How can a businessman combine respect for traditional values and love of family and children into a successful business? Spend a few minutes with Wayne Beachy, owner of All These Things, Inc. (ATT), and he will provide an answer.
Raised in the small Iowa town of Kalona, known for its large Amish and Mennonite populations, Beachy learned from his parents and the community, at a young age, core values that would influence and shape his company, All These Things, Inc. He learned to work hard and to show respect for people whether they are his employees, or many repeat buyers of The Keepsake Plate Series.
Keepsake plates are the core of the business, All These Things, Inc. "We can commemorate all the important events in the life of the family," says Beachy. Births, weddings, anniversaries, graduations and other special occasions have all been personalized onto the 7-1/2" blue and white plates.
The art design for the Keepsake Plates was copyrighted in 1983, by Beachy, and is reproduced in collector's blue, and fired onto white ceramic plates. After blank white plates arrive from Japan, ceramic decals from Europe are fired onto the plates, at 1300 degrees. A multi-stage process personalizes the plate to each individual's information and then is shipped to customers throughout the USA, Canada and abroad.
The company's most prominent piece is the Contemporary Baby Plate (pictured at left), which is a baby nursery scene, personalized with the child's name, place of birth, time of birth, length and weight, including three little blocks displaying the initials of the child.
ATT has production employees who are paid on a piece rate and have flexible work schedules. This enables them to fit their weekly quota of plates around child care, school, social activities, or even a second job.
Many people have purchased plates for other children and for other events in their family. Also, people have discovered the convenience of purchasing the Gift Certificates, and using them for gifts to family members, neighbors, and friends. Employers have found them to make excellent gifts for employees!
"We receive orders from people in all walks of life, including such personalities as Reba McIntyre," Beachy says. "These plates are definitely heirlooms and are the kind of keepsake that you would want to pass down to your children."
Children are very important to Beachy and Judy, his wife of 45 years. The Beachys are eighth-time grandparents. The couple travels extensively with the business, as well as to keep in touch with their four adult children, who are located in California, Alaska, and Iowa.