Traverse City Record-Eagle


November 24, 2013

Start-up business outside the box

TRAVERSE CITY — Most aspiring entrepreneurs turn to financial institutions for help in starting their business, and incur debt that over the long haul can make or break a small business.

Sue Kellogg pursued a different financial model in starting her Traverse City-based Mello & Co., which develops and produces children’s toys.

“I just never thought about going to a bank,” Kellogg said. “There’s other ways to do things.”

Kellogg created what she called her “pop bottle fund,” in which she spent countless hours approaching area businesses and friends to collect pop bottles and raised more than $1,000 to help fund her trademark fees and CAD services.

She also secured funding from Start Garden, which offers seed money for start-up businesses. She spent her own time and money on product development, which allowed her to avoid hiring staff. The end result was the creation of her company’s pioneer product, Nawgum Teething Toy, now sold in 50 boutiques nationwide.

Kellogg intends to keep the success going with more product development. She’s launched a fundraising campaign at that seeks financing from interested parties in exchange for product.

You can go to the website and learn more about her business by searching Mello or Nawgum.

“Demand is increasing and to keep the manufacturing run alive, that’s what this pledging campaign is for,” Kellogg said. “I’m an outside-the-box type of girl.”



Text Only

the BIZ

AP Video
Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case Author Gabriel Garcia Marquez Dead at 87 Chelsea Clinton Is Pregnant Flamingo Frenzy Ahead of Zoo Construction Crew Criticized Over Handling of Ferry Disaster Agreement Reached to Calm Ukraine Tensions Boston Bombing Survivors One Year Later
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide