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News and Articles of The Gavel Store

Article #1 Utah Business Magazine - April 2014, by Devin Felix
Article #2 ABA Journal- April 2008, by Jenny B. Davis
Article #3 WoodShop News - March 2008, by Jennifer Hicks - Staff Writer
Article #4 Gavel Store Awarded Home Base Business of the Year 2005, Provo-Orem Chamber of Commerce
Article #5 Daily Herald, by Donald W. Meyers 2000
Article #6 Standard-Examiner, by David Troester 2000
Article #7 Washington Post, by Henri E. Cauvin 2004
Article #8 Bright Builders, by Jen Cano 2004

Utah Business Magazine, April 2014
Utah County Gavel Company Fills a Unique Niche
By Devin Felix, March 24, 2014
Springville – Dave Giles is a soft-spoken, unassuming man with a business that serves people in some very loud and assuming situations. Giles makes every gavel that is pounded by the celebrity du jour during the ceremonial closing or opening of the New York Stock Exchange. He also makes every gavel wielded during the Democratic National Convention every four years. Giles is the owner of The Gavel Store, a company that makes and sells custom gavels from a small workshop in an industrial area of Springville. It’s a niche business, but he’s been able to make a living from gavels since the mid-1990s thanks to an early presence on the internet and quality craftsmanship. In 1996, the early days of online commerce, Giles recognized the potential of the internet for reaching a huge range of potential customers, a necessity for selling niche products. Now he just needed a product. He soon got the idea of selling gavels. Giles’ father had been co-owner of a mill in Provo, and he had made and given away gavels to local organizations as a way to promote the mill’s larger woodworking jobs. "I was looking for some extra pocket change and I put some gavels on the internet,” Giles said. “About a week later I had an order. And the rest was history.” Most of the gavels he sells are intended as gifts to congratulate new board chairs, presidents or others in leadership positions. He also makes and sells the sound blocks people strike the gavel against, as well as commemorative plaques and other trophies. About a quarter of his business is produced for Masonic organizations around the world. Giles sells gavels in a variety of styles and sizes, from miniature to a 36-inch decorative gavel. The traditional wood used for gavels is walnut, though oak is also common. The Gavel Store also sells gavels made of rosewood, acrylic, glass and other materials. In addition to traditional designs, Giles has made gavels with heads in the shape of houses, apples, baseballs, barrels, bullets, nuts and bolts, and many others. He was commissioned by the state of Alabama to make a gavel with a peanut-shaped head, in honor of the state's peanut crop, and by the state of Idaho to make one shaped like a potato. “We’ve done everything you can imagine,” Giles said. “I’ll make most anything, as long as I’m capable of producing it.” The Gavel Store operates out of small shop in Springville, where he has several lathes to do his woodworking. About eight years ago he installed a 14-foot long gavel on the building. This helped cut down on the number of confused people who came looking for gravel. Giles says that, while he doesn’t expect his business will ever make him rich, he loves the work and hopes to continue well into the future. “It’s been a fun business,” he says. “Everything else I’ve done has always had stress and demands. With this you just plug along. You make a gavel and you send it on its way.”

ABA Journal, April 2008
Pop Goes the Gavel!

Nothing celebrates the sweeter side of law quite like a Gavel Pop. These quirky candies were conceived by Dave Giles, a Utah gavel carver who owns the Gavel Store, an online hammer headquarters (gavelstore.com).

“They’ve been a great little thing,” says Giles, who left his job as a cabinetmaker three years ago to focus full time on crafting judicial accessories. Giles’ legal lollipops run 99 cents each, plus shipping. Satisfied suckers include court systems, law firms, high school students and college kids. Of the two standard flavors, cherry is the most popular, but root beer provides a more authentic look, he says. For orders of 100 or more, Giles offers specialty flavors like bubble gum, blueberry, orange and strawberry daiquiri. “We can do almost anything,” he says, “even swirls if you want.”

April 2008 Issue, ABA Journal
By Jenny B. Davis

WoodShop News
March 2008

The Gavel Guy
After working at his father’s custom millwork business for 17 years, craftsman Dave Giles decided to start his own business selling custom gavels online in 1996. Giles owns and operates The Gavel Store, an online distributor of handcrafted gavels from his Shop in Springville, Utah. Giles’ original goal was to start a niche woodworking business making small items that would be easy and inexpensive to ship.

