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Pest Control

He Collects Profits - Not Insects.
December 1, 1997
URL: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/14870

Name and age: Dino Miliotis, 32

Company name and description: DPM Enterprises is the global supplier of Bug-Ban, a nontoxic, mosquito-repellent wristband made with geranium oil, lemon grass oil and citronella. In summer 1998, DPM will market a version that repels deer ticks and protects against Lyme disease.

Based: Homewood, Illinois

Founded: 1996

Start-up costs: $25. "I used that to send out four Federal Express packets [of samples] to people I thought would get excited about Bug-Ban."

1996 sales: $6 million

1997 projections: $18 million

It's all in the wrist: One wristband gives you 40 hours of protection. Bug-Ban can also be stored in a special vapor-barrier bag, which comes with the wristband, and then reused.

Hole in one: Golfers especially like this alternative to sticky bug sprays because it doesn't interfere with their grip.

Where to buy it: Wal-Mart, Home Depot and other drug and retail outlets, health-food stores, and golf pro shops across the United States sell it. Bug-Ban can also be found in 23 countries worldwide.

Doing the numbers: Miliotis sold 7 million Bug-Bans, which retail for approximately $3 each, in the company's first summer season. By the end of this month, he expects that number to reach 30 million.

Words of wisdom: Prior to launching DPM, Miliotis started seven businesses that eventually failed. "For all entrepreneurs out there, my suggestion is don't listen to anybody, and don't quit."

Future focus: "I want this to be the number-one- selling insect repellent in the world."

Art And Soul

Paintings With A Purpose.

Names and ages: Laurie Chester, 38; John Chester, 39

Company name and description: Art publisher Wild Apple Graphics Ltd. distributes thousands of prints by popular artists, including American folk artist Warren Kimble. "We focus on finding artists we can work with, who are painting a little on the cutting edge," says Laurie.

Based: Woodstock, Vermont

Founded: 1990

Start-up costs: $50,000

First-year sales: $80,000

1996 sales: $1million plus

Artfully inspired: After quitting their jobs and traveling the world, Laurie and John decided they wanted to start a business they could run together. Says John, "We looked at a lot of different ideas, but this one appealed to both of us."

Painting the picture: Clients include independent custom frame stores; contract framers; and international distributors in Asia, Australia, Europe, New Zealand and South America.

Various offices: From a bedroom and bathroom (sans toilet) to a renovated barn to a 16,000-square-foot warehouse facility

Key to picture-perfect success: "Make it a lot of fun for yourself, for your employees, for your customers," says John. "That goes a long way toward promoting yourself and creating sales."

Worth a thousand words--or dollars: "Art does improve life, and it doesn't have to be a multithousand-dollar investment," says John. "A nicely framed print can be a very affordable way to positively change the feeling of a room and have a permanent effect on your attitude."

Contact Sources

DPM Enterprises, 343 N. Wood Dale Rd., #102, Wood Dale, IL 60191, (888) BUG-BAN-1

Wild Apple Graphics Ltd., fax: (802) 457-3214, wildapple@aol.com