How One Entrepreneur Found Inspiration from a Manhole Cover

When Hurricane Sandy raged up the East Coast last October, Hoboken, New Jersey was among the hardest hit areas. Yet many of the city’s residents demonstrated remarkable resilience in the aftermath of the storm.

One local business owner even found inspiration for a new product line.

Karen Nason is the owner of Hoboken HotHouse, a home and garden store/cafe she opened in 2011 at age 46. After the superstorm struck, Nason tried to wade through the hurricane-flooded streets to check on her store. As reported by this article, she couldn’t see the manhole covers beneath the churning, murky water. Understandably, she was terrified about what might happen if one of the covers became dislodged.

When Nason finally made it to her boutique two days after the storm, the intricate pattern on a nearby manhole cover caught her eye. And then, an idea took hold.

Nason now has a line of handmade, silk-screened pillows, T-shirts, candles, mugs and other items featuring the design from the ornate manhole cover near her shop. The co-designer for the new product line – Hoboken Works – is artist David Heffernan.

Here’s a video that further explains the story behind Hoboken Works.

About Lynne Strang

I'm a freelance writer who helps organizations and individuals meet their marketing and communications goals. I am also the author of "Late-Blooming Entrepreneurs: Eight Principles for Starting a Business After Age 40." To learn more, please visit my website:
This entry was posted in Business, Career Changes, Careers, entrepreneurs, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Retirement, Success and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to How One Entrepreneur Found Inspiration from a Manhole Cover

  1. I think that it is amazing that during the most tragic of times, some people generate the best of ideas. =>

    • lbstrang says:

      I agree. It’s an admirable trait, isn’t it?

    • will2inspire says:

      Yes this is true, but at the same time, one needs to be careful not to make others think that advantage is taken from the situation. An example i learned is from Italy. They recently had a massive earthquake. In one week over 120 funeral homes were created and started fighting over the bodies of foreigners that died. The secret? Repatriating the bodies gives a 3000 euro bonus from the government. Horrible if you ask me.

      • lbstrang says:

        Horrible indeed. As your example shows, the world will always have bad actors looking to take advantage of people’s misfortune. But it’s refreshing to know there are many good people out there as well.

  2. nishkaush says:

    Reblogged this on Saga of my first Startup and commented:
    amazing stuff!

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