100+ Niche Ecommerce Business Ideas To Start In 2021 [Real Examples]

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Want to start an e-commerce business but not sure what products to sell?

Picking the right product isn't easy, but we're here to show you what is working for others.

Over the years, we've interviewed thousands of successful e-commerce businesses here at Starter Story - so we decided to put together a list of the most successful niche e-commerce products.

Here they are:

1. Diagnostic tools ($3.5M/month)

Tyler Robertson started Diesel Laptops, which sells diagnostic tools.

  • Revenue: $3,500,000/month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 150

At first, my company was simply just bundling various products to create an easier, more simple way for customers to buy what they needed. To connect to a commercial truck to perform diagnostics, you need three things -- Diagnostic software, laptop, and a adapter that interfaces between the truck and the laptop. As you can imagine, most of our customer base (diesel technicians and repair shop owners) aren’t the most technical savvy group. They didn’t understand what was needed to make everything work, and they would have to purchase from multiple vendors to put together what they needed.

My solution was taking different vendors products, bundling them into one kit, and making sure it was “ready to go” out of the box when the customer received it. As simple as that sounds, no one else was doing, and no one else does this today. If you buy a kit from another vendor, you are doing all of your own installation, licensing, configuring, and testing. While a lot of people are tech savvy, our customer base typically is not, and this is another advantage we have when selling diagnostic kits.

However, what I quickly found out was that customers needed two more things -- Technical support and repair information. We were selling a great tool, and it would give diagnostic codes and live data, but end users were still confused on how to repair the truck.

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Tyler Robertson, on starting Diesel Laptops ($3,500,000 revenue/mo) full story

2. Growing equipment for plants ($3.1M/month)

Nate Lipton started Growers House, which sells growing equipment for plants .

  • Revenue: $3,100,000/month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 50

The decision to move to Tucson, AZ was driven by the large distributors we desired to purchase from rather than our first choice for a location. Ideally, we would have chosen Las Vegas or Phoenix as a shipping hub, but the large distributors in my industry with all of the most requested products had territories for their dealers. Las Vegas and Phoenix were completely saturated with competing stores. After searching for any open space to locate, Tucson, AZ came up on the radar.

It may add context for you to understand that I’ve had a difficult time with patience all my life. Everything should have been done yesterday, and always ‘strike while the iron is hot’, yada yada yada… Once Tucson, AZ was greenlit by the distributors, I packed everything I could in my car and left everything else in San Francisco. Mind you I have never been to Tucson, but I was now driving to this city to make it my residence and start a business. Needless to say, things happened very quickly.

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Nate Lipton, on starting Growers House ($3,100,000 revenue/mo) full story

3. Custom printed apparel ($3M/month)

Rishi Narayan started Underground Printing, which sells custom printed apparel.

  • Revenue: $3,000,000/month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 250

Initially, our approach to customer service on a college campus really set us apart. We were able to cater to our core college customers and were willing to meet these customers anywhere and anytime. We were scrappy, gritty and hustled to get every piece of business we could. This customer-centric business model drove strong word-of-mouth promotion and ultimately defined our growth.

Several years later (and with a $5,000 loan from Ryan’s mom), A-1 Screenprinting purchased another local screen printer named Underground Printing to expand our production capabilities – and we changed our name to something more relevant! Even now, UGP prides itself on its investment in manufacturing and technology.

With a master’s degree in chemical engineering, I was introduced to Six Sigma and Lean Manufacturing which were extremely valuable during the early days of A-1 and UGP. Both Ryan and I had little artistic or graphic design ability and were still fairly new to print production, so we relied heavily on what we learned as engineering majors. We also both fell in love with the business. We were growing rapidly and it was an extremely exciting time. Our core customers were our friends and classmates at U of M. We used to take orders and fax the details directly to the facility.

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Rishi Narayan, on starting Underground Printing ($3,000,000 revenue/mo) full story

4. Current-model exported vehicles ($2.3M/month)

Nathan Huskins started Marshal Group LLC, which sells current-model exported vehicles.

