Russ Hornsby has wanted to make toys since as far back as he can remember, and when you see him leading a business that does just that, you assume that he is living out his lifelong dream.
In many ways, Cepia LLC is the fulfillment of a childhood dream, but the journey he took to achieve it was as challenging as it was rewarding. He faced laughter and skepticism as people questioned the power of imagination and Hornsby’s determination to make his dreams comes true.
But he overcame the doubters and launched Trendmasters Inc., building it into one of the largest privately held toy companies in North America. He then sold that business and launched a new venture, Cepia LLC.
At first, Cepia focused on medical compliance, lawn and garden products, and industrial sprayers. But Hornsby’s heart never left the making of toys, and in 2008 and 2009, he spun off those businesses to focus solely on toys.
Hornsby, the company’s CEO, has never backed down from a challenge or given into those who doubt his ability to succeed. He overcame the tough competition of larger corporations and convinced retailers that he was making a great product.
He reached out directly to consumers and let them vote on a product that he had invested his own money in because he knew the product was a winner. And the success of his product, Zhu Zhu Pets, proved him right.
But it’s not just Hornsby that drives the momentum at Cepia. He encourages the same imagination in his people that he has and supports their ideas and creativity in developing new products. And by maintaining his place as a small business, Cepia remains agile to quickly adapt to the competition and consistently stay near the top of the toy industry.
How to reach: Cepia LLC, (314) 725-4900 or www.cepiallc.com