2008: Violin/Violist and teacher Ruth Brons founds Things 4 Strings LLC, confident she and her mother, cellist and teacher Martha Brons, had developed a solution to a fundamental music education challenge of the bow hold for the beginning string player. First investment: intellectual property (IP) protection.
2009: Potential customer base established via advance marketing on social media and trade conferences. Investments in model digitization and tooling design. Achieved USA manufacturing for all product and packaging components: Made in USA! E-commerce website launches, offering Things 4 Strings® Bow Hold Buddies® & CelloPhant® accessories. Editorial features in several trade magazines, including The Strad Magazine, Strings Magazine and The American String Teachers Association Journal.
2010: US awards four Trademarks. First investments in industry publication/social media ads & featured reviews in trade publications nurture brand. Award of three European Design Registrations.
2011: US awards three Design Patents. Initiates dealer relationships with US and international retailers. New product introduced: Hold Fish® accessory.
2012: Retained Export Liaison builds export strategy & distribution network expands to serve over 50 countries, including Europe, the UK and Australia. US awards Utility Patent. USA distributor assigned. Ruth's husband Steve Kimmons joins the team to manage increasing order volumes. New product introduced: discounted Things 4 Strings® Studio Kits.
2013: Enter Asia market & retain Sales Agent in China & Product Specialist in Hong Kong. Ruth’s daughter, violinist/violist Rosalie Dumas joins team as Product Specialist, for a three generation presence at local and international trade events. Winner of local West Orange, NJ “Invention Lives!” contest. Continued conference activity brings total number of local, national and international exhibits since launch to over 50.
2014: Invested in responsive-design website re-launch. Website landing pages created in eight foreign languages, to better serve our global market. NJ Family Business of the Year Semi-Finalist. Leading Woman Entrepreneur NJ Finalist. Product package re-design completes Phase One of Shipping Optimization Program. Patents awarded in Mexico and Australia. New product introduced: Things 4 Strings ® Magic Rosin®.
2015: Reflecting acceptance of Things 4 Strings® accessories as a main stream teaching tool in this conservative industry, American String Teachers Association awards Ruth Brons the prestigious national Kudos Award: “Kudos to Ruth Brons, and thanks to her for the tremendous impact she has had on music education in our string world!” NJ Family Business of the Year Semi-Finalist. Product demo tour to over 50 shops in Colorado and California. Phase One & Two of re-tooling investment complete. Studio Kit package re-design completes Phase Two of Shipping Optimization Program. First product knock-offs appear in China.
2016: SBA NJ Business Action Center awards NJ STEP Grant in support of our activities at five international trade events. Start work with export.gov to identify trade partners in new markets. Phase Three of re-tooling investment completes Production Cost Reduction Plan. China Trademarks awarded; Chinese copy-cat patent successfully invalidated through litigation. Honored sponsor of the European String Teachers Association International Conference (Slovenia). Canada Patent Issued. Russian website landing page added. NJ Family Business of the Year Finalist.