In March of 2002 Mark Marlette walked away from what was considered by many, a great job. He worked for Roger Penske’s Diesel Technologies based in Grand Rapids, Michigan where they produced fuel injectors for Detroit Diesel engines.
Knowing the company was going to let several employees go within the next few years, Mark elected to take a buyout and see what exciting opportunities may lie in front of him. He had three things going for him at the time. He wrote television ads, had a television show on W.K.T.V., and did taxidermy part time. He also competed on the State level of competition taxidermy for twelve years. During those twelve years, Mark met many great taxidermists and was always inspired by their work. One taxidermist in particular was Mr. Mike Boyce out of Reno Nevada. Mark remembers sitting in on a lecture at one of the World Taxidermy Competitions that Mike gave and walking away with a brain full on knowledge and thinking this man is not only a great artist, but really knows how to run a business.
Over the years, Mark has had many great secret mentors in business that he looked up to. Secret, in that they didn’t know Mark was watching their every move in the business world; how they handled problems, adversities, how they managed sales and how they overcame the obstacles that every business leader will have to endure. Four of those mentors come to mind:
Mr. Mike Boyce of Animal Artistry
Mr. Mike Bowen of BMC Bilmac
Mr. John C Kennedy of Autocam
Mr. Richard De Vos of Amway Corp
In June of 2002 Mark got his chance to implement all of the things he had learned from those leaders mentioned above. The tannery he was using for his skins called and told him they were going to sell the company and asked if he would like to have a look at it. Mark jumped at the chance and by November of 2002 the papers were signed and he began a journey that would take him far beyond anything he ever imagined. By 2012, Mark had grown the company from a small three man operation working out of a 4,800 square foot facility serving only a handful of taxidermists in Michigan, into a nationally recognized hide tannery working out of a 26,000 square foot facility in Reed City, Michigan. He also opened a distribution facility in Helotes, Texas and another distribution hub in Edgar, Wisconsin and is now serving thousands of taxidermists across the country. One of those taxidermists is Mr. Mike Boyce of Animal Artistry.
Dream big, dream often and always believe you can achieve the dream.