the last twenty years, he has sold bread, papertowels, class rings,
fire extinguishers, soap, and religious books. An ordinary salesman
by day, Steve Finley canvassed the coasts showcasing his assorted
wares door-to-door in small beach & resort shops. By night,
when others of his ilk were winding down from a weary day on the
beat, Finley would slip off those salesman's shoes, slide on his
marketing cap , and spend his off hours tinkering with new product
his hand at developing a new panty hose line
that sold locally in the Houston, Tx area. He developed a line
of insect repellent and this made it to a regional brand in Texas
and Florida. And then in 1980 Finley hit a homer. For as much
as his last $100 would buy, he began purchasing bottles of discontinued
suntan lotion from salvage brokers.
Next he sold his home, bought a travel trailer, and headed to
the sands of South Padre Island.
From the back of his van, Finley sold so many bottles of lotion
that he was able to develop four more tanning gel lines, including
the then popular Burn_Off, Green Stuff, Aloe Up, and Aloe Gator.
wants to make condoms "cool."
In 1986, his company placed ninety-fourth on the Inc. 500
list, and Finley managed to haul in a whopping $2.5 million before
selling out to a cosmetics company.With
those sunnyday profits lining his pocket, Finley started brainstorming
again, certain that the world
needed a cooler condom. "Rubber Ducky condoms are hip, fashionable,"
says Finley. "Kids are having sex at a much earlier age now.
With such a young audience you've got to make using condoms a
cool thing to do and at the same time convey the message that
not wearing condoms is just plain stupid." Finley believes
that many larger condom makers use the wrong approach. "They
use scare tactics by focusing on AIDS, death, and disease. But
condom buyers, statistics show, are as young as sixteen years
old, and at that age it's hard for them to relate to death and
To appeal to youthful users, Finley's Rubber Ducky boxes sport
an animated duck giving a thumbs-up sign, and the condoms come
in five different colors. Couple that with peppy, quipping ad
slogans like "The Duck Stops Here, " "Rubber Ducky--The
Original After Party Animal," "The Fit That Won't Quit,"
and "Wear The One You Love."
His latest venture has been very well received, Finley says. "On
spring break from Padre to Daytona Beach, the crowds will go crazy."