Goessel man hopes pouch will take profitable swing

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN JULIE ANDERSON
James Voth is busy doing what he enjoys: creating new products.



Voth, co-owner of Ratzlaff Draperies with his wife, Gayle, is the

designer and producer of the Pro-Pouch, a device to hold three golf

balls and four tees, which can be clipped over the waistband.



?I think about it all of the time,? Voth said. ?It was always in the

back of my mind.?



Voth began working on the idea when it was brought to him two years

ago by a friend of his, Jim Monarez, from Newton.



?When I saw it, I knew it had possibilities,? Voth said. ?The idea was

feasible.?



Because of his business, it is possible for him to produce the pouch

at a reasonable cost.



Voth also felt the timing was right.



?I knew golfing was so popular now, the time would be good,? he said.



Voth said he is always looking for additional things to do at Ratzlaff

Draperies.



?New products always catch my eye,? he said. ?I like to develop

things.?



Voth?s the first step with this project was to redesign the bad. It is

designed with a flap to slip over the waistband.



Next, he put together a focus group, which critiqued the item.



He also looked to Mid-American Manufacturing Technology Center for

additional help.



When he began working with MAMTC, Voth said changes began to happen.



One of them was selecting a new name for the product. Previously

called a belt caddy, the name was changed to Pro-Pouch.



To test his product, Voth took it to the golf course and had people

try it out.



Those who have tried the product said they liked the fact the balls

were available and they no longer have bulging pockets, according to

Voth.



He is about ready to start distributing his product at pro shops and

tournaments.



?I found out from experience the marketing is probably the hardest

part of getting it going,? Voth said.



The packaging for the item was printed last week and he only needs to

get the boxes.



?I just got the packaging down to where I like it,? he said. ?It is a

self-displaying product.?



Voth hopes to have them out by the middle of May.



He is getting word out about the product by contacting pro shops and

tournaments.



?I fully expect to be selling them nationwide before long,? Voth said.



He already has been doing some advertising in national magazines.



The Pro-Pouch also is available for purchase on the Internet at

www.propouch.com.



?There really is no question in my mind this will make it,? Voth said.



The Pro-Pouch will sell for $9.95 in stores and on the Internet.

Embroidering is available at an additional cost for purchases of 24 or

more. Voth feels his biggest sales will be as gifts.



?You have to be a risk-taker to get a

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