I, Raymond Holmen, worked as a production
manager/tool maker at DEKA AS, a supplier of moulds and injection
moulding for thermoplastics. As a guitarist in the band Back To
Basic (a band with 3 guitar players), I saw our need for picks was
huge. After some discussion with my fellow musicians, I found that
there was certainly an interest in personalized guitar picks.
In 2001, I did a prototype mould with the name "Back To
Basic" engraved. We were probably the only band in Europe with
engraved picks (raised letters). They were great!
But the idea was to make some money, too. I had to make new moulds
for printable picks, which meant picks that were plain on both
sides. In May 2001, I added the gauges 0.50, 0.70, 0.88 and 1.00,
and I started offering picks to friends and friendsí friends.
I started using the plastic resin from
DEKA's stock. Even though this was limited to 3 colors, the quality
was among the best. DEKA had great experience using the Delrin 500
for other applications, and the processing went well.
The printing was done with a Switz
half-automatic hot-stamping machine that I also borrowed from DEKA.
In 2002/2003 something happened. Sales were
increasing, and so was my idea of making a living from this. I
expanded the color range and in March 2003 made a huge decision. I
said, "I'm gonna make a living out of this!" Well,
my friends and family supported this, but did they really?
I focused on this business, as much as I could, all the time. I
dreamt about picks every night, trying to figure out new products
and how to increase sales.
By Autumn 2003, sales were climbing. I made
deals with large companies, supplying famous international bands
with guitar picks. This, plus a few famous bands and artists from
Norway, made the customers trust Pickfactory more than ever. The
biggest order so far was done; I delivered 95.000 picks in 9 days.
Small businesses are often very flexible :-)
Today, I make a living as a Pickmaker. It's
a one-man show most of the time, but in a real time crunch, I rent
some manpower from a couple of companies nearby, or cooperate with
some partners from the same industry.
When I say "we," I actually
mean my network of friends, family, suppliers and companies that
support my dream and help me whenever I need them. Without them, I
could not have done this....