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Can You Get There From Here?

Research your market to determine if your business idea will work.

This story appears in the December 1996 issue of Business Start-Ups magazine.

One man's trash is another man's treasure. That's especially true for Ava DeMarco and Robert Brandegee. The two young entrepreneurs salvage discarded rubber inner tubes, bottle caps, license plates, hubcaps and other throwaways to manufacture trendy fashion accessories, which they sell through Little Earth Productions Inc., the Pittsburgh-based business they founded in 1993.

The market for their unique offerings--beer-cap-studded belts made from recycled rubber, backpacks decorated with car emblems, gym bags accented with chrome hubcaps--is indeed hot among 18- to 35-year-old buyers who want a funky, upbeat look. In 1995, Little Earth Productions grossed $1.9 million. The partners expect their company to finish this year with $4 million in sales.

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