FASF’s Colorful Members – Gracie Carreon, Entrepreneur

INTRODUCTION TO OUR NEW COLUMN

From time to time, your FASF website will be pausing to look into the fascinating lives of some of our members, new ones as well as old timers. It would be hard to believe that we couldn’t find interesting material from the lives of any of our many members, but when we run into a member whose story we think needs telling, then we’re going to take pen in hand – and get busy.

In fact, look for a new category to include these interesting member stories. The new blog column will be entitled, “INSIGHTS” – Our Colorful Members. It will appear under the right sidebar menu “MORE TO SEE” and will be right below the news category “NEW VIDEOS.”

One place you, as either a non-member site visitor – or FASF member – can help out in this endeavor, is to let us know who we should feature next – even if, providing you’re an active member, it’s yourself!

Our first “INSIGHT” will be a peek into one of our newest business supporters and her remarkable success story, a young entrepreneur from immediately under our local nose, right here in this small SW New Mexican village of Columbus, the “Cradle of American Air Power.

GracieCarreon-Portrait@Work-042515A(Cropped)

                           Gracie Carreon, sits at her front counter at “E & G Wireless” in Columbus, NM

This young lady has created a small town female version of the fabled American Horatio Alger success story. Her achievements caught our attention for a simple reason; we were told by some locally experienced and expert professionals in the field, when she first opened her new wireless business, that it wouldn’t be long before she failed – – – and would have to close her doors.

Well, not only were those expert predictions dead wrong, they missed the mark by a substantial margin.

Gracie Carreon was born in nearby Deming, NM, where she completed her formal schooling. After getting married, she and her new husband, Eloy, went to Arizona, where they felt career opportunities would be better than if they remained in Deming. Their move was productive. For fourteen years the young couple did well in their new state. Then the 2008 recession struck – hard. Because of low seniority, corporate downsizing cost Gracie’s husband his job in Phoenix. So, not quickly enough finding another one, they decided to tighten their belts and return to New Mexico’s lower cost-of-living climate – – – and to be nearer their families.

Soon, after the move to Columbus, Gracie started working from home as a telemarketer, helping sell vacation cruise packages, mostly by phone. When she was told that it would help her get ahead in the travel business if she learned Portuguese, she got busy and quickly learned the new language. Unfortunately, the expected promotion didn’t materialize rapidly enough, so Gracie started doing research on the Internet to explore other business opportunities for self-employment. Even though she had no experience in the new booming cell phone business, her research led her to believe that it might be a profitable enterprise to start up in Columbus.

However, Columbus is not an affluent village. But it was this same low average income element that attracted her attention. The unfortunate impoverishment in the local area was precisely why Gracie felt there should be a pressing need for a more economical wireless service. Most importantly, her many months of study and research gave her enough confidence to put the ball in motion. She was now sure she could put the new enterprise together; convinced she could provide superior personal service – at a highly competitive price. She was confident that her Columbus neighbors and even citizens from nearby Palomas, Mexico, would grab the opportunity to significantly cut their cell phone bills.

In her words, “We planned to be – Big Enough To Serve, Small Enough To Care.” And that’s the very slogan that quickly became her fledgling company’s guiding motivation.

Gracie’s friends and family thought she was about to make an unwise decision, citing, among other things, that few new businesses ever managed to succeed in the small impoverished community. And, even worse, some of the nearby local experts in the closest large town, Deming, 30 miles to the North, joined with her friends and family, pointing out that there simply wouldn’t be enough customers to enable Gracie’s idea to even break even, let alone thrive. Yet, in spite of all the negative feedback and dire predictions of almost guaranteed failure, Gracie went on ahead and laid out the business plan she expected would prove them all wrong. After all, her Internet studies and research, and the calculations she made with the data she garnered, indicated the investment would soon prove a profitable one. Amazingly, Gracie was in such dire financial shape at this juncture, that she couldn’t even afford her own cell phone!

Did that deter this young mother?

Not for a second.

