We have been running a waiting list for our products for about two years now. Now, when we go to retailers we have a lot more leverage and only make a deal if it is on our terms, because we could always sell those products online
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Houston, TX (PRWEB) August 5, 2008
Two young, Houston-area entrepreneurs are making waves against big competition in the fishing industry by continuing expansion of their Brown Lures brand. Brothers Jason (24) and Jake (20) Brown are entering their third year of business, and are having a record year as they watch demand for their fishing lures continue to grow.
The company started off as a local favorite, gaining popularity over the internet with Texas anglers, but quickly became something much more than either creator expected. "Our sales doubled in each of the last two years, and we kept waiting to see that level off at some point," said CEO Jason Brown. "But it still has not slowed, and now we are looking at tripling last years' sales."
The Brothers took a drastically different approach for their industry right from the start. Rather than trying to get into large retailers, they focused on building demand online and selling direct. "We have been running a waiting list for our products for about two years now. Now, when we go to retailers we have a lot more leverage and only make a deal if it is on our terms, because we could always sell those products online," says Jason Brown. "This is why you won't see us in mega-retailers like Wal-Mart soon, but we might pick out one large retailer to be our exclusive partner."
Why are their products so sought after when others head straight for the discount bin? According to the brothers, customer input and interaction are major components of their success. Rather than trying to control the message through traditional marketing channels, they have focused on interacting with customers and giving them a say in product development. Their customers have something invested in the products, and are incredibly loyal. They also offer an overwhelming amount of resources online, from tips to fishing reports and videos.
To help keep pace with the growing demand, the brothers recently moved their operations into a new facility in Houston. According to Jake, "Just two years ago we were making fishing lures out of our garage and didn't know what to expect. Now we not only have a new shop and strong demand in Texas, but we have also picked up retailers in Germany, Spain and Portugal."
While Brown Lures has become more of a household name in the fishing community over the last two years, they are also starting to get recognized outside of their industry for their business achievements. In an industry that is historically low-tech and old-fashioned, these two are making headway by embracing new technology and taking full advantage of the internet. In May, Jason Brown was interviewed by John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing, where he talked about their use of a blog as a website, podcasting and other social media tools. Jason followed up this interview by speaking at the Blogging for Business Conference in June, where he discussed the benefits of blogging and social media for small business.
Even though they may not have expected to have been so successful so quickly, the duo certainly trained for it. Jason is a recent graduate of the Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Houston. About the center, Jason says, "There is no way we would be where we are today without my experience in the program. The Center is the most intense learning experience I have ever encountered, and completely changed the way I prepared for my future business."
Jason is not done learning yet either, and will be a law student at the University of Houston this fall, where he was awarded an academic scholarship. Not to be outdone, Jake is also focusing on his business education and intends to transfer to the University of Houston soon.
Where the brothers intend to take their business to next is still a bit of a mystery. Jason says that they now get a few inquiries per month from someone wanting to acquire their business. "We are not looking to sell anytime soon, but are open to the idea of an investing partner if it makes sense. We have a very unique culture and any potential partner has to understand that, and this is the number one reason we turn down offers. This is not a business that we want to see someone squeeze every penny out of and only focus on profit."
About Brown Lures:
Brown Lures was founded in 2006 by brothers Jake and Jason Brown, who still retain 100% ownership of the company. The company sells fishing lures and other accessories online at BrownLures.com and through retailers all along the Gulf Coast, as well as Spain and Germany. Their most popular products are the Devil Eye and Sea Devil brands.