The/Studio: Introduce yourself. Tell our readers a little bit about who you are!
Ted: My name is Ted Kole a graphic designer with a career in corporate communication and media services. After graduating from Parson School of Design in New York City I spent two years working for small design studios before being employed by the Long Island defense contractor, Grumman Aerospace Corporation. In 1994 Grumman Corporation merged with the defense contractor Northrop Corporation to become Northrop Grumman.
Grumman became the Island’s largest employer by the late 1960’s when they built the Lunar Module, which landed man on the moon on July 20, 1969. It’s most recognizable military product was the infamous F-14 Tomcat fighter jet that was featured in the movie “Top Gun” staring Tom Cruise.
(see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moon_landing )
(see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grumman_F-14_Tomcat )
I recently retired from Northrop Grumman after 38 years in the Media Services department. Before retiring I requested, and was granted, a License Agreement with Northrop Grumman to design, manufacture and market GRUMMAN logo memorabilia and related gift products. My License Agreement assures that 10% of my net sales is contributed to the Grumman Retiree Club.
(see http://thegrummanstore.com/ )
(see http://www.grummanretireeclub.org/ )
The/Studio: What a wonderful career you had! What does your business do?
Ted: I produce and market my current products through my online store and wholesale product to several retail accounts including local Gift Shops, the Cradle of Aviation Museum and an online military memorabilia company called HistoricAviation.com. Products include a Grumman Logo Patch Hat as well as Coffee Mugs, T-shirts, Sweatshirts, Metal ‘Man Cave’ Signs and more.
My market niche includes retired Grumman and Northrop Grumman employees, relatives and current family members of retired and deceased Grumman and Northrop Grumman employees as well as various Military members.
The/Studio: What have you learned since starting your business?
Ted: There continues to be a demand and desire to wear vintage Grumman memorabilia.
The/Studio: What about your business are you most proud of?
Ted: To continue selling products that preserves the Grumman legacy.
The/Studio: What are some of the greatest challenges you face with your business?
Ted: Expanding Wholesale accounts to Museum Stores.
The/Studio: Where do you see your organization or business in 10 years?
Ted: Uniquely positioned to hold the only License Agreement to offer GRUMMAN logo apparel and gift products.
The/Studio: What is the story behind the custom product that you produced with The/Studio?
Ted: The/Studio company was the only Patch company that I found which could produce the ‘vintage’ fringed edging that I wanted for my Patch Hats.
The/Studio: I am happy we had the special option you desired! How are you going to use this custom product?
Ted: I adhere my custom patch directly onto the front of the Hats I market.
The/Studio: Do you have any promotions you would like to offer our community?
Ted: Please sign up for Special Offerings via Constant Contact Promotions through my web site. (see http://visitor.r20.constantcontact.com)
The/Studio: Do you have any upcoming events that our community members can attend?
Ted: I will be selling Grumman products at the Long Island, Riverhead Country Fair, on Sunday, October 11, 2015.
Thank you Ted for sharing your story with us. We are honored to have created custom patches for such an iconic cooperation.