His father had always used gavels to promote his business, and Giles decided to try his hand at those. After posting a picture of one on his Web site, an order was placed a week later. Soon, orders came in from around the U.S. and then from foreign countries. They are particularly popular in Austria, Australia, England, France, Germany, Australia, England and Spain. “I’ve got a map on my wall with little push pins. I used to put push pins in every country or whatever city I got an order, but now it’s just out of room so I had to give that up,” said Giles. His second year in business, a Chicago manufacturer made Giles an offer to sell their mass production gavels with his custom ones, which he accepted. The two types of gavels can be viewed on his Web site, www.gavelstore.com: the custom gavels are on the left side and the right side mainly features the mass production gavels. Giles estimates he has made several thousand gavels. The wooden gavels sell for anywhere between $5 and as much as $1,000 for a gold-plated one. Clients often include student body presidents and town officials. A majority of clients go for the traditional looking model #17, a 10-1/2” gavel. More stylish gavels may feature diamond, rope and spiral patterns. Custom checkered patterns are available, along with eight-sided gavels, palm gavels, miniature gavels and extra large gavels. Crystal and acrylic gavels, plaques and various presentation sets are also available. Engraving is offered either on the wood or on brass or silver emblems. Unique design requests are always welcome, especially with sports fans for whom he’s made soccer ball, football and basketball gavels. Recently, Giles filled an order for ten large custom gavels to the New York Stock Exchange. Lollipop gavels and gavel jewelry serve as promotional items. The work is time consuming, but easy, says Giles. Everything is done on the lathe, except for a hole drilled out for the handle. He works with any species of wood. Each set has three pieces: a head, handle and sound block.
“It’s a niche business that’s hard to make a living at, but it’s a lot of fun.”
Contact: The Gavel Store, 321 West 900 North, Springville, UT 84663. Tel: 888-551-8130. www.gavelstore.com

Jennifer Hicks
Staff Writer
Woodshop News


Home Base Business of the Year 2005 - Gavel Store
Presented by: Provo-Orem Chamber of Commerce
Reed Smoot Awards - May 26, 2005 - Academy Square Ballroom

Reed Smoot, in whose honor the Citizen of the Year Award and the Special Citizenship Awards are named, was a prominent Provo businessman, Church Leader and United States Senator, known for his unimpeachable honesty, loyalty, dedication, service and patriotism. After his election to the U.S. Senate in 1903, he became one of the Senate's most powerful member. He was Chairman of the Finance Committee, The Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee, the Resolutions Committe for the National Conservation Commission and the Public Buildings Commission of Washington, D.C. He was a member of the world War Foreign Debt Commission, the Public Health and National Quarantine Commissions and 10 other commissions and committees. He also served as vice president of Western Pacific Railroad, Grand Central Mining company and several other corporate organizations. When Smoot left office in 1933, he was dean of the Senate.

Award Presented by: A. Peterson, of Tahitian Noni Company:
In 1975, Dave Giles got into the woodworking business through his father, Bill, who was a partner in Ferre's Mill and Supply of Provo. His father made and gave away gavels to social clubs such as the Elks Lodge & Lions Club. Dave, who worked as a foreman in the Mill and knew how to create decorative posts and woodwork. In 1997, Dave Giles, a talented woodworker, was determined to use his gift to make some extra money on the web. His first product was a handsome, handmade wooden yo-yo. Like many small web store owners, Mr. Giles soon discovered that he needed to try more than one product line to find his niche. Although the yo-yos were beautifully crafted and one-of-a-kind, he learned that he couldn’t sell enough of the higher-priced yo-yos to make a good profit. On a whim, he put a picture of a gavel his father had made on his website. After all, what did he have to lose? The rest is history. Through a lot of hard work and experimentation, he’d finally found his perfect niche. He enjoys making the quality, distinctive gavels, which proved to be unique and in demand. Mr. Giles was so successful at selling his handmade gavels that he eventually attracted the attention of a national gavel distributor. The distributor approached him and asked him to sell their gavels—which he does. He has also contracted other laborers to help him produce his own quality gavels, including a wood cutter (Fit-Rite of Salem) and an engraver (Mullett-Hoover of Provo). His store currently sells a variety of wood and crystal gavels to a demanding public. Mr. Giles now markets new styles of gavels on a continual basis. This practice keeps his store content fresh and appealing. Many Nations and Governments have purchased these products. He has provided the gavels for the Democratic National Convention - twice. Many well know personalites as Condoleezza Rice, Judge Judy, Newt Gingrich and even the talk show hosts Regis and Kelly have a gavel on their desks. I present Mr. Dave Giles the Reed Smoot Award for the Home Base Business of the year, congratulations Dave Giles
        Who would have ever thought that making little hammers would cause such a commotion! I would like to thank the Reed Smoot Selection Committee and the Provo-Orem Chamber of Commerce. I am delighted! When I was standing in the reception line earler tonight everyone said that I have a unique business. To show you just how unique this business is I have an example. I received a phone call from the State of Idaho a few years back. They asked me the make a Potato Gavel, and we did. Then I place this on the web site and soon after I received an other phone call from Alabama. They wanted a Peanut Gavel! And yes I made that. As you can see the business is unique. This business is just nuts! No pun intended. I thank you again. It is a wonderful honor. Thank you.


