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School was out and we were riding the wave of excitement of spending our first whole summer at Lakeside, when our mother dropped the parental bomb that we needed to find jobs. It was 1984 and my younger brother and I had a lot to say about how there really weren’t any jobs for 13 and 15 year olds. After an exchange about the perils for teenagers of having too much time on their hands and a realistic proposal of us dog walking, we negotiated 3 days to find our own jobs. With a toy salesman father, it was not difficult to find a wholesale kite catalog laying around. With a mixture of chutzpah and foolishness, we ordered 24 kites on credit. We flew them off the dock and sold them all in a few days. After biking up to Marblehead Bank with wads of cash in our pockets, we opened an account, paid our bill and ordered more kites. What started in teenage bravado and ignorance is a little seasonal business that took root and continues to flourish.
A year or so later, we saw a need for Lakeside t-shirts to sell with our kites. People loved Lakeside and t-shirts help preserve a memory. As this was before the age of easy access to screen printing, we made our own shirts using puffy paint on the kitchen table. Employing a large quantity of grace, we can reflect on them as “quaint relics” of the past.
All these years later, as my sister replaced my brother and my husband replaced my sister as business partners, we find ourselves having outfitted a generation of Lakesiders in Kite Shop t-shirts. In our “other lives,” Will and I are in education in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Each year on the last day of school, we’d pick up our 3 children from the car-rider line and head straight to Ohio.
We are so grateful primarily to our customers who make the Kite Shop worth doing. We are thankful to have the opportunity to be in Lakeside and to have gotten to know so many of you over kites and t-shirts. Thank you for supporting us and enjoying your Lakeside goods all these years!
After 36 years in business, it took a pandemic and quarantine to afford us margin to reflect well on the Kite Shop. It seems like high time to build on the organic growth of our little business and move to a new chapter. We've got a logo, a budding social media presence, a silk screen operation in incubation and this new online store. We're grateful for your support!