PO'd at the pump
Some small business owners are turning their frustration over high oil and gas prices into big bucks.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Along with record high prices for crude oil, prices at the pump have soared in recent weeks. And consumers, as well as small business owners, seem to have have had enough.
When Srini Kumar wrote "The world is drunk on oil" and put it on a sticker, he discovered that other people would be glued to his creation.
After graduating from Stanford in 1993, Kumar started coming up with slogans to poke fun at American culture and then set out to spread his ideas through subversive stickers.
His company, StickerNation.com, averaged around $12,000 per month in sales in 2005.
Kumar is currently a graduate student at the University of North Carolina's Kenan-Flagler Business School and recently published his first book of stickers with over 400 anti-establishment slogans and sayings, which retails for $14.95.
But in addition to printing his own ideas, Kumar prints custom black and white vinyl stickers for other small businesses.
"The book is a free-speech experiment that intends to trigger new approaches to distributing ideas," he said.
Other small business owners are wearing their opinions on their sleeve - literally - and turning their frustration into profit.
When prices at the pump surpassed $3 a gallon near her home in Massachusetts, Wicked Trendy T-shirts owner and designer Tamara Cressley got fed up.
"It seems like every time somebody sneezes gas prices jump up," Cressley said.
She went to work designing T-shirts to express her frustration with slogans like "pumped dry," which she offers through cafepress.com, an online retailer.
The $14.99 shirts are selling very well she said, "it's something everyone can identify with."
By marketing T-shirts with slogans such as "petrosexual" and "Jesus hates your S.U.V.," Dangerous Breeds pulled down $35,000 in revenue last year.
Founded by attorney Jim Morrison and designer Tony Kelley, the Brooklyn-based clothing label started in 2001 with a line of T-shirts called Judgment Day, followed by the Axis of Evil Vacation Destination line.
Now the tops are being sold in Virgin Mega Stores across the U.S. and Urban Outfitters U.K. in addition to Dangerous Breed's Web site, where they are listed at $33 a pop.
Morrison credits some of the company's recent success to incredibly high gas prices.
"'Petrosexual' is a fun, frivolous description of our society," Morrison said. "We're all addicted to fuel, even if we drive a hybrid and walk to work."
And that translates into sales. "That T-shirt has been doing really well for obvious reasons," Morrison said.
Dangerous Breed is also currently raking up impressive sales in Japan where gas prices are similarly soaring.
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