Monday, December 03, 2007

Markets in everything
Tyler Cowen
Linda started her online business, the Prairie Tumbleweed Farm, as a joke. It was 1994 and she wanted to teach herself how to design a website. Since she lived on the prairie in southwest Kansas, where rolling tumbleweeds are sometimes the only dynamic feature of an endless flat horizon, she invented a farm that sold tumbleweeds, listing prices at $15 for a small one, $20 for a medium and $25 for large.
Hollywood has also come calling. Katz’s tumbleweeds have appeared in films like Johnny Depp’s “Neverland.” And she has supplied tumbleweeds to the big purple dinosaur kid’s show, “Barney.”
Katz says people usually use her tumbleweeds to recreate the look and feel of the old west for theme parties. But some customers tell her they buy tumbleweeds to remind them of the home on the prairie they left long ago.
She is now making about $40,000 a year.

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