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Last Update: Monday June 21, 2021

Key Idea: Give Customers Good Deals

Darby McQuade is a merchant and he says that you make people happy by giving them a good deal on something they need now. More...

Key Question:


Darby brought art to the person on a budget. For nearly 20 years, Darby has been selling folkart from the side of the road. He started with a pickup truck full of pots he purchased in Mexico which he brought into Santa Fe. He had no trouble selling the pots because they were interesting, handmade and cheap. Most items people could buy back then for $5 were plastic or made on an assembly line with little style.

What kind of business did Darby start? And, why was he able to make profits immediately?

A: A simple "Mom-and-Pop" retail operation. Darby made profits because he had very low overhead. He was the only employee and he worked out of his truck from the side of the road. This early success encouraged him and he has grown steadily ever since. What he didn't do is rent a space and fill it with a complicated mix of products hoping he could attract enough customers to generate cash flow to cover large monthly bills.

Think about it

What can you give customers that will put a smile on their face? Do your customers thank you for giving them such a great deal?  If not, why do you think they don't use those words?  Do you want a good deal when you buy products and services?

Clip from: Jackalope, where myth and poetry meet reality

Santa Fe, New Mexico: Take a little bit of mystery, add fantasy, mix one part entertainment with demonstrations of the arts in progress, then add great food, decorative arts for the home, a little zoo on the side, and space to wander and fantasize about the meaning and value of life ...and you have come to Jackalope. It is a new kind of retail. Part bazaar, a little bizarre, yet always business as art. You have to experience it to believe it and there is no better place than Santa Fe.

Come meet this soft-spoken gentleman, a free spirit who dreams dreams. Meet Darby McQuade.

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Darby McQuade, Founder

2820 Cerrillos Road
Santa Fe, NM 87505
505 471 8539

Visit our web site:

Office: 505 471 8539

Business Classification:

Year Founded: 1976

Give Customers Good Deals

Hi, I'm Hattie Bryant. The people you meet on our series are everyday people telling their own story; they epitomize the meaning of free enterprise. They live the prinicples of democracy, respect the rights of others, take risks, value good work and encourage others to pursue their gifts to do good work as well.

These are people who are loved by their community and respected in their industry.

Twenty percent of small business owners are retailers but the man you are about to learn from is more than a merchant. Let's go to to one of the most stunning spots in America, Santa Fe, New Mexico to meet a world-traveler, teacher, philosopher, importer and survivor.

He's created hundreds of jobs, million of dollars in sales and thousands of happy customers.

DARBY McQUADE: These are decorative, but these are called chimeneas, which is Spanish for chimney, and they really work.

HATTIE: (Voiceover) I met Darby McQuade when he was recognized as the Small Business Person of the Year from the state of New Mexico. Grouped with other entrepreneurs from all over the country, this man from Santa Fe stood out as non-traditional.

HATTIE: Tell me some of those rules that you use to guide your business.

DARBY: Work someplace where you can take your dog. That's important. In doing sales I believe ... if you're having a sale it needs to be something that people need at that time as opposed to something that you're overstocked on or no one wants.

HATTIE: Give me an illustration of how you do that here at Jackalope.

DARBY: You sell lawn furniture at a special price in the beginning of the summer rather than at the end. Importantly, it's OK to liquidate but if you constantly have sales on things that are your losers, people lose interest.

HATTIE: The founder of Jackalope, which he promotes as the place to find everything under the sun or folk art by the truckload, Darby is living out his calling. With about 60 employees, and some $8 million in sales, Darby is living in his vision.

DARBY: About two years into the store here, I got up early one morning and walked out and built a fire and was just sitting there thinking. And I just was like just washed, all of a sudden, I was, `That's what I want to do. This is what I want to do.' And I just started crying, and I wrote a letter to my grandmother and I said, `I know what I want to do. I know.'

HATTIE: (Voiceover) He dreamed of a place for working artists, animals, children and fanciful objects.

CUSTOMER #1: Do you know what it is?

HER CHILD: Huh-uh.

CUSTOMER #1: Is it a rabbit?


CUSTOMER #1: Is it a jackalope?

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