Business Built on Friendship
It’s a Snap!
By Patty Schlegel
Nestled behind Rocky Mountain Motorcycles is a treasure trove of interchangeable snap jewelry and age-defying beauty products. Barb Clark and Pat Arkfeld, joint owners of Rocky Mountain Snaps and distributers of SeneGence beauty products, invite customers to their warehouse every Wednesday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
They are well known to those who visit holiday markets and events, Barb notes, but there is only so much merchandise they can take to events—to get the full effect of their selection, you need to visit the warehouse in person. As wholesalers for 70 representatives, they have floor-to-ceiling cubbies filled with products such as the popular Swarovski crystal snaps and, unique to them, the interchangeable discs. It’s unique and creative, says
customer Sheila. “I love all the sparkle…and how affordable it is.”
Because they have cut out the middleman and sell at wholesale prices, Barb and Pat are able to offer $15 jewelry items and $5 snaps (buy four, get one free). Their products are interchangeable with any other snap jewelry, Barb says.
Designing jewelry has been in Barb’s blood for decades. She scours the internet for the best snaps and jewelry. Taking an opportunity to travel overseas, Barb met up with one of the jewelry manufacturers. “We look for quality,” says Pat. “Barb has a great eye for jewelry, and she knows what sells.”
Pat and Barb have been friends for more than 30 years, and they have enjoyed success as independent saleswomen for decades. At the urging of friends and family, they joined forces eight years ago. They laugh at how they often show up wearing similar outfits, like two peas in a pod, and they marvel at how they lived their lives in parallel, even before they knew each other. Over the years, they have learned just how many similarities they have: They both were in Germany at the same time, enjoyed success in independent sales, had the same obstetrician, and have the same taste in furniture.
That said, their similarities don’t mean that it’s always easy to work together as friends. The key to their success, where other friends in business together may fail, is communication. “We’ve always been able to tell each other our likes and dislikes,” says Barb. “We figure out what works.” When they disagree, Barb says, they just step back and say, “Let’s think about this for a minute.” Pat adds, “Then we say, ‘Nah, we won’t think about it,’” and they both laugh. They work hard, Pat says, and they share a lot of laughter. “Laughter is a healer,” she points out.
Affectionately known as “the sisters” by those who know them, Pat and Barb laugh and talk easily. They greatly enjoy the fun of going to shows and events to sell their products. They are also known for their generosity. They desire to help other women become successful in business, so they offer advice and demonstrate how to be confident. “We just like people, and we are good to the people we work with,” says Pat. Barb adds, “We enjoy seeing women do things they never thought they could do. That’s important.”
They are up front and open with each other, their representatives, and their customers. When they started Rocky Mountain Snaps, they decided they would not run a multi-layered company. They are always open to training and mentoring new people. They offer a kit to each representative, as well as all the free advice and mentorship a person needs. There are no downlines and no quotas, Barb says, just people responsible for their own success.
“They pour their heart and soul into others, sharing what they know. It’s amazing,” says D’Ann Baldridge. She says she has been selling Rocky Mountain Snaps for three years but has known Pat and Barb for eight years. She says she is impressed by their business sense and their mentorship. “Whatever Pat and Barb do, I am following in their footsteps.”
Barb and Pat love people, laughter, and sales, and they always will. Pat’s son likes to joke that Barb and Pat will eventually have tandem wheelchairs. “It’s been an adventure,” Pat concludes. “We’ll do it until we can’t.” Barb agrees. “What’s not fun about this?”
Rocky Mountain Snaps and SeneGence is located at 424 North Chelton Road, in the Rocky Mountain Plaza. No appointments are necessary, but if you’re bringing a busload, please give them a holler. For more information, call Barb Clark at 719-661-3069 or Pat Arkfeld at 719-661-9950. Find them online at senegence.com/Kisses4U or on Facebook.
Barb Clark and
Pat Arkfeld, joint owners