BRANDON — Warren Holston and his wife, Mary J. Long, love riding their motorcycles and bicycles around town.
Both safety-conscious, they wore those familiar reflective orange or green vests when they rode at night.
That made them very visible on the road, which was good. But their plastic day-glo attire was unattractive if they decided to stop at a restaurant or a store.
So this summer, Holston and Long started their own company, Snarly Dog Moto, which creates and markets fashionable reflective clothing for joggers, walkers and motorcycle and bicycle riders.
There are some other companies that offer similar clothing, Holston said, but they have the reflective materials only on the back. That's okay for motorcyclists, who have a bright headlight in front of them, but not so good for bicyclists and pedestrians.
Snarly Dog shirts, vests and jackets are all in black — more colors may be coming soon — and all have the company's reflective logo, about 12 square inches, on both the front and back. (Snarly Dog Moto also offers backpacks, hats and reflective stickers.)
The logo is a cartoon picture of Delia Mae, the couple's real-life snarly dog.
It glows brightly when headlights shine on it. And even during the day, the logo catches a bit of sunlight and reflects enough to make bikers and pedestrians a little easier to see, Holston said.
Business has been growing steadily, he said, and the goal is for Snarly Dog to eventually wholesale its merchandise to retail stores. At the moment, Snarly Dog Moto operates from the couple's home and the website snarlydogmoto.com.
Vegan baker sells 'guiltless cupcakes'
BRANDON — Marissa May had always loved to bake, but about a year ago she decided to go vegan because of health concerns.
That meant no milk, no butter, no eggs. That eliminated a lot of standard recipes out of her baking repertoire.
But May started looking for vegan recipes for baked goods. She came upon some decent cupcake recipes, experimented and tweaked them until they were as good or better than the dairy-and-egg-filled cupcakes she used to make, and just a few weeks ago opened her own business, Guiltless Cupcakes.
"There's milk in them, but it's almond milk or soy milk," May said. "There's no butter and no eggs at all."
It's the first business that May has run, and in fact she has only worked part time since she finished school. Her parents encouraged her to start her own business, which she runs out of her home. She takes orders through her website, guiltlesscupcakesfl.com, and delivers in a day or two anywhere in Hillsborough County.
Prices range from $12 for a dozen mini-cupcakes to $42 for a dozen full-size cupcakes, plus delivery charges.
May lists 10 different kinds of cupcakes on the site, but she said she's always experimenting and she welcomes suggestions from customers who have a hankering for a new flavor of cupcake.
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For information and ordering, visit the website or call (813) 758-9627.
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