Starved Rock Country Welcomes Bone Collector Store
Jim Schiefelbein started Clover Technologies Group from his garage in 1996 and he’s now done the same for the distribution of Michael Waddell’s Bone Collector merchandise.
“(Bone Collector) started from my garage, too,” he said with a laugh as he sat in the new 3,500-square-foot Michael Waddell’s Bone Collector retail showroom in Ottawa.
“Bone Collector” is in its third season on The Outdoor Network,airing in 43 million homes nationwide. The show features Waddell, Travis Turner and Nick Mundt documenting the culture of a hunter.
“Michael has been a personality in the industry for 16, 17 years. He worked for a company by the name of Realtree and that’s how he got his start in the business. He actually started as a camera man and came up to be a host of a No. 1 show,which is called ‘Realtree Road Trips,’ and then aired his own show three years ago,” Schiefelbein said.
A few years ago Schiefelbein sold Clover and began hunting more often. While hunting, he once met Waddell,they became friends and two years ago Waddell needed help with his growing business.
“I had some time to come in and help him out, so I took over his business from handling the website, all the licensing business and then the TV show … and then all the endorsements and appearances,” he said.
Schiefelbein has owned the 30,000-square-foot building at 4200 MBL Drive for about seven years. He built a 7,500-square-foot office for Bone Collector’s corporate office and the distribution side of Bone Collector opened in January. Hardcore Decoys,which sells waterfowl products, soon will locate in the building as well. The Bone Collector store opens today.
“It’s really kind of a beta store. We’re starting out with basic Bone Collector-branded items, but the goal is to create niche items you can’t buy at other retailers that have the mark on it,” Schiefelbein said. “We’re in the process of having those products manufactured, but it will be (a) Bone Collector exclusive store with specialty in novelty items.”
The showroom has apparel, housewares and automotive items and several other items branded with the Bone Collector name. Sitting above the merchandise and on the sales floor are a grizzly bear ,bob cat, moose, coyote, raccoon and other animals.
“I’m hoping the taxidermy will attract people,” he said, noting some taxidermy items and memorabilia belong to the show’s personalities. “We have a lot of neat things in here for people just to look at.”
From time to time, customers will see the personalities visit the store.
“You might be able to catch them. A lot of people know the personalities. Between the corporate office and retail store, they’ll make frequent visits. No specific schedules, but (customers) might catch a glimpse.”
Although this is different from his technology business that manufactures and sells laser and ink cartridges and printer parts, Schiefelbein said he enjoys his new job.
“This is a pretty cool business. I’m a hunter and an outdoors person. All my friends and family are. This is just a fun business.”
Michael Waddell’s Bone Collector
HOURS: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Wednesday,10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursday through Friday,11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, noon to 4 p.m. Sunday. These hours are for December and are subject to change in the new year.