Saturday, September 13, 2008

A New Business Venture

I’ve often wondered if there was a way to make a business out of my love of sewing. I may have discovered a market niche in making flags for recumbent bike/trike riders.

My husband recently asked me to make a bigger flag for his new recumbent tricycle. I have a lot of rip-stop nylon in various colors left over from making a huge 4-line kite for a friend’s son in San Diego. So I made him a blue and yellow flag. I actually made him 2 because the first one flew off while he was riding and he couldn’t find it.

When I was in to pick up my bike with its new handle bars and grip shifts, I was talking to Al, who seems to be the recumbent guru at Bikes@Vienna. He was intrigued with the idea of custom-made flags and quickly sketched out two that he had been thinking about, based on things he saw at the Taiwanese National Palace Museum website. Al is quite a character.

Today I showed up with one of his two designs. Al promptly put it on a bike and demonstrated for everyone to see. That’s Al in the picture above. Another customer who is buying a bike gave me his e-mail address and offered to pay $35 or more for a flag that will probably take me about 45 minutes to make.

My husband now wants a better design after seeing these new possibilities.

So it looks like I could be buying more colors of nylon and taking orders. There are infinite possibilities for flag designs, so there should be no problem with keeping each flag unique.

If you have a bike with a flag, let me know if you want a spiffier flag!


Blogger Steve said...

Wow, that IS a niche market. It's great that you've found this opportunity! Who knew?

2:10 PM  
Blogger media concepts said...

That sounds like a great idea. Please tell me more about recumbent bikes and their use of flags, since I know nothing about it. Do the riders like to use them because they are otherwise not very visible due to their low rigding height? What about wind resistance, the bane of bikers?

3:29 PM  
Blogger media concepts said...

Duh, "riding height."

3:30 PM  
Blogger Kristin said...

I don't have a recumbent bike but I almost wish I did. A flag would be fun. Good luck with the new venture!

4:03 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

MC -- They use the flags to call attention to themselves since they ride so low to the ground. These bikes/trikes are more like go-carts in many ways.

My new potential customer was particularly interested because the rip-stop nylon is very lightweight and will provide very little drag (to those for whom speed is still important).

Kristin -- Making flags should keep me out of trouble!

4:14 PM  

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