Location: Fort Bragg
Doing business since 2013
“[I] really appreciate[s] the fact West Company is here in Fort Bragg. I can call my consultant and ask questions to get the help I need when I need it.”
Gary Mason read a book about starting a rock shop in 7th grade and has been thinking about it ever since. His dream came true on December 5th, 2013 when he opened Beautiful Earth. Beautiful Earth is a small retail shop in Fort Bragg that offers minerals, fossils, meteorites, gems, stone beads, gem elixirs, and supplies. It is also a gallery for art of all media inspired by the Earth.
In addition to being a retail shop, Mason uses Beautiful Earth as a classroom for a mineral and gem elixir course series. Mason taught high school Earth Science and Mineralogy Lab at Chico State so when patrons visit Beautiful Earth he is able to share a wealth of knowledge about the specimens he offers.
Gary sought help from West Company because although he had an extensive background in rocks and minerals, he had no formal business training. He came seeking help with general business start-up, bookkeeping, and marketing. He was looking for someone who had knowledge of local business trends and seasonality.
During their first meeting, West Company advisor John Brorsen visited the space that would become Beautiful Earth and began working with Gary on his start-up needs. After Beautiful Earth opened for business they began working to develop a marketing plan for Mason’s unique products. Gary also met with West Company advisor Donna Montag to review his bookkeeping and financial management systems in addition to taking Financial Essentials, a West Company workshop series.
When Beautiful Earth opened for its first day of business on December 5th, 2013, Gary celebrated by having the grand opening during Fort Bragg’s First Friday Art Walk. Since then Beautiful Earth’s profit trend-line has been steadily rising, with an increase in profits every month. His first mineral and gem elixir course series was a success and was full at six participants.
Gary Mason does not regret coming to West Company and feels “so lucky to have this resource.” He says that he “really appreciates the fact West Company is here in Fort Bragg. I can call my consultant and ask questions to get the help I need when I need it.”