By Bethany J. Royer
PIQUA — The world proved to be a tad smaller for Dr. Norman Armstrong and his wife, Georgia, owners of the Arrowston Inn Bed and Breakfast on Park Avenue.
Last November, the couple had been vacationing in Florida when a call came with an unusual request regarding their property back home.
The individual on the other end of the line happened to be Airstream, Inc. Marketing Operations Manager, Karen Kist, who used some networking to locate the vacationing duo — contacting area Realtor Jeanie Bates, of McVety Realty.
Bates, in turn, was able to assist in reaching the couple and, “That’s how it all came together,” said Georgia, referring to Airstream, Inc. wanting to utilize the Colonial and Georgia Revival architectural home in their new marketing campaign. The company had teamed with Mercedes-Benz for a luxury line of motorcoaches with a special committee that included Kist.
According to Georgia, Kist had once lived on Fountain Boulevard with her husband, Rick, and their children. She had always admired the house on Park Avenue, enough that she took a picture and proceeded to present it to the Airstream marketing committee.
The reaction to the pictures of the home built in 1887 by William K. Boal, president of Favorite Stove and Range Company, resulted in an immediate and unanimous, “Yes, that’s the place!” from the committee, says Georgia.
While the world may seem small in terms of a worldwide marketing campaign committee finding their perfect outlet practically in their own backyard — the Airstream, Inc. facility is located in Jackson Center (Shelby County) — the world continued to shrink as the story progressed.
“We were just, yes, that would be great,” said Georgia of the couple agreeing to their property being used as part of the backdrop to the new line of motorcoaches, with the ensuing brochure to be distributed to dealerships.
Those dealerships may, in turn, utilize the photos taken of the property as they see fit, including billboard advertising.
“They have dealerships all over the world,” continued Georgia, meaning the Arrowston Inn could be featured in China, India, Japan, or Canada.
Though the campaign may be seen throughout the world, the work behind the scenes stayed close to home, as the professional commercial photographer, Andy Snow, is located in Dayton. The company designing the campaign booklets, Graphica LLC, a multimedia and graphic design business, is located in Miamisburg.
However, the story of “a small world” does not end there.
Recently, the Armstrong couple were given a private tour of the Airstream, Inc. facility in Jackson Center, and were the first to witness the new Airstream Interstate series motorcoach from start to finish.
After the tour, Dr. Armstrong, formerly a resident of the Jackson Center area, wanted to show his wife where he had once lived and then they went to visit his older brother, Harry, in Lima.
Explaining to the elder brother about their recent tour of the Airstream facility, Harry remarked that he had designed all the buildings.
Apparently, the elder Armstrong, an architectural engineer — with no contract but a handshake to do the work, by the way — designed all the original Airstream buildings.
“It’s like a complete circle,” said Georgia with a laugh. A circle that began with “that first phone call from Karen Kist.”
Bethany J. Royer may be reached at (937) 773-2721 or on Twitter @TheDailyCall.