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Bubbling to the Top

One entrepreneur is making his IPO really pop by advertising directly to his customers.

Chris Reed brews and bottles natural soft drinks, but he might soon be uncorking some champagne. The 47-year-old president of Reed's Inc. brewed up an $8 million IPO that has generated a broad consumer response and a good deal of buzz on Wall Street.

Although the public stock market is generally not welcoming to small companies these days, Reed's has put some sparkle in its offering. The trick? Advertising the stock offering directly to its consumer base via a bottleneck tag.

Because of its all-natural ingredients and hand-crafted products, Reed's has thousands of passionate customers in natural food stores across the country. Reed hopes to make those consumers as loyal to his company as they are to his product.

"If we can get the funding from the consumers, it's better for us," says Reed. "They're a passionate shareholder rather than a trader or flipper."

This story appears in the March 2006 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »