A Humble Beginnings Sparker by Melanie Keveles

How DID they start? Big success can come from amazingly humble beginnings. May their evolution to success inspire you to start your special dream … now!

Flash of Insight

Roger Adams grew up in a family that owned a roller rink, repairing skates and manning the check room where patrons stored their street shoes. Early on, he invented quirky homemade devices, inspired by James Bond movies. In junior high school, he used the center of a flash cube to design a ring that temporarily blinded people when they bent down to view it. Later, he created sound and lighting systems for skating rinks, helping pay his way though college.

In the fall 1998, he was sitting on a friend’s porch in Manhattan Beach, California., watching roller skaters, skateboarders and bicyclists on the boardwalk, thinking back to a "happier, simpler time" at his family’s roller rink. That led him to an idea. "It occurred to me that all those things — roller skates, skateboards, bikes — had been around for a hundred years," he says. "It seemed to me that there had to be some new way to have fun on wheels."

That flash of insight lead Roger to create a sneaker with a wheel embedded in the heel, launching his business, Heelys, also the name of his skating shoe, in 2000. Since then, the company has sold more than 4.5 million pairs of Heelys. In the six months ended June 30, 2006, sales rose to $44.6 million from $16.1 million a year earlier.

What business idea lies hidden in your memories of happier, simpler times in your life?

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Sparkers – Humble Beginnings © 2006 Melanie Keveles for Coaching Toys Inc – Sparkers & the Coaching Toys Blog, all rights reserved.