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Pen-ny Wise Earnings

[ 0 ] May. 1, 2007 | SBO Editor

Brent Reese always had a knack for sales. As President of Courage Trading Company (CTC), Reese draws on his 30 years of experience in manufacturing and marketing many unique products.

His latest creation is a line of pens, called “Kooky Klickers,” which is poised to take the U.S. by storm.

The pens are geared toward children and collectors alike. Each pen has a personality and unique artistic design.

The Kooky Klicker is about six inches in length, is ergonomically designed and topped with thin, flexible stringy hair that bounces with each pen stroke. Each Kooky’s personality is designed with
different colors, body artwork and hair to create a distinctive character that users will enjoy collecting and trading.

Each pen has a name such as “Da Vinci,” “Koko,” or “Duke” printed on the back. New pens will be released and older sets will be retired, enhancing the pens’ collectability. The pens will be available for purchase at Hallmark, Rainforest Café and Staples.

According to Brent Reese, “I’ve seen many fads and collectible items that people keep on their desks or that kids trade in school and I noticed that it’s funny that a lot of what people collect and trade can’t be used in a utilitarian sense. I decided to create the Kookys as a fun item that people can use, collect, trade and enjoy all at the same time.”

In 1976, at 18 years old, while in his first year of college, Reese began working for a new company, Ski Tote, U.S.A., which invented a new and unique product that was designed to tote and lock your snow skis and poles. With this product, Reese caught the bug for sales and marketing. After managing production for four years, Reese became sales manager of the company, where every independent sales rep they had was older than him. By 1984, sales soared to $4 million.

While attending a trade show in 1984, Reese met Martin Wong, a necktie manufacturer based in Napa, California. Reese was hired as national sales manager of Wong’s fledgling company, which at the time had sales of $200,000. Within 8 years, Reese added major accounts such as departmentstors Macy’s and Bloomingdales and sales were $10 million by 1992.

While working at Martin Wong Neckwear, Reese started his own accessory company, a jewelry line called Courage Jewelry. The line, men’s and women’s leather and silver/pewter alloy, is manufactured by CTC to this day and has key accounts in many National Parks throughout the country, as well as the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C.

Mulberry Neckwear, based in San Rafael, California, hired Reese in 1992. This startup company had sales hovering
around $200,000 when Reese joined. He introduced innovations such as the Jerry Garcia Neckwear line and by 1999 sales topped $25 million.

By 1999, Reese was ready to take off on his own. With Courage Jewelry chugging along, he added a beaded jewelry line called Mud Beads, which he discovered and imported from Costa Rica. Soon thereafter, with his experience in the neckwear industry, Reese began manufacturing neckwear exclusively for The Men’s Wearhouse. Kooky Klickers is the latest fun product from this creative company. Cheryl Little is the Art Director for Courage Trading Company.

Category: Magazine, Small Business Opportunities, Small Business Opportunities May 2007