The year was 1985. Michael Jordan won “Rookie of the Year,” gas was only $1.09 a gallon and brothers Jeff and Tom Polacek purchased Trendex. Originally farmers from Iowa, the two ventured north to look for business opportunities. They brought the same strong work ethic from the farm to the manufacturing floor of one of St. Paul’s oldest binderies. After learning the tools of the trade, business began booming and all seemed well. Then the emergence of the internet threatened the livelihood of the paper-based business. This is where most companies resign and die. But Jeff and Tom refused to give in and reinvented the business, first as a sample maker and then as a hospitality supplier. Today, Trendex excels as one of the premier manufacturers of fabric swatches and sample cases.