In an effort to expand their outdoor offerings to women, TomBob Outdoors LLC of Ridgway has recently introduced scented earrings constructed from their patented metal fishing lures.
The TomBob Fishing Lure Earring Collection features a controlled-release Scent Fusion Metal, the trademarked creation from Continuous Metal Technology (CMT) of Ridgway, the parent company of TomBob. Available scents include pina colada, mandarin cranberry, baker's vanilla and cotton blossom.
CMT was founded in 1995 by Tim Smith, who is the president of both companies and works closely with employees Brad Clinton, director of marketing and public relations for both companies; and Kati Wendel, who handles TomBob marketing and sales.
"We were trying to come up with innovative outdoor products unique to the powdered metal industry," Clinton said.
The earrings, which retail from $17.25 to $19.25 a pair, are available in silvertone and goldtone and are either plain or decorated with green semiprecious natural agate beads. They may be purchased at Elk Mountain Winery in St. Marys, the Ridgway Welcome Center, the Country Home Gift Shoppe in St. Marys and on the TOMBOB website. Their pink camouflage packaging adds a feminine touch to the PA Wilds-branded item.
In creating the earrings, they started with 6 to 8 scents and put them through various tests and trials before deciding on the current scents. As an example, during their testing, the group found the lavender scent to be too overwhelming. As another measure of testing, Smith wore one of the scented lures as a necklace for one week and experienced no adverse skin reaction to the product.
In the future, they hope to experiment with different shapes and designs, but each set of tooling used to produce the lures require a considerable investment. Smith said the company has currently invested in four different toolings for the fishing lures. The earrings are made of 1/8 oz., the small-size lure.
"We want to make different generations of them as they grow (using different stones, etc.) We're a natural company, we're selling them as natural, environmentally friendly," Smith said. "We want to take the metal powder technology out in this area and start applying it to different areas."
According to Smith, the Scent Fusion aspect is a proprietary infusing process used to imbed the specific scent into the product. He said 30 percent of the volume of the earring is nothing but a scented oil. Scent Fusion originated with TomBob's initial fishing lure, which replicates the taste and smell of live bait to fish.
The earrings are made in batches, with 1,000 lures equaling 500 pairs, a quantity which can be produced in one day. The entire process entails hand-assembling the earring by adding jewelry stones on them and then placing them inside packaging, which can be done relatively quickly.
In the fall of 2009, the group talked about creating the earrings, which eventually came to fruition in 2010 when they provided a sample pair of earrings to a CMT client who said she enjoyed the product. In 2011, the company began mass-producing the earrings and created a marketing, branding and support campaign around the new product, all of which is done in-house.
Pick up a copy of the Friday, Nov. 4, 2011 edition of The Ridgway Record for more.