Interview With Minimus CEO Paul Shrater: A Small Business Based on Small Items Turning 9
On July 6, Minimus.biz, a niche e-commerce company that focuses on travel-sized and individual-sized items, celebrates entering its ninth year in business. I had the opportunity to interview Paul Shrater, its cofounder, to explore how the company went from a boot-strapped startup to one that Internet Retailer named to its top 1,000 grossing e-commerce companies in the country.
Where did the idea for Minimus come from?
My parents, sister, and brother-in-law were on a trip to New Hampshire, where they had rented a cabin for the week. They each went and purchased bottles of their favorite brands of dressings and boxes of cereal. At the end of the week, when they were going to fly home, they realized that it was a waste to throw away the bottles and wished that there was a company that sold the condiment packets, and minis of their favorite brands. They mentioned the idea to me and I thought that it would be a great niche to focus on. Everything small — food items, travel sized toiletries and more. I was also watching how the public was finally trusting putting their credit card online and yet, there were not a lot of stores to service the new world of e-commerce.
What were your early challenges in growing the business?
Our earliest challenge was a couple of months into the business when we had grown beyond a couple of offices and needed a real warehouse. It was difficult to find a commercial warehouse space that would lease to a company that only had a couple of months of financials and that did not require a five-year commitment with a personal guarantee. Luckily, we found a great building owner that believed in the potential of our business and structured a stepping-stone formula to allow us into the space with pricing and time commitments that mirrored our business growth.
How did your business morph during its growth?
What began as an e-commerce venture to the individual consumer grew to include a large variety of wholesale customers: corporations, nonprofits, educational institutions, medical institutions, government agencies, hospitality companies, sports teams and numerous others. As we warehouse everything on-site, we also developed a presence in the promotional products industry, as we have the ability to logo kits of products for people (corporate events, golf tournaments, disaster relief kits, destination weddings and hundreds of others) and provide a fast turnaround.
How has your decision to warehouse items on site affected your business?
Given that we have a lot of little items with a low margin, it wouldn’t be cost effective to outsource our pick and pack operation. It has also allowed us to get into things like custom kit building, as prototypes can be assembled quickly, and then full production can be done seamlessly after product approval. It has also allowed us to react quickly, overall. Larger companies take a long period of time to setup accounts and do things like coordinate orders with third party fulfillment centers. Our best example was when Hurricane Katrina hit, our shelves went empty, as we were able to react quickly to companies, agencies and people that wanted to help. I remember that we even had a large order to support the National Guard in New Orleans that came in on a Friday morning and we had it out the door at the end of the day, set for a Saturday delivery (kudos to FedEx for helping to make that happen!). Without warehousing our products, none of this would have been possible.
What are some of the most popular products that you offer?
We see certain audiences that make certain product lines popular. For instance, dieters love the selection of fat-free salad dressing packets for use when out at restaurants. Coming into the summer, we do a large business in travel-sized sunscreen and similar summer- and beach-related products. A lot of that is driven by the variety of brands and breadth of product that we offer. We are able to provide customers with their favorite brands, so that they don’t have to trek to their local pharmacy, grocery store, or big box retailer only to find a fairly limited supply of items that may not include what they want.
What types of customers come to your site?
We have all sorts of people visiting the website. The obvious customer is the person or family that is traveling by airplane. That is what most people think of with travel sizes. But, that is only a small fraction of our customers. Camping, hiking, backpacking, RVing and related outdoors activities are another significant area, especially due to the single serving condiments, food and beverage items. The customers are really wide-ranging: from a European princess, to the astronauts on the International Space Station (via NASA), to the pit crew of a top NASCAR team, to a professional baseball player donating items to the homeless, to one of the founders of one of the largest companies in the world ordering for his personal travels, or grandma who needs a box of sugared cereal when the grandkids visit. It is definitely interesting to see the different places in which travel sizes and individual serving items are used.
With such a varied customer and product base, customer service must be a nightmare. How do you approach customer service?
We have always prided ourselves on customer service, from day one. And, we always continually try and improve upon it. Personally, I hate the modern day phenomenon of phone-tree run-around, lack of personalized attention, and reps that don’t have the authority to solve problems (or they pass them off to someone else). Thus, we work hard to provide proactive personal attention to customers with questions or issues. Recently, we were given the Excellent Customer Service award by an interesting company, Stella Service, who blind-shops websites without their knowledge, returns items, and gives customer service a hard time to see how it was handled. If you pass their thorough criteria, they award their excellent customer service award.
