Wristband maker grows into two-for-one giving campaign
In November of 2010, brothers Jason, Brandon and Jordan Kuiper sat around their parents’ kitchen table in Hudsonville, creating a new wristband.
The Kuiper brothers went on to co-found Zox, which makes limited-edition polyester elastic wristbands.
Their dad told them they should call their business Zox, because it rhymes with jocks, said Brandon, the middle brother.
“We said, ‘that’s a horrible name,” he said. “We’re never going to use it.’ But two days later, it grew on us.
“We worked with gold lettering to make it more special, so the first 100, numbers one to 100, are the ones that are stitched in gold. It’s one of the things where the gold ones sell fast and it makes collectability. It was like ‘Charlie and Chocolate Factory’ where you want to find the gold stich.”
Zox wristbands are mostly sold online.
Although originally based in West Michigan, anchored by retail in Grand Haven, the brothers took their business to California about a year and a half ago.
But the boys Midwestern roots stayed strong, and this Black Friday, they decided they wanted to make a donation.
“Going through high school in Michigan during the recession was tough,” Brandon said. “I wanted to do something unique that reminds the folks who are still struggling that there are people that care.
“I saw something online for Toys for Tots, and I thought, ‘What if we matched Toys for Tots?’ We called them immediately, and they were like, ‘Yeah, go right ahead.’”
From midnight to midnight on Black Friday, Zox doubled its orders. If somebody ordered three wristbands, Zox would donate six wristbands to Toys for Tots.
In 24 hours, Zox sold about 787 units, donating a total of 1,574 Zox wristbands to Toys for Tots in Grand Rapids, New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco, a value of about $12,592.
Brandon also noted that although most donations at Christmas time neglect teenagers in need, Zox donations can make a better Christmas for teenagers.
“You always see people at Best Buy trying to trample people for a TV,” he said. “That’s not what we want to be about, especially on the day where everybody is looking for the best deals,”
“We probably didn’t make a profit. But it was more about doing an awesome sale, getting our name out and helping people. So many customers had a positive reaction to it. We can make a bigger impact next year.”