Recession-proof Lapel Pins: The Monterey Company to Expand in March

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The Monterey Company's products appear virtually recession-proof--lapel pins, medallions and military coins. Based in Idyllwild, CA, the company been growing at a rate of 30 percent a year for the past five years. In March, it will include a new printing and distribution center. Its new Italian-made pin printing machine will reduce its production time by half: 3-7 working days--or less. The new facility will also be offering pins proudly marked with "Made in the U.S.A."

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A majority of our customers still come from the U.S., which may be headed for a recession

The Monterey Company appears to have products that are virtually recession-proof-lapel pins, graduation medallions and military challenge coins.

The privately-owned company, based in the Alpine village of Idyllwild, CA, manufactures, supplies and distributes hundreds of thousands of baseball trading pins, graduation medallions, lapel pins to Fortune 500 companies, challenge coins to all branches of the U.S. Military, as well as foreign government entities, to name a few.

It has been growing at a rate of 30 percent each year for the past five years. This March, The Monterey Company will be expanding its operations to include a new printing and distribution center in mid-town Idyllwild located at 54445 North Circle Drive, Unit A.

The company recently invested in a state-of-the-art, Italian-made lapel pin printing machine that should give the company an edge by reducing its production time in half. On average, it takes 12-14 working days to fill a lapel pin order because the company manufactures most of its pins at its factory, based in mainland China. With the new machine, pins can be printed in Idyllwild in 3-7 working days--or less.

"We turn down customers every day who want lapel pins, but didn't allow enough lead time for their projects," said Paul Stark, the company's president and founder. For example, a large corporation recently called him asking for service pins that they needed for a ceremony following a convention.
"They were disappointed that they couldn't get their pins in three days and we had to turn down the order," Stark added. "But our new printing machine will change all that. We can turn pins around in less than a week. That's the benefit of having a local pin maker."

The new machine can print four color-pins at a rate of 650 per hour. At full tilt, the new production facility can print as many as 5,000 pins per day. It will also be offering pins proudly marked with "Made in the U.S.A."

The Monterey Company's new distribution office will add two staff members to its reliable and friendly team. It will be open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and it's projected to increase the company's productivity by at least 15 percent.

Stark expects to continue to grow his company at a fast pace, despite the pressures facing the economy. "A majority of our customers still come from the U.S., which may be headed for a recession," he said. "But the U.S. military will always need service medals, graduates will always need medallions and young baseball players will never tire of trading pins that blink, sparkle and slide."

Stark, 43, who's been in the promotional products business since 1989, started The Monterey Company after he created a 20,000 lapel pin order for Mothers Against Drunk Drivers (MADD), where he served on its Board of Advisors. Stark quickly discovered that lapel pins were marketable not only nationally, but also internationally--and that his customer base was both diverse and delightful.

Stark credits part of his success from pulling from a local talent pool, which includes a graphic designer who once worked in the film and animation industry.

"Idyllwild is an incredibly creative environment, and I'm lucky to have several talented locals working for me," he added.

For more information about the company, its printed pin expansion or its products, contact Paul Stark at (800) 259-6496 or visit http://www.montereycompany.com.

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