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Thread: Pedicab & Shoe Shine Boy

  1. #1
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    Default Pedicab & Shoe Shine Boy





    Tucker Leary of Eliot, Maine, opened a shoeshining business in Portsmouth's Market Square for the summer.
    Photo by Jackie Ricciardi


    Tucker Leary, Shoe Shine Boy


    By Nancy Eichhorn




    Combine entrepreneurial spirit, business savvy, a bit of bartering and an enthusiastic 14-year-old and you have Leary Co. Principal owner Tucker Leary’s latest venture involves a bright yellow Pedicab and a mobile shoe shining service in Portsmouth this summer.

    "I like the idea of being head of a company, of being in charge and doing something that people have never heard of, never seen, something people wouldn’t expect," says Leary, adding it can be difficult for kids under age 15 to find summer jobs. "I’m running an honest shoeshine business."

    The idea came from his own "crazy imagination" and kick-started into gear when an uncle gave Leary a shoeshine box, "one of the nice ones with the handle shoe rest," filled with all the necessary equipment. His father, Shawn Leary, discovered a Pedicab in the barn of a business associate. The owner had purchased the three-wheeled cart at a charity event and never used it. The Leary men bartered a deal, adjusted the shifting gears, and mended a few cracks with Fiberglas. The ride was ready.

    Pedaling as if on a normal bicycle, Leary will commute on the Pedicab from his Eliot, Maine, home. Customers will sit on a two-person bench located over the back wheels. The Pedicab is equipped with a headlight, tail light, directionals, a collapsible awning over the rear bench, and a radio, which is powered by a car battery. Leary plans to park his bright yellow Pedicab in public parking spaces, shining shoes for $5 a pair.

    "I’ve always had different things set up to try to make money but nothing was ever this organized," he says. As he swipes a strand of brown hair behind his ear, Leary’s yellow Lance Armstrong bracelet dangles around his thin wrist. "I picked up on it (the bracelet) before they became a huge fashion statement. I thought it seemed like a good cause," he casually adds.

    "Always" selling or trading stuff, Leary started in the first grade with Star Wars trading cards. He sold bags of chips in the sixth grade for $1.25 by applying common logic to persuade people to buy his product though priced higher than local grocery stores.

    "When they’d tell me they could buy the same thing at the store for a quarter, I said, ‘You’re in the sixth grade, you can’t leave school to buy it. You either buy it from me or you can’t eat it.’ There were no snack provisions until high school," says Leary, adding that recently he even asked his teacher about selling community service hours.

    "I was half joking. I have 155 hours, and the high school requirement is only 50 hours. If she would have said yes, I would have done it."

    Part of any comprehensive business plan involves a market analysis. Leary figured that because he will park in city parking spaces, he must both feed the meter and move every two hours; thus, if he spent eight hours a day in town, he would spend $50 a week on parking fees.

    "I did the math with the parking fees last week and discovered parking costs a lot in Portsmouth; did you know you get four minutes for a nickel? But it’s better than one minute," he says, explaining that the initial investment is growing in cost.

    Analyzing when the most foot traffic exists, Leary decided to offer his services at the beginning of the workday, around 8 a.m., during the lunchtime break, and at the end of the day. Further calculations showed that if he shined 10 pairs of shoes a day, he’d earn 250 "bucks" a week. In two months time Leary hopes to earn $1,600 in order to pay for his driver’s education program and for a new Apple ibook to use for movie making.

    "I like to make movies, but it’s a slow process on my home computer. It takes like two hours to burn a DVD. It’s fast on the Mac," Leary says, explaining he’s been involved with technology in various capacities over the years from DJ’ing school dances, to running the school’s sound system to accepting responsibility for his church’s sound system at Unity on the Seacoast in Dover.

    "I made a couple of movies with a friend," Leary continues, explaining he hopes to participate in Marshwood High School’s vocational program next year to make television and radio productions for public broadcast stations.

    One of his first movies, titled, "TRH (That Really Hurt)," was "a movie of kids doing really stupid things and getting hurt, like jumping off a roof." Leary says a film workshop during junior high school with Bill Humphrey was a cool experience where he was able to use professional quality movie cameras.

    "I realized last year that I really enjoy one of the odd aspects of movie making - editing video. I’m not really sure what I want to be (when I grow up), but I know I want to do something with multimedia, business, and technology," Leary says.
    Last edited by Trixi.com; 17-07-2005 at 15:50.
    Saludos

    Gerald
    Admin www.PedicabForum.com

    Our company site:
    www.trixi.com

    Other web sites:
    www.Bicicleta.es





  2. #2
    bikecab999's Avatar
    bikecab999 Guest

    Talking That's cool.... A Mobile Business... What About Pedicab Juice / Aroma Oxygen Bar...

