Company: Cellular Works Inc.
Year Started: 1993
Start-Up Costs: $18,000
1997 Projections: $9 million
When Andres Link and Richard Swerdlow ventured into the cellular phone business, they became a classic case of the "accidental entrepreneur." Upon discovering that their cellular phone kiosk was competing with another phone store against the policy of the mall they were in, the partners didn't give up the cart. Instead, they switched to cellular phone accessories. Since then, Cellular Works has added mail order to the business.
The company's returned-merchandise policy and agreements with cellular service providers nationwide have been key to ringing up sales. This year the Hollywood, Florida-based company will mail catalogs to more than 1.1 million consumers worldwide. The partners' products are also available on the Internet and through the in-flight catalog SkyMall.
The pair's formula for success? Combining America's fastest-growing product category-wireless communications equipment-with a fast-growing distribution channel-at-home shopping. And, Link adds, "Stick-to-it-iveness."