I’ve had the pleasure of working for Logo Brands for more than 10 years. In terms of a career, I’ve found my home. We often say that Logo is one big family. A group of people who care deeply for each other. We work together, we play together, and many times we pray together. Our small slice of corporate America is a special place built on a foundation that goes much deeper than any one person here. We are often asked “What makes you guys so different?” Or even more specifically, “We don’t know how you do what you do!” It would be easy to take all the credit. It would be easy to dismiss the unseen people that have made our company and our products so great. And if we chose to do that, you would be missing out on what of the greatest stories in our company’s history. And so, I’ve decided to tell the story so everyone would know.
When founder Bill McCauley decided to make licensed chairs, he had no experience. Never mind he had never produced a camp chair…. He also had never bought anything from China, or imported a container. Literally, he had no experience. Through “friends of a friend” he was introduced to a third party in Las Vegas who agreed to help source chairs. This eventually led to their first purchase order, and then, waiting. Waiting that lasted a very long time. Unanswered emails and calls led to that sinking feeling that the chairs may not ever arrive. And they didn’t.
After what I’m sure were lots of sleepless nights and a massive amount of frustration, Bill received an email from China. It was from a very young man named Martin Edin. Martin explained that he worked for the factory which was holding Bill’s money, and chairs. The “boss man” was not honest and Martin felt in his heart that someone should let the customer know the truth. And so he did.
In only a move that Bill could pull off, he decided to ask Martin if he was interested in starting a factory. Martin, being a young man raised on a farm, quickly jumped at the opportunity of his life. But there was one big problem. Martin was a young college graduate with no money. He was newly married with a baby. This was not the time to start a factory. Bill had other plans, and it was one that probably shocked Martin just as much as everyone else. Bill asked how much it would cost to buy machinery and rent a warehouse. He talked through the details, and eventually Martin replied that he could start a factory for around $75,000. Bill, with a huge amount of faith and absolutely no assurance he would ever see his money, wired the $75,000 to Martin. He had never spoken to Martin. He had never met Martin in person. In hindsight, this was the beginning of the Logo Brands that you know today….
That small factory started to make chairs. And then they made more…. And more…. And more! The years that followed saw coolers, and tailgate tents. Soon after were cushions, bags, and blankets. As Logo grew, so did Martin. As Martin grew, so did Logo. It was truly a partnership that cannot be matched.
Today, we have over 10 factories that produce for Logo Brands. They stretch North and South, East and West. He can no longer produce “all” of our products, and has gracefully given us his blessing to find new suppliers to continue our growth. Those of us who have been around a while remember this story and it has created a fierce loyalty to Martin and his family. Now, you know it too.
Just a few weeks ago, we welcomed Martin and his family to the United States for the first time. They were able to meet our team and tour our facility here in Nashville. I’m sure their visit was quite overwhelming, because they too remember the days of long ago, when Logo was just a start up trying to get out of the garage…