Entrepreneurs are solution-oriented. Where others see a problem, they see an opportunity.
That’s what happened for James Flawith. He and his wife loved it when the boys would wrestle James’ high visibility (high viz) gear off of him, put it on, and parade around the yard. Just like Daddy! Not only that, highly visible wherever they were in the yard. Just like Daddy.
James says it made their lives easier. With kids dressed in Dad’s gear, they were easier to spot when the family was camping in the woods. Trouble was, the gear didn’t fit. So why not get the boys high viz gear of their own? They’d be high visible out on a walk and at the playground. And if, heaven forbid, they somehow got out in traffic? The more he thought about it, the more James wanted his kids to be visible – highly visible –and safe.
He went looking for high visibility clothing for his young sons. But there was none to be found.
“It became a bit of a compulsion for me, for my kids to be safe,” James says. “I spent hours searching the internet for a source. But I couldn’t find the gear anywhere.”
Thus was born Lil Worker Safety Gear. But not without resistance.
James owns and operates Precision Tree Services. He’s been nominated as Young Entrepreneur of the Year by the Comox Valley Chamber of Commerce. He’s been nominated as one of the Island’s Top 20 Under 40. The guy is a walking business-generating machine. He didn’t want – or need – to be creating another business.
“I’ve got three young kids,” he says. “And I’m already super busy with Precision Tree.” He kept looking for someone to talk him out of his mission: to create high viz gear so that kids will be safer. But it wasn’t happening.
Instead, like so many creative, solution-oriented individuals, he’s juggling it all to make Lil Worker Safety Gear become a reality.
Another problem: James is discovering that we don’t have much of a manufacturing infrastructure on the Island. Like a lot of entrepreneurs who are thinking BIGger he’s realizing that without access to affordable materials and labour it’s hard to innovate at home.
Still, he’s persisting. That’s what he does. Keep working on his vision until it’s a reality. That vision is about safe kids; it’s also about being part of creating a new way of doing business in the Comox Valley and on Vancouver Island.
It’s now October 2016, several months since James’ concern for his kids’ safety became a compulsion to create a solution. In a recent email he let me know that “our shipment was scheduled to arrive in Vancouver this morning.” Once the fulfillment and ecommerce bells and whistles are finalzed, you’ll be able to stop by www.lilworkersafety.ca or the Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/lilworkersafety/ and buy Lil Worker Safety Gear to #vizyourkids. James says things should be up and running by the end of this month.
In the meantime, put your name on the mailing list so you can be first to “viz your kids!”
Lil Worker Safety Gear online:
James and Lil Worker Safety Gear were early adopters of LIFT Comox Valley’s collaborative marketing and business development services. Lil Worker Safety Gear was one of the first to subscribe as a #WeAreYQQ Champion, because James believes in entrepreneurs helping entrepreneurs to grow new business – and to grow a new economy here in the YQQ / Comox Valley region. If we’re going to build a new economy, we’re going to have to work together, and we have to promote each other. That’s what the tag is all about: #WeAreYQQ = from the Comox Valley, and proud of it!
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