Gloster company marketing deer buggy

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 17, 2003

GLOSTER &045; Some good ideas have taken shape in the back room at Kramertown Feed Store in Gloster.

Two years ago, owner Greg Touchstone launched the Mississippi Soap Co., mixing all-natural soaps and lotions in molds after business hours at the feed store. The sudsy venture paid off.

&uot;Our soap business has increased by 200 percent since last year,&uot; Touchstone said.

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Now, the industrious Touchstone is excited about a new project.

Along with father-in-law Robert Bateman and Kramertown employee Brian Anders, Touchstone is designing a prototype two-wheeled buggy for deer hunters to haul their kills from the woods back to their four-wheelers or trucks.

&uot;I got the idea for this back in March.

There are various models available, but they are all designed to drag behind you,&uot; Touchstone said.

The idea for the hunting buggy was actually spawned from another Touchstone creation, the Mississippi Mule Cart &045; a similar cart that attaches to a bicycle.

&uot;We are building this on the principle of replacing the mule.

You are more efficient pushing into the harness than pulling it with your arms behind you,&uot; Touchstone said.

The hunting buggy will be designed to collapse and fold, allowing hunters to strap it on their backs and carry it to their deer stands.

After a kill, hunters can load a deer onto the cart, step into a harness and walk the load out of woods or cut-overs.

&uot;It keeps your hands free, so there’s no need to lay your gun down,&uot; said Touchstone, who plans to test the buggy this summer and market the invention at sporting shows this fall.

Though the prototype is being designed with metal conduit, Touchstone said finished models will likely be made of lighter, stronger aluminum.

&uot;We plan to keep the total weight of the buggy below 20 pounds,&uot; he said.

Touchstone advises other creators to use the resources available to them and believe in their ideas.

&uot;A lot of people don’t realize that you don’t have to have $100,000 to get started.

As soon as people find out you want to build something, they will loan you tools and plenty of advice,&uot; he said.

Above all, Touchstone said new business developers should never fear their competition. &uot;If you have a good idea, marketing will get you there,&uot; he said.