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Capitalize on Nostalgia

February 16, 2009
URL: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/200166

Searching for the next big idea? Sometimes all it takes is a dash of the old to bring new splendor. Indeed, ideas that come from nostalgia are everlasting, and you can find inspiration everywhere. Gabriela Hernandez, 43, found her inspiration in the classic styles of Grace Kelly and Audrey Hepburn and created a cosmetics line based on the colors and styles of 1940s makeup. In 2004, she founded Bésame Cosmetics in Glendale, Calif., and now projects year-end sales of $800,000.

97%

of trademark applications were filed electronically in 2008.

(Source: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office)

Meanwhile, Jerry Calabrese, 60, saw potential in model train company Lionel, which filed for bankruptcy in 2004 to emerge again in 2008. Backed by VC funding, Calabrese secured shelf space at major retailers and inked licensing agreements with brands like Harry Potter and NASCAR. Lionel is enjoying mass market appeal once again, and Calabrese has more than tripled starter set sales since 2004.

When trying to strike your own strategic deal, keep these pointers in mind: