Subscribe to Entrepreneur for $5
Subscribe

Capitalize on Nostalgia

By
This story appears in the March 2009 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

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 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 and NASCAR. Lionel is enjoying mass market appeal once again, and Calabrese has more than tripled starter set sales since 2004.

Continue reading this article - and everything on Entrepreneur!

Become a member to get unlimited access and support the voices you want to hear more from. Get full access to Entrepreneur for just $5.

Entrepreneur Editors' Picks