February 2021: 

Implemented revised packaging approach for our 100-piece boxes, utilizing rows of 20 openers laid horizontally in five tiers. 

Collaborated with Peachtree Packaging to develop protective pads placed at the bottom and top of the boxes, enhancing the safety of the openers. 

Incorporated graphics onto the pads to enhance visual appeal. 


February 2021: 

Identified a 50-watt fiber laser capable of deep engraving stainless steel and cast iron openers simultaneously. 

Achieved a processing capacity of five pieces at a time through the fiber laser. 


April 2021: 

Successfully received and acquired the new fiber laser equipment. 

Currently engaged in the process of optimizing operational procedures and determining the most effective business model. 


May 2021: 

The licensing agreement with Pabst was concluded, having a duration of one year with an additional three-month sell-off period. 


October 2021: 

Cash Barnes decided not to renew the licensing agreement for another year. 

Discovered a suitable replacement in Julie Franklin, an accomplished letterpress specialist, who will now occupy the vacated space. 


October 2021: 

Successfully completed the removal of logos from unproductive embossed bottle openers using the CNC machinery. 


November 2021: 

After careful evaluation, made the strategic decision to divest the CNC machinery and shift focus entirely towards the new 50-watt Fiber Laser technology. 


December 2021: 

Dedicated efforts to reconstruct the two bottle opener display boards obtained from picker Clayton Denney, originally sourced from the Brown Mfg. Company in Newport News, VA. 


Concluded the year with sales growth of over 15%, although not meeting our desired targets. 

Acknowledged the highest average piece price recorded to date, yet still striving for improvement. 

Online sales remained relatively stagnant but demonstrated positive directional movement. 




January 2020: 

Reached a decision to revert to DecoNetwork as the preferred platform due to its upgraded features and improved functionality compared to NopCommerce. 

Established new websites on DecoNetwork, including www.CustomOpeners.com, www.WholesaleBottleOpeners.com, www.STARRbottleopeners.com, and later, www.BottleOpener.com


April 2020: 

Made the strategic choice to relocate bloom, the wife's business, into the warehouse, exploring options such as Airbnb for the cottage behind our house or renting it out. 

Planned to consolidate the right-hand side of Brown Mfg. Company with the intention of seeking a tenant to sublet. 


April 2020: 

Operated amid the COVID-19 pandemic, which significantly impacted the United States and various parts of the world. 

Experienced more severe repercussions compared to the 2007/2008 economic downturn as the retail and service industries faced widespread closures. 

Despite initially surpassing sales from the previous year until March, the business witnessed a sudden decline. 


Focusing on deep engraved stainless-steel bottle openers for www.BottleOpener.com, featuring designs such as Airstream, JEEP, DeLorean, and select beer brands. 

Adapting production processes and emphasizing agility over seeking prior approval, aiming to produce 200 to 400 custom debossed bottle openers per month. 


May 2020: 

Secured a licensing agreement with Licensing Haus for 16 Pabst brands. 


June 2020: 

Successfully introduced the first of the 16 Pabst branded bottle openers, specifically the Pabst design. 


August 2020: 

Anna and David Brim implemented a reorganization of the right side of the warehouse, with Brown Mfg. Company using the back half.  


September 2020: 

Brown Mfg. Company secured a tenant, Cash Barnes, a metal fabricator & welder, who signed a one-year lease agreement. 


December 2020: 

Achieved a slight increase in sales compared to 2019, considering the challenging circumstances, yielding a sense of contentment. 


2015 - 2019 

During this five-year period, the company experienced a continuous decline in sales, reaching its lowest point in 2019. This period was characterized by significant challenges for the company and the Brim family. While not all the details will be provided, the key events during this time are highlighted below: 


August 2019:   

Acquired a Haas TM-1P Tool Room Mill from local distributor Phillips. 


Fall 2019:   

Collaborated with Jeff Isom to gain expertise in operating and maintaining the Haas mill. Isom, a machinist and engineer from Southern Polytech, provided guidance and training. 


December 2019:   

Concluded the previous five-year period with some of the worst sales and losses under David's management and ownership. However, reflecting on the observation made in 2015/2016, the future direction for Brown Mfg. Company involves selling fewer bottle openers at higher prices. This future vision is now being realized. 


