Boulder City - The Magazine is a monthly publication full of information about Boulder City and Southern Nevada. Boulder City - The Magazine features the Boulder City Home Guide, a real estate guide to Boulder City and Southern Nevada.

Spotlight on Business
by Ev Chase

Viktorian Visions
Scott Fenton, the great grandson of the founder of Fenton Art Glass Company, one of the world's "foremost producers of handmade art glass," has been to Boulder City. He visited Vicktorian Visions on Arizona street adjacent to Historic Boulder Dam Hotel, but owner Bette Walgren, has yet to see the Mayor of Boulder City in her store.

Hardly a complainer and certainly a seasoned business owner, the 16-year southern Nevada resident says her business is 60% tourist, 30% Vegas Valley, and a mere 10% attributed to Boulder City residents.

Bette doesn't sound like a frustrated Chamber of Commerce promoter, but she agrees, "Boulder City is a tough nut to crack. There are a lot of lovely people here, but they just don't shop locally."

A recently retired postal worker who completed her career in the Boulder City branch, Walgren first opened her Vicktorian Visions business in August of 2001, renting from Darlene Burk in the Boulder Dam Hotel.

"I was contemplating buying a business in the Hotel, but that didn't work out so I talked with Darlene and ended up renting a space from her. That was very good for me, it was the first space on the right (going into the retail section).

The rent was reasonable and Bette's business prospered, but she also recognized the limitations of the 350 square foot space.

"What prompted me to move was that my monthly sales in the hotel were more than the rent in my present location. I anticipated, if I could do that in the lower traffic hotel location, I whould be able to at least pay the rent in the new 1400 sq.ft. street front location."

Vicktorian Visions plans to celebrate their three year anniversary and Fenton Glass Company's 100th anniversary with an open house in June.

Fenton is a best seller for sure, but it's not the only big draw to the store. Number two on the hit list is Heritage Lace, another American made product. Heritage Lace is located in Pella, Iowa and has a unique company history of its own.

(The following gleaned from the Heritage Lace web site) "Bruce Heerema and Mark De Cook were an unlikely pair - (they are) "men's men," a former tackle and a linebacker on their college football squad and close friends."

To make it short, these two entrepreneurs teamed up with a third party who was an employee of Heritage Imports. Yada, Yada, and they became a successful manufactures and distributor of distinctive products including decor, table textiles, accent pillows, and the kinds of things Victorian Vision's stocks.

"They get their looms from England and the English tourists just love it," says Bette. "They buy it and take it back home. A lot of Europeans buy our lace."

Leanin' Tree is a main supplier of the store's greeting cards. From a Native American line, holiday greetings, and everyday cards, Leanin' Tree has it, and Bette says she'll get it. "Humor sells!" And Leanin' Tree has that type of card too. We have to go with what the public demands," says Bette, who likes to buy American. "We can't be set in concrete, we have to diversify, that's why Leanin' Tree cards are important."

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