To begin, I; like many other Triathletes who do full distance triathlons; used to cherish their race flags given out at races. I hung my flags up proudly in my office, and it always made me smile to see....
Then 2020 happened, and race after race was cancelled... And 2021, was no longer guaranteed; and long story short; race flags were not given out at all for 2021..
This left many of us, including me, who display flags of completed full distance triathlons with a gap for some their races.. I looked all over for solutions, but came up empty.. I may only know a thing or two about graphic design, but I certainly knew a lot about flags and triathlons; so I made up my own design..
I shared my flag in the local race group, and people liked them, it turns out; many people like me were desperately missing their 2021 flag! I was asked, and gladly made several more of the flags and distributed it for a very reasonable cost; insisting on not ripping off fellow athletes..
Everyone loved the flags, and then things got interesting.. Some one asked for a different race flag; Cozumel.. Sure, I made a design; got the flag made, sent it over.. That person liked it so much, that they shared it in the Cozumel group; and suddenly a lot more people wanted flags! This pattern would keep repeating for well over a year! I make a flag, someone shows it off, more people want it, and another person wants a different race flag done! I found my designs also got a bit better with each design, and eventually I settled on my own 'style'. Race Date on top, location second line, a specific race emblem, distances on the bottom, and 140.6 (which is NOT Trademarked btw) on the bottom!
Sometimes, an athlete would even want their race time and name on the flag; and that was awesome to incorporate...
Low and behold, I look back on the year, and I have over 20 different designs; including: Maryland, Cozumel, Lake Placid, Mont-Tremblant, Tulsa, Chatty, Couer d'Alene, St George, Kona, Puerto Rico, Indiana, Florida, Texas, Waco, Wisconsin; with more in the queue!
I've even done different iterations of Maryland, Mont-Tremblant, and Cozumel as many people wanted more than 1, and you just can't give the same flag again with a new date!
Profit is minimal, as I try to keep the flag prices as reasonable as I can; but not going to lie; it does add up, which is nice.. However, the best part about this, is getting to talk to all the triathletes.. Amazing how passionate us triathletes can get over simple things like flags, and want to get every detail perfect! It's been fast!
I don't think this side gig will last, especially as flags are back to being given away in 2022; but was a really enjoyable experience. I bought a .com, got my IG handle, but have been so busy doing the designs, packing, shipping, taking orders, etc to actually populate anything just yet; but hopefully after all the holidays I will get to it. Maybe I can create a niche market one day
Note, because I'm sure everyone likes to comment on copyright... I do not use any trademarks or logos; I don't use any race company names, and any graphic that I do not make myself I license appropriately. Coincidentally, I noticed that some races also use the same source as me to license graphics; which helps to capture the race feel even more...
2 crude collages of some flag designs below, for visuals.
If you are interested, feel free to email me at Gizmo@IronFlags.com