From the June 1998 issue of Startups

That hunk of tin isn't for the junk pile anymore--the craftspeople of Irvin's Tinware Co. shine it up, straighten it out and punch a design into it, transforming it into country-style art for the home.

Irvin's Tinware handcrafts tin, brass and copper home accessories with an emphasis on decorative tin lighting products, from votive candleholders to chandeliers. Other items include porch lanterns, table lamps, night lights, wall hangings, Christmas trimmings and light-switch plates. Most pieces have country-style, hole-punched designs--apples, hearts, flowers, checkerboards, roosters and geometric patterns.

Wholesale prices range from $8.75 for a six-piece set of Christmas ornaments to $20.50 for the Stars and Hearts Lantern to $142.25 for the Pierced Captain's Chandelier. Prices are slightly higher for brass and copper pieces.

Suggested retail prices are double the wholesale prices. Minimum order: $75.

From Irvin's Tinware Co., Mt. Pleasant Mills, Pennsylvania. To order a catalog, call (717) 539-8200.

Steak Your Claim

By Michelle Prather

Are your customers tired of losing their delectable meats and vegetables to the depths of a flaming barbecue? Offer an end to this dinnertime drama with the patented Roto-Kabob 7-Piece Shish Kabob Grill Set.

The Roto-Kabob Grill Set is the no-nonsense way to evenly grill or broil everything from shish kabobs to corn on the cob. The stainless steel device has six skewers that turn simultaneously with the twist of a center handle, conveniently placed away from the heat. Foods are kept in place--rather than in the fire--with the V-shaped design of each skewer. The Grill Set's rack adjusts to three different heights, is safe for indoor and outdoor use, disassembles easily for convenient storage and is dishwasher-safe.

You can add to your profits by selling accessories such as the 3-Piece Roto-Rac set. Its three cylindrical supports fit over the Roto-Kabob's skewers to make cooking oblong foods a cinch. The Roto-Kabob Electric Motor Unit allows the cook to step away and entertain while the center Grill Set's handle rotates automatically.

Wholesale prices: Roto-Kabob Grill Set, $13.98; Roto-Rac, $7.49; Roto-Kabob Electric Motor Unit, $14.99. Suggested retail prices: Roto-Kabob Grill Set, $29.99; Roto-Rac, $14.95; Roto-Kabob Electric Motor Unit, $28.95. Minimum order: one case of 12.

From Kristline Corp., Rochelle Park, New Jersey. To order, call (800) 364-5442.

No Tie Required

Let your customers hang loose from the worry of untied shoelaces with 'Lastic Laces.

'Lastic Laces are coiled, elastic shoelaces that never have to be tied, and fit any shoe size, from infant to adult. They never lose elasticity, and shoes can be slipped on and off easily.

Regular-sized 'Lastic Laces come in 13 colors; there's also a longer version for boots and high-tops.

Wholesale prices: regular size, $1.50 per pair; longer size, $1.80 per pair. Suggested retail prices: regular size, $3 to $4 per pair; longer size, $4 to $5 per pair. Minimum order: three dozen pairs.

From PPP Enterprises, Augusta, Georgia. To order, call (800) 770-4325.

Contact Sources

Irvin's Tinware Co., R.R. 1 Box 73, 102 Cedar Ln., Mt. Pleasant Mills, PA 17853

Kristline Corp., fax: (201) 845-0240

PPP Enterprises, fax: (706) 855-1348