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Social Media, Celebrity Help Copper Gain Momentum

BEDFORD, N.Y. — In January 2010, Bedford resident Tom Kallish sat in an office with the world in front of him, wondering how he could bridge the gap between that world and his new idea--to create a new line of copper compression wear designed to help   treat such things as arthritis and fibromyalgia and distribute it widely.

Less than two years later, Kallish has built that bridge. His company, Tommie Copper, has soared through the Internet and into thousands of customers’ lives. With his company growing rapidly, Kallish is convinced that his active stance on social media was what led to the exponential rise.

“We decided to go direct to the consumer. The ‘Tommie Copper Nation’ became imperative to us," he said. "People engage us every day, and we engage them. That community has helped us build our business.”

The Tommie Copper brand of compression sleeves uses infused copper to act as a natural healing mechanism. As a lifetime entrepreneur, Kallish knew how to patent the product and send it around. While many companies do engage in conversations with potential consumers, Kallish said he took it to the next level by allowing consumers to write reviews directly on the company's website.

“We got our product into the hands of credible bloggers, and this is how you know if you have something or not. We want reviews. We took a risk. We let people post reviews on our web page without editing," he said. “Within the thousands of reviews, we had only a few questionable ones. Once I saw that, I knew what we had.”

What Kallish had was something that first benefited the creator. Kallish created the sleeves to help his own healing process following a debilitating accident that caused him to have a knee and hip replaced, along with two back surgeries.

Kallish has not only seen support from the local and national level, but also from the celebrity realm. Montel Williams, the famed talk show host, has been a spokesperson for the product and an investor in the company.

However, Kallish knows that it is the everyday blogger that keeps his company moving forward.

“You have to say, look, I developed this product, I invented and patented this product, and I’m willing to let the world decide whether this is right or wrong,” he said.  “And the only way to do that is by engaging the community and having an interaction with them. That’s the only way to do it."

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