Thursday, August 1, 2013

Welcome to John "Wolfman" Kane as a new Metro SW ARC, and to Jim Cadotte as a new Duluth Sector ARC!  Thank you for stepping in to make sure missions are set up and conducted!!
Minnesota Patriot Guard Store

The MN-PG Store exists to allow us to accomplish the core mission of the MN Patriot Guard and present the Plaques and Challenge Coins to the Families of our Minnesota Heroes. The funds also go to pay for things like the signed PGR flags we present at deployments and the Website etc.  Our Basic Operating Expenses. All of these expenses and the other Military Causes we support are detailed each year in the report sent out by Leadership.  

The MN-PG Store is a totally separate entity from the National Patriot Guard Riders Store. All of the Funds generated by the MN-PG Store stay in MN, - supporting Minnesota Members of the Military.

I took over the Store in 2007 and it has been a very interesting experience. In the beginning I did everything out of my house.  My guest bedroom and my upstairs hallway were filled with boxes and Rubbermaid Containers full of T-Shirts, Hats, and Pins – etc.  Every chance I had I would log into PayPal and print out the Orders – A USPS Label and a Packing List. It took a long time.  Since then Dennis Kirk has been extremely generous in taking over the order fulfillment.  Most people at Dennis Kirk have no idea that they do this. A few dedicated and very generous people print out the orders and send them out each day.  Those same people also haul everything to the Patriot Ride each year and run the Booth there for us selling our MN-PG Merchandise.  While Dennis Kirk does a wonderful job of filling the orders they do not order or decide on the items to have in the store – and any issues or questions can only be resolved by emailing .

We currently have a major problem with the store. We have a very limited market. There are only so many members in the State of Minnesota and we have reached a saturation point with many of the items we offer for sale.

 The other issue is that we need to order large quantities in order to get a price that will allow us to offer the item at a price our members will pay for it.  T-Shirts are a prime example. Once we decide on a graphic and a shirt we have to order a minimum of 300 to get any kind of a price. With our target market of Patriot Guard Members in the State of MN we cannot order 100,000 shirts like Target would and get a better price.  It is VERY rare that we sell all of the shirts we have to order. We may sell out of a certain size but we have never sold all of the shirts we have to order. When we decide that it is time to stop selling a shirt and offer a new one we send the left overs to one of the State Veteran homes

So we are currently looking for new items to sell in the store – ANY suggestions that you think would have a chance of selling would be appreciated. Please send any suggestions you may have t

 Coming up with new items is very hard, Items that I thought would sell – like the beautiful Coffee Cups we currently have or the Polo shirts we tried at one point did not sell at all.

The way it works is that I will take all suggestions and put them into a presentation for the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors will vote on the items they feel we could sell. Once the Board approves an item I will do the work of getting bids and figuring out pricing etc.  Once I receive the Item I need to get the Information and a picture to Tim and he puts it on the Website – Dennis Kirk packages it and gets it ready to ship and then we are set.

 Thank you all for supporting the Minnesota Patriot Guard!!

John Redfield, MN PG Store Manager