The Christmas Light Company
‘Tis the season. And what would the season be without Christmas lights? Dark, probably.
“The Christmas Light Company” in one of my favorite Why Didn’t I Think of That? stories. And, seeing as Christmas isn’t very far off, I thought I’d share it with you.
You can hear the story below (I’ve taken the liberty of embedding it directly into this blog post, but if you go to the story page, you can find a nice, summarized rundown of the feature).
Rather than just rehash what Bob and Greg already tell you in the audio feature, I’ll take this oppurtunity to flesh out the story a little bit.
It started when Jamie Limber was a college kid. During the holiday season, Limber would decorate houses with holiday lights. It was good money, too. Even after he graduated and started his career, Jamie was still taking off the month of December to continue dressing up houses for the holidays.
But it was his frustration with “icicle lights” that pushed Limber over the edge, from enterprising college-grad to inventor. He designed the prototype for the “Wrap-N-Roll.” According to the Christmas Light Company’s website, the “Wrap-N-Roll is a revolutionary Christmas/Icicle light storage system that allows you to store and unwind your lights in seconds. Just insert a pen in the center hole of Wrap-N-Roll and watch the tangle-free lights unwind in seconds.”
Limber and his newly formed “Christmas Light Company” debuted the Wrap-N-Roll in 1996 at the International Toy Fair in New York City. He sold roughly 50,000 units. The following July, a similar incident on QVC Cable Networks–all 4,500 available units sold out within a minute of the product preview, before Jamie even had the chance to hawk his product on-camera–Limber realized he had something.
“The demand was much larger than we thought,” Limber said. “I realized in the summer of 1997 that I had to resign from Philip Morris and go full time.”
Since then, the Christmas Light Company has developed over 50 products which sell in stores across the country, from Lowe’s to Wal-Mart, as well as on cable shopping channels.
In 2005, The Greater Phoenix Chamber of Commerce named the Christmas Light Co. the “Most Innovative Small Business of the Year.”
But Limber hasn’t totally forgotten his roots. The Christmas Light Company still does consulting and decorating. But now they focus on larger clients–shopping centers, office buildings, even whole cities.
Christmas comes but once a year, but that hasn’t effected the Christmas Light Company’s revenue. Recent sales projections exceed 8 million dollars.
Christmas lights. Now, why didn’t I think of that?