Pink Inc. is the name of a new company dedicated to a single, quirky product: the plastic pink flamingo.
Jeff Niemiec, vice president of Lawnware Products Inc. in Morton Grove, Ill., is leaving to start Pink Inc.
``All that [new] company is going to make is pink flamingos,'' said spokesman Chris Young.
Lawnware has made pink flamingos since it was founded by Leo Niemiec, Jeff's father, in 1970, Young said. Pink Inc. has purchased the Lawnware molds. The dedicated flamingo company is also in Morton Grove, but at a different location from Lawnware, and the two are separate companies, Young said.
Jeff Niemiec and his wife, Barbara, own Pink Inc. Production is to start this week and the company will begin shipping flamingos in the second or third week of December.
``The flamingo will be around forever. It's a niche business,'' Jeff Niemiec said. ``We're making a few changes on it and introducing some new colors that I think will make it a nicer, friendlier flamingo.''
Interest in the pink flamingo is soaring since Union Products Inc., originator of the plastic icon, closed its doors. Production ended at Union Products' factory in Leominster, Mass., in June, when a debtor ended the company's asset-based lending agreement.
Union Products, which also produced other blow molded lawn figures, began making pink flamingos in 1957, when the owners hired sculptor Don Featherstone. Now Union has sold all its remaining flamingos. When the firm closed in early November, it sparked national news stories.
Niemiec said Pink Inc. is not being created to capitalize on publicity about the demise of the Leominster-made Union Products bird, which is something of a quirky icon for flamingo enthusiasts.
``This is not a response to Union. I've been thinking about Pink Inc. for quite awhile now,'' he said.
Young also stressed that Pink Inc. is using molds from Lawnware, not the flamingo mold from Union Products. ``These are our molds,'' he said. ``We've owned these pink flamingo molds for 36 years.''
Lawnware makes lawn and garden products such as bird baths and watering cans, housewares and resin furniture.
The Pink Inc. flamingos probably will retail for $9.99-$12.99. Young said an outside molder will blow mold the plastic-feathered fowl.
Young declined to identify the Chicago-area molder, but pledged the flamingo will continue to be U.S.-made. No Chinese pink flamingos from Pink Inc.
``This is being molded in the United States of America,'' he said.