“The Internet is opening up many more doors for entrepreneurs.”
Nicholas Falletta, President
Weathervane Shoppe sells 800+ products annually.
Each year, Google selects 50 businesses, one from each state, and showcases how they leveraged the power of Google business tools and advertising to successfully grow their business. We are proud to announce that The Weathervane and Cupola Shoppe was selected for this prestigious award for the state of Indiana for 2016. Here is our story:
Borrowing $1,000 to buy their initial supplies, Nicholas Falletta and his wife began selling handcrafted weathervanes in 1986 from the back of a van at arts-and-crafts fairs and flea markets across Indiana, Michigan, and Illinois. Ten years later, they gradually shifted their sales focus from their van to the Internet. “Let's face it. If you're not on the Internet today, business would be lacking greatly in the future,” Nicholas says. Weathervane Shoppe got online very early and “was one of the first to ever sell weathervanes on the Internet.” Today they’ve expanded their business to over 1,400 unique products, including cupolas, roof vents, chimney caps, and finials. They manufacture custom designs in Indiana, work with vendors across the country, and sell to customers all throughout the U.S. and Canada.
Nicholas uses the Internet to share his products with consumers all across the continent. “The Internet has changed the face of retail by eliminating geographical barriers,” he explains. AdWords, Google's advertising program, accounts for about 50 percent of his sales. Google Analytics delivers valuable insights on his customer base—for instance, half of Weathervane Shoppe’s website traffic is from mobile devices. Google Search Console helps with monitoring the website's presence in Google Search results, and Gmail keeps him connected with vendors and customers. Thanks to all of these digital tools, Nicholas says he is able to offer customers “the most exceptional service they can possibly find from anybody.”
As an American entrepreneur, Nicholas has always known which way the wind was blowing for his unique small business. “Weathervane Shoppe was never meant to grow into one of those huge big-box stores with a bunch of employees,” he says. But the company has provided a great deal of customer satisfaction for over three decades and continues to create opportunities for vendors in Indiana and across the U.S. “For a semi-retired 71-year-old to have that kind of impact is amazing,” he adds. Nicholas has proudly sold weathervanes, cupolas, and other roof products to the children of his original customers. “And I expect I will be selling to their grandkids before I'm gone.”