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Craig Wolfe of CelebriDucks: “We should all have the willingness to tolerate and allow points of view that are different from our own without bullying others into believing the way we do”

My movement would be what I call equal voice. In other words, allow all people to express their point of view as long as it is not hateful. We don’t have to agree on everything, But we all should have the willingness to tolerate and allow points of view that are different from our own without bullying others into believing the way we do. Compassion and tolerance go a long way toward changing people in the long run.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Craig Wolfe, who owns CelebriDucks, an American company whose celebrity rubber ducks were voted one of the top 100 gifts by Entertainment Weekly and featured on hundreds of TV shows, magazines, and newspapers including The Tonight Show. He has sold millions of them and is considered the top custom duck manufacturer in the industry doing them for everyone from Harley-Davidson to The New York Yankees. Craig also now makes the safest rubber ducks in the world for teething babies, 100% in the USA.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I was publishing art from television commercials for Coca-Cola, Anheuser-Busch, M&M, Mars and many others when I got the idea to make rubber ducks of celebrities and thus CelebriDucks was born. However, unlike the animation art which I produced in the USA, there was no-one to make my ducks here in America.

Are you working on any new or exciting projects now?

Oh yes, we are. We decided that we wanted to bring at least part of the rubber duck industry back to the USA. We already do all our artwork and sculpting on all our ducks in America, but I wanted to do our new teething baby line 100% here. It took so much time, money, and R&D to figure it out, but we are now making the safest PVC free rubber ducks for babies to teethe on 100% in the USA!

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I always knew that on my own, I would accomplish very little so I always found the right people in my life who were so gifted and intelligent to bring my visions to life. My main artist, Chris, our art director, who does all our sculpting and art designs, is brilliant. His father actually invented the Easy Bake Oven and made Play Dough safe for kids back in the day. And that genius was passed down to Chris who designs and sculpts our line with a quality that is unequalled anywhere.

What challenges does that new market face? How would you address it?

China is a huge market and the trick is they often will see things and feel they can just as easily make these products and make them cheaper. We got around that when we developed our CelebriDucks line over twenty years ago by making them so detailed and ornate that we knew no-one would even try to duplicate them….too expensive and difficult to make! Plus we put each one in their own uniquely designed gift box. No-one is going to do that. So we have never been knocked off and our ducks are considered the finest ones on the market. And then when we did our PVC free Good Ducks 100% in the USA, we knew that since they were the “go to” rubber duck for any mom worldwide, that moms anywhere would want them including moms in China. We felt confident that what we had engineered could not be knocked off plus one of the biggest selling points is Made in America.

Can you share the top challenges of doing business in China and how you overcame them?

The biggest challenge in working with China is that you are thousands of miles away working with people you often do not know personally and often do not even speak your language. There are many good honest factories, but so many who are not. You have to be very careful. It is so easy to get knocked off. So there are many many challenges. Fortunately, over time, we found just excellent partners whom we could trust and could do our level of detail. Many factories try to do it cheaply and quality control is an issue as people well know who purchase things from overseas.. So it’s so important to find the right people to work with. It was not easy, but we have worked with some of our folks for over twenty years!

We saw the writing on the wall with people more and more wanting goods made in the USA which is why we started working on our 100% American made Good Ducks a few years ago to be prepared for trade wars or for anything really. Now the pandemic hits and our American Made Good ducks are hitting the market at the same time. It actually has worked out perfectly for us and what’s nice is that the ducks we do make in China also fuel the income to get the whole American line off the ground!

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“Give them quality, it’s your best advertisement.” — Milton Hershey

That’s exactly what we did. It separated us out from everyone else and allowed us to own our niche. If you live by the penny, you die by the penny. There is always someone who can make something cheaper. You bulletproof your niche when you make the barrier of entry very difficult for others. And one of the best ways to do this is to be the best in our category.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. :-)

My movement would be what I call equal voice. In other words, allow all people to express their point of view as long as it is not hateful. We don’t have to agree on everything, But we all should have the willingness to tolerate and allow points of view that are different from our own without bullying others into believing the way we do. Compassion and tolerance go a long way toward changing people in the long run.

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In-depth Interviews with Authorities in Business, Pop Culture, Wellness, Social Impact, and Tech. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

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