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Warren Royal, ‘Everyone Likes Bobbleheads’

What was the breakthrough moment when you realized this could take off?

As luck would have it, this was 2008, the year of a momentous presidential election. There was a lot of excitement in the air about the election, and a lot of people were looking for political figures, so I found Barack Obama, John McCain, Rudy Giuliani and Hillary Clinton. Everything we bought, we would sell out of almost immediately, and I saw this was going to be big. I would personally take the orders and do all the packing and shipping from my basement. Eventually, we ran out of space in my basement, so I had to get a mini warehouse, and that was full so we had to get a second, and that was full so we had to get a third. Also during that time, Sarah Palin came on the scene, and everybody wanted Sarah Palin or Michelle Obama bobbleheads, and no one had those. So I saw a real gap in the marketplace for products and for quality. Most of the stuff out there was poorly done, honestly. I said I think we can do better, so I got on a plane and went to China, interviewed factories and sculptors, and started to produce our own products to fill in the missing pieces. That was the beginning of Royal Bobbles. The first three were Sarah Palin, Michelle Obama and Ted Kennedy, and we now have about 60 different designs.

Another thing I noticed was that people were looking for custom bobbleheads. About 50 percent of the people coming to the website were looking for, say, bobbleheads of their boss, girlfriend or cake toppers for their wedding. When I was in China, I met with some factories that could do that type of work also. Today, the custom channel does more volume than either of the other two.

via Warren Royal, ‘Everyone Likes Bobbleheads’.

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