What advice would you give other e-commerce entrepreneurs?
Go for it — but be careful and diligent on how you proceed. Lately, there has been a huge emergence of third-party companies to enhance every aspect of e-commerce. In nearly all of these cases, the pricing is not a one-time fee that you might pay a software developer who works on your website, but a monthly fee that is never-ending. In many cases, the fee is also tied to the level of usage on the site. Thus, entrepreneurs need to be careful in terms of thinking about some fees as one-time fees that can be “paid for” over time, and other fees that immediately impact the bottom line margin. Thus, it requires more careful decision making and analysis of whether site enhancements can truly pay for themselves in return on investment.
For more information on Minimus, visit www.Minimus.biz
Minimus Secundus Student | Cambridge University Press
The Minimus Latin program for younger children takes a very similar approach as is found in Cambridge Latin (please see description for more details). Students are introduced to basic Latin vocabulary and culture as they follow the adventures of Minimus the mouse throughout the texts. In the Minimus: Starting Out in Latin text, students will meet Minimus and an actual Roman family that lived in Vindolanda in ancient Britain. Each lesson begins with a full-color, illustrated cartoon with Latin dialogue in speech balloons. A short vocabulary list of the Latin words used in the cartoon follows, with English translations so students begin the program able to read the cartoons. A “Grasp the Grammar” section explains the simple Latin grammar used in the dialogue section. The Latin vocabulary taught is also reflected in root-based exercises, where students identify the Latin word they have learned in the lesson within a familiar English word. At this point another Latin cartoon story is included along with accompanying vocabulary, so there are two cartoon stories per chapter. Chapters are rounded out with tidbits of Roman culture in a “Roman Report” and classic Roman myths or stories to enjoy (in English).
While the text is the centerpiece of the program, there are also audio CDs and teacher’s resources available. The audio CDs contain performances of the two cartoon dialogues from each lesson, which is helpful in learning the correct pronunciation. If you, as the teacher, have never studied Latin, the Teacher’s Resource Guide should be of great help. For each lesson, the teacher’s guide includes the English translations of the cartoon stories, background information on the story and Roman subjects of the story, answers or teaching helps for the grammar section, Latin root exercises answers, and suggested cross-curricular extension activities. Each lesson also refers to specific activity sheets, which are included at the back of the teacher’s resource.
Minimus, LLC Launches WorldÂs First Web Store Exclusively for Individual and Travel-Sized Items
North Hollywood, CA (PRWEB) July 8, 2004 – This week, Minimus, LLC launched the e-
commerce site http://www.minimus.biz, carrying a broad range of individual and travel-sized items.
For many travelers and campers, toting around a bulky bag of toiletries, large food products, or heavy containers has been a nuisance. Now, Minimus.biz offers a solution. ÂWe have a growing inventory of over 400 products, and we encourage customers to submit product ideas to help continue to expand our offerings,Â notes company marketing vice-president, Paul Shrater.
The offerings are wide-ranging: from beverages such as cocoas, coffees, and teas; to food products such as cereals, condiments, creamers, dips, dressings, jellies, sauces, spreads, and syrups; to personal care items such as soaps, hand cleansers, shampoos, shaving creams, and toothpastes; to a full complement of pharmacy items from headache medicines, to poison ivy wipes, to hospital-grade ointments. There are even notations as to what food items are Kosher, for those travelers with such dietary needs.
Founding the company was a true family business experience recalls company President, Harriet Shrater, ÂIt was on a family trip to a cottage in New Hampshire that we realized, after buying a half-dozen bottles of condiments and dressings that were going straight in the trash after we left, that there was no place to easily buy smaller sizes.Â
Harriet, who has a background in human resources, and is a lifelong member of the Girl Scouts of America, hatched the plan for the company with her engineering-executive husband, Joel Shrater. Then, they brought the concept to both of their children, Robyn Shrater Seemann, who works in graphic and internet design in Washington D.C., and Paul Shrater, a graduate of the well-known Wharton business school. The family divided up duties and then set forth to launch an innovative online presence in individual and travel-sized items.
Paul Shrater adds, ÂWe just finished our beta-test phase, and weÂve already had customers purchasing products to lower the weight they carry backpacking, to bolster their basic first aid kit, to add stuff to what they carry in their purse, and also some that bought items to keep at their desk at work. It is exciting to see the wide-ranging customer base. Some of the most consistent feedback we got was that Âit was fun.ÂÂ
For additional information contact: Paul Shrater, VP of Marketing, 818-761-1243
The minimus.biz website was launched on July 6, 2004. The e-store outlet of Minimus, LLC offers over 400 individual and travel-sized products in a wide range of categories including beverages, food products, personal care items, and pharmacy related items.
