Corrals in Fallon. He lived in Nevada briefly before going home to Casey County, Kentucky, which is the gate capitol of the world.
While there, he helped a friend start his own gate company, but that friend died. Larry decided to move to Nevada and start his own business about a decade ago.
"We have increased our business 1000 percent since we opened July 10 years ago," said Lester.
This report is revealing some of the specific reasons his business is growing this much, and a few of the reasons his product is different from probably anything else you'll find in northern Nevada.
You don't have to drive far in Fallon to see Larry's work. Glenn Waddell is one of his customers.
"This is one of their barns right here...we love the barn," says the owner of Sawdust Alpacas, Glenn Waddell.
Glenn purchased the barn and roughly ten gates to corral the animals he keeps on his property. He's had them about ten years.
"We moved alpacas in here. We've got 60 alpacas and with Larry's help there, we were able to put up shelters and the barn," said Glenn.
"An easier way of handling the animals so we don't have to chase them around, so the more gates you have the better. We'll probably have 50 gates here before we're done," said Glenn.
Thanks to the gates produced by Larry's company, it's much easier for Glenn to corral his animals and shear their expensive fur. It sells for between $3 and $5 an ounce. It's incredibly soft, durable, and silky. It's warmer than sheep's wool. It's hypoallergenic, and it can be made into many things.
"Socks, scarves, handmade scarfs, which we have right here, we have teddy bears, we have blankets," said Glenn.
Glenn says he went to Larry because he can custom-make corrals to the smallest of details and that's exactly what Glenn says he needs for his alpacas.
"People come in and say you probably don't want to build this. I say, 'Sure I'll try, bring me a picture' and as a rule we'll get it done," Larry said.
One of the most popular products is a dog kennel. Tammie Lester is Larry's wife and the co-owner of Hoof Beat Gates & Corrals. She says a 12x12 kennel that sells for $644 will last a lifetime.
Some horse owners want their own private rodeo in their backyard. He gets the job done.
"That's their dream, to have their own rodeo ground in their back yard and rope whenever they want to rope," says Larry.
Larry recalls a private rodeo he creates for customers. "This arena is 150 feed wide and 250 feet long."
The customer makes a request. Larry's employees draw up a design and his crew works hard to make it become reality.
Eight people work hard to create these products. They are sold in Texas, Idaho, Oregon, California, Washington State and Nevada.