Shopping: Racing bib coasters

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

Racing season is in full swing, and whether you're running as a novice or a near-professional, the identification-number bibs you pin to yourself double as paper trophies after pushing past the finish line.

But what to do with them?

Local crafter Ellie Hempleman will take them off your hands and put them onto your coffee table. She turned her hobby of making coasters for friends and co-workers into a business earlier this year, applying polyurethane designs to ceramic tiles and coating them with a waterproof glaze.

"I'm notorious for swiping free coasters at the bar or restaurant," Hempleman said. "But those don't have any expression."

Most of her clients were people looking for wedding favors or baby-shower gifts, but after a friend approached her to do something creative with the bib she had worn during a qualifying race for the prestigious Boston Marathon, Hempleman's bib coaster design was off with a bang.

This spring, Hempleman is donating $1 to the Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation for every bib coaster sold.

"It's another way to honor what you run for," she said. "Runners can commemorate their accomplishment, but they're also giving back in another way."

One coaster costs $10 and a set of four is $35, which covers fabrication of the coasters and shipping back to the owner.

Hempleman ( chops up the bibs, so those wishing to keep the paper whole for sentimental value can request that a color copy be made for the design.