Sunday, June 10, 2007

Reflective Clothing As A Business Niche

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It's a good thing Karoli Hindriks makes hats: She wears a lot of them. She's the country manager for MTV in Estonia, a student at the Estonian Business School, an elected city council member in her hometown of Pärnu—and she's been an entrepreneur for more than five years. While still in high school, Hindriks invented a soft reflector to be worn by pedestrians for safety at night. By the age of 19, she had expanded into making fashionable knitted hats and gloves out of reflective material. She initially sold them through a company that her father owns, but in 2002 went into business for herself.

Hindriks has patented her designs and even picked up an endorsement from the Estonian Road Administration, which encourages pedestrians to wear reflective clothing. Besides selling her accessories through retail outlets, she sells wholesale to companies and labor unions. Goodmood's revenues are still modest, less than $150,000 a year, but with growth averaging 35% annually, it may not stay small for long.

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