Building A Rubber Duck Empire With Craig Wolfe

Building A Rubber Duck Empire With Craig Wolfe

Last Updated on December 17, 2020

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About Craig Wolfe

I was the largest publisher of artwork from television commercials for Coca-Cola, Anheuser-Bush, M&M/Mars, Nike etc. which I sold off to create CelebriDucks the first ever line of Celebrity Rubber Ducks that is now a leader in our industry.

About CelebriDucks

I loved the animation, but rubber ducks of celebrities was just too funny a concept to pass up. I mean I had no idea if it would work…..but….it did! Now we are considered the top custom duck manufacturer in the world and create them for Fortune 500 companies and sports teams from The NY Yankees, Harley-Davidson, to Conan! We really do have fun. I never expected to be selling millions of them, but we did hit a nerve and were even voted one of the top 100 gifts by Entertainment Weekly and featured on The Tonight Show.

How Did You Get Your First Several Customers Or Users? How Many Users Or Customers Do You Have Now?

I would just call stores. I also sent out a lot of press releases. The Atlantic City Press called to ask why they should run a story. I told them I was from Jersey and used to go to Atlantic City. That was good enough! That weekend the story ran and the Vice-President of The Philadelphia 76ers read it and wanted to do a duck of their superstar Allen Iverson. And the rest as they say is history. The promotion was a huge hit and suddenly all these other professional teams and companies were calling. I sold off the animation company and never looked back. We have thousands of customers worldwide.

How Does Your Company Grow And Acquire New Customers?

We just really keep up that non-stop PR and social media posting. You just work it every day and you never know when a simple re-tweet and reach thousands and thousands of new potential customers!

What Actionable Tips And Tricks Do You Have For New Founders Who Are Looking To Get Their First Thousand Users Or Dollars?

It does not happen overnight. It is always great if you can start your new biz as a side hustle and have an income so you can go through all the trials, the pivots, the learning mistakes that will inevitably occur without burning through all your cash. How you respond to those misfortunes as well as initials successes will define who you are and your capacity to create a brand with staying power.

What Is Something You’ve Learned That Would Not Be Obvious To Somebody Who Hasn’t Worked In Your Space Before?

You almost never get it right from the start. You think everyone does but they do not…not Coca-Cola, Hershey, Disney, Nike, etc., etc. You have no idea what you don’t know in the beginning and there is NO way to avoid that learning curve no matter how smart or rich you are. Business is an evolution and you have to plan for the long game and not lose heart because there will be many ups and downs. Learn to adapt, pivot, and come out even stronger.

What’s The Craziest Thing That’s Happened To You (Good Or Bad) On Your Founder Journey?

I think it was when Jamie Lee Curtis called and wanted to be a duck and wanted to know who the genius was that created them! It was a thrill for me as the original Halloween movie was my favorite horror film of all time and her husband, Christopher Guest’s mock documentaries are classics. Just to tell her how much I loved her and her husband’s classic roles was so much fun.

What Are Your Favorite Books?

I love reading business books with stories…all the Trout and Reis books on Positioning are fantastic reads. I also love reading about this Saint, Padre Pio…just extraordinary stories!

Anything You’d Like To Plug?

Well, apart from our Celebrity Ducks, I am very proud of the fact that we returned a portion of the rubber duck industry back to America where the industry began with our PVC free Good Ducks which are considered the safest rubber ducks on the market for teething babies. You can read more about it on our website in the PVC free Made in America section.

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