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Soft Sell

How two brothers with an idea for a better tissue got in the game with the big boys--and didn't get flushed.

This story appears in the March 1999 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Everywhere we went, people told us it couldn't be done-- and that if it could be done, it would've been done by now," says Willy Paterson-Brown, 33. But Paterson-Brown and his brother, Tim, 38, weren't discouraged by the naysayers. The Scottish-born entrepreneurs attacked the task ahead of them with the underdog fervor of David challenging Goliath--carving out a place for their upstart company among the tissue industry's biggest players.

Seattle-based Linters Inc., the company the brothers founded in 1994, is the maker of Purely Cotton, the world's first and only 100 percent cotton tissue products. The bottom line? Last year's limited regional distribution of Purely Cotton products brought in sales of $14 million, and the brothers estimate that the deployment of national distribution later this year will triple their company's annual sales.

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