It all began with a simple idea – a decorative mailbox cover that could easily be changed for each season or holiday.
When the idea first came to Sue Todd in 1988, no one had done it before. Her husband, Curt, spent about $20 on materials to make a prototype. They decided on how to make the product, but they were stuck when it came to an easy attachment method.
The solution revealed itself one evening when Curt went to the refrigerator for some ice. He noticed a flexible magnetic calendar attached to the freezer door. “I grabbed it and ran outside,” Curt recalls the moment. “It was dark, 20 degrees, snowing, and I was wrapping a calendar around our mail- box in my slippers.”
And with that, the concept of MailWraps® magnetic mailbox covers was born.
Curt and Sue put everything they could into their patented idea, but after 3 years, their business went bankrupt. They thought their dream was over.
They closed the warehouse and took the leftover inventory home to the shelves in their basement. As a mom of two kids with their third on the way, Sue decided to try working from home to sell what was left. Orders trickled in, so Sue and her husband pressed on.
They went to home shows and craft fairs and published mail order brochures.
But it was when independent gift stores and garden centers discovered their product that their business grew by leaps and bounds. They hired their moms, their friends, and their neighbors to keep up with demand, and Magnet Works expanded its product offering to include matching flags, mats, and address signs.
The company outgrew five buildings in 10 years. Their home-based business for two turned into a community of more than 50 employees, over 150 licensed artists, about 100 sales reps, and thousands of independent retailers.
After 20 years of double-digit growth, the Recession hit, and sales at Magnet Works flattened. To return to growth, Curt and Sue decided it was time to reinvent and reinvest.
After hiring and promoting some key players, Curt, Sue, and the Magnet Works team deliberated for months over what new direction to take. What do we care about most as a company and why? It didn’t take long to see that it’s our commitment to our community of retailers, reps, artists, and vendor partners that sets us apart. And a creative spirit that has been at the root of our success since the beginning.Read more about our commitment →