Weird Businesses Baby Bangs
Love your baby girl, but wish she was a bit less bald? A Missouri hair replacement and make-up artist has a solution for you: Lisa Campbell, the founder of Baby Bangs, creates "hair extension headband made exclusively for baby girls." The hair extensions, which come in five hairband designs and six hair colors, are for sale on the Baby Bangs Web site for $29.95.
Courtesy Baby Bangs
Now might not be the best time to run a small business, but entrepreneurs with unique -- and sometimes downright bizarre -- ideas still stand a chance. Join us as we take a look at wacky small businesses trying to survive in today's harsh climate.
Want a pole dancer at your party but don't have a pole? Andrew Katzander and his business, PoleRiders, is dedicated to solving that problem: Katzander has outfitted his rickshaw with a platform and a stripper pole and has hired professional dancers to perform on it. The New York City business' mission is "to promote bicycle safety, raise awareness of the immense potential of pedal power and to bring pole dancing to the streets where dancing belongs," according to its Web site.
Andrew Katznader Pole Riders
You can buy recycled paper and clothing, but what about mannequins? For that particular product, many turn to Mannequin Madness, an Oakland, Calif.-based company that receives used mannequins from retailers like Macy's and Kohl's and sells them to trade show vendors, event planners and others . Keeping mannequins from winding up in landfills earned the company an award from the Environmental Protection Agency in 2003.
"Although we take our environmental efforts seriously, we try not to take ourselves too seriously," the company says on its Web site. "After all, we work with a bunch of stiffs and dummies."
Keeping a deceased loved one close to your heart could mean keeping them in a necklace -- literally. The company LifeGem extracts carbon from human ashes or human hair and converts it into diamonds through the use of a furnace, pictured, and other equipment. The Illinois-based company, which was founded in 2001, also creates diamonds from carbon extracted from pet remains. Prices per stone range from less than $3,200 to nearly $20,000, depending on carat size.
Courtesy Life Gem
Sometimes what makes a business unique isn't what it sells but how it's changed over the years. Declining car sales led <a href="http://abcnews.go.com/video/playerIndex?id=7786442" target="_new">Lynn Love to close down his Tampa, Fla. auto dealership and open a restaurant there instead</a>.
If you have to be on crutches, they might as well be the "fun and fabulous" kind -- that's the theory behind LemonAid Crutches, a company that provides crutches decorated with a variety of designs.
The company has its roots in a personal tragedy -- the founder, Laurie Johnson, lost her husband and young son in a 2002 small plane crash. Johnson herself suffered a severely broken leg in the crash. After a year of being on crutches, Johnson and her sister decided to have them professionally painted and covered with designer fabrics. A year later, LemonAid Crutches was born. Half the company's proceeds are donated to Step With Hope, a foundation Johnson founded to help others grieving the deaths of multiple family members.
Courtesy Lemond Aid Crutches
Many lawyers might object to having their names associated with vermin, but Pete Cardillo encourages it. The so-called "termite lawyer" founded his firm, Cardillo Law LLC, in 2003 to tackle damage claims related to the wood-chomping insects and has gone to court against pest control services, insurance companies and home sellers. The firm is based in Tampa, Fla.
Courtesy Cardillo Law
Can seatbelts be stylish? Anyone wearing a U.S.E.D. bag might say yes -- the Canadian company uses old seatbelts fished out of landfills to create handbags, shoulder bags and other accessories. The company's name is an abbreviation for Unlimited Supplies from Everyone's Discards.
A beloved doll that's suffered the ravages of time might benefit from a trip to The Doll Hospital, a doll repair shop in Spring, Texas. The shop's founder, Mary Ann Pizzolato, pictured, is a former chemical engineer, a background that has helped her master more complicated doll fixes, some of which can cost up to $1,000.
Courtesy AC Thomas