The early business “just kept growing. We went from one ski resort to the next. I don’t remember the time frame, but it seemed like we just [realized] ‘hey, this is working.’ Everywhere we put them, they’d sell out and call us and want to buy more. So we’d make big batches of them, fill our trucks and drive to a destination like Jackson Hole, [Wyo.] and we wouldn’t leave until every single display was placed.”
The brothers were still concentrating on outdoor retail stores when they brought one display into a pharmacy. The business sold all the items and called back two days later (before the brothers had even returned home) requesting multiple displays. This prompted the fledgling company to research retail lip balm sellers and change their focus to the more common pharmacies and household items stores. This path would eventually lead to Albertsons and Wal-Mart.
“We didn’t know what we were getting into. We [thought] ‘We’re rich! It’s done!’”
Of course this was just the beginning.
“We had to sell our houses, everything, our concrete company, our trucks, to meet [Wal-Mart’s] first order, just to buy the raw materials.
“Once Wal-Mart has you, then everybody wants you. So Walgreens came in next. That’s when we bought this 34 foot motor home and we painted it up with our logos ... We lived in it for two years, traveling the country with all of our buddies because we sold everything we had.”
The Leashables team traveled from town to town, attending trade shows and conventions. They promoted their products everywhere they went.
“Our goal was just to get out and sample product. ... It was real grass roots marketing.”
“People would see our products in the Wal-Mart stores or Walgreens or somewhere and distributors would call us.”