May 2018:  

Collaborated with Oliver (Choice Castings/VS American) to produce bronze casting samples using the old Clayton Denney molds. These samples were poured by a foundry in Michigan, with pricing considered favorable. However, the initial batch had some quality issues. 

Worked with Manuel Barros (Manni) from Solid Wave, who redesigned the scanned 3D model of the STARR "X" bottle opener. 


December 2018:   

Introduced a new website using the NopCommerce platform. Manni Barros undertook the project free of charge, with an agreement to receive 5% of all retail and wholesale sales. The revamped site aimed for a cleaner interface and offered free shipping for orders ranging from one to 100 pieces. 


January 2017:   

Engaged 3D PrintingTech to scan a new file of the Plain STARR "X" opener. 


February 2017:   

Acknowledged competition from Asian imports and Amazon, realizing that BMC's online presence was not as strong as before. 


March 2017:   

Downsized John McBrayer as part of an effort to align costs and expenses. He found alternative employment, offering a similar salary and a more convenient commute.


March 2017:   

Ended collaboration with Variux after disappointing holiday season sales. Moved the website back to FinestShops while continuing to utilize the Magento platform.


April 2017:  

Increased Tammy Ballard's working hours to a minimum of 20 hours per week. 


July 2017:   

Purchased an OKI C711WT LaserJet printer from Reich Supply Company. This toner-based printer replaced the previous ink-based dye sublimation printer. The new printer provided advantages such as no ink requirements, lower maintenance, and the ability to print white. 


August 2017:   

Developed and constructed a manual push-through staining device and a rolling hanging rack capable of accommodating over 180 stained boards. These additions expedited the wood staining process and provided a designated area for drying the stained wood. 


January 2016:   

Discontinued the use of Southern Web/adwords. 


January 2016:   

Implemented a slight refresh of www.bottleOpener.com by Wright Creative Labs. 


January 2016:   

Began utilizing MailChimp for Wholesale and Retail sales, specifically for email blasts. 


March 2016:   

Collaborated with CloudDM to create a 3D digital model, which was then printed by ShapeWays.com. Further refinements were required to match the stainless steel or German casting (Plain STARR "X"). 


May 25, 2016:   

Shipped the largest order to date, consisting of 200,000 'Plain' STARR "X" openers sold in bulk to Lapine Associates. 


July 2016:   

Commenced experimentation with cold gum bluing of Plain and OBH bottle opener castings. 


Fall 2016:   

Purchased a UPC printer from Uline, which included software for generating UPC codes. The UPC numbers were developed by John, who entered them into an Excel spreadsheet. The goal was to label every item leaving the warehouse with a unique UPC code. 


September 2016:   

Introduced Bottle Opener Art, featuring stained, laser-engraved boards with gun-blued openers attached. This collection included ten designs, with two options featuring no logo. 


November 2016:   

Updated the website once again, resulting in certain aspects being improved. However, overall holiday sales fell short of expectations. Although online business experienced an increase compared to the previous year, there was some disappointment. The update was conducted by Variux/David Edmonson. 


Winter 2015:   

Procured a 50-watt Epilog Fibermark Fusion laser. 


Winter 2015:   

Ceased operations of RealTimeDesigner.com. 


Spring 2015:   

Undertook modifications in packaging, including the removal of web addresses from the black STARR "X" box and slight redesign of the bottom for improved functionality (Protective Packaging). However, due to issues with the new boxes, reverted to the previous box manufacturer/graphics. 


Spring 2015:   

Collaborated with Germany Foundry to develop a new mold known as the 'insert mold,' which involved a $500.00 setup fee. This mold allowed the creation of an embossed insert within a six-position insert mold, enabling the production of embossed bottle openers with lower tooling costs (approximately $500.00) and a limited quantity of 500+/- pieces. Initial designs included Home Brewed, Open Beer Here, Skull & Bones, and The Man Cave. 


May 2015:   

Transitioned the online platform from X-Cart to DesignNBuy/Magento, an Indian-developed platform built using HTML5 and equipped with a mobile feature. The goal was to have a more mobile-friendly and secure sales platform with a vibrant designer on the Magento shopping cart platform. This move aimed to support BMC's objective of targeting the "long tail" market. 


May 2015:   

Discontinued the use of T-Hub. 


