Jeff Niemiec just wants everyone to think pink.
Toward that end Niemiec, owner of Pink Inc., turns out thousands of pink flamingos a year at his Morton Grove plant.
They are the kind of plastic birds you can see decorating lawns across the country – pink plastic bodies, painted beaks and metal legs.
Niemiec came to his passion for pink honestly.
His father owned Lawnware Products on Lincoln Avenue in Morton Grove where the company turned out items like lawn furniture and, of course, pink flamingos for about 37 years before the business closed to make way for condominiums.
Niemiec bought the molds used to make the plastic birds from his dad and began producing them himself.
Now they come in two shades of pink and two different sizes, short neck and long neck. They are normally sold in pairs, one long and one short.
Niemiec also makes a special model popular at Halloween. It’s the only one that’s not some shade of pink.
The flamingos are black with white skeletons painted on them. They come with a cardboard box printed to look like a casket and bearing the words, “R.I.P., Alas O’ Flamingo, we hardly knew ye.”
The black birds came about by accident after some flamingos were molded in black plastic rather than the usual pink.
“They made some black flamingos by accident,” Niemiec said. “They looked nice, but who would want a black flamingo?”
It took Niemiec a long time to answer that question.
“I tossed them in my office and they sat there on the floor for three years. One day I woke up and realized they could have skeletons.”
The skeleton version of the flamingo has been around ever since.
Photo by Pink Inc..