The Dallas Business Journal, March 16-22,2001 p.44
GROWTH STRATEGIES UPDATE
Ronda strikes gold in 'old stuff'
By Stephanie Patrick
PARK CITIES -- From grandmother's Baccarat candelabras to dime-store toys that have become antiques, Ronda Hooks has sought her fortune selling others' castoff treasurers treasures.
Her business, Help Me Ronda Estate Sales, has conducted estate sales in and around the Lakewood and Park Cities areas for six years. The business, based in Hooks' Highland Park home, has seen its fortunes rise.
"The business kind of ebbs and flows with the seasons, but I always have something going on now," said Hooks, who was first profiled in a Growth Strategies story in July 1999.
In 1998, the company handled two sales a month, but the ever-busier Help Me Ronda has two sales scheduled for next weekend and is booking sales far into the spring. Hooks' mailing list has more than 3,000 names, and her e-mail list of clients has 1,000.
The company has expanded from 10 to 15 employees to a varying roster of 20 to 30 employees, depending on the needs of the sale. And, after getting calls from so many people wanting her help with smaller sales, Hooks began referring clients to her employees who handle those sales as a side business. Hooks receives referral fees.
Help Me Ronda also has begun selling some items on eBay, via Fort Worth-based Estatesaledirect.com. Those sales have brought requests from as far away as California and Nebraska, Hooks said.
"I'm just thankful for all the progress that has been made," said Hooks, the mother of 20-month-old twin girls. "Ninety percent of my business now is referral."
Contact DBJ writer Stephanie Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org or (214) 706-7121.