Starting a Novelty Business

Interview with Craig Wolfe, Founder of CelebriDucks

Sitting around, drinking beer with the buddies, a lot of business ideas get thrown around. Celebrity rubber duckies?! CelebriDucks was founded in 1998 in San Rafael, California.

Craig Wolfe is the owner and creator of CelebriDucks.

Tell me about your current business. What are you doing exactly?

At CelebriDucks , we make Celebrity Rubber Ducks of the greatest icons of film, music, athletics, and history that were voted one of the top 100 gifts by Entertainment Weekly.

How did you come up with the idea?

Just sitting around with friends with a little drinking!

What were you doing before this, and is this your first business?

I created Name That Toon which became the largest publisher of the first ever animation art lines for Coca-Cola, Anheuser-Bush, M&M/Mars, Pillsbury, Nike, etc.

Did you write a business plan?

Never really used a business plan myself .

Who did you hire to help you?

We outsource virtually everything. It's a great way to manage your cost. You need to have a great team around you.

Did you operate your business from your home?

Yes, I love having from a home office and outsourcing everything. It allows me to manage costs, get the best people, and work in a very cool and fun environment.

Do you own a business with family members? What do you think are the benefits and challenges to running a family owned business?

I think it's great in many cases....key is having family members with the right skill set and also that you can all work together. It doesn't always work for everyone so you have to really define the lifestyle and business boundaries.

Green business is all the rage right now. Has it really been practical for you as an entrepreneur to incorporate green business practices?

In this day and age, going green is not only easier than ever and it is something we all need to be moving toward. That's actually one of the reasons we just released the world's first ever 100% recycled "Green" rubber duck!

With the current economy in a slump, what cost saving tips would you have for a new entrepreneur?

Well you know my mantra, outsource is the single best way you can control your costs. The biggest killer of any new business is overhead! Lean and mean is always good, but you need to know where to spend at the same never want to simply sit still.

What have you done that has been very effective in helping to grow the business?

Getting the right licenses is key to our business as is having the right factories, artists, accountants, etc. Bottom line, you're only as good as the people around you and the products you produce.

Is there anything you wish you had done differently?

Yes, I should have done more due diligence with factories, clients, licenses, etc....bottom line, should have listed to my gut instincts more in the beginning.

What advice would you give to somebody else who wanted to start a similar business?

Create a product you will fuel your energy through the tough times....

And who couldn't love a rubber duckie? Sounds like a fun business. Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts.

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