Toledo entrepreneur Randy Boudouris, 52, chose a midlife epiphany over a midlife crisis.
Ten years ago, after a falling-out with his employer and a job as a print salesman, he began focusing on making money by himself.
One heart attack and several sleepless nights later, he started MagnetNotes Ltd.
His premier product, MagneCotes, is a paper-thin magnet sheet that is fed through inkjet printers to create materials including personalized magnetized photos and company advertisements. His business, with three employees, is operated out of his office on Central Avenue, but the production is done by a contract firm in St. Paul, Minn.
It all part of a $500 million worldwide magnet advertising industry. His company, he said, has a 5 percent share, which would be equal to $25 million. Official revenues were not disclosed.
He began with a simple idea and the help of a neighbor, Ray Richards, a retired scientist with Owens-Illinois Inc., a Perrysburg glass bottle making firm.
"I started out in [Ray's] garage on a hot plate mixing formulas on what did and didn't work," he said.
MagnetNotes products are sold worldwide. In Toledo, they are found at paper supply companies Cannon Paper Co. and Xpedx.
Terry Riffle, former store manager at the Xpedx store in Maumee, said MagneCotes sheets were popular with area schools and businesses for advertisements, event schedules, and business cards. The store sold 4,000 sheets annually.
Mr. Boudouris sold his first product, the Stick 'N' Save, to True Label Co. in Toledo in 2004. Marco's Pizza gave out the coupon-pad product.
The best display for such products is on a refrigerator, he said.
His company has developed a yogurt lid for Dannon Company Inc. in Mexico and coupons for the Kroger Co., and has done promotional work with PepsiCo Inc.
David Huber, a sales representative with Trans World Services, a promotional marketing company in Columbus, said he is not surprised by the popularity of magnets in advertising.
"Anything that people can use around the house anything that's going to benefit someone will stay around," he said.
In July, the firm's newest product, Magnet Notes, will be in area stores.
They will be thin and act like classic sticky notes, but are magnetic and will cost slightly more.
Contact Ted Fackler at: