Retro Recreations is Bringing the Past Back, Better

Allison Education

Retro Recreations was founded by a group of Baby Boomers looking to bring some of the past back, but better.

When one of the group, Cindy, ran into trouble using an ancient I-cord knitter in her yarn projects, she realized it could be done better. So, she took the idea to her friends and Retro Recreations was born.

Founded

Pegg Ainslie

Elizabeth Gibbs

Karl McCormick

Cindy McCormick

The Problem Being Solved

I-cord is a highly coveted material in the world of fiber arts and crafting. If you have a hoodie, you’ll find I-cord hanging from the hood, allowing you to tighten and loosen it. When combined, this material can make durable rugs, blankets, placemats and other products. But, making I-cord can often be a long and arduous process.

The original machine, designed in 1947, required you to string the yarn you were using through the machine 4 times and could take hours. The folks at Retro Recreations, with the goal of “Bringing the Past Back Better,” decided they could do it better. After Cindy had a “Eureka,” moment while working on her machine that was constantly breaking or falling apart, they decided to redesign the machine to make it more user friendly, and make the process much faster, cutting weaving time from around 4 hours to an hour.

Exciting Opportunities

Do It Yourselfers are on the rise and with the introduction of sites like Pinterest and Etsy, buying homemade items is easier than ever.

When the group first put their idea out there, a friend spread the news and their website got 7,000 hits. They weren’t quite ready to launch then, but they quickly saw there was a demand.

Now, they are moving forward and excited about raising money in order to find a manufacturer.

Target Customer

Retro Recreations is reaching out to the crafters, quilters, weavers and Do It Yourselfers of the world. Also, those in the fiber and textile industry. Basically, they can help anyone that uses yarn.

Biggest Challenge

As they look forward, the group at Retro Recreations can see their biggest challenge becoming meeting demand. The machine takes eight hours to make so they are trying to find a balance between having it mass produced but still keeping the quality, homemade feel.

Finding a manufacturer, though, has proved to be another challenge as they are determined to stay in the US.

Surprises

In their hunt for a manufacturer, Pegg says they have been surprised at how hard it’s been to find out in a state and city that is supposed to be known for manufacturing. “If manufacturers were as helpful as resources such as LEAP and others, we would have made this two years ago! There is a lot of support for entrepreneurs here.”

Funding

Retro Recreations will be launching an IndieGoGo campaign to raise the money for a manufacturer.

The Future

Over the next few years, Retro Recreations hopes to be able to offer multiple products to the textile industry. “We would like to continue to look the past, find products that were useful and recreate them for the current generation of crafters,” says Pegg.

Advice

“Be passionate,” Liz says and they all agree.

Pegg adds, “Be persistent yet flexible. We had to make some major design alterations but we were still persistent about getting our idea out there.” They also heard no a lot but never listened.

Check Them Out-

You can find Retro Recreations Online

And on Facebook

 

Allison

About Allison

Allison is a writer based out of Lansing, Michigan. She loves writing great content that helps Michigan businesses tell their stories, educate their customers, and promote their brands. Her work has been featured in Capital Gains, Mason Today, Williamston Today and more. She is also helping to promote startup activity in the region at StartupLansing. Follow her @AllySpoon

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