By Autumn Bernhard
Janelle Weller found herself “in the fire,” but she didn’t let that end her experience in the feeder business. Instead, she decided to start her own business, Crossfire Feeders & Supply.
“I was in the fire, literally, when Crossfire Feeders started,” she said. “But as Isaiah 43 says, I was put through fire but won’t smell like smoke in the end.”
Weller formed Crossfire Feeders in 2011 after splitting ways with her previous business partner of more than 12 years.
“It has been a struggle trying to take something that was already branded and turn it into my own identity,” she said.
To help with that, Weller purchased equipment and inventory that gave her the ability to start a galvanized line in April.
“I feel like this new line is a ticket, a blessing, for me to expand and try to get my feet really under me,” she said.
Her first business venture involved working with feeders for deer, exotics, turkey and quail. Her recent acquisition adds fish, pets and livestock to that list.
“Our original line is steel and large feeders,” she said. “The galvanized is very different, yet compliments what I was already doing.”
The galvanized feeders are manufactured in Ingram and the steel feeders in Uvalde. Each location gets the sheets delivered and then builds feeders to order. There are only a handful of workers at each shop.
“The importance of who and how hard they work for me is really a cool thing,” she said. “I couldn’t do it without the guys that I have.”
The company has a dealer base across the state and tries to do most everything through them. Even though Weller hopes to expand her business over state lines, she keeps the same mindset she had from day one of business.
“I never want to lose sight of the one feeder buyer,” she said. “That’s going to build our business just as much as a land owner who wants ten. Whether it’s a ranch owner or a lessee, I hope we have products that apply to them.”
Another thing Weller hopes sets her feeders apart from others is the price tag.
“There’s some really high-end feeders that I think are outrageous and then there’s some really low-end feeders that are scarily cheap,” she said. “I think we are a compliment across the board. They are well put together, well done, but just not knock-peoples’-heads-off expensive.”
Weller manages and oversees everything involved in the company, but her work has given her the ability to work at home and spend more time with her three kids.
“We all work really hard, but then make time to play on the weekends,” she said. “I love salt water fishing, enjoy going hunting and outside. I really just enjoy being out with my kids and husband.”
Weller’s ultimate goal is to “grow the brand because that’s what it’s all about.”
“I think we have really good products that we can always expand upon,” she said. “Either by making better or changing up where it appeals to the consumer.”