From the November 1997 issue of Startups

Provide customers with convenient, on-site service and a cost-effective alternative to purchasing new materials with your new Creative Colors International Inc. upholstery repair and color restoration franchise.

Along with training manuals, videos and a toll-free support number, Creative Colors will provide you with a two-week training course at its headquarters in Tinley Park, Illinois (hotel fee not included). You'll also receive an additional week of training in your protected territory, where consultants from Creative Colors will help you obtain new accounts.

A full-time, homebased business that requires minimal overhead, a Creative Colors franchise costs $17,500, plus $7,000 for supplies and equipment. When you purchase a mobile unit--a white minivan--your total investment will range from $40,000 to $45,000. A 6-percent royalty fee, based on annual gross sales, will be charged after the first 30 days of purchase.

From Creative Colors International Inc., Tinley Park, IL. For information, call (800) 933-2656.

Kiss Your Stamps Goodbye

By Jessica Hale

The Personal Post Office is a sleek, stand-alone, desktop postage meter that can weigh, classify and print up to 10 envelopes per minute. And with its built-in modem, you can refill postage 24 hours a day with a 30-second, toll-free call.

Mail Marketer is a CD-ROM tutorial that will guide you through the process of creating the perfect direct mailing for your business. Once you've created your mailing, send it to Pitney Bowes and let their DirectNet Mailing Service print, fold, insert, address, seal, meter and mail it for you. How's that for full service?

Because of U.S. Postal Service regulations, the Personal Post Office can't be purchased, but it is available for a lease price of $19.75 per month plus the price of postage. Mail Marketer, free when you lease Personal Post Office, can be purchased alone for a suggested retail price of $59.95.

From Pitney Bowes Inc., Stamford, CT. For more information, call (800) 5-PITNEY.

Popular products to sell at your retail location

Eye Catching

Help your customers keep your business in sight by providing them with a comfortable eyeglass retainer that's guaranteed for life.

The Chums retainers, available in more than 17 versions and 40 colors, grip well on almost all frames--and even hold eyeglasses under water. Made from two seamless, 100-percent cotton tubes that slide over the eyeglass ear piece and up to the hinges, Chums retainers also feature a vinyl bead that allows the wearer to adjust them for an individual fit.

Chums retainers provide great support for outdoor activities such as river rafting, tennis, surfing, biking and hiking, and are equally great for indoor activities such as meetings, computer tasks, or simply reading a book.

Wholesale price: $2 each. Suggested retail price: $4.95 each. Minimum order: 25 units.

From Chums Ltd., Hurricane, UT. To order, call (800) 222-CHUM.

Brushing Away

Avoid the dreaded customer brush-off by providing them with a safe solution to cleaning their children's teeth. Kindertools toothbrushes are specially designed to protect children between 6 months and 6 years of age from injury while enhancing their motor skills and coordination. The triangular handle, which is wide at the ends and narrows at the top, also features a dividing bar in the middle so children can easily grip the toothbrush.

Kindertools offers two separate toothbrushes for the different stages of child development. The Stage 1 toothbrush (featured below), designed for children between 6 months and 15 months of age, allows babies to reach their first teeth, the incisors, safely and easily. The short stem on the Kindertools' Stage 2 toothbrush helps children reach their molars and will prepare them to ultimately make the transition to a standard toothbrush.

Wholesale price: $1.49 each. Suggested retail price: $2.99 each. Minimum order: 12 units.

From RGT Enterprises Inc., Fort Collins, CO. To order, call (800) 224-3557.