    I have tried mobile pedicab aromtherapy oxygen bar from my pedicab. There used to be a company who sold oxygen powder packets. Where you mix water with 2 powders in a bottle and it emits aroma oxygen for 10 minutes. Which was perfect for pedicab rides as 10 minutes was a good fare. Also all you had to carry was fresh water and a clean supply of nose cannula tubes.

    The only problem is the US FDA ade the stuff illegal becuase it was medical grade and not for recreational use. They use it for emergency medical response stuff?

    So any Europeans out there try to get a hold of this stuff. It sells great to the late night drunk crowd. Also it sobers up drunk drivers at the end of the night. A good money maker..

    Another idea was to have a solar trickle cell battery and a DC 12 volt blender. I have a camping 12 volt blender I just haven't tried it yet.
    My idea was to have a mobile juice bar. Or a mobile frozen Margarita stand at events. Maybe even a pedal blender too??

    Any other crazy pedicab ideas floating around???

  3. #3
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    Default Good ideas!

    Hi Bikecab:
    Great idea. Any photos available?

    To all:
    What else can we do with a pedicab?
    Saludos

    Gerald
    Admin www.PedicabForum.com

    Our company site:
    www.trixi.com

    Other web sites:
    www.Bicicleta.es





  4. #4
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    Default

    I just had to write a response to the oxygen comment. OXYGEN DOES NOT MAKE A DRUNK PERSON SOBER!!! Best case scenario, it is just a breath of fresh air. That would make anyone feel better after being in a stuffy, smokey bar. I'm all about new ideas, but if someone sells oxygen packets to drunk people under the advise that it will sober them up for the drive home, that's totally irresponsible, and very dangerous.

    When I'm not pedaling my cabs, I'm a full-time firefighter/EMT, so I've got a little background on the subject. There are enough drunk drivers without the pedicab industry helping them out.

    Maybe I'm a little sensitive on the subject, but I've seen enough of it to last awhile. Why don't we try pedaling them home instead? Or maybe get with the local taxi companies and try to work out some kickbacks for every customer you send to them?

    Later,

    Matt

  5. #5
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    Default Oxygen to sober up drunks.

    Of course I never sold oxygen to drunks claiming it would sober them up to drive. I was half joking when I stated this. But the fact of the matter is that drunks will spend more money than normal when drunk on kitch ideas. They will also tip better too. Oxygen is a nice addition to a pedicab. It kind of goes along with the whole clean air eco thing and it is fun as well as profitable to offer. Also if you do the bar, club run it kind of ads a certian party element to the mix.

    Thats all.

    -JK

  6. #6
    bikecab999's Avatar
    bikecab999 Guest

    Default Oxygen to sober up drunks.

    Of course I never sold oxygen to drunks claiming it would sober them up to drive. I was half joking when I stated this. But the fact of the matter is that drunks will spend more money than normal when drunk on kitch ideas. They will also tip better too. Oxygen is a nice addition to a pedicab. It kind of goes along with the whole clean air eco thing and it is fun as well as profitable to offer. Also if you do the bar, club run it kind of ads a certian party element to the mix.

    Thats all.

    -JK

  7. #7
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    Default O2

    Like I said, I'm probably a little sensitive on the subject, so I'm glad you're on the level. I'm all about working the drunk crowd for all that they want to give! They are by far our best tippers here, too. Pedal safe and party on!

    Matt

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    Default Ear in London

    Yea, I agree. In London they offer 'Monkey' bike riders, they have mini moped which fit into a boot of a car (or back seat in a bag). Never heared of them until one broke down & asked me if I could GIVE him & bike a lift to a petrol station.
    The thing they do is that if you had a drink & came in by car, then these dudes drive you home in your car & then scoot back on the mini moped.

    Still, I make more money if they take the ride home by pedicab & also don't stink like a dead beer. Mini cab firms do pay comission but are a bit more hassle then the £1 they pay.

    Quote Originally Posted by cdamatt
    I just had to write a response to the oxygen comment. OXYGEN DOES NOT MAKE A DRUNK PERSON SOBER!!! Best case scenario, it is just a breath of fresh air. That would make anyone feel better after being in a stuffy, smokey bar. I'm all about new ideas, but if someone sells oxygen packets to drunk people under the advise that it will sober them up for the drive home, that's totally irresponsible, and very dangerous.

    When I'm not pedaling my cabs, I'm a full-time firefighter/EMT, so I've got a little background on the subject. There are enough drunk drivers without the pedicab industry helping them out.

    Maybe I'm a little sensitive on the subject, but I've seen enough of it to last awhile. Why don't we try pedaling them home instead? Or maybe get with the local taxi companies and try to work out some kickbacks for every customer you send to them?

    Later,

    Matt

  9. #9
    fredthehare's Avatar
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    Default

    I have lots of pic and news paper articals, but I don't know how to get them onto the forem.
    Quote Originally Posted by Trixi.com
    Hi Bikecab:
    Great idea. Any photos available?

    To all:
    What else can we do with a pedicab?

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