Living life to the fullest, taking chances, and celebrating success is something that so many young professionals talk about but, not something that we all do. Jay Klein is a picture-perfect example of a YP that is creating and challenging himself on a daily basis. You can see Jay’s passion and direction by his saying “BLE” (read on for it’s definition). Get to know Jay Klein.
Notable: What is your Name and age?
Jay: Jay Klein, 30
Notable: What is the name of your business and what industry is it in?
Jay: Action Candy company is our corporate name, but we are easily recognized as PUR GUM. I also have a marketing company called Drivertise International Inc. www.pur-gum.com; twitter: @purgum; facebook: facebook.com/purgum; www.drivingdigital.com
Notable: Elevator Pitch (we just met on an elevator, we have 30 seconds together in the elevator, please describe your business):
Jay: PUR is an aspartame free chewing gum, that is naturally sweetened, VEGAN, Gluten free, and with PUR we have created a product that appeals to today’s health aware consumer. The PUR Brand has been in market for only 6 months, and in that short period of time, we have emerged as the market leader, outselling the competition by multiples. We have done this through providing consumers with a better product, that is better for you. Our marketing plan is very focused on sampling and brand awareness, because our consumers understand the benefits we are providing by chewing aspartame free gum. The gum industry is a very attractive space for us, and it is a 20 billion dollar business, with only a few key players. That’s a lot of gum, at about 1.50 per pack. PUR is in over 1000 independent retail stores, and growing very quickly. We expect to be in 7,000-10,000 doors by the end of next year. We will get there by expanding our distribution to the Canadian market, and in January, make our formal entrance in the the US market. Our high multiple growth opportunity is penetrating lots of doors, and being able to offer line extension items, that we are currently in development of, and we will start with our 4th flavor in April of 2011.
Notable: Why did you start your business, what was the inspiration?
Jay: I started Drivertise when I was in university, because I was willing to do almost anything to avoid going to Law School. I knew if I could make enough money in my first year, I wouldn’t have to go. For the Gum business, I was consulting with a client starting a consumer good, and they opted only to take some of our advice on launching their brand. So as a challenge to myself and my team, we decided to start our own consumer product to see if we could do it. And now we are a category leader in the Health food world.
Notable: What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis?
Jay: I love what I do, I come to work everyday with a purpose, and leave everyday with a smile. We provide our customers with a simple and functional product, and we also get to taste a lot of different candy!
Notable; What is the most challenging part of your business?
Jay: The most difficult part is the follow through after a client says “YES” to carrying the product. There is a lot to get done, in order to make sure the next step goes smoothly.
Notable: Where do you see your business going in 5 years?
In 2016, we should have global distribution with the PUR GUM brand, as well as line extension items. We will be the market leader in Aspartame Free Chewing Gum.
Notable: Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Jay: Make sure you have fun with what you are doing. Surround yourself with great people, and keep life in perspective.
Notable: What is your greatest asset as it relates to business?
Jay: I think my creativity, and my networking ability. If that fails, I usually can offer someone a piece of gum to freshen their breath.
Notable: What does success look like to you?
Jay: Success, is being able to provide for the people and causes that you care about. Success could also look like a walk in closet full of running shoes, I will keep you posted.
Notable: What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
Jay: I get excited every time we make a deal. So each transaction is a milestone for me!
Notable: Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
Jay: I am a big believer in giving back, the reality is we only need so much. And there is no better feeling than seeing the smile on someone else’s face, when you can do something to help them. I am actively involved with United Jewish Appeal, JNF, CJPAC, POGO (Pediatric Oncology) and Make-A-Wish.
Notable: What is Notable to you?
Jay: Being a loyal and honest person. I would always be there to lend a hand, except if you are moving heavy boxes.
Notable: Anything Else?
Jay: My friends and I have this saying “BLE” Best Life Ever. It’s our privilege to live it, and our responsibility to keep it that way.