Porch Swings, Repair Service, and Other Business Startups

The business startups reported in this installment of a regular feature include a Pennsylvania could who make porch swings and an Oklahoma couple who established a cleaning and repair service.

| March/April 1981

068 porch swings

Making porch swings was the bootstrap business idea a Pennsylvania couple came up with.


The following are business startups established by MOTHER EARTH NEWS readers.

Making Porch Swings

My husband started reading your magazine way back when, with issue 10 ... so, you see, we've been in a MOTHER EARTH NEWS frame-of-mind for quite some time. And, Stan being a carpenter, our brains have perked up particularly when we spied articles on woodworking.

It should come as no surprise, then, that Joseph R. Hunks's Bootstrap Businesses letter about his homemade furniture gave us just the impetus we needed—during the frigid season of 1979 when Stan had little work—to get both him and me going at our own particular enterprise. Our business was born during that long, cold winter as we started building items that would bring people pleasure for many springs, summers, and autumns to come: porch swings!

We already had our woodworking tools, so our initial investment was only $40 for the materials to build our first two swings. The prototypes sold right away, and we invested in more materials with the profits.

Last year we grossed $1,525 with our part. time business, and this year—having already brought in about $5,300—we're beginning to look forward to the time we can gain the satisfaction and independence that comes with working full-time for ourselves.

Our swings sell wholesale for $47.50 or $57.50—depending on the size—and retail for about one-third more. Write us for s free flyer.

mother earth news fair


Oct. 21-22, 2017
Topeka, KS.

More than 150 workshops, great deals from more than 200 exhibitors, off-stage demos, inspirational keynotes, and great food!