Barber shows creative spark with family business venture

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 14, 2004

Ask anyone in the Barber family and he or she will tell you Lindsey Barber is unique &045;&045; a visionary and a smart businesswoman.

What most people see as a large white school bus, Lindsey sees as a business opportunity &045;&045; an opportunity to have fun and to serve others.

Following the imaginative footsteps of her father Danny Barber, who first used buses in his campaign for Adams County sheriff, Lindsey decided to recycle one of the 80-foot vehicles and transform it into a moving store filled with fireworks and toys that her family could sell to other families in the area.

Email newsletter signup

The stand would be called, &uot;Lindsey’s Fireworks and Toys.&uot;

&uot;I thought it would be a cool idea,&uot; Lindsey, 11, said as she prepared for customers Monday night.

So Lindsey, her brother Brandon and her mother Vicki began the slow transformation from bus to fireworks stand.

First, they cleaned out all of the election campaign signs and swept it clean. With the help of a couple of friends, the Barbers then unscrewed half of the seats to allow room for customers to browse the wide array of fireworks. With a long wooden shelf to sit on the back of the other half of the seats and a generator to provide electricity, Lindsey and her crew were ready to move the bus into operation.

With fireworks stands popping up all over the highways in the Miss-Lou, Lindsey knew that parking the bus on the side of the road would not attract customers.

Lindsey knew that she needed something that would set her stand apart from the competition. Always the savvy businesswoman, Lindsey decided what the bus needed was lights.

&uot;I wanted to decorate the bus,&uot; Lindsey said.

So with the help of her brother, Lindsey covered the bus in tiny Christmas light criss-crossing the each side of the bus.

For most small businesses attracting customers is half the battle. The other half is keeping customers happy, something Lindsey knows how to do.

&uot;It is our policy that no kid leaves without something in their hands,&uot; Lindsey said with a smile on her face.

If a person comes in to browse, Lindsey and her mother make sure that they leave with at least a free gift.

&uot;We always give them something free,&uot; Lindsey said.

And they always make sure the customer knows what they are getting, even if it means firing off a few demonstration rounds at their expense.

Eight-year-old Dallas Simeon experienced the Barber service firsthand Monday evening. Walking up the bus steps with $2 Monday,

Simeon left with two packages of bottle rockets, a free gift and a fistful of fireworks to try for free.

With a smile on his face and his hands filled with fireworks, Simeon leaped out of the bus. &uot;This is the best fireworks stand I’ve been to ever,&uot; he said.