Utahn pounds way into DNC



The Daily Herald (Provo, Utah)

PROVO -- When the Democratic National Convention adjourns today, six dignitaries will be going home with a Utah artisan's handiwork.

Dave Giles, proprietor of The Gavel Store, an Internet business, sold six ceremonial custom-made gavels to the Democratic National Committee for presentation at the convention in Los Angeles' Staples Center.

"I've sold thousands of gavels before, and this (sale) has the most publicity," Giles said.

Giles got into the gavel business through his father, Bill, who is a partner in Ferre's Mill and Supplies. Giles said his father made gavels to present to social clubs.

Giles, who worked as a foreman in the plant and knew how to create decorative posts and woodwork, was looking for a side business.

"I needed a product to put on the Internet, and I put a picture of one of his gavels up there," Giles said.

And so was born The Gavel Store. Giles spends his evenings and weekends turning out gavels, ranging in price from $5 to thousands for gold-plated ones.

Customers throughout the world buy the gavels, including attorneys, judges and Freemasons.

"It's a niche business," Giles said.

He also markets gavels for The Gavel Co., of Lincolnwood, Ill.

And that is how he got the Democratic National Convention job.

Giles said the DNC contacted the Illinois firm seeking gavels, but since the order was for custom-made pieces, they referred the request to Giles.

The DNC gavels are oversized -- 15 inches long -- solid walnut hammers, with a satin-lined presentation box. The gavels also have an engraved emblem on them. Giles had the engraving work done at a Provo company.

Giles said each one costs $125.

But these aren't the type of gavels you pound the desk with to call a meeting to order.

"It's mostly for show. It's a piece of furniture," Giles said.

While he doesn't normally sign his work, Giles made an exception in this case. Each box has a brass label with his name and address on them.

Could one of those gavels eventually wind up in the White House next year?

"I sure hope so," Giles said, stressing that the order will not influence him to vote one way or the other in November.

And he said he'd have been willing to do the same thing for the Republican Party.

"All they have to do is send me an order, and I'll do whatever they want," Giles said.

Donald W. Meyers can be reached at 344-2544 or dmeyer@heraldextra.com.

This Story appeared in The Daily Herald on Thursday, August 17, 2000 12:00:00 AM
and was printed on page A1
Last Updated Wednesday, August 16, 2000 11:00:01 PM

Gavel maker taps market

Custom-made item finds way to Democratic National Convention

Monday, August 21, 2000

Standard-Examiner staff (Ogden, Utah)

PROVO -- Wood working was just a hobby for Dave Giles.

Then came the Internet and he began selling gavels on the Web from his home.

Last week he delivered six custom gavels to the Democratic National Convention.

Shortly after, Republican Mayor Rudolph Guiliani's office called to order a 4-foot gag gavel. The order later was cancelled.

"I'm doing really quite well. It's the only hobby I've had that ever paid me," said Giles, a 43-year-old dairy equipment mechanic.

He learned to make gavels from his father, a professional mill operator who made them as gifts for civic groups.

Giles' Internet company, The Gavel Store, is based from his Provo home. The Web site address is www.gavelstore.com.

He produces custom gavels ranging in price from $5 to $1,000.

"I've got gold-plated gavels. So that's why they're $1,000," he said.

The gavels for the Democratic National Convention were made of solid walnut with satin-lined presentation cases. Each cost $125.

They were oversized with 15-inch handles and were a "rush job," Giles said. He produced and shipped them, with the custom cases, in a week.

"I'd love to do the Republican Party's gavels next time, too," he said.

Giles created The Gavel Store in mid-1997 and now sells between 30 and 40 gavels a month. Orders are placed through the Web site with a credit card.

He receives orders from around the world and has a marketing agreement with The Gavel Company, an Illinois gavel maker, to sell their gavels from his cyber-store.

Other wooden products offered include tumblers, plates, apples, tops, yo-yos, magnets, light bulbs, bag tags, baseball bats and golf items. There's also key rings and fobs, cubes, crates, pens, medals and rolling pins.

Giles expects to rake in as much as $15,000 this year -- not enough to go full time, he said.

"It's been a good hobby gone into an exciting little business," he said.

