Jennifer Cittadino had wanted a Blue Lives Matter flag for some time when she came across a vendor selling picket fence posts at a craft fair in Franklin Square nearly three years ago, and asked her crafty son, Dylan, whether he would be able to fashion one out of the wooden posts. Now, at the age of 14, Dylan is selling his homemade flags for $60 each.
He founded the business after Richard Bout, owner of Franklin Square-based We Show Up Construction, LLC, saw the flags on the Cittadinos’ front porch in mid-March. Bout had posted on social media several months prior that he needed an assistant for the construction company, and Jennifer replied that Dylan was interested in the position.
“He’s a hard worker,” said Jennifer, a sergeant for the New York Police Department. “He’s always looking to build things.”
At first, Bout said, he was hesitant about hiring a 14 year old, but eventually figured that he could train Dylan to put things together, tile floors and build doors. He would not be allowed to use power tools, Bout said, but could learn contracting skills on the job.
Then, when he went to pick Dylan up for his first day of work and saw the flag, he was impressed, and proposed a business deal — Bout would fund Dylan’s work and help him sell them. In return, Bout would be paid the same amount as he invested, and would get his American flag for free. Dylan agreed, and the two spent a week discussing prices and sizing. Bout also took Dylan shopping for supplies, and taught him how to improve his products with touch-ups and polyurethane weather protection. From there, though, Bout said, “I just let him do his thing.”
Dylan has now made more than 4 flags, including American flags, Blue Lives Matter flags, Red Lives Matter flags and dual Blue Lives and Red Lives Matter flags. They are 42-inches long and 27-inches wide, and take Dylan about a day to complete.
He is saving the profits from his sales to one day buy a car.
“He’s making a killing,” Bout said, adding that he no longer finances Dylan’s business, but is available to answer any questions Dylan may have. “He seems like he got it down pretty good.”
In fact, Bout said, there have been times Dylan has not been able to show up for work at We Show Up Construction, because he was too busy making flags for clients before the Fourth of July holiday.
“I felt slighted, but I understood,” Bout recounted. “I created a monster because I now have to ask him what his schedule is.”
Flags could be ordered by messaging Dylan on Facebook. They cost $60 each, with an additional $10 for spikes. There is also a $20 deposit.