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Meet Douglas Meeks of KillerSmilez

Today we’d like to introduce you to Douglas Meeks.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I started the business in 2008 directly following the sale of the old family business, start of a divorce/separation and tail end of an alcohol rehab stay. I’ve stayed sober for over 9 years now, have my children in my life and am surrounded by my family, friends and peers. Even though the process was extremely trying, I managed to make positive steps little by little. I took one of the clients from the old business and rented space in a warehouse to conduct business. I had the machinery from the old job, so maintaining product flow was difficult at first, getting everything up and running. As business fluctuates up and down, I needed to move the business to a better location that got me closer to home, while allowing time for my children. I was lucky enough to rent space in a friend’s warehouse in 2011 that worked well for a few years. I only worked for one dental supplier doing the imprinting on their toothbrushes and dental products for their customers. It was during this time that I decided to create KillerSmilez.com and open up a website to start selling online. If dental offices could market their services on toothbrushes to their customers, why couldn’t all other businesses do the same. Since I didn’t have much money, (divorces can be really expensive), I tried to do as much stuff as I could on my own creating the site. This process took time and did not deliver positive results. I had finally outgrown the space I was renting and moved to my own warehouse space in 2014. I found a friend to help create a new, fresh and current website while I started getting involved in the social media sites to create awareness of the business. Today, the business is slowly moving forward. I still imprint for the dental offices/providers through my supplier. I hope to continue finding people and businesses that can benefit from my products/services through marketing, event awareness, giveaways, promotional ideas, gifts, etc. outside of the dental world. The end goal is to create KillerSmilez for everyone.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
The path for me was very tough personally. The divorce process took 4 years plus a lot of time and money. I started this business during a time when I was separated from my kids, forced to sell the house, going through bankruptcy, jobless and living in a sober living house. I had to rent space in warehouses through friends to get started. Since I wasn’t earning enough money, I worked other part time jobs to make up the difference.

My major competition has always been overseas pricing. While I can offer faster turnaround times, lower shipping costs and better inventory controls for customers, it is very difficult to compete with pricing outside the US. Marketing your business via search engines is very difficult. Getting seen, noticed and getting people to interact with a site is very hard to accomplish and takes time for a very niche service. It is just as hard to market using social media sites for a product that is limited to what you can do with it.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Imprinting on toothbrushes has been around for quite some time. It is normally done overseas and offered to dental offices nationwide through dental suppliers. `My business started off the same way, but doing it here in the USA. After doing this for approximately 4 years, the idea of opening up personalized toothbrushes to the public seemed like a fantastic new business idea. I came up with the name KillerSmilez and created a company that would do all services here in the USA. Customers could receive their product quickly, order correct quantities for their customer needs, save money on shipping costs and offer a transparent process for everyone.

I have the ability to imprint toothbrushes, floss, sonic brushes and other dental products. My business utilizes an everyday product that everybody uses and everybody buys. When you think about it, just about everyone grabs their toothbrush 1-2 times a day. This process, whether conscious/unconsciously forces us to look at our toothbrush. What a great way to bring awareness or market services while staying health oriented. This opens up the doorway for households to personalize their toothbrushes with individual names. Fundraising groups can make money for their cause that not only is health based, but provides a great profit margin. Businesses can advertise/market themselves, people can create event awareness, schools can promote health based initiatives or everyone can just have some fun with some funny sayings, etc. Just about anything can be imprinted on our products and to the best of my knowledge, not many resources are making personalized toothbrushes this easy right here in the USA.

What were you like growing up?
I was raised in a great family with strong family values. I was the oldest of 2 children and have a sister. Among all my friends on the block, I was the youngest and usually got picked on the most. We were a tight group of kids on the block and spent a lot of time together playing out in the street, parks, riding bikes, skateboards, etc. I played baseball primarily, but did some other sports as well. I was pretty good in school, had very few bad experiences and had good grades. I made plenty of friends throughout different schools I attended. I was always cautious in my younger years and got a bit more reckless in my high school/college years. I was and still am very work oriented and have a little of the obsessive/compulsive disorder. All in all, growing up was fun and I wouldn’t change a bit of it. I was able to participate in just about anything I wanted and have positive memories of them all.

Pricing:

  • Personalized Name Toothbrushes- Qty 2 @ $7.25 + free gift
  • Full Case Classic Imprinted Toothbrushes-Qty 144 @ $.63 each
  • Full Case Classic Non-Imprinted Toothbrushes- Qty 144 @ $.53 each
  • Full Case Large Pet Imprinted Toothbrushes-Qty 144 @ $.49 each
  • Full Case Small Pet Imprinted Toothbrushes-Qty 144 @ $.46 each

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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