Paul Shrater, VP of Marketing
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NEW BALANCE UPDATES MINIMUS 10v4 TRAIL
~~BOSTON, MA – July, 2015 – This Spring 2016, global athletic leader New Balance will introduce the update to the successful Minimus Trail Collection with the Minimus 10v4 Trail. Engineered to provide the perfect balance of lightweight protection, flexibility and versatility, the Minimus 10v4 Trail will be available in two colors for men and two colors for women, and will launch in April 2016 with the suggested retail price of $114.95.
In an effort to continue to improve the go-to Minimus trail shoe, updates to the 10v4 Trail are evolutionary, but effective. For the 10v4 Trail, no sew overlays have been added for improved fit and comfort for continued sockless wear. The upper allows for a better midfoot wrap to lock the foot down while still allowing the forefoot to expand. In addition to increased comfort, the 10v4 features elevated eyelets to avoid lace bite and pressure. A Mono tongue wrap has been added to keep the foot comfortable and secure.
Deep outsole lugs and an additional 3mm of midsole cushioning keep this runner comfortable and protected for any off road runs; while the Vibram® outsole rubber compound maximizes traction and grip for the go-to trail runner seeking ultimate fit and natural feel.
The 10v4 Trail continues the path of the original Minimus collection with increased upper protection, a more natural and comfortable ride while maintaining the minimalistic design that has been key to its predecessors.
About New Balance
New Balance, headquartered in Boston, MA has the following mission: Demonstrating responsible leadership, we build global brands that athletes are proud to wear, associates are proud to create and communities are proud to host. New Balance is the only major company to make or assemble more than 4 million pairs of athletic footwear per year in the USA, which represents a limited portion of our US sales.
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A pinkie is really a minimus
My oldest sister, Laura, was always meticulous about whatever she did. When she made drop cookies, they were the roundest cookies ever. All the items in her closets were scrupulously organized.
Her approach was no less thorough when she was getting ready to eat a banana. She would stand by the garbage and peel every bit of string off that fruit.
I thought of Laura as I searched for words for things we may not realize have names.
Those annoying banana strings are called “phloem.” Their job is to distribute nutrients up and down the banana as it grows.
Its root is from the Greek word for bark. I suppose a banana’s bark is worse than its bite.
How about that white part at the tip of your fingernail? When you have perfect nails, as, by the way, Laura always did, that white part resembles a crescent moon. Its name is “lunule,” and it comes from the Latin word for moon, “luna.”
The tip of the umbrella is a “ferrule.” Its existence is hard. It’s ground zero for the droplets when it’s raining, and it gets scraped across the ground when it’s not.
A ferrule is also the name for other familiar things. The metal band wrapped around a chair leg for added strength is a ferrule, as is the metal bracelet on a paintbrush, just below the bristles. Its root is “viriola,” the Latin word for little bracelet.
Next time you pull on a pair of gloves, notice that strip of material that connects the front and back sections. The fork-shaped material between the fingers is called the “fourchette.” The word comes from the Latin word “furca,” meaning two-pronged fork.
I call the littlest finger on my hand the “pinkie. ” I call the smallest digit on my foot the “pinkie toe.”
I am so pedestrian. The anatomical name is “minimus.” Its origin is straightforward: In Latin, “minimus” means the smallest.
Some more anatomy: The area on the face between the eyebrows is the “glabella.” It comes from a form of the Latin word for hairless.
We all know characters with unibrows, though; Oscar the Grouch comes to mind. I was unable to determine whether that middle area is still called the glabella if it’s covered in hair.
In the Woody Allen movie Take the Money and Run, Virgil tries to rob a bank. He scrawls a note demanding money and ends it threateningly with, “I have a gun.”
The teller he hands the notes to has trouble reading his handwriting and is sure it says, “I have a gub.” Virgil’s horror grows as the teller shows the note to nearly everyone in the bank, asking whether the would-be robber has written “gun” or “gub.”
Well, Virgil’s terrible handwriting is called “griffonage. “
Being able to say that the word comes from the mythical creature called a “griffin” would be romantically cool. The griffin has the head and wings of an eagle and a lion’s body. A lion’s paw would no doubt produce horrible penmanship. Or penfelineship. But the word simply comes from “griffonner,” a centuries-old French word meaning to scribble or scrawl.
