Friday’s Spark – Better Ideas

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!

Better Ideas

In 1967, Skip Yowell’s cousin Murray had an idea for a better backpack. It would be built around a lightweight, adjustable aluminum frame. Cousin Murray formed a company. The woman he was dating at the time just happened to be a wiz on the sewing machine. Murray promised that if she would marry him, he’d name the company after her. "She did, and he did," Yowell writes in his book, The Hippie Guide to Climbing the Corporate Ladder & Other Mountains" and JanSport was born."

The JanSport team was just "three hippies…no business plan…even less money…All we had was Murray’s innovative design, Jan’s skill, my creative instincts and a shared affinity for Dylan music and beer."

Yet, the JanSport pack was an improvement over the standard backpacks of their day, and the entrepreneurial trio had providence on their side. Nature and outdoor adventure were popular. Their first big break came with an order of 300 backpacks.

Today the brand is truly recognizable and the company’s signature product – a little pack is now worn by students in every part of the world.

What better ideas do you have that your friends will band with you to realize?

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

Read more Humble Beginnings Sparkers by Melanie