  • Revenue: $2,300,000/month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 5

Many consumers may think an overseas car transaction is simple, just an easy money exchange. But it’s not simple. The process involves land logistics, sea logistics, FedEx and U.S. Customs, as well as wire fees and transportation fees. In fact, an average deal probably has ten to twelve financial transactions.

Therefore, in order to start my business, I had to gain a lot of product knowledge and industry knowledge. I spent a great deal of time researching and learning as much as I possibly could.

I've never stopped researching and learning. During my 12 years as an entrepreneur in the vehicle exporting industry, I have had to continually stay current on multiple topics, including vehicle trends, government regulations and changing currency rates.

how-i-started-a-2-3m-month-business-exporting-vehicles-abroad

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Nathan Huskins, on starting Marshal Group LLC ($2,300,000 revenue/mo) full story

5. Silicone rings ($2M/month)

KC Holiday started QALO, which sells silicone rings.

  • Revenue: $2,000,000/month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 45

Most people see our product and the first thing they think is how simple it is. Five years ago, I would agree with them. Yes, the concept is simple, and the thought of manufacturing silicone rings seems easy enough, but we have transformed the jewelry industry.

We’ve done that through an innovative focus on product evolution and sophistication in manufacturing. We approach manufacturers that have never created what we have conceived. That’s powerful.

Initial design and prototyping

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KC Holiday, on starting QALO ($2,000,000 revenue/mo) full story

6. Immersive experiences ($5M/month)

Ryan Hogan started Hunt A Killer, which sells immersive experiences.

  • Revenue: $5,000,000/month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 62

Our first Hunt A Killer episode was very much trial and error. We had only two writers (including our Cofounder, Derrick Smith) and a graphic designer. And we were completing the development of episodes a week before they shipped – lead time for sourcing items was extremely limited.

We created partnerships with local printers to ensure we could achieve the authenticity of the documents. For instance, our early Hunt A Killer seasons were based on a Hanibbal Lecter-style character who wrote to our Members from a medical institution. Since he was using a typewriter, we sourced and mass-produced using an antique letterpress so the letters would be slightly indented, as if each letter were individually typed.

Our item selection was at the mercy of traditional sourcing on sites like Amazon. To convey some of the settings in the story, we would send paper pill cups – and it got to the point where we were ordering 10,000 in bulk each month. There was even a time where alligator teeth were a part of the story, and they were actually sourced domestically!

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Ryan Hogan, on starting Hunt A Killer ($5,000,000 revenue/mo) full story

7. Anxiety blankets ($2M/month)

Aaron Spivak started Hush Blankets, which sells anxiety blankets.

  • Revenue: $2,000,000/month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 20

There is only 2-3 main manufacturer players in the market, but really they’re just textile companies that decided to perfect this and niche down. We are currently looking into keeping our options open by actually owning and controlling the entire manufacturing process from start to finish, which will give us the competitive edge.

The trick is designing the product yourself to be superior and one that everyone will rave about. This consisted of late nights deconstructing prototypes, and even buying every competitor’s blanket until we were satisfied with our first version.

I have limited experience in physical product design, except the odd t-shirt or product bag for our juice kitchen. In the beginning we really had to learn from competitors and limited market research with real people trying our prototypes.

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Aaron Spivak, on starting Hush Blankets ($2,000,000 revenue/mo) full story

8. Dental products ($2M/month)

Josh Elizetxe started Snow, which sells dental products.

  • Revenue: $2,000,000/month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 16

Anything we have sold we have worked with experts to create and develop. Everything we sell has been created by us. It was important for us to make a product that makes sense for our customers. We offer 6 months of teeth whitening serum in each box and the serum is applied directly to the teeth so you’re not wasting gel. We created a packaging and an unboxing experience for our customers to add value to our brand and to our customers’ experience.