Griffonage entered English about the 19th century, perhaps when handwriting began to go downhill.
This next one sounds made up. “Muntin” is that strip of wood separating panes of glass in a window. The person trying to paint the muntin flawlessly on a window full of panes soon grows to hate the muntin. Its root is the Old French verb “monter,” to mount.
When you close your eyes and rub them, you sometimes see a flashing of tiny, colorful dots. This is your retina reacting. Someone with too much time on his hands came up with a word for the phenomena: “phosphene.” The word comes from two Greek roots, “phos” for light and “phainein,” to show. I guess it’s a little light show in your head.
And, finally, a sound word: “scroop.”
Scroop is the sound that silk makes when it rustles. Sure, this sound was probably heard more often in the days of hoop skirts. Merriam-Webster has little to say about the origin of the word. It just says it’s “imitative.” But cleverly imitative, I’d say.
Sources: m-w.com, American Heritage Dictionary, imgur.com, healthdiaries.com, worldwidewords.org, freedictionary.com, mentalfloss.com
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ActiveStyle on 12/18/2017
the Distinctive Wines of Chad StockMinimus holding forth here at Chambers Street Share
Chad Stock, the winemaker at Minimus, uses this label as a way of exploring off-the-beaten-path ways of making strange and fantastic wines. There are few producers who so regularly make fantastic wines using methods, grapes, and ideas that are almost unheard of. Whether it’s the use of new acacia barrels, dry wines made from botrytised grapes, exceedingly rare mutations of Pinot Noir, or never-before-seen blends, Chad evinces a creative fluency in the cellar that is nigh unmatched. Today we have a few exciting wines to offer you that are both delicious, and intriguingly made.
When it comes to white wines, interesting aging methods and obscure grapes are the rule. The 2017 SM1 Sauvignon Blanc is sourced from the Applegate Valley in Southwestern Oregon, and aged in beautiful amphorae made domestically by potter and winemaker Andrew Dow Beckham, giving this wine a distinctive character I’ve never experienced in Sauvingon Blanc. Chad’s 2016 Mount Eden Clone Chardonnay is also one of the more compelling Chardonnays I’ve had from Oregon, aged in cigar barrels, which are longer and thinner, and thus allow much more lees contact. The Mount Eden clone is one of the first Chardonnay clones brought to the US, and is rarely utilized in Oregon. In fact, this is the first bottling of 100% Mount Eden clone Chardonnay ever bottled in Oregon. The final white is perhaps the rarest. The 2017 Origin Pinot Gouges is made from an extraordinarily rare white mutation of Pinot Noir discovered by Henri Gouges in his vineyards in the 1930s. This wine is done with skin contact, and has immense, spicy aromatic power.
We also have two rosés to offer, neither of which are your basic garden variety summer sipper. The 2016 “This Would be Illegal in Europe” rosé is deep, dense, dark, dry, and still. Named in honor of it’s wildly disparate cépage, this rosé is a blend of Tempranillo, Chenin Blanc, Pinot Gris, Petite Arvine, Schiopettino, Savagnin Rose, and Abouriou. This is a powerful, beautiful, structured, ageworthy rosé. We also have a delicious pet nat, the 2018 Dolcetto Petillant Naturel, which is from one of the only sites with Dolcetto in the state. This is a perfect, juicy, brilliantly articulated sparkler that is perfect for the hazy humidity of a New York summer.
