Over 20 years ago, this was the first time I ever tried making something like a product for sale.
I was running my own print brokerage back then, doing design work for printed materials and then contracting the printing of the material for my clients. (This practice is still common today, especially with the specialization of print shops into certain types of printing).
I liked to eat out and had designed and printed menus, flyers and table cards for many restaurants. I’m not sure which one asked me if I could get matchbooks for them. Back in the day, all restaurants had matchbooks with their logo on them. I found the company that produced the matchbooks and it turns out that they sold only through print brokers like me. That was perfect, but if I wanted to be a broker for them, I would need a few more customers.
I asked around at several of my favorite eating places, and somewhere along the line, the idea of a Restaurant Matchbook Collection came about.
I included matchbooks from each restaurant, a map with a few words and contact info for each restaurant on the back and the Calgary Restaurant Collections was born.
Everyone who was in it, loved it and my friends all wanted one, but I never did get up to full production, as I did not have a distribution channel in place!
Lesson learned. It was fun though, and I still did some really great eating around town, as well as increased my print brokerage business!
I don’t smoke, and with the current non-smoking trend, it is probably a good thing I let it go!