June 2015:   

Initiated the use of Google Adwords for website promotion in collaboration with Southern Web Group. 


July 2015:   

Engaged in further discussions with Clayton Denney, resulting in the purchase of another mold, an old drink machine, and the remaining openers from him. Additional items may still be available in his possession. 


August 2015:   

Renewed the lease agreement with Steve Gorin for another five years, including provisions for adding air conditioning to the left-hand side of the building and replacing existing gutters with commercial ones. The lease now extends until December 2020. 


November 2015:   

Sold out of the embossed Dr. Pepper STARR "X" bottle openers and decided not to restock them due to potential licensing concerns. 


November 2015:   

Encountered difficulties with the Magneto component of www.BottleOpener.com, resulting in a 50% decrease in website traffic. Challenges arose from the time difference and language barriers while working with DesignNBuy. Subsequently, the hosting of the site was transferred from DesignNBuy to local developer Stacey at Wright Creative Labs, while maintaining the DesignNBuy/Magneto platform. 



January 2014:   

Faced the closure of our long-term box manufacturer, Economy Folding Box Company. 


January 2014:   

Produced the 'Corona Extra' STARR "X" bottle opener without the patent number or www.BottleOpener.com inscription on the base of the opener. 


March 2014:   

Established retirement SEP-IRA accounts for Tammy, John, and David. 


March 2014:   

Acquired a digital printer from LogoJet for integration into our production processes. 


April 2014:   

Traveled to Newport News, VA to meet with renowned picker Clayton Denney. Purchased old molds, openers, and various other items that Denney had rescued from the dump before Borden James relocated the company from its original location. Although the transaction incurred significant expenses, it was vital to recover important pieces of Brown Mfg. Company's history. 


Spring 2014:   

Explored the utilization of RealTimeDesigner.com, an innovative online design program embedded within www.BottleOpener.com. 


Spring 2014:   

Eliminated the web address from the black, red, and white STARR "X" box, and removed all web addresses from the yellow STARR "X" box. 


Spring 2014:   

Continued collaboration with Mike Gomez of Allegro Consulting to further define and refine our processes, goals, and vision. 


December 2014:   

Concluded 2014 with record-breaking sales, marking a significant achievement for the company. 



January 2013: 

Barbara retired from her part-time position with Brown Mfg. Company. 


John McBrayer was hired as a full-time employee, having previously worked at Trademark Marketing International. 

January 2013: 

Harold J. Eblen Jr. authored and published an exhaustive book titled "Guide to Collecting Brown Manufacturing Company STARR Bottle Openers Since 1925," offering the most comprehensive insights into old STARR bottle openers. 


January 2013: 

Discontinued selling online on Amazon.com through Amazon Seller Central. 


January 2013: 

Initiated sales to an Australian distributor, Mexitraders/Manly Openers. 


March 2013: 

Acquired a fiber laser from Diversified Printing Technique, enabling the production of metal printing plates. 


August 2013: 

Permanently closed DecoNetwork/www.CustomOpeners.com and launched a CUSTOM page on www.BottleOpener.com using LiveART, a solution with no monthly fees or percentage of sales. Joe Brillante was instrumental in integrating this system, although its functionality was only satisfactory. 


Fall 2013: 

Introduced the 'Play Fender' STARR "X" bottle opener, omitting the pattern number and www.BotttleOpener.com from the base of the opener. 


Fall 2013: 

Adopted Federal Express as a shipping method for the company's products. 


Fall 2013: 

Engaged in a trade with John Eblen, exchanging several old openers not present in his collection for an old wooden STARR "X" bottle opener mold and some match plates. 


November 2013: 

Initiated discussions with Mike Gomez of Allegro Consulting, a business consultant. The primary objective was to document BMC's processes. 


December 2013: 

Purchased a Coca-Cola STARR mold for $2,500.00 through www.eBay.com, a discovery made possible by John Eblen. 


December 2013: 

Received new castings of the Stainless Steel STARR "X" bottle opener, featuring a more subtle appearance in line with the German 'Plain' STARR "X" design. These new castings bore the mark "PW" on the back instead of "VG," while maintaining the same vendor relationship. 



