Customer Spotlight: Peter Vickerman – UCM's "The Box" Contest Winner
If you follow our blog, you probably know about UCM’s most recent contest giveaway, “The Box”, where the winner could pick a tablet of their choice as the prize.
In January, we announced the winner of “The Box” contest is Peter Vickerman, who chose the Microsoft Surface 2 with regular keyboard cover and 32GB storage.
Congratulations, Mr. Vickerman and excellent choice!
In the time that has passed since January, I got the chance to catch up with Mr. Vickerman and ask him a few questions about his business.
Peter Vickerman is President of Vickerman Company.
Here’s a quick profile of the company:
“Vickerman Company is an importer and wholesaler of quality seasonal decorations including traditional and realistic artificial Christmas trees, wreaths, and garlands. In addition, the company offers other realistic looking holiday foliage, Giant Christmas trees and a full line of unique display trees.” —http://www.vickerman.com/#about
To get a better feel for this successful importing business, below is a Q & A with Mr. Vickerman.
Q: What role does international shipping play in your business?
A: It plays a major role in our product cost since 98% of our product is imported.
Q: What’s your favorite part of your business?
A: Working with customers in our showrooms.
Q: What made you want to go into seasonal decorations?
A: It’s been in our family since 1940 when my grandfather started selling Christmas lights.
Q: How did you get started?
A: I worked for my father, beginning in 1981 and my first trip to Asia was in 1987.
Q: What’s the biggest Christmas tree you’ve ever sold?
A: 48’ Tall.
Q: Is your house the best decorated one at Christmas time or do you not take your work home with you?
A: Unfortunately, my busiest months are October through March with travel to our Atlanta and Dallas showrooms during December and January so you will only find a 2’ Christmas tree in my house.
Q: What has been one of the biggest challenges for your business?
A: Managing growth.
Q: What accomplishment are you most proud of?
A: Taking the business from a local 5 state area business to nationwide [with] some international presence.
Q: Being around since 1940, Vickerman Company has been going strong for nearly 75 years. What are keys to maintaining long-term business success?
A: Taking care of your customer with integrity, quality, and service.
Q: What advice would you give to an entrepreneur looking to start a business in which they import products?
A: Make sure you know who you’re dealing with.
The last thing I wanted to know was if a tree falls in the forest and nobody’s there to hear it, how can it become a Christmas tree? But Vickerman Company and its president weren’t about to give up that trade secret.
A big thank you goes out to Peter Vickerman for taking the time to answer these questions.
Congratulations again on winning the tablet through Universal Cargo Management’s “The Box” contest. May Vickerman Company continue to thrive for another 75 years and beyond.
Make sure you’re subscribed to Universal Cargo Management’s blog so you’ll be able to enter our next giveaway contest.
And you don’t have to win a UCM contest to have your company put in the spotlight on our website. Getting your company spotlighted is easy! Just visit our Customer Spotlight Page and share your story with us.
As always, we’re also ready to help you with your international shipping, whether importing seasonal items like Vickerman Company, exporting year-round goods you manufacture, or anything between.