I’m Sue Freeman. My husband Rich and I have written and published 14 outdoor recreation guidebooks for Central and Western New York State. We’ve criss-crossed the region in search of hiking trails, biking trails, trails to waterfalls, cross-country ski trails, snowshoeing trails, and backpacking trails. I guess you could say we specialize in trails. But, not only the green kind. We’ve also explored blue trails – the lakes, ponds, creeks, streams and rivers for canoeing and kayaking. Along the way we were intrigued by the exotic cobblestone buildings that dotted the region – they seemed to pop up in the most unexpected places. So for a different kind of fun, we researched the region’s cobblestone history and wrote a biking or driving tour guide to see cobblestone buildings.
The company we formed to formalize our “play time” is called Footprint Press. Visit us at www.footprintpress.com. Rich and I ARE Footprint Press. You can’t get much smaller company wise. Before forming Footprint Press 10 years ago, we both worked at Eastman Kodak Company. For 10 years we lived through one round of layoffs after another, each time wondering if our turn would be next. Finally we decided that was no way to live – we woke up and decided to go on a long hike. I had backpacked a lot as a teenager and young adult, but my husband was a novice. We dove in and spent 6 months walking from Georgia to Maine on the Appalachian Trail.
At the end of 6 months our bodies were tired, sore, and skinny, but we didn’t want to stop hiking. We also didn’t want to go job hunting. So, we researched and wrote our first “Take A Hike” guidebook and launched Footprint Press. We vowed never to hire employees – and we’ve kept that vow.
While marketing our guidebooks we’d try to get stores, such as bike shops, to display our books near the cash register for quicker sales. We needed display stands, but couldn’t find any in low quantities and at a reasonable price, so Rich decided to make some for us. People began asking us where we got them, so another business was born. We set up DisplayStands4You.com as our web site, developed 9 different models and began production. Now we sell to schools, authors, publishers, museums, funeral homes, real estate agents, chefs, book shops, coffee shops, chiropractors, and all sorts of other businesses. We now even sell a hands-free open book holder that’s great for holding a cookbook while you cook. Take a look at http://www.displaystands4you.com.
The next chapter of our lives is fast approaching – it’s time for us to retire. We bought a 36′ Grand Banks Europa trawler. We’re busy upgrading her and learning how to operate her, which is a significant challenge for kayakers. We hope to take off this fall, live on her for 3 or so years and do the Great Loop around the US & Canada. I’ve started a new blog. If you’d like to read about this upcoming adventure and about our boat and our travels, take a look at www.choicesontheloop.wordpress.com.