“Who knew that when the Del Frate brothers went into business together selling frosty mugs of beer in the 1930s, that today people from around the world would visit our store,” says Guy Berger, president of Palms Trading Company, which employs nine people, six of whom are members of the extended family.
This year, Palms Trading Company has planned:
· A series of messages recounting the history of the company, including photos.
· Storewide and online sales featuring 18% off with 8% of proceeds benefiting the Palms Trading Company Scholarship Fund and other charitable groups.
· A June 2013, 1930s themed customer appreciation night with music, food, and artists making jewelry and pottery.
· Customer giveaways and contests like guessing the number of fetish bears in a large container, with the winners receiving Palms Trading Company gift cards.
Guy Berger purchased Palms Trading Company from his uncle in 1988. The great-grandson of a New Mexico pioneer family who settled in the Zuni Mountains in the 1860s, Berger is an expert on Pueblo pottery and co-author of two books about Pueblo and Navajo pottery, as well as an active community volunteer. The fourth generation of family, Guy’s daughter Diana Strickland and son Peter Berger, brought Palms Trading Company into the new millennium with their technology know-how to help them reach customers around the world.
Part of the company’s success is that it promotes the stories of the artists that Palms represents. The artists are prominently featured in all marketing vehicles, and Palms Trading also works closely with the Visit Albuquerque to provide doors prizes, information and store tours to groups choosing the city as a venue for meetings. Palms is often considered the best-kept secret for quality, authentic American Indian goods, building its following from word of mouth.
In 2005, Palms Trading Company established scholarships for American Indian students from New Mexico pueblos and tribal reservations. Since their inception, the scholarships have provided nearly $10,000 to deserving students to attend college. This community focus is another way Palms Trading Company makes a difference, demonstrating the bond it has forged with the artists it represents