You can reach Business Editor David Troester at 625-4239 or dtroester@standard.net.

This Story appeared in the Washington Post on Sunday, January 18th 2004
and was printed on page C05

By Henri E. Cauvin
Sunday, January 18, 2004; Page C05

Just about every judge has one, on the desk, waiting to be used.

So why is it that in D.C. Superior Court, one of the biggest and busiest courthouses in the

country, no one can remember a judge ever pounding a gavel the way their cinematic

counterparts so often do?

"I've wondered that myself," said Judge John H. Bayly Jr. "It's not that we don't have

them around. I'm looking at two or three of them right now."

Indeed, rare is the judge who has just one gavel. Many have at least a couple lying around

their chambers and perhaps another at home on the mantel, all of them usually given as

gifts when the judges were sworn in years earlier.

A gavel is, after all, an icon of judicial power, an instrument of order. As a gift, it would

not only carry symbolism but would seem eminently useful as well. They have not,

however, been as functional as their givers might have intended.

"Look, here's another one," Judge Geoffrey M. Alprin said as he uncovered a small gold-

colored gavel in an engraved wooden case on a bookshelf behind his desk.

A larger, wooden gavel and the accompanying block sit on Alprin's desk. It's an easier

reach, but it apparently hadn't been used any more than the one on the shelf -- at least

until Alprin, after answering so many gavel questions, decided to give his a pound.

"That sounds pretty good," he said with a smile after sending a piercing crack through his


Not that Alprin plans to start pounding a gavel in his courtroom anytime soon. It's not his

style. "It was no big philosophical decision," said Alprin, who's been a judge for 21 years.

"I just didn't do it."

He's had moments when he wished he did have that wooden mallet at hand. A couple of

years ago, during a motions hearing in a criminal case, the lawyers started jawing at the

top of their lungs. So with all the might he could muster, Alprin rapped the bench with the

palm of his hand. Silence fell on the courtroom. "I could have used a gavel then," he

said. Like Alprin and many other Superior Court judges, Judge Brooke Hedge thinks that

gavels would be superfluous and presumptuous in a modern courtroom.

"I have to say, I've never missed having a gavel," she said. "You bring order through

other means."

Until this year, when she began hearing civil cases, Hedge was the presiding judge in the

court's domestic violence unit. Few corners of the courthouse can be as combustible.

Even there, though, she was content without a gavel. "I never felt the need," she said.

Of course, she, too, has her gavels. One, a silver mallet from Tiffany, was a gift from her

family. Another, supposedly used by the 19th century lawyer Daniel Webster, was a gift

from her college roommate.

It's the kindness of such people that helps keep Dave Giles in business. Giles owns The

Gavel Store, an online distributor of gavels, in Provo, Utah. "Most of my business is

people giving them as gifts," Giles said from Provo, where he has a staff of three.

The mass-produced gavels that Giles sells start around $5. But where he earns his keep is

in crafting customized gavels, which can run from $100 up to $1,100 for the top-of-the-

line gold-plated brass mallet.

Giles also does a lot of business with fraternal organizations, such as the Freemasons and

the Elks, and with law schools, local governments and other organizations a lot less shy

about pounding a gavel now and then.

But gavels haven't disappeared entirely from courtrooms in Washington. A crack of the

gavel sounds the entrance of the justices of the Supreme Court for each session of the

nation's highest tribunal, and there's no talk of changing that tradition.


Friday March 26, 2004

By Jen Cano
Bright Builders (Provo, Utah)

Bragging Rights

Each month, Bright Builders will spotlight one client that we feel has “bragging rights” for a website that performs a cut above (or several cuts above) the rest. We all know the Internet marketplace is tough and remarkably competitive. But why do some businesses fail while others thrive? I recently interviewed Mr. Dave Giles, owner of The Gavel Store, to find some answers to this question.

The Evolution of Success

Mr. Giles is a full-time website business owner who makes his living from his web store. But his business hasn’t always been on top and he didn’t immediately know what to sell and how to market his product the day he opened his first web store. His path to success has been a gradual growing and learning process that has brought him where he is today.

The Gavel Store Seven Years Ago

In 1997, Mr. Giles, a talented woodworker, determined to use his gift to make some extra money on the web. His first product was a handsome, handmade wooden yo-yo. Like many small web store owners, Mr. Giles soon discovered that he needed to try more than one product line to find his niche. Although the yo-yos were beautifully crafted and one-of-a-kind, he learned that he couldn’t sell enough of the higher-priced yo-yos to make a good profit. Thus, on to the next product—pet caskets. While he had certainly made his product unique and it may have promised a lucrative future, Mr. Giles discovered that he lacked the desire to continue to make them. On a whim, he put a picture of a judge’s gavel his father had made on his website. After all, what did he have to lose? The rest is history. Through a lot of hard work and experimentation, he’d finally found his perfect niche. He enjoyed making the quality, distinctive gavels, which proved to be unique and in demand.

