Paul Christensen is cofounder and President of Natural Trends LLC. Formed in 1999, Natural Trends is a leading supplier of health and wellness products to the corporate promotional market. Named one of the 10 fastest growing companies in their industry in 2007, their lead product categories include hand sanitizer, lip balm, and sunscreen, along with other personal care products, all of which are imprinted with corporate logos for use in advertising and promotional campaigns.
A native of Richfield Utah, Paul is a graduate of Snow College class of 1982, where he met his wife of 27 years, the former Janice Wride. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Marketing from Utah State University where he also served as the President of the USU chapter of the American Marketing Association. Business leaders from the community were frequent speakers at the chapter meetings, and it was here that Paul first discovered his entrepreneurial spirit while listening to their experiences.
While spending the early years of his career in outside sales, Paul discovered a small start up company seeking a sales and marketing manager. He recognized it as an exciting "intrepreneurial” opportunity—a chance to utilize entrepreneurial skills inside of someone else’s company. The firm, known as Data Pad, had just invented the world’s first mouse pad with a hard plastic top. They soon found they could print corporate logos and messages on the mouse pad allowing customers to capture advertising space on the desktop. He introduced the world’s first promotional mouse pad to the ad specialty industry in 1989. Six years and many millions of mouse pads later, the concept had spawned numerous companies and become a mainstream promotional product. Following a merger and replacement of the management team, Paul and an associate, Doug Larsen, transferred the same concept to American Covers, a leading retail supplier of computer accessories, where after five years, sales of their goods for promotion soon rivaled the base retail business.
Having developed significant expertise in the promotional products industry, Doug and Paul decided it was time to build something of their own as true entrepreneurs, and in 1999, with the assistance of a third financial partner, they identified an underserved niche and formed Natural Trends, LLC. The company has invented several unique and proprietary products for which it holds numerous patents. Today it serves clients nationwide, also exporting goods throughout Canada and Europe.
Paul's presentation topic was "The Advantages and Disadvantages of Owning a Business".