Cool Company of the Day: Turn Your Head

Latest posts by Rich Sloan (see all)

To coin a phrase, everything old is cool again, and it took a woodworker who thought just like that to come up with our cool company of the day.

Tom Bashara started his Colorado Springs-based e-tail business, Turn Your Head, in 2004 after thinking up a unique way to preserve his little girls’ faces as keepsakes.

He’s a woodworker and an artist, so Tom sees things differently than most of us. As a longtime fan of op-art, he knew that mind-blowing artists like Salvador Dali and especially M.C. Escher sometimes used "negative space" – here’s one of the cool things about this – as the art itself. What they created is something that isn’t there, and can only be seen by looking at what’s on either side of it.

Imagine that you and another, identical you, face each other in front of a white wall, a few inches apart. The white space between your faces is now an "object" with your identical profile, right and left, as its shape.

Tom decided to fill that space with something solid. He made a template of his daughter’s profile, put a chunk of wood in his lathe, and turned a sort of pillar shaped exactly like his baby’s face seen from the side. Both he and his wife, Lorie, knew he’d created an entirely unique and truly cool family keepsake destined to be a treasured heirloom.

Now there are two daughters, and after years of noodging, they and Mom convinced Dad that this was cool enough to offer for sale. Lori named it the Pirolette. Tom puts it like this: "The Pirolette isn’t a photograph or memory. It’s a solid artifact of a space we forget to look at. My daughters were my inspiration and now I’d like to share that with you."

He put up an e-comm site, set prices, trusted his gut and friends’ reactions to gauge the market for his product, and went into business for himself.

Cool creativity, cool one-of-a-kind product, cool new twist on an old idea, cool company. As usual, we had to share.

Previous Article

Case Study: Does giving away your product to promote sales work?

Next Article

3-Day StartupNation Contest – Win Advertising on (or an iPod Nano)

Related Posts
home-based businesses
Read More

The Value of Home-Based Businesses to Economic Recovery

The challenge of America’s economic recovery, in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, is to spread it to every community – and especially those that have been historically excluded. The key to meeting that challenge is to appreciate the civic and economic value of an overlooked resource: home-based businesses. There are about 16 million home-based...
Read More

A Q&A with Ryan Close of Bartesian: Creating and Marketing a Game Changer

Bartesian started as a dream for Ryan Close. But in just a few years, his cocktail company had 975% year-over-year growth and more than $50 million in sales. The business is a media darling and has been featured in such publications as Forbes, Esquire, People and others. And not just every product lands on Oprah's...
Read More

Don’t Quit and Other Lessons from a Wantrepreneur Turned Entrepreneur

I’ve tried many businesses and side hustles over the past 15 years. I’ve mowed lawns, was a DJ at weddings, negotiated real estate deals, started an e-commerce business, and many others. Some of those endeavors made me money, but others didn’t. Now I have a successful digital marketing agency. People often ask me how I...
payroll loan
Read More

The Best Business Loans to Help with Payroll

When faced with the unexpected, coming up with the capital needed to pay employees on time can be challenging. While it’s important to budget and allocate cash accordingly, financial challenges and unplanned costs are common for all businesses. The good news is, there are a variety of small business lending options that can provide you...