Give 'Em the Sack

Two entrepreneurs pack in the profits with treat bags for the rich and famous.

What: High-end gift bags for celebrities
Who: Debra Scott and Jane Ubell-Meyer of Buzz Bags LLC
Where: New York City
When: Started in March 2002

The goody bag is a staple at trendy events--from art show openings to Broadway premiere parties--and the who's who in attendance always leave with loads of great products. And if Debra Scott and Jane Ubell-Meyer have anything to do with it, their luxurious Buzz Bags will become the bag to get.

A former editor of Hamptons magazine, Scott and former PR exec Ubell-Meyer, 47, decided there was money to be made in getting advertisers to pay for product placement in goody bags given to trendsetters at star-studded events. Though it's a challenge to get advertisers to pay for something that was once free (getting into goody bags), the partners sell their service as an advertising expense rather than a PR expense. Says Scott, 50, "It's a specific group we target--affluent people between the ages of 25 and 40."

They sell their service to advertisers by telling them how much exposure previous products have received when included in one of the goody bags. Sales exploded for one company in particular the week after its product was featured in a Buzz Bag.

Although they currently focus on celebrity events such as the Grammys, the partners got their start by targeting Hampton Jitney, the luxury coach line service that takes vacationers to the Hamptons. Eventually, Scott and Ubell-Meyer would like to get their bags to average consumers as well. With sales expected to surpass a quarter of a million dollars this year, the partners are well on their way.

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This article was originally published in the July 2003 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Give 'Em the Sack.

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