Bill Zeuch has a voice that will not be denied — deep and resonant with a compelling gusto. Here is a man who lives in ALL CAPS, who loves his life, his work, his wife and children (not in that order). A few years ago, Zeuch and his wife wanted to develop a viable family business that their three children could participate in. Talking about it, his enthusiasm spills over.
“My wife and I grew up in very humble backgrounds,” says the Wheaton, Illinois, resident. “Our kids are growing up in a more privileged environment.” He and his wife Janice wanted to be sure they understood the meaning — and rewards — of hard work. They kept their eyes open for the right idea. One day, Zeuch, a chief merchandising officer for a major retailer, who is also an avid comic book collector, was listening to online chatter about the need for an inexpensive way to display comic books on the wall. “This is the business,” he thought to himself.
If the need was clear, the product — and the plan — was simple. With the help of a friend in plastics manufacturing, Zeuch designed an inexpensive, expandable device to mount a comic book, record album or almost any such collectable on the wall or tabletop without a frame. ComicMount/AlbumMount is like a good butler — efficient and unobtrusive. The teenagers, Nathan and Gretchen, manage production, which means they assemble the parts and do the packaging. Janice and youngest daughter Lauren help with shipping. It sells for $5.99 on Amazon, Etsy, and the ComicMount /AlbumMount website. Zeuch says they sell more than 100 pieces a day. In two-and-a-half years, they’ve reached $430,000 in sales — more than repaying their modest original investment, borrowed from Nathan’s college fund.
But here’s what Zeuch is most excited about. “This brought our family together. We go to Comi-Con and the record album shows. We’ve had so much fun with this business,” he says. “The most important thing to me are my kids. They get to see the success first-hand and be a part of it. They’re learning you don’t have to follow a set path. You can do anything in life.”