Every once in a while, a business opportunity arrives unexpectedly, and you have to seize upon it. That was the case for a woman in Livonia whose cape-making business started when her 3-year-old son decided he wanted to have a superhero party. But rather than dress up as a popular superhero like Superman or Batman, he wanted something more personalized.
His mother, who was a special education teacher before starting her cape business, began sewing custom-made capes, and after that initial superhero party, the idea gradually took off. She started Superfly Kids, and in the last three years, the company's revenue has gone from $260,000 to about $2.4 million.
After expanding production into an office building in Farmington, the woman ran into another entrepreneur working in the same building. He took an interest in the cape-making trade, especially after considering that the U.S. has roughly 30 million children who are 7 years old or younger. The custom capes made by Superfly Kids sell for about $30 per, so the market has a lot of potential.
Since the two entrepreneurs teamed up, the company has relocated and expanded 10 times. The Superfly Kids factory is now located in a 7,600-square-foot space in Livonia, and 18 employees work for the company. Based on the last three years' revenues, Superfly Kids was ranked by Inc. Magazine as Michigan's second fastest-growing business.
Though Superfly has proven successful, much more planning is needed to broaden product lines and increase distribution. There is always risk in these endeavors. The founder of the company said she started out with no business plan, but that clearly has changed.
Attorneys with experience in real estate laws, tax laws and liability laws can help entrepreneurs structure their business to promote and protect profits. Covering your legal bases can also help free up time and energy for the creative aspects of moving a business forward.
Source: USA Today, "Mich. cape company turns kids into superheroes," Frank Witsil, Oct. 29, 2013