The Gavel Store Today

Mr. Giles was so successful at selling his handmade gavels that he eventually attracted the attention of a national gavel distributor. The distributor approached him and asked him to sell their gavels—which he does. He has also contracted other laborers to help him produce his own quality gavels, including a wood curer and an engraver. His store currently sells a variety of wood and crystal gavels to a demanding public. Mr. Giles now markets new styles of gavels on a continual basis. This practice keeps his store content fresh and appealing.


When I asked Mr. Giles about his toughest obstacles in running a web store, the first problem that came to his mind was the lack of a shopping cart and order management system when he first began to sell gavels on his website. This lack was difficult because of how time consuming the fulfillment process was. Once he had a shopping cart, his sales doubled. As we continued talking, though, Mr. Giles revealed other, more common (yet no less difficult) obstacles.

Common Obstacles

Do any of these obstacles sound familiar?
· A constant need to look for new marketing approaches. · Patience and ingenuity to finally begin making money. Success wasn’t instant. · Some products didn’t sell well or weren’t right for the market. Mr. Giles had to keep trying to find a product the market wanted. · Sales volumes vary by the season. Some months orders flood him, while in other months, the business is a little drier. · It’s difficult to keep up with ever-changing search engine criteria.

A Recent Obstacle

Mr. Giles, a seasoned web store owner, says that one of his toughest obstacles happened only recently. With so many search engines changing their inclusion criteria, some businesses have been pushed right off the search results pages. This was the case with The Gavel Store a few months ago. Mr. Giles’ web site disappeared from both Google and Yahoo! simultaneously—a tough blow for a business that makes a large percentage of its sales based on traffic from search engines. His initial reaction was similar to the way many of us might react: a small amount of panic, sleepless nights, and discouragement. But he didn’t throw the towel in and he didn’t let fear take over. He asked his marketing consultant to help him get back on top again. The day we interviewed Mr. Giles, The Gavel Store was #1 in Google’s search results for the keyword “gavel.” I visited Google search again today and found him #3. Still on top. Pretty impressive. What’s the secret? To fight his way back to the top, he updated his pay-per-click settings, made meta tag and content changes, and found ways to increase his link popularity. In other words, he took the time to understand the current search engine criteria and changed his website and his submissions accordingly. Many of our weekly Snippets focus on search engine changes and what you can do to keep up.

Help for You

Have you experienced some of these difficulties? You’ve probably learned what I learned from talking to Mr. Giles: · success isn’t easy to come by and · once we’ve obtained a little (or even a lot) of success, we need to keep at it. Effective website promotion is the result of daily efforts. (See our Snippet titled Building a Daily Marketing Routine for more details.)

What Makes The Gavel Store Successful?

When I asked Mr. Giles what he thinks makes The Gavel Store successful, he gave me several answers. My favorite was “You have to help yourself.” Here are a few more (notice that his list of solutions is longer than his list of obstacles): · A desire, not just to go into business, but to do it well. · Hard work. · Talent. · A name, some personal information, and an 800 number on the website. He says this adds credibility and lets people know your business is real. The Builder makes this easy with the Edit Site Contact Info section in Site Look and Feel. · Unique, quality products. Many of his products are custom. This is what keeps his niche alive. · Take the time to know what the customer wants and then deliver it. · Learn skills outside your comfort zone. He recommends the book HTML for Dummies. He also takes the pictures of the custom gavels on his website and cleans them up with Paint Shop Pro. They’re wonderful. · Link popularity. The links leading from outside websites should come from reputable sites with relevant content. (See our article titled Increasing Your Link Popularity.) · Three sister sites, all owned by Mr. Giles: thegavelstore.com, dtgiles.com, and 1001giftstogo.com. These websites work together to give an instant boost to link popularity and to cater to three different consumer types.

What’s Next?

To keep his success alive, Mr. Giles plans to continue making his own custom gavels, keep working with the distributors who supply him with many of the gavels he sells, and offer new products. For example, he is in the process of developing a gavel made out of a new material (which is a secret for now). Visit The Gavel Store in the next few months to find out what it is.


We thank Mr. Giles for a wonderful interview and priceless insights on the struggles and triumphs of a successful Internet-based business. In order to protect his privacy, we ask that you please do not contact him personally unless you are one of his customers purchasing a product from his website, in which case he would love to hear from you.