Man Medals™ are a new way to poke fun at the guys. Rewarding men for taking out the garbage, picking up their dirty clothes, putting toilet paper on the holder, vacuuming, putting the toilet seat down and asking for directions, these novelty items are available with a pinned back or as refrigerator magnets. A seventh Man Medal with a more serious theme is also available. “Coming home to be a daddy,” is designed to honor US military personnel returning from active duty. “I was in the Navy for nine years, and I know many young people who are coming home after serving our country,” says company president, Jim O’Brien. Ten percent of sales from this medal are donated to the Fallen and Wounded Soldiers Fund (FWSF) in Michigan. The primary purpose of FWSF is to help veterans in Michigan who return from the Iraq and Afghanistan campaigns and find themselves in need of support and assistance. Man Medals wholesale for $2.50 and retail for $5 each, and all product components except for the pin back are made in the USA.
As seen on Shark Tank
Man Medals were born out of a recurring conversation between O’Brien and his wife Kathi. “Whenever I took the trash out or picked up my socks, I’d announce what I’d done,” he recalls. “Her reply? ‘What do you want, a medal?’ Over the years, we’d both get a smile out of it, and one day I thought ‘why not?'” O’Brien introduced the medals in November 2012, and unveiled the retail display on Shark Tank in July. “It was quite an experience,” O’Brien shares. “I did not get an offer on Shark Tank, but I learned a lot in the process, and it was worth the exposure. I not only got an increase in orders, but also had several people contact me to take the deal the sharks passed on.” O’Brien wound up partnering with Kevin Brown, the actor who played the character Dot Com on the NBC show 30 Rock. “We are both very excited about expanding sales in the coming year.”
Great stocking stuffers and impulse buys
Man Medals make perfect stocking stuffers and are great impulse buys, O’Brien adds. “When people see the medals, they laugh and say, ‘for $5, I have to have that’.” O’Brien brought Man Medals to the IGES/SSS show in Tennessee this November, and the response was very positive. “Novelties are an $18 billion industry. Retailers see Man Medals as funny and unique, and they know there is a market for them,” he reports.
The minimum order is a box of 60 medals, which contains ten of each button and wholesales for $150. The medals arrive on 3.5 by 6 inch cards that can be hung on retail hooks. O’Brien is also in the process of creating display boxes, and is seeking a source for them. Vendors of Man Medals appear on the company’s website in the retail locator section, so consumers can find the merchant closest to them.