The Origins Of A Lifetime Career In Business Development, Sales And Marketing.
A blue chip company built on the wave of a doll craze.
Cabbage Patch Dolls were taking the world by storm from a small town in north Georgia. I was a High school Sr. growing up
in a family manufacturing company. That same year John Deere was sponsoring four Junior Achievement companies, and I had been elected president by my fellow students to run one of them. We decided to make high chairs for dolls.
Positioning is key
ABC Baby Seats. circa 1982
As fate would have it, during that same semester my younger sister was graced with an original "Little People's" Doll from Babyland General. The craze that would become Cabbage Patch Kids was in its infancy and my bet on high chairs was to position our product right in front of the trend. If we were lucky I thought, we'd sell a few hundred chairs and return a profit on the one dollar stocks we sold.
Any successful product launch needs collateral. What better could there be than my sisters new popular doll right? So, I used one of the first Little People's dolls for my product shoot and the damn broke. We couldn't make the produce fast enough! Babyland general got wind of our product and the fact that we were a JA company. They ordered 500 right away. We had to go from a production and assembly company to a production and packaging company. We sold them in kit form. We still couldn't keep up. We had a labor shortage. I decided to do something never before done in Junior Achievement history. I bought out the stock of the two other failing companies for 1.50 per share just to acquire their labor force, and the rest is Junior Achievement history. ABC Baby Seats became a Blue Chip company that returned an ROI of 4 to1!
Prototype testing the original "Pre Honda" 4 wheeler. circa 1980
An Eye For Market Opportunities
I grew up in a family manufacturing company that made 6 models of go-karts, 3 models of mini - motorcycles for kids and two types of tillers for the adults. No adult toys, just tillers. How boring!
It's amusing to watch grown ups try their best to use kid sized toys because they aren't made in adult size. I have to admit that my suggestion for building an "adult sized" 4 wheeler was based more on the fact that I had outgrown my own. But self serving ideas can still be profitable!
At this time period, Japanese imports were almost non existent in the US and there was no such thing as what we know today as the modern "4 wheeler."
Our product know as the Bobcat beat the market by a full decade and literally doubled production.
Some Say To Be Successful You Should Follow Your Passion. I Say: "You Should Do What You're Good At Doing."
My drive for business and entrepreneurship
came before a formal education. I logged 17 years of successful sales and business experience prior to becoming a 2005 graduate of Oglethorpe University in Atlanta, GA. I hold a B.S. in Economics with a minor in Corporate Finance and a PhD in what it takes to get it done.
I work with clients in product and services based businesses who may feel they are stuck or stagnant, possibly in a commoditized vertical who are experiencing difficulty with differentiation and formulating a true unique selling proposition.
I also work with clients who are keenly aware that sales and marketing aren't their best skill sets and know that outsourcing these needs to us will produce a greater ROI for them.