I love trivia, so I thought I would let you in on some about InnoPack.
Founder (aka my dad) Ned McCrink’s, first entrepreneurial endeavor was selling citrus fruits to faraway lands like Japan and China. He had a big fruit shindig in San Diego, CA for about 15 years. When the oranges were all peeled, he went on to found InnoPack’s predecessor, SMC Inc.
The early days of the company were focused on selling manicure kits to shoppers in local So Cal malls.
My first job when I was 11, was hand-filling bottles of cuticle oil for these kits with a small little hose. I earned $0.10 per bottle. Our kitchen table was home to the operation. I didn’t particularly like this job, but the money was good. And Dad always praised me. I think that made me more willing to get all oily for the cause.
Within a few months, I graduated to sales. Dad and I would go out to the malls on the weekends and hawk the kits in competition with one another. I would always be about one kit behind my dad for the day. That was unnerving. It was all in good spirits though. I was 12 and earning about $150/weekend on commission sales. A good experience for me, and he always fed me well when I was his partner-in-crime.
The manicure kit business was very labor-intensive. Dad was looking for new ideas, and less driving around. The next big venture was his revolutionary creation, Sungirl branded Glitter Sunscreen. We sold Sungirl in the retail marketplace to chain grocery stores and mass market retailers like Wal-Mart and Target for several years. We had all the models in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition 1999 wearing our stuff.
Alas, retail is challenging, especially when you a little fish like we were. Add on the complexity of our selling a seasonal product like sunscreen, and we decided to end all that about 7 years ago. But in the midst of that, a gem was born.
Quite literally, in fact. Sungems. Sungems was a solution to a problem that had been nagging us for some time. How to get small samples of the Sungirl Glitter Sunscreen into the hands of buyers, without sending a big bottle. And then we figured out how to package the snazzy stuff into one-time use packets.
It wasn’t long before we realized we could sell them. We got ourselves into the Promotional Products Industry and have never looked back. I joined the company full time in this time period and worked my way up the sales ladder from the bottom. I have taken brand new kids fresh out of school and turned them into savvy and brilliant salespeeps.
We have expanded our line from 1 product (Sungems) in the beginning, to over 250 now. Our bestselling products by volume are the Lipsters Lip Balm and our original love, Sungems.
Fast-forward to 2011 and the team here at InnoPack is starting the next growth spurt. With the recent acquisition of the company by a savvy entrepreneur and family friend, David Ealy and long-time executive, Jon Johnston, I can only tell you that the next era is geared for a straight up and vertical flight in 2011 and beyond.
Contact me for any help you need.