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Quilting Tee

Grandma never sewed like this.

It was time to toss out the piles of T-shirts spilling from bags in her attic, but 26-year-old Kayli Pearsall balked. "I wasn't wearing all of them, but I couldn't get myself to throw them out,' she says. That's when Pearsall came up with an idea, with help from her mother, Peggy Whitley, 57, and her sister, Kendra Chandler, 29, to transform old shirts into quilts. The trio launched Orange, California-based Shirtquilts.com in 1996. The part-time business made about $15,000 in 2000, and Pearsall plans to take it full time.

The cost: $2,000 for basic equipment, office supplies and the Web site.

The market: Fraternities, sororities and other community organizations-Pearsall also recently began attracting customers looking to create unique family heirlooms.

Why you could've thought of it yourself: "I don't know how to sew,' Pearsall says. "I'm just creative and know how to delegate.'

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This article was originally published in the March 2001 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Quilting Tee.

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