January 2012: 

Successfully produced and sold 3,000 Victoria Frost and 7,000 TONA STARR "X" bottle openers, all cast in the USA, for a brewery in Nicaragua. These debossed openers were proudly marked as Made in the USA and were manufactured in collaboration with Bergamot. 


January 2012: 

Enhanced the STARR "X" box graphics by incorporating www.CustomOpeners.com. 


September 2012: 

Upgraded our equipment by purchasing a 150 mm, one-color pad printer to replace the TampoPrint V-130, which had not met our satisfaction. 


December 2012: 

Made the decision not to renew our MillerCoors license. Despite their disappointment, we found it challenging to comply with all their restrictions. 



January 2011: 

After 6.5 years at East Decatur Station, Brown Mfg. Company relocated a mile down the road to Avondale Estates, expanding from 3,500 sq. ft. to 7,400 sq. ft. The new business location was inside the former Gorin's Ice Cream warehouse, with a history of being an old broom factory before that. The move to this larger facility allowed Brown to better manage retail and wholesale inventory while providing ample room for future growth. 


January 2011: 

Placed an order for 500 'Plain' Zinc Aluminum STARR "X" bottle openers, cast in the USA, from Bergamot. 


Spring 2011: 

Introduced 29 additional printed bottle openers for retail sales and discontinued 7 existing openers. 


May 2011: 

Commenced the development of a Custom website using DecoNetwork, with the URL www.CustomOpeners.com. 


May 2011: 

Lease/purchased a 50-watt CO2 laser from Epilog Laser, a valuable addition to BMC's production processes. 


October 2011: 

Launched www.CustomOpeners.com, making it fully operational for online sales. 


October 2011: 

Successfully created and sold an embossed 'POLAR Pilsen' STARR "X" bottle opener. 


October 2011: 

Completed the sale of 1,300 debossed Burton openers, sourced from Bergamot. 


Fall 2011: 

Redesigned the stainless steel bottle cap catcher, transitioning from a three-piece construction to a more elegant and durable one-piece design. 


November 2011: 

Released three more debossed Bergamot castings to customers: Rebel Flag, Made in the USA logo, and Multi-Colored Flag. 


December 2011: 

Acquired a new 90mm, two-color pad printer from Inkcups Now. 


December 2011: 

Recorded total online sales for the year, slightly higher than 2010, marking a peak year for online transactions. 



Beginning 2010: 

Introduced a new product, the 'Bottle Cap Mount' STARR "X" bottle opener, enabling users to affix a bottle cap from their favorite beverage to the opener's hood. 


Summer 2010: 

Encountered an article in the WSJ and listened to a book discussing the Longtail Phenomenon & Resonance Marketing, reinforcing David's confidence in the direction he is guiding Brown Mfg. Company. 


July 2010: 

Successfully created and sold an embossed 'SUPREME' STARR "X" bottle opener, manufactured through a German casting process. 


Fall 2010: 

After reading an article in The Wall Street Journal regarding companies facing lawsuits due to expired patents on their products, a strategic decision was made to replace the patent number with bottleopener.com. This change will be reflected in castings arriving in 2011. 


October 2010: 

After experimenting with a couple of other programs, Brown Mfg. Company started using T-Hub to manage information between www.BottleOpener.com (X-Cart), Amazon Sellers Central, and QuickBooks. 


November 2010: 

Commenced sourcing the Aluminum cap catcher from Richie Target. 


December 2010: 

Expanded BMC's standard line of bottle openers and bottle cap catchers for retail sales to include 40 'printed' STARR "X" bottle openers. 


December 2010: 

Received communication from the CEO of Bergamot, informing that his company has mastered the STARR "X" opener made from Zinc Aluminum. Bergamot expresses interest in being an OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) for BMC. 



March 2009: 

The period from October 2006 to this month marked a 29-month decline, reaching its lowest point during this time. 


June 2009: 

Brown Mfg. Company faced another significant loss as one of its major Wholesale Distributors, Trademark Marketing International, ceased operations. This company was co-owned by Barbara Brim, causing both financial and emotional challenges for her. 


October 2009:

In a positive development, Barbara Brim joined Brown Mfg. Company on a part-time basis, offering her valuable contributions. 


December 2009: 

Online sales constituted 22.3% of Total Gross Sales, reflecting the company's growing presence in the digital marketplace. 