The reds we have today are the 2017 SM3 Syrah and the 2015 Origin Pinot Noir Johan Vineyard. These are both striking, intense, ageworthy reds that take their referents from the Old World, but remain classic examples of what Oregon can be capable of in the right, conscientious, detail-oriented hands. Andrew Farquhar90,000 Fitness internet, buy fitness equipment
Welcome to Traininn, your fitness store . Whether you are building your dream home gym or simply choosing a treadmill for your basement, you will find all the equipment you need at unbeatable prices. We believe that fitness is much more than just physical activity – it is a way of life. Here you will find a wide variety of fitness equipment and trackers, weight tracking equipment, running, yoga, fitness clothing and accessories.We are here to support your active lifestyle, no matter if your home is not fit for fitness. Here you will find hundreds of models of fitness products such as stationary bikes, treadmills, exercise equipment, elliptical bike, benches, exercise equipment, even if you want to make a gym at home. All multi trainers are here! Our team of fitness experts for men and women can help you quickly find fitness equipment for a variety of disciplines such as aerobics, fitness classes and outdoor workouts.Looking to update your fitness kit? When starting out in fitness, it is very important to choose comfortable and appropriate clothing for the discipline you have chosen for yourself. For example, Pilates, Spinning and Zumba are different disciplines and different and correct fitness equipment must be purchased. With our Best Price Guarantee, you can select fitness apparel and accessories from renowned sports brands such as Under Armor, Adidas, Reebok, Nike 2XU, Casall, Lonsdale, Saucony, Skins and more with just a few clicks.Choose what suits your preferences. Above all, do not neglect your diet and nutrition in our catalog, browse all shakers, shakes and protein supplements, you must consume all the nutrients to get the energy you need for your exercise. True fitness starts with the right equipment, and Traininn will also help you, tell you what you need to maximize your performance and achieve your sports goals. We truly believe that every athlete, from beginner to pro, should have easy and complete access to expert advice and the best equipment, and nothing makes us happier than helping you achieve your records as well as your sport goals. Learn more90,000 Education Minimum – INTERNATIONAL Linguistic School
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In grades 5-6.11, the teacher himself plans and chooses the forms of checking the “Educational minimum” (hereinafter – OM).In grades 7-9.10 – the administration is present at the check. OM delivery is planned no later than 2 weeks before the end of the quarter. Without credit for the educational minimum, a grade for a quarter cannot be set.
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Theory of knowledge
of the Labor Code of the Russian Federation Article 412.Obligations of the parties to a collective labor dispute during a strike / Consultant Plus
of the Labor Code of the Russian Federation Article 412. Obligations of the parties to a collective labor dispute during a strike
During the period of the strike, the parties to the collective labor dispute are obliged to continue resolving this dispute through negotiations.
(as amended by Federal Law of 22.11.2011 N 334-FZ)
The employer, executive authorities, local authorities and the body leading the strike are obliged to take measures depending on them to ensure public order during the strike, the safety of the property of the employer and employees, as well as the operation of machinery and equipment, the stoppage of which poses an immediate threat to life and health of people.
(as amended by Federal Law of 30.06.2006 N 90-FZ)
The list of the minimum necessary work (services) performed during the strike by employees of organizations (branches, representative offices or other separate structural divisions), individual entrepreneurs whose activities are related to the safety of people, ensuring their health and the vital interests of society, in each industry ( sub-sector) of the economy is developed and approved by the federal executive body, which is entrusted with the coordination and regulation of activities in the relevant sector (sub-sector) of the economy, in agreement with the relevant all-Russian trade union. In the event that several all-Russian trade unions operate in a sector (sub-sector) of the economy, the list of the minimum required work (services) is approved by agreement with all all-Russian trade unions operating in the sector (sub-sector) of the economy. The procedure for the development and approval of the list of the minimum required work (services) is determined by the Government of the Russian Federation.
(as amended by Federal Law of 30.06.2006 N 90-FZ)
The executive body of the constituent entity of the Russian Federation, on the basis of lists of the minimum required work (services) developed and approved by the relevant federal executive bodies, develops and approves, in agreement with the relevant territorial associations of trade union organizations (associations of trade unions), regional lists of the minimum required work (services) ), concretizing the content and determining the procedure for applying federal sectoral lists of the minimum required work (services) on the territory of the corresponding constituent entity of the Russian Federation.
The minimum of necessary work (services) performed during the period of a strike by employees of an organization (branch, representative office or other separate structural unit), an individual entrepreneur, is determined by an agreement between the employer (employer’s representative) and the representative body of employees together with the local government body on the basis of lists of the minimum required works (services) within three days from the date of the decision to declare a strike.The inclusion of the type of work (services) in the minimum required work (services) should be motivated by the likelihood of harm to health or a threat to the life of citizens. The minimum of required works (services) cannot include works (services) that are not provided for by the corresponding lists of the minimum required works (services).
(as amended by Federal Laws of 30.06.2006 N 90-FZ, of 22.11.2011 N 334-FZ)
In case of failure to reach an agreement, the minimum required work (services) is established by the executive authority of the constituent entity of the Russian Federation.
(as amended by Federal Law of 30.06.2006 N 90-FZ)
The decision of the said body establishing the minimum required work (services) may be appealed by the parties to the collective labor dispute in court.
(as amended by Federal Law of 30.06.2006 N 90-FZ)
If the minimum required work (services) is not provided, the strike may be suspended by a court decision until the employees and the employees’ representative body fulfill the relevant requirements.
(as amended by Federal Law of 22.11.2011 N 334-FZ)
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