Andover Exhibit Firm Opening Doors to Success

Andover Exhibit Firm Opening Doors to Success

Stacy Edmundson is the owner of Red Door Three, LLC, an Andover (KS) based company that offers custom trade show exhibits, modular displays, kiosks, interior walls and traveling exhibits. The company handles the entire process for clients, from design to manufacturing and final installation.

Edmundson started her career working in sales, and for many years thrived selling for Feist Yellow Pages. Her first introduction into the exhibit industry came in 2006 when one of her Yellow Page accounts, an exhibit company, offered her a sales job.

Edmundson excelled at selling for the company that designed and produced trade show displays and exhibits manufactured by Nimlok. In fact, when Edmundson closed the deal on the largest exhibit contract in the company’s 18 year history, she won Nimlok’s national sales award. The exhibit project was an educational piece for K – 5 grade students called the Body Venture, a 45-by-50foot venture-through exhibit representing the human body.

When asked what intrigued her about getting into the exhibitor business, Edmundson said “the creativity that we bring to every project helped my clients bring their product or service to life. I feel that we have a hand in helping clients achieve success and growth by developing an impactful marketing exhibit for them.”

While Edmundson was developing her expertise and connections within the exhibit industry, her employer had bought another company to add to their portfolio. “Unfortunately, the parent company’s stability had shifted and I was not sure what the future would bring,” said Edmundson.

“I didn’t know what to do,” said Edmundson. “I ended up going back to ‘smile and dial’ selling for Feist Yellow Pages again,” she continued. Edmundson did stay in touch with her contacts at the manufacturer, Nimlok, as well as with her network of peers in the industry, and hoped for a new beginning someday.

In 2013, Edmundson received an offer to work for an exhibit company based in the Midwest but the job offer was pulled at the last minute. Considering her success in sales, she couldn’t believe the company would rebuff her like that. During the uncomfortable conversation with the business owner, Edmundson said “Well, I should just start my own exhibit company”. When the owner responded with a sarcastic ‘good luck…you won’t survive’, Edmundson was resolved on making her dream into a reality.

Representatives from the manufacturer Nimlok, on the other hand, did have faith in Edmundson’s potential. They offered her the Kansas and Missouri sales territory if she did start her own exhibit company.

Dream Come True

While Edmundson was researching the legal issues of starting a company in the early spring of 2014, she decided to go with her husband to a construction trade show in Las Vegas. “I figured that it would be an opportunity for me to see the latest in exhibit trends, and maybe catch-up with a few colleagues in charge of the exhibits at the expo,” said Edmundson.

While walking through the airport in Las Vegas, Edmundson happened to meet an old client that she had produced an exhibit for years ago. When Edmundson mentioned that she was starting her own exhibit company, he said that he was looking for someone to design a new exhibit project for his company. “I was so fortunate to run into the right person at the right time at an airport, no less,” said Edmundson. “I made my first sale before I even had business cards for my new company to give him,” she quipped.

Red Door Three, LLC was established on April 1, 2014. Edmundson started the design of her first project while making a lot of cold calls to former clients in her network. “The life span of an exhibit is usually 3-5 years, so a lot of the exhibit projects that I developed a few years ago have been coming up for bid again,” said Edmundson.

When asked what types of companies engage with her to develop exhibits and displays, Edmundson said manufacturers make up 80% of her clients, and the remainder includes a variety of industries from professional services to higher education.

In early 2018, Edmundson learned about SBA’s Emerging Leaders ‘StreetWise MBA’ program and how it helps business owners create a strategic growth action plan. When asked how the Emerging Leaders benefited her business, she said “When I started the program, I was sure what direction I wanted my company to pursue. Emerging Leaders helped me build my own roadmap to achieve the goals I’ve set,” said Edmundson. The program helped Edmundson develop a new network of professional contacts that have led to referrals for both new business and support. Edmundson still meets every month with a group of fellow business owners that graduated Emerging Leaders with her.

Edmundson’s advice to others in business is to take the time to evaluate your business. “Stop and breathe. Think unconventionally about how you can take care of your clients by offering more value. Focus on making yourself an expert in a specific area, and then find the right people with the skill sets you need to make a solid team,” said Edmundson.

Red Door Three, LLC is continuing to grow and make a notable impact in the market. In 2017, Edmundson and her team were one of the winners of Nimlok’s Design of the Year award.

Company Name: 
Red Door Three, LLC
Location: 
Andover, Kansas
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