Kellogg World Alumni Magazine, Winter 2004Kellogg School of Management
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  Elise Wetzel '92
Elise Cayelli Wetzel ’92
Alumni Newsmakers
  John Wood ’89
  Susan Rosenstein ’79
  Elise Cayelli Wetzel ’92
  David Gavoor ’90
  Michael Angelo Johnson ’98

Alumni newsmakers: Elise Cayelli Wetzel ’92

by Deborah Leigh Wood

Selling points
Elise Cayelli Wetzel ’92 is raising a business and a family. Sometimes the two are difficult to differentiate.

The founder and chair of iSold It, a year-old national chain of franchised eBay drop-off stores, says her 5-year-old daughter and 4-year-old son walk around the house saying, “Mommy, can we sell this on eBay?”

“Instead of a lemonade stand, they’re thinking of something more lucrative,” Wetzel says with a laugh during a recent phone interview from her company’s headquarters in Pasadena, Calif.

One can hardly blame the kids. While raising funds for their preschool, their mom suggested that families at the school clean out their closets and, instead of holding a garage sale, sell the goods on eBay. Wetzel, who received her undergraduate degree in economics from Northwestern University and majored in marketing at the Kellogg School, then took her idea a step farther. She started her own eBay drop-off company to serve customers who, for lack of knowledge or time, seek help to list their goods on eBay. Then Wetzel franchised the operation. (Franchises run in the family: Wetzel’s husband, Rick, owns Wetzel’s Pretzels.)

As of September, iSold It ( had eight stores open and more than 250 under contract in the United States.

Wetzel, who worked for 15 years in marketing and new product development at Nestlé, Unilever and Procter & Gamble, says the comprehensive general management training she received at the Kellogg School was invaluable, as was learning the importance of building a strong brand.

“I love brand management,” Wetzel says. “Building new brands is the most exciting thing you can do.”

©2002 Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University