DAYTON, Ohio -- Entrepreneurs in the Wright Brothers' Ohio hometown are counting on the names of the aviation pioneers to help generate profits -- and raise money to help support local historical sites.
Last year, Wright Brothers USA of Dayton became the first business to license retail goods in the name of the Wright Brothers. That started with the blessing of Amanda Wright-Lane, great-grandniece of the Wright brothers, and her brother Stephen Wright.
The company is now using an international website to sell American-made bicycles, aviation jackets, sunglasses and more, according to the Dayton Daily News. American-made bikes and watches under the brand were offered by Michigan's Shinola last year. Those quickly sold out.
Now the company is seeking investors to start an e-commerce site and start manufacturing products in Dayton, Florida, California and elsewhere.
The company seeks $750,000 to start the site and another $350,000 to refurbish the Wright Cycle shop, preparing it for bicycle production and hoped-for tourism. They also want to build a park next to the shop commemorating the famous brothers.
The licensing strategy is more than a business move. Revenue from the business also supports the Hawthorn Hill mansion in Oakwood, the former home of Orville Wright, and historical aviation sites around Dayton. The Wright Family Foundation will receive 40 percent of royalties from products sold under the Wright Brothers brand.
Dayton Business Seeks Lift from Wright Bros. Name
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