December 2009: 

Despite selling the fewest total pieces in the 11 years since becoming a Georgia corporation, Brown Mfg. Company achieved its most profitable year to date. 



Spring 2008: 

Implemented ShipWorks, a system enabling seamless communication between Amazon, X-Cart, and USPS & UPS for shipping purposes. 


Summer 2008: 

Opted to discontinue printing catalogs, making them available only as PDFs on www.WholesaleBottleOpeners.com. This change reduced printing costs and allowed for biannual catalog production, if necessary. 


Summer 2008: 

David Brim read the book "Small Giants, Companies that Choose to be Great instead of Big," providing valuable insights into the identity and direction of Brown Mfg. Company. 


Summer 2008: 

Restructured Pricing, Expenses, and Costs using an excel spreadsheet, offering a comprehensive understanding of the company's profitability requirements. 


October 2008: 

Faced the closure of one of Brown Mfg. Company's significant Wholesale Distributors, Double D Distributing. 


October 2008: 

Began selling on Amazon Sellers Central, expanding the company's online sales channels. 


Fall 2008: 

The global financial crisis struck, commonly referred to as The Great Recession, significantly impacting the world economy. 


December 2008: 

Online sales accounted for 12% of Total Gross Sales, indicating the company's growing presence in the digital marketplace. 



January 2007: 

Marked as the year of the cap catcher, BMC introduced three different designs in five different colors, all made of plastic. The driving themes behind these creations were the concepts that a stationary bottle opener requires a bottle cap catcher for proper functioning and that the cost of a bottle cap catcher should not be significantly higher than that of the bottle opener. These bottle cap catchers were sourced through Richie Target in Hong Kong. 


January 2007: 

BMC expanded its standard line of bottle openers and bottle cap catchers for sale, now offering 15 'printed' STARR "X" bottle openers. 


February 2007: 

Redesigned 'The STARR "X"' box, replacing the right front panel with an image of a bottle opener and cap catcher, while including text highlighting that "A bottle cap catcher completes the bottle opening process." 


May 2007: 

As part of promoting the idea that a stationary bottle opener requires a bottle cap catcher, BMC introduced packaging that holds a STARR "X" bottle opener with a clear or medium trapezoid bottle cap catcher. 


May 2007: 

To attract new customers, Brown Mfg. Company began offering wholesale sales in lower quantities of 12's and 24's for the new bottle opener and bottle cap catcher combinations. 


September 2007: 

Implemented another redesign of 'The STARR "X"' box, altering the text on the back to "Authentic, Original and Classic, STARR Bottle Openers have been the choice of bottlers, breweries & manufacturers for over 80 years." The bottom of the box now featured "Brown Mfg. Company, Decatur, GA 30030, Owner of the trademark STARR, All Rights Reserved," along with an UPC code of 78362600010. 


October 2007: 

In response to customer resistance to plastic cap catchers, BMC introduced an anodized aluminum cap catcher, providing a more cost-effective alternative to stainless steel. 


October 2007: 

Reintroduced the stainless-steel bottle cap catcher. 


November 2007: 

Joe Brillante conducted another redesign of www.BottleOpener.com, transitioning it into a retail website. Retail sales accounted for 2.7% of Total Gross Sales by the end of the year, with the website built on the X-Cart platform. 


December 2007: 

Successfully created and sold a stainless-steel Balashi STARR "X" bottle opener, marking a significant milestone for Brown Mfg. Company. 



January 2006: 

Implemented a new, faster Econocorp Spartan cartoner into the manufacturing process, allowing for duplicate machines for both pad printing and cartoning. With this addition, Tammy successfully cartoned 4,000+ bottle openers and boxed them into 100-piece boxes during an 8-hour shift, including one hour for breaks. 


January 2006: 

Celebrated a significant milestone, producing 93 different designs of 'Printed' STARR "X" bottle openers over the course of six years from January 2000 to December 2005. 


February 2006: 

Introduced a 12-piece POP display box to enhance the presentation of bottle openers. 


March 2006: 

Launched a new 'dw' STARR "X" bottle opener catering to Drum Workshop enthusiasts. 


