Bracelets make a nice gift, with the wearer always reminded of the presenter. What if that same bracelet was presented multiple times, like a chain letter, only with a way to follow its progress?
Serra High senior Antoine Martel thought it and then acted upon it.
The Foster City resident, constantly on the lookout for something to do, created the business idea as a way not just to see where the bracelet moves around the globe, but to bring understanding to whatever the idea is attached to the bracelet, from simple friendship, to the connection of high school alumni and as broad as Breast Cancer.
"We did a colon cancer event recently," said Martel, a second-team all-West Catholic Athletic League selection in soccer last year. "Our first event was Strides for Life (in mid-August) at Prime Time Fitness in Burlingame."
He named his product "Trackl3t," combining bracelet and tracking.
After failing to secure capital from outside sources he dove into his savings account to start production.
In less than three weeks his product found homes based on word of mouth. With the help of his mother, Lynn Milos, who ran a retail store in Belmont, Martel began courting organizations and schools.
"I had a lot of people waiting to buy bracelets," said Martel, who began production with two different 'trackl3ts,' one a black onyx stone and the other with turquoise stones. There are several other trackl3ts on the way.
Organizations such as the girl scouts and the Hillsdale High girls' soccer team were among his first customers. Milos put together a presentation to present to schools as a fund raiser, with Hillsdale and Serra among the first schools to express interest.
Bracelets have been used for fund raising and awareness for decades. The twist with the track3ts is the ability to trace its journey.
"My main goal is to have bracelets all over the world," Martel said. "At least 20 countries."
There are track3lts headed to Canada and possibly the Middle East. Martel hopes to attend Cal Poly next fall, bringing with it a whole new world of customers.
How It Works:
1, After purchasing (or receiving) a track3lt, you can register the unique number engraved on one of the beads on www.track3lst.com.
2, Since the idea is to give the track3lst away, you can explain the process, or give away the business-sized card that comes with each track3lst that describes how to register.
3, Each time the track3lst is registered, a line on a map will be drawn that starts the journey.
4, When the track3lst has been registered by its latest caretaker, you receive a coupon for another trackl3st.
5, Check back online to follow the journey of your trackl3st.
Martel was stocking shelves at his mother's Belmont store at an early age, distinguishing himself as a young businessman. He started with T-shirts and hats.
When Martel, who also plays club soccer with the De Anza Force in Cupertino, began developing his track3lst idea, he went to funding sites online. While it did not work out, he gained experience in how to present his product making videos. He built a website and eventually hired a webmaster, with whom he is in contact every night.
There's at least one track3lst currently registered from San Carlos. Has anyone seen their trackl3st show up somewhere else on the map yet?