Home Based Business Millionaires, Part I (Santa Letters Millionaire)

The Byron Reese Story

Byron Reese founded his company,, which sells fully personalized letters from Santa Claus throughout North America (they’re even postmarked from the North Pole, Alaska, to give them a sense of authenticity). Reese sold 10,000 cards in 2001, his first year in business. Although Christmas sales increased each year thereafter, he was still looking for ways to expand his offerings. Parents can now also order birthday cards for their children from Santa. The strategy boosted 2005 sales to $1 million.

Still, the key to Reese’s success is organization. After realizing that he and his staff didn’t want to do the marathon 36-hour shifts they did the first year, he looked to outside vendors to help him with the annual rush. He also takes care of any problems as soon as he gets over the rush and then starts planning for the next year. By February, he is up and running. “The temptation is not to start working until you get close to that season, and we’ve made that mistake in the past,” says Reese, 37. “Things always take a lot longer than you think they’re going to take. We find it much better to work constantly.”

“When I was a kid, my parents used to give us letters from Santa. My mom died three and a half years ago and I wanted to do this in her honor,” says Byron. “I went in with low expectations, but we sold 10,000 the first year.” The magic of Christmas is a great trust for Byron, so he implemented a rigorous quality control program in which multiple people (his elves) check each letter, ensuring total accuracy on each one, as well as on a card. Santa’s birthday and post-Christmas “Greetings from Hawaii” postcard of a suntanned, beachside Santa.

Byron’s childhood Christmas memories include installing 200 strings of Christmas lights and decorating dozens of Christmas cookies each year. He loves the look on the postman’s face when he goes to buy 40,000 stamps from Santa at the post office every Christmas. What’s next on the agenda for this Christmas devotee?

“One day I hope to be able to deliver snow coolers to people in hot climates.”