In 1980, while working as a machinist in Boston, MA, part time inventor Norm Soucy came up with what he felt was his best idea ever. It seemed that no matter what business establishment he went to, their pens were either non existent or in deplorable condition. He'd seen tethered counter pens at banks and post offices before, but it seemed that as often as not their chains were broken or the pens were missing. He thought that there must be a better way. Using his machinist skills on a block of hardwood Norm hand crafted his first wooden prototype, the predecessor to today's AdverPenŌ.
After months of burning the midnight oil and many failed attempts Norm came up with a sturdy pen attached to a hardwood base with aircraft grade cable. The uniqueness however was the hollowed out cavity, which securely held cards with product logos and advertising. He called it the Ultimate Pen™ and used the little amount of capital that he had to file a patent application and hire a sales rep. Because each unit was hand crafted the production costs were high which made the retail price higher than most prospective customers were willing to pay. Through hard work and perseverance he was finally able to secure orders from some major Boston banks and it looked like he was on his way.
Unfortunately this is when Norm's first major setback took place as the economy took a giant step backward and orders were cancelled or virtually impossible to obtain. Financially strapped, Norm was forced to put his dreams on hold for a while.
Sometimes, when it rains it pours and just when it looked like the economy was improving, illness forced Norm to an early retirement and ultimately into an assisted care facility in Florida.
Never, Never Give Up! In 1999, through sheer coincidence Norm met Boston area businessman Tom Welch who took an interest in the product when he saw Norm's U.S. Patent in a frame hanging on his wall. The two became friends and then business partners and even though being separated by nearly 2,000 miles, they worked together by phone and mail to find a way to mass-produce the product and make the price more affordable. Norm began going through phone books and trade journals from his nursing home room and over the next two years found sub contractors and shops willing to help with the project. After many, many failed attempts Norm's dream was becoming a reality and now through injection molding and other modern technology, the AdverPen™ is rolling off the assembly line using high strength space age plastics.
Never, Never, Never Give Up. Those are the words of Sir Winston Churchill spoken during WWII, and they are words that over the last half-century have kept many a person facing adversity from quitting. “I couldn’t quit” says Soucy. “It’s not about money, it never has been. When you have a dream that means so much to you, you simply must keep going, no matter what. I just wanted to see my AdverPenŌ come to life, in my lifetime.”
And what's next for Norm? “Well, we want to focus all of our energy and efforts right now on marketing the AdverPenŌ. We have commercial units for businesses and retail units that will be used to display sports logos, photos of children, grandchildren, and even the family pet. After that, we have several other products that we hope to bring to market. After all, I'm only 69 !”
Sadly, Norm Soucy passed away on August 18, 2010. He will be remembered above all else as a kind, gentle and caring man of great vision and perseverance.
See More About the AdverPen™ at www.AdverPen.com