Bill Roper: Falling Toward Orion
Bill Roper: Seven Miles a Second

The Secret Empire

Gretchen originally started The Secret Empire with another partner, selling stuffed animals and assorted stuff. Unfortunately, they weren't selling enough to justify spending time sitting at the dealer table.

When Gretchen asked for suggestions for other things that she could sell that would help support the business, I told her that she could sell filk tapes. I could help her figure out what to sell and then help her get them from the manufacturers.

Gretchen said, "Sounds good. What do we do next, partner?"

Well, that hadn't been what I expected, but I figured why not. So we bought out the other original partner and set up in business at ConClave back in 1986 with a bunch of tapes that we'd gotten on consignment. That went well enough that we bought out the inventory so that we owned it and went into the business for the long haul.

Since we're still at it now, you can see that it's been a very long haul.