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a participant at the Ski Industries America trade show in Las Vegas, March 1-5. For more information about the show, contact Mary Jo Tarallo at SIA, 703-556-9020/

 TALE OF SKI POLE BASKET ENTREPRENEUR STARTED WITH HEART
 HERMOSA BEACH, Calif., Feb. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- "It all started


seven years ago, when I was trying to win the love of a girl," says Richard Blount, owner of Fun Baskets here. "I stole my mother's Pyrex brownie pan and made a negative cast resin mold of a heart. I borrowed a friend's injection molding machine, acquired some plastic and made, for all intents and purposes, the first pair of heart-shaped ski baskets ever.
 "The girl was less than impressed. In fact, she moved to Colorado and took my heart with her. I shelved my creation and tried to console my woes.
 "A neighbor heard of my plight, didn't care about the girl, but was interested in the baskets. She worked in the ski industry and saw the possibilities of an interesting new product.
 "Naturally, when I spoke with injection molding companies they all said the same thing. A suitable mold for injection molding purposes costs thousands of dollars per shape and it may take weeks to make. Then there is the tooling, machine time, coloring, purging, packaging, etc. In other words, I can't afford any of this. Besides, I only wanted a pair of hearts for this one girl.
 "My solution was a piece of balsa wood carved into a heart shape, a brownie pan and some casting resin. Once the resin hardened, I carved out the wood and had a mold. Total investment, under $15.00.
 "With this process, I was able to make shapes such as hands, feet, dollar signs and hearts. Through this `high tech' process, a company grew. The experts said I would fail. They predicted that under the high pressure, the molds would reach 20 tons p.s.i. and explode. Say goodbye to the mold, machine and the operator.
 "I was lucky to survive this process and make some very good prototypes. I took these baskets to the largest ski show in the country, the Las Vegas Ski Show. Ski shops liked what they saw and started ordering Fun Baskets, and they haven't stopped."
 In the entrepreneurial spirit, Fun Baskets went worldwide four years ago. They now manage a rep and distribution network that spans Europe, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, England and Canada.
 After seven successful years making unbreakable ski pole baskets, Fun Baskets has done it again, Blount says. Not satisfied with its current shapes: hands, feet, hearts, dollar signs, bear claws, black diamonds and circles, they have created the first multi-colored injection molded custom ski pole basket.
 As the official licensee for Mammoth Mountain, Fun Baskets has created a reproduction of the famous Mammoth elephant. There are several great color combinations available from your local ski shop. If your company is interested in a new advertising source, please contact Richard Blount (310-379-6345) for more information.
 -0- 2/13/93
 /CONTACT: Richard Blount of Fun Baskets, 310-379-6345/


CO: Fun Baskets ST: California IN: HOU SU: PDT

TS-GK -- NY001B -- 6404 02/13/93 06:45 EST
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Date:Feb 13, 1993
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