We wanted to make packaging that the customer would keep. This March we came out with our Wireless system and again just like our Wired system we went out to design and improve the product in every aspect. We wanted to merge tech with oral care and that's what we set out to do. Through the process of creating our products, we hold 5 world patents on our products.

Creating something from scratch working with dental experts, 10 years of experience selling products online.

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Josh Elizetxe, on starting Snow ($2,000,000 revenue/mo) full story

9. Digital wallet & financial services ($1.5M/month)

Yavor Petrov started iCard, which sells digital wallet & financial services.

  • Revenue: $1,500,000/month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 200

The design

Now, iCard is a digital wallet and we wanted to make it as feasible as possible - to look like a real wallet. The first designs included a leather wallet appearance with debit cards tucked into it.

Have a glance at this screen from approximately one and a half years ago:

how-we-launched-a-1-5mm-month-digital-wallet-and-financial-services-company

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Yavor Petrov, on starting iCard ($1,500,000 revenue/mo) full story

10. Personalized photo products ($1.5M/month)

Jainam Shah started CanvasChamp, which sells personalized photo products.

  • Revenue: $1,500,000/month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 180

I want CanvasChamp to sell all types of items that are the true essence of personalization. Hence I needed to figure out two things: make the most high-quality products at the lowest prices and a very friendly, responsive website to guide people to their satisfaction with my products.

Production

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Jainam Shah, on starting CanvasChamp ($1,500,000 revenue/mo) full story

11. Mattresses ($3.5M/month)

Julien Sylvain started Tediber, which sells mattresses.

  • Revenue: $3,500,000/month
  • Founders: 4
  • Employees: 40

The first step was making sure that I could manufacture a very good product and that I could sell for a decent price.

I benchmarked all brands, tried mattresses in shops and at home, cut mattresses and then met 10 to 15 industrials manufacturers of mattresses in Europe.

Don’t listen (too much) to advice: everyone has it. If you listen every one you get a weak, feeble compromise.

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Julien Sylvain, on starting Tediber ($3,500,000 revenue/mo) full story

12. Lifestyle store for dog owners ($1.2M/month)

Justin Palmer started iHeartDogs, which sells lifestyle store for dog owners.

  • Revenue: $1,200,000/month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 50

The first product we ever manufactured was almost an accident. On a whim, my partner Marshall and his wife designed a beaded bracelet with a couple of charms. We placed an order, and sooner than we expected we had 500 of them sitting in our office.

In our Facebook communities, we had noticed how many people posted memorials of their pets who had recently passed. We decided we’d make this bracelet a memorial for those who had recently lost a pet. Each of the 22 beads on the bracelet represented a meal we donated to a shelter pet in honor of their beloved pup.

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Justin Palmer, on starting iHeartDogs ($1,200,000 revenue/mo) full story

13. Drinkware ($12M/month)

Dylan Jacob started BrüMate, which sells drinkware.

  • Revenue: $12,000,000/month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 20

Before investing in molds I wanted to be sure that there was an actual market for this product.

The initial design process started with a rough drawing that I brought to a local engineer for modeling. After the 3D model was done, I sent those files to a 3D printing lab called Xometry in Maryland for creation and then used that to pitch to local breweries that used 16oz cans. After convincing one of the largest breweries in Indiana to carry the Hopsulator, I spent around $3,000 on creating 100 rough prototypes that we launched into their store for customer feedback.

After being in their store for around 45 days and running some targeted ads on Facebook to our audiences to begin gathering pre-orders / emails, I was confident there was a market for the product but I knew it still had a lot of room for improvement. It ended up taking 13 more prototypes and almost a full year to finally get the final product molded, produced, and into my hands.

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Dylan Jacob, on starting BrüMate ($12,000,000 revenue/mo) full story

14. Car audio products ($1M/month)

Johnathan Price started Down4SoundShop.Com , which sells car audio products.

  • Revenue: $1,000,000/month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 5

The very first “product” I came out with other than Down4sound t-shirts was Certified Basshead “bassbudz”. The reason for this was no matter what earbuds I got my hands on at the time, there never seemed to be enough bass. So I knew there had to be more people like this in the world thinking the same thing.

