New Mexico Clay got a significant advertising boost this month from Google, which featured the local company in its annual economic report as a case study of businesses that have successfully increased sales through the Internet.
Google said the Albuquerque firm, which makes clay for artists and schools and works as a wholesale distributor for various brands of ceramic paint glazes, is one of about 6,100 New Mexico businesses and nonprofits that Google’s online search engine helped in 2013, generating $75.5 million in economic activity last year.
New Mexico Clay, which was originally created by former University of New Mexico basketball coach Bob King, launched its first website in 1998, ten years after current owner Brant Palley bought the company from King. In 2002, Palley added online purchase capability to the site, and since then, Internet-based sales have grown to account for about 20 percent of the company’s total revenue.
“A lot of the mom-and-pop ceramic stores that used to exist in New Mexico went out of business, so we needed to go after more retail markets, and that’s where Google comes in,” Palley told the Journal. “New Mexico’s population is not that big, so small businesses like mine need to find ways to market out of state at a reasonable price. That’s what the Internet has done for us.”
The company now has many loyal customers around the U.S., and in other countries.
“There are lots of school teachers out there who need to buy paint and they don’t know where to look, so they find us through the Internet,” Palley said. “We even have a bunch of people in Brazil that regularly buy from us.”
The company makes and sells its clay products at a 14,000-square-foot facility at 3300 Girard NE, located in the Interstate 25 and Candelaria industrial zone. It currently employs 17 people.