Marilyn Lysohir, an internationally famous ceramic artist, started Cowgirl Chocolates to provide some funding support for a yearly published arts magazine, High Ground, that she and her husband, Ross Coates started in 1995. Her love of chocolates and hot and spicy foods spurred the idea of making hot and spicy chocolates to be sold in creative, artistic tins and packaging, which she labeled as Cowgirl Chocolates. Her small business, begun in 1997, had won a number of awards in fiery food competitions. While Cowgirl Chocolates had grown gradually over its four years in business, it still had only generated $30,000 in sales revenue in 2000, which was not enough to cover expenses. Marilyn had drained much of her personal savings to keep Cowgirl Chocolate in business. Her cash accounting approaches and record keeping were not very orthodox, although she seemed to have a good intelligence of her costs in production and raw materials and the packaging. Nevertheless, Marilyn had taken a “shotgun attitude” to most of her marketing efforts and had tried a number of activities to increase product demand. She allowed herself to make one “chancy” financial move each year in her pursuit of profitability and increased sales. She had just made her one risky move for year 2001 she had taken out a full-page ad in Chile Pepper magazine for $3,000.
1) The Knowledge of chocolate that Marilyn has her business attitude.
2) The product already won several awards, which in turn has generated some publicity about her products.
3) Cowgirl Chocolates has a Web site that can be used to gather customer information and to measure repeat purchase behavior.
4) As an artist, Marilyn has a very artistic mind in developing product packaging and logos and she has won several awards for her packaging and product.
5) She has the local support by carrying and displaying her products, also Marilyn secured the support of Seattle chocolates to produce her product in