The distributors wanted to know if the product could be imprinted with custom logos. This brought Leashables to its first promotional products trade shows.
“Oralabs was a competitor in the retail world. They’ve got a lot of their own brands. We saw them at trade shows and Gary Schlatter, the owner of Oralabs, was a competitor but he was more of a mentor to us.
“We really respected him from day one. He was really smart and genuine and you really felt like he had your best interest in mind.
“We had a lot of synergy and we respected Gary already. Because [Leashables] was our baby, we had put our lives into this for years and so it was really tough and scary to even think about merging with someone.”
The merger left Leashables as the promotional marketing arm of Oralabs, and left Jeff and Brady Anderton, to work in the way they felt would be most successful.
“We [decided] ‘let’s not change anything. Let’s just stay who we are.’ ... We just got out there and talked to people, were nice to people, and it’s amazing what that will do.
“We were known ... as the crazy, fun guys, but now, with Oralabs, we were those guys plus we could back it up. It was the best of both worlds, and we had resources that we never dreamed of for advertising and marketing.”
“We always have ideas, all the time. We can’t shut our brains off. I don’t know if that’s good or bad. But, we’re really into media and marketing. ... We started with video. It got us into Wal-Mart and all these places and so we carried that along and always used it in our marketing. ... So we have all this content and we’re always trying to figure out ‘how do we use this?’”