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Perfect Marriage: Gifts for Grooms Makes Business Boom

man-registry-wedding-100823-02 Credit: The Man Registry

Grooms often seem like an afterthought when it comes to wedding rituals. Nowhere is their minor status more pronounced than in the selection of wedding gifts. When was the last time you saw a Milwaukee 16" electric chainsaw listed on a couple's wedding registry?

The Man Registry aims to rectify this imbalance and restore parity to wedding gift giving, and so far business is booming.

The Man Registry is an online resource for guys (and those who like/love them) that today serves as an online gift registry with a distinctly male spin blended with a liberal helping of personal insight and expert opinion on a wide variety of wedding-related topics. Launched in 2008, it was the brainchildĀ of two 20-something Kansas City brothers, Jim and Bob Horner, and Chris Easter, now 26, who would soon become their brother-in law.

Their generation was rapidly joining the march to matrimony. Jim and Bob had already been through the wedding process and Chris was getting ready to join their ranks.

"After I got engaged, we hatched the plan that became The Man Registry," Easter told BusinessNewsDaily. All three had seen first-hand how wedding gifts tended to revolve around the kitchen, dining room, bedroom and bathroom. Gifts with high groom appeal were few and far between. "We thought there was room in the wedding market for a registry for men," he said.

Morph and grow

The business started as just a registry for gifts. "ButĀ it morphed from being just a gift provider to being a one-stop resource for men," Easter said.

In spite of its highly wedding-centric focus, the site has now become a hub for picking gifts for men for other occasions such as Christmas, Father's Day and birthdays. Today, said Easter, 25 percent of their sales are not wedding related.

"We'd like to grow the non-wedding business," Easter said. "We want to become the top gift site for men online, the ultimate man's gift guide and registry."

Because The Man Registry is not a public company, they do not release financial information. But Easter said that the site became profitable a few months after it launched and continues to be profitable today.

"There wasn't a whole lot of overhead when we started," he said. Because they started by drop shipping, taking orders and forwarding them to manufacturers and wholesalers for fulfillment, they didn't have the expense of acquiring and maintaining product inventory.

The business has two revenue streams, Easter said. Product sales and advertising on the site. The current balance between advertising revenue and product sales is 60/40, he added.

Rapid growth

The Man Registry is undergoing rapid growth. Sales this year, Easter said, are on track to triple 2009 results.

The most popular item for well over a year has been the $79.95 RC Cooler, a robotic remote-controlled, can-shaped cooler that will bring your favorite beverage when summoned via a cap-shaped handheld remote. The second-most popular gift, Easter said, is the $21.95 NCAA 550 Grill Topper that will brand your steak, burger or chicken with the logo of your favorite college team. Also popular, he said, particularly as groomsman gifts, is the $39.95 set of four Personalized Tavern Mugs.

Merchandise from 25 different companies is currently available on the site.

The content is written by men who have been through the process, much of it written by the founders. "We've written from our own experience," Easter said. The site also works with outside writers and wedding industry experts. "We want to have a wide spectrum of content," he said.

Ned Smith

Ned was senior writer at Sweeney Vesty, an international consulting firm, and was Vice President of communications for iQuest Analytics. Before that, he has been a web editor and managed the Internet and intranet sites for Citizens Communications. He began his journalism career as a police reporter with the Roanoke (Va.) Times, and was managing editor of American Way magazine and senior editor of Us. He was a Captain in the U.S. Air Force and held a masters in journalism from the University of Arizona.