Greek Paraphernalia Proves to Be Profitable Venture for Black Businessman

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The Great Recession has proven to be a mixed bag for entrepreneurs, with some struggling to keep their doors open and others flourishing. Fortunately for Marty Cotwright, his fledgling foray into business landed him squarely in the latter group. Cotwright quit his job and used his savings to finance Greek Tags, which specializes in Greek paraphernalia.

“I’ve always had an entrepreneur[ial] mind-set as far as thinking about innovative concepts and products all my life, says Cotwright, a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha.

So, what would prompt someone to quit their seemingly secure job and take a leap of faith to start their own business during uncertain times? According to Cotwright, it was a dream and an idea. “I had an idea … I came up with the car emblems. The strategy was to look at the demographics of the college market to see what they were interested in buying. I noticed that when people graduated, they bought cars, so they became my target market,” he says. “I knew how much Greek organizations love to sport their letters and wanted to produce a product that was stylish and appealing to ‘Greeks’ of all ages.”

Rather than open a retail store that simply sold Greek apparel, Cotwright decided to focus on supplying a few specialized products to retailers.

The niche company makes products for all sororities, fraternities and Masonic organizations. The Atlanta establishment’s best-sellers are the funky, jeweled dog tags from their jewelry collection and the chrome car emblems bearing Greek letters.

Cotwright attributes the 2-year-old company’s growth and success to providing high quality products and good customer service. Much like the founders of his fraternity, Cotwright — who received his bachelor’s from the University of Mexico, and a master’s from Clarke Atlanta University — recognized a void in the marketplace and created an opportunity to meet the demands of that market. With new and unique products on the horizon, the future is looking bright for Greek Tags.

amyr heard

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