It's lift-off for kite company
JONATHAN Hodge and his partner Staci Deakins are a couple of genuine high flyers – they have stared a kite business.
Their venture, Mi-newtkites, combines using inflatable kites for advertising purposes with providing aerial photography.
Mr Hodge gave up his job teaching in a Plymouth secondary school to launch the business.
He had studied kite technology as part of a teaching degree at Bristol University.
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His partner Miss Deakins, from Plymouth, has joined him to run the admin side of the business.
For the aerial photography, a kite is lofted to about 60metres carrying a camera with a TV link so the operator knows exactly what's appearing in the viewfinder.
"We control the camera by radio, and can use it in up to 30mph winds," Mr Hodge said, adding that using a kite is much cheaper than using an airplane or helicopter.
Clients have ranged from people wanting to photograph golf courses, to individuals wanting a picture of a house extension. It can also be used to photograph events, including weddings.
The advertising kites range in length from 8ft to 50ft and inflate with the wind. One main kite is lifted skywards, carrying others bearing logos and messages, behind it. "We make them to order," Mr Hodge said.
The business was launched in March in Plymouth but production of the kites now takes place at a unit in Okehampton. "We have a couple of clients coming, one is very big, to do with golf courses in the South West. And we are looking for clients in Plymouth," said Mr Hodge.