Happy New Year from FlisKits

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Jan 17, 2009
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2009 is ending and 2010 is about to begin. 9 years ago (plus a few months) I was gainfully employed in the computer industry designing Ethernet products, managing databases and otherwise doing my job as a cog in the big machine.

Shortly after that I found myself unemployed. Coupled with the fact that there were thousands of other qualified people also unemployed and very few jobs needing to be filled, I also found myself unemployable.

At the time I was toying with the idea of starting a small company to sell some of my rocket designs. As I was putting some simple plans together the monumental nature of the task started to weigh on my mind. At the time I got laid off I was also watching my kids leave home for college and I was near the end of a 30 year mortgage.

It all seemed to be fitting into place. If ever I were to start a company, this was the perfect time. The only responsibility being me and my wife. So after some lengthy discussions, Kathy and I agreed that our best solution to being “unemployable” was to employ myself. After an interview, and a follow-on interview, I decided that I was the best person for the job and offered myself the position of Chief Cook and Bottle Washer.

Over the years I have acquired many more hats, much more responsibility and not much in the way of extra pay. I have also made a point of commenting to folks that I have never worked so hard, for so long, for so little money, and been so satisfied in all my life.

Trying to make a living in the model rocket industry is not easy. Even the big-boys in the business will tell you that. A smaller company has to work even harder, with smaller margins, just to keep things going let alone trying to grow and expand.

Every now and then, because it feels good, but mainly because it is needed to keep my sanity, I would pat myself on the back for a job well done. But good job or not, none of this (FlisKits) would exist were it not for the loyalty and strong support of our core customer base. You know who you are. You were with us when we were young (or joined us upon discovery). You’ve watched us grow. You’re still with us today.

For this I thank you from the bottom of my heart. 2002 was a frightening time. I had no idea how our products or company would be perceived by the rocketry community. 2003 was a whirlwind with so much happening it was hard to keep track. 2004, 05, 06, 07 were all exciting (it’s hard to imagine so many years have gone by). 2008 was a banner year with record sales and strong growth from within.

2009, on the other hand, was a very rough year. The economy hit hard. The previous years balsa increases were having a major impact. We listened to horror stories of job losses and financial hard times. We all felt it, we all lived through it for good or bad.

The latter part of 2009 saw strong growth and an upswing in sales and interest in our company and the hobby. Our hopes are for a strong 2010 and many more New Years after that.

Our thoughts go with all of you along with our wishes for a prosperous, fun and exciting New Year. You have helped make FlisKits what it is today. It is our hope that we have played a small part in helping you enjoy this most exciting hobby of yours.

Let us bid adieu to 2009 and look with hope to the new year with promises of only good.

Happy New Year everybody!
The folks at FlisKits.
Over the years I have acquired many more hats, much more responsibility and not much in the way of extra pay.

Just how many hats have you acquired? I think I've only seen that tattered old one that went to the NAR auction at NARAM 50 and the one you bought that year from the record-breaking sales year. :D

As I look back on 2009, the first time in my adult life I'd ever woken up without a job to go to, I'm amazed and delighted that relatively small companies doing rocketry full time like you, Semroc, BMS etc. have all survived. It's those cool designs, quality product and great relationships with your customers that keep us in the hobby.

--Chan Stevens
Happy New Year to you and Kathy, and congratulations on pursuing you dream:snowflake:
That's a great story, thank you for sharing it. It's another example for me on what makes this community great. I've only built two Fliskits kits, but I know those rockets are just the beginning of many Fliskits in my house--they've got such great ideas coupled with a 'back to basics' approach. My Deuces Wild is one of my favorite rockets, and the Overdue I am now finishing has been a really enjoyable build. And, that Fric'n'Frac keeps calling to me, as well as the Tres, and Corona, and etc...

Bravo to Fliskits! Here's hoping for many Fliskits years and kits to come.
Happy New Year to you and Kathy, Jim! I came into BARdom in '07 and was amazed at all the diversity I saw. Have been, and still am, amazed at all the new designs that have come out in the 3 years since then! Keep 'em coming and here's to celebrating MANY more New Year wishes to come! :D
Great story Jim!!!! Keep up the great work at FlisKits, it's always exciting seeing what's next.
Wow! doesn't seem like it been that long.Did a count on my Flisfleet 12 complete rockets plus one upscale DW built from Fliskits parts. 5 pretty much built and awaiting paint( 4 are my sons rockets). 8 still in the packages,and a corona booster. Also just ordered the Decim8 for my sons birthday. I have also bought lots of parts to make some of my(our) own designs.

I remember reading of this new kit manufacture on ROL and had to check it out. I liked what I saw and ordered my first Fliskit which was also my first cluster(Deuce's Wild) I was hooked! The kits reminded me of the kits I built as a teen in the 70s, balsa fins and nose cones. That along with the cool designs, and excellent customer service has kept us coming back. Probably 90% of the rockets I have purchased in the last few years have been Fliskits. When someone looks at our rocket collection it usually the Fliskits rockets that get the " Awe!! thats COOL!! comment.

I hope 2010 is a great year for Fliskits with many more to go.


Thanks for making something more then 3FNC! Trey and I took our FlisFleet out for a little fun on new year's eve..
Jim, Thank you for making some of the best original kit designs since...well ever!!! Wishing you and your family the best in 2010. Keep those kits coming.
My New Year’s resolution for 2010 will be that every time my Adfecta rips off the pad on a composite motor I will say … “Adfecta” flies good like a Fliskits should. This will surely be another full proof way to annoy all those old chain smoking HPR guys.