March 2006: 

Unveiled new designs, including FANTA, Sprite, and retro style Barq’s STARR "X" bottle openers, along with the reintroduction of the Chevrolet STARR "X" bottle opener. These are all cast at the German foundry, with Barq's, FANTA, and Sprite labeled as "First runs 10,000 pcs., Produced in 2006." 


May 2006: 

Upgraded the AutoRoll pad printer with a new, low-cost, high-speed, one-color pad printer from Inkcups Now. 


May 2006: 

Received a shipment of 15,000 'Plain' STARR "X" bottle openers from China, which were investment castings. While some had issues with plating, the majority were of good quality. 


June 2006: 

Commissioned a 4-minute marketing video on Brown Mfg. Company, created by Jon at Mixed Bag Media for www.TurnHere.com. 


August 2006: 

Engaged Joe Brillante to redesign the website, which now includes a link to the marketing video. 


September 2006: 

Lease/Purchased a 12-watt CO2 laser from InkCups Now for making printing clichés. 


October 2006: 

Sold out of all stainless steel cap catchers, replacing them with a new line of more affordable plastic cap catchers. 


October 2006: 

Redesigned the 12-piece display box for improved aesthetics and functionality. 


November 2006: 

Introduced two new gray plastic cap catchers to the product lineup. 


November 2006: 

Updated the graphic letterhead to include a bottle cap catcher as the last image. 


December 2006: 

Marked the conclusion of an 80-year relationship with The Coca-Cola Company. Trademark Marketing International (TMI) is no longer a licensee with Coca-Cola, and Brown Mfg. Company has decided not to pursue the relationship further. 




January 2005: 

Welcomed Tammy Ballard as Brown's first Decatur employee, marking an important milestone in the company's growth. 


October 2005: 

Introduced a new product line, the 'Plain' stainless steel (304) STARR "X" bottle opener, which is also available in a polished version. These high-quality bottle openers are cast in Asia and bear the "VG" marking on the back, signifying their premium status. 


December 2005: 

In a private seller-financed sale between Barbara Brim and David Brim, all stock in Brown Mfg. Company is sold to David Brim, effectively transferring ownership within the family. This transaction also results in the STARR trademark reverting back to Brown Mfg. Company's name, consolidating its brand identity. 



March 2004: 

Introduced a new product, the 'Play Fender' STARR "X" bottle opener. 


August 2004: 

Signed a 5-year lease to relocate Brown Mfg. Company to 'East Decatur Station' in Decatur, GA. 

The new warehouse spans 3,500 sq. ft., equipped with 4 dock doors and conveniently located just 1.2 miles from David Brim's residence. 

This facility, an old Bio-Lab warehouse, serves as the company's new operational base. 


August 2004: 

Jimmy Waters officially retired from Brown Mfg. Company, marking the end of his tenure. 


November 2004: 

Introduced an embossed 'Guinness' STARR "X" bottle opener, expanding the product lineup. 


Fall 2004: 

Shipped products to Restoration Hardware for the first time, opening up new distribution channels. 


December 2004: 

Received a shipment of 30,000 'Plain' STARR "X" investment castings from China. 

The casting quality significantly improved compared to earlier China-made openers, though zinc plating consistency remained a challenge. 


December 2004: 

Achieved over 30% increase in sales compared to the previous year, setting a new record for bottle opener and bottle cap catcher sales at Brown Mfg. Company, a Georgia Corporation. 




November 2003 

Brown Mfg. Company acquired a second Pad Printer, a TampoPrint model, featuring a larger ink cup (130mm) and a tape removal system, enhancing the efficiency and capabilities of the printing process. 




July 2002 

Brown Mfg. Company proudly launched the 'Home Depot' STARR bottle opener, catering to the customers of this well-known retailer. 


September 2002 

The company made the decision to discontinue all collegiate bottle openers due to poor sales. The limited market and distribution challenges resulted in unfavorable outcomes for these products. 



January 2001: 

Placed the first order for bottle opener castings from China.  However, upon receiving the castings, they were found to be unsatisfactory, affecting both the 'Plain' and 'Chevy' models. 


May 2001: 

Introduced a custom 'John Deere' STARR bottle opener, expanding the product range. 


May 2001: 

Implemented an Econocorp E-System 2000 cartoner into the manufacturing process. 

This upgrade enabled two people to carton 2,500 to 3,500 bottle openers in an eight-hour shift, eliminating the need for hand folding. 