So, three years ago, in 2012, Gracie began her start-up enterprise. She arose each day and, on foot, plodded through the dusty neighborhoods of Columbus, knocking on doors to offer the local citizens more economical wireless phone packages – plans they didn’t even know existed.

Having had no experience in this new business, Gracie had to learn the hardware and software technology she needed to understand – and all via the same Internet on which she’d taught herself Portuguese. Soon her sales were growing and it became obvious that this walking the streets routine would no longer suffice. Accordingly, our budding young entrepreneur again used the Internet, Craig’s List in particular, and searched for an affordable new portable building. She found a good deal on a used construction trailer, borrowed enough funds for the unit, then she and her teen son, Eloy, Jr., had it transported to Columbus, where they had contracted to buy a lot alongside the main highway. This was the parcel on which she had the mobile unit unloaded and set up.

Now working furiously at two separate tasks; selling cell phone deals and remodeling the old trailer, she managed to spend almost what the new building had cost, just to get it remodeled to her requirements. Many who knew her wondered how she even found enough time each day to do all this complex multi-tasking, but this tough challenge clearly didn’t phase Gracie, nor dimish her hardy ambition. It took a nine month gestation period to get the trailer converted into a good looking sales room and office. When the intensive remodeling project was finished, many (who didn’t know Gracie) were surprised at how effectively and professionally Gracie had accomplished the aesthetically attractive transformation.

Today, three years later, Gracie’s “E & G Wireless” (named by using her husband and son’s initial, “E” and her own “G”) is thriving – well beyond even Gracie’s own ambitious expectations.

Gracie also saw the potential benefit to Columbus from the First Aero Squadron Foundation’s activities, too, so she stepped right up to become an enthusiastic new business supporter of the FASF.

It’s hard to miss “E & G Wireless” when driving either into or out of Columbus. Your attention is quickly drawn to the many cars and trucks parked outside the facility whenever it’s open. In fact, it has been observed that “E & G Wireless” has become a popular new Columbus social gathering center!

When you have the time, stop by and meet this young entrepreneur or her personable assistant, Mely Gonzales. Let them show you how they can provide you with a high quality, yet very competitively priced new cell phone plan. She’s become an expert at significantly cutting her customer’s cell phone costs, no doubt a prime reason for her astounding success.

See more photos of Gracie’s company by clicking right here and then scroll down the page. You’ll find her operation listed on the “LOCAL BUSINESS SUPPORTERS” Page – under “E,” in alphabetical order.

4 thoughts on “FASF’s Colorful Members – Gracie Carreon, Entrepreneur

  1. Edward Franklin {Frank} Smith

    Congratulations Gracie Carreon. From 1953 to 1958 when I lived in Columbus, the largest business in town was Jesus Carreon’s General store. His son Al was the local Lawman. It is fitting that another Carreon would have business success there. Mr. Carreon was very kind to all of us kids in town. I wonder what ever happened to him. Another FASF story perhaps?

    Reply
    1. fasfric Post author

      Thanks for the historical insight to this old Columbus family, Frank. Nice to see this sort of filling in from your distant perch in the Phoenix area.

      Reply
  2. Karen Lee

    What a Wonderful, Well Written Article; I am Going to Share this to our “Columbus NM Citizens Central Communications 88029” Facebook Group; [CCCC] and give credit to: Edward Franklin {Frank} Smith; If I am wrong as to who wrote this; Please Correct Me over there “fasfric”!
    Gracie is, and has been since meeting her in 2011; on of the Most Admired People of mine in The Village; if Anyone Leads by Example; it is she. klee

    Reply
  3. Edward Franklin {Frank} Smith

    This is Frank Smith, Karen. I would love to take credit for this marvelous story, but I would be doing a great disservice to the real author. I do plan on meeting Gracie Carreon when my 2 sisters and I visit Columbus in October. I lived in Columbus from 1953 to 1858 and I plan on submitting some stories to the web sight about the people who lived there back then.

    Reply

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