A homeless man is facing many challenges in launching his small business during America’s Great Recession. The homeless man desires to remain anonymous at this time, but his first name is Charles and he’s been working for three years trying to create a demo line for his invention he calls the “Hair Hoodie” that he will sell under his company called Horizontal Company, “because everything is more fun horizontal.” The original name of his small business was Far Arm Galaxy Trading Company, which referenced a video game called Space Rogue from the 1980’s.
Charles has been homeless for over seven years and unemployed for over four. He’s been doing odd jobs the whole time in order to survive but his dream has been to launch his own company. Before becoming homeless he’d created several small businesses. A 1982 attempt in San Francisco ended when city ordinances would not allow Charles to sell home-baked cookies on the street, although the city inspector was nice enough to let him go with just a warning after making enough money to break even.
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, America is suffering from the death of small businesses. Entrepreneurs have been suffering during the Great Recession. There were almost 12 startup jobs per 1000 Americans back in the year 2006, but, by 2011, that figure had fallen to less than 8 per 1000. Jobs specific to new businesses has fallen from 4.1 million in 1994 to 2.5 million in 2010. Overall, the number of “new entrepreneurs and business owners” has fallen by a staggering 53 percent since 1977. At the same time, Federal and state government policies have become hostile to small businesses, and there’s less financial incentive to even attempt launching a small business since the average civilian federal government worker collects just under $84,000 a year in taxpayer money, about $32,000 more than the average private sector worker.
Charles was not interested in any of these cushy government jobs and decided to strike out on his own. Charles first envisioned the Hair Hoodie as a result of being unable to find a suitable hair covering for his long, curly hair when riding his motorcycle. A bandanna only holds part of the hair down, hair clips fall out, and hair bands take too long to wind your long hair in. Charles invented the Hair Hoodie by combining the aspects of a doo-rag with a tube hair sock, which holds the long hair in place for tangle-free sports, horse riding, motorcycle and bicycle riding.
Over the last three years, Charles has struggled with his extremely limited income, which only allowed him to move the Hair Hoodie project forward one small step at a time. Finally, in January 2013 he finally has a finished product ready to take to market and he’s looking for investors or donations on Craigslist to jump start his small business. He’s managed to put some of these early prototypes in a local motorcycle shop, but he’s also going to start a Kickstarter campaign in hopes of taking Horizontal Company a little bit vertical.