November 2001: 

Introduced a medium trapezoid stainless steel cap catcher, providing customers with a new option. 


December 2001: 

Replaced wooden drying tables with rolling carts, improving efficiency in the production process. 


December 2001: 

Introduced small, black, red, and green trapezoid cap catchers, diversifying the cap catcher offerings. 




January. 2000: 

First 'Plain', pad printed STARR "X" bottle opener is produced, expanding the product lineup. 


March 2000: 

Reintroduced the 'retro' Coca-Cola STARR bottle opener (CO4), catering to vintage enthusiasts. 


August 2000: 

Introduced 4 new collegiate bottle openers: Auburn, Tennessee, Florida State & Georgia Tech, targeting college sports fans. 


October. 2000: 

Introduced a custom 'Harley-Davidson' STARR bottle opener, catering to motorcycle enthusiasts. 


December 2000: 

Revised the web site to no longer sell retail directly.  Instead, provided links to customers, reducing the workload associated with retail sales for the company. 



Jan. 1999: 

Introduced an open-faced box for all STARR "X" bottle openers. 


Jan. 1999: 

Created an advertising website, www.bottleopener.com. 


April 1999: 

Started packing Coca-Cola bottle openers into boxes of 12 for Trademark Marketing International, Inc., in addition to the 100-piece boxes. 


May 1999: 

Introduced a 50-piece bottle opener POP display/shipper. 


June 1999: 

Released the first embossed collegiate bottle openers by BMC, including Nebraska Cornhuskers, University of Alabama, and University of Georgia. 


Aug. 1999: 

Installed wheels on all drying tables for easy mobility. 


Nov. 1999: 

Revised the website to sell retail and showcase more historical openers. Payment by mailed check. 


Dec. 1999: 

Implemented an AutoRoll pad printer to print all bottle openers, embossed and plain, in one or two colors. This increased printing efficiency to 5,000 to 8,500 pieces during an 8-hour shift and improved the quality of prints. 



June 1998: 

Borden James sells the company to Trademark Marketing International's owner, Barbara Brim.  The company moves to Alpharetta, Georgia, becoming Brown Manufacturing Company, Inc.  David Brim takes over day-to-day operations. 


July 1998: 

Hired the first employee, Jimmy L. Waters, a former police officer. 


August 1998: 

Improved the drying process by completely filling drying boards with around 200 bottle openers each, making them stackable. 


September 1998: 

Created a wooden box holder to facilitate packing bottle openers into Brown's 100-piece boxes. 


Fall 1998: 

Purchased the URL www.BottleOpener.com after discussions with Trademark Marketing International. 


December 1998: 

Received bottle openers from the foundry in larger quantities, coming in giant boxes of thousands instead of hundreds. 

Modified the hand roller used to color embossed logos, improving painting efficiency to 2,000 castings per day with two people. 


The Early Years 


Thomas Hamilton files his patent with the patent office 



Patent is issued to Thomas Hamilton. 



Raymond “Coca-Cola” Brown starts Brown Manufacturing Company in Newport News, Virginia, producing bottle openers using the Hamilton patent. 

The STARR trademark is issued 



Brown Mfg. Company also produces other items like decorative Coca-Cola grills for some delivery trucks. 



Ownership of the company potentially changes from Raymond Brown, Sr. to his sons and finally to Raymond Brown, Jr. 


May 1984: 

Raymond Brown, Jr. dies in a plane crash at an air show commemorating the Wright Brothers. 



Pat Brown, Raymond Brown Jr’s wife,  sells the business and the building to Borden James, a neighbor to the Brown family. 

Borden continues operating the business under the name James Industries, Inc. A/K/A Brown Manufacturing Company. 



Brown Manufacturing Company moves to a smaller location in Newport News, VA, resulting in the loss or scavenging of much physical history. 

Borden sells the original building back to the Brown family. 



Brown Manufacturing Company relinquishes the Coca-Cola retail license to Trademark Marketing International, Inc. 


June 1998: 

Borden James sells the company to Barbara Brim, the owner of one of Brown's major customers, Trademark Marketing International.  The company relocates to Alpharetta, Georgia, becoming Brown Manufacturing Company, Inc. (a Georgia corporation), with David Brim as the operator. 



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