Local firefighter makes business out of old fire hoses - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Local firefighter makes business out of old fire hoses

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A Louisville entrepreneur has figured out how to use materials from his day job to create an international brand out of his spare bedroom.

Jake Starr started sewing just two years ago, learning through internet tutorials. Now, he spends most of his off-days sewing wallets, bags, and notebook covers.

Starr is the founder of Recycled Firefighter, a company that makes accessories out of old fire hose.

An EMT at Eastwood Fire Department, he remembers the first time he discovered that old fire hose could be cut, sewn, and re-purposed.

"I just said, 'wow, this stuff is so rugged, so durable, can I have this?' and they're like, 'ok we're throwing it away.'"

Starr uses hoses that are old and worn out, or damaged. He says the durable polyester material makes for great products, and diverts more trash from the landfill.

He started selling on the website, Etsy, but once getting his own website eight months ago, the business has taken off.

"Once I started getting all these good reviews, I'm like, wow, I'm onto something."

Starr makes all the products himself, out of his home, producing about 50 pieces a day. Nearly a quarter of his items are shipped over seas.

"I never thought it would get this busy and this crazy so fast."

Starr says its getting to the point where he may need to hire employees, and expand his workspace, but for now, he'll keep reporting to work at the fire house, and sew on his off-days.

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