I flew to Las Vegas to attend the CES show (consumer electronics show). I had heard there would be manufacturers of products like these there so I could possibly meet with them and come up with something. After locating some companies and sitting down with them and listening to dozens of samples of headphones they had on display, none of them excited me on what I was looking for. I told them I would need more bass while maintaining clarity. So the sales rep told me it would have to be something custom tooled/designed to be exactly what I needed.

We agreed that they would return to China and tool a prototype just for me and they would send it to me for testing. A few weeks later I received it in the mail. It sounded HORRIBLE. I thought to myself, it took them that long to come up with something this bad? This is going to be a long journey. I emailed them on what needed to be changed, and did this back and forth for the next 2-3 months until I received the perfect pair!

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Johnathan Price, on starting Down4SoundShop.Com ($1,000,000 revenue/mo) full story

15. Smart camera ($1M/month)

Yun Zhang started Wyze Cam, which sells smart camera.

  • Revenue: $1,000,000/month
  • Founders: 4
  • Employees: 30

We have strong relationships with suppliers in China, allowing us to produce great products at competitive prices. We formed this network by completing an intensive search around the world, traveling to meet factory owners and networking. We were able to identify manufacturers that shared the same beliefs and mission as our own: Products should have good design, high quality and affordable pricing.

We started with a smart home camera because visual connection is a deeply rooted human need. Once we knew which product we wanted to launch, we worked with our ODM partner to license the hardware for Wyze Cam. This turned out to be a great first product, because on the hardware side we were quite satisfied with what the partner already had to offer.

We then put our focus on the software and hired a great engineering team to create the firmware and the Wyze App. Ease-of-use and the user experience were of utmost importance to us during this process and we think we accomplished that task as our customer feedback has been extremely positive.

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Yun Zhang, on starting Wyze Cam ($1,000,000 revenue/mo) full story

16. Organic and wild skincare ($1M/month)

Kevin Gianni started Annmarie, which sells organic and wild skincare.

  • Revenue: $1,000,000/month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 26

At first, it was easy because Bunnie had already had a line that was in spas, so we took some of her ideas and used some of the products she already had. As we evolved, we started to sweep those products and come up with our own. I guess in a way we’re lucky because she had some of those products in her spas.

We took what Bunnie had a base for Annmarie Skin Care and reformulated, adding in some different active ingredients and designed our own packaging.

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Kevin Gianni , on starting Annmarie ($1,000,000 revenue/mo) full story

17. Natural dog treats ($1M/month)

Kyle Goguen started Pawstruck, which sells natural dog treats.

  • Revenue: $1,000,000/month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 17

The majority of our products are made from natural animal body parts--things like cow ears, pig ears, hooves, etc. For that reason, our manufacturing and design process looks very different than most product-based businesses. Our very first products were our 100% natural bully sticks for dogs. Bully Sticks are made from a beef muscle. We scoured North America for the very best bulls ordering samples from as many suppliers as possible.

We initially worked with middlemen that were willing to provide us product at a lower quantity since we weren’t ready for full container loads. As the business grew, we eventually found that South American had the highest quality free-range, and grass-fed beef available and started importing directly and the rest is history! We started by selling directly through our website and then quickly expanded to other channels like Amazon. Here's an example of our Amazon bully sticks.

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Kyle Goguen, on starting Pawstruck ($1,000,000 revenue/mo) full story

18. Portable monitors ($1M/month)

Jack Yao started Mobile Pixels, which sells portable monitors.

  • Revenue: $1,000,000/month
  • Founders: 3
  • Employees: 4

I made the first prototype by using an LCD screen from my mom's broken laptop. I build the housing at MIT's hobby shop using acrylic and an off the shelf driver board. That allowed me to gather people's interest around whether or not a portable display will prove to be useful.

Then with the help of Stephen, we started producing the prototype using CAD and 3D printing the