Ident-A-Kid Services of America

Create and sell ID cards that can help lost children become found.
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This story appears in the August 2002 issue of Startups. Subscribe »

Sure, money is important, but so is finding a job that means something to you. That's what Stephen Iwaszko was looking for when he began investigating a new business venture for himself a few years ago. "I was looking for something that was worthwhile to sink my teeth into," says the former network marketer.

Through a work acquaintance, Iwaszko discovered Ident-A-Kid, a franchise that manufactures and sells ID cards for children. Franchisees visit schools, day-care centers and camps to snap pictures of children and gather all their vitals before making the cards, which are sent back to parents or guardians to keep in their wallets in case of an emergency. Says Iwaszko, "Hopefully they'll never have to pull it out, but should that child disappear, you cannot be better prepared than to have an Ident-A-Kid card in your wallet."

Since 1999, Iwaszko and his employees have been providing Ident-A-Kid cards to families in the Washington, DC, area. They currently produce cards for about 1,000 kids per week, and Iwaszko hopes to double that number next year.

While Iwaszko appreciates the freedom of being his own boss, he understands that his franchise benefits far more people than himself and his employees. "Essentially we're saving the lives of kids and helping them be found faster should they be abducted or lost," he says. "That's a really good thing to spend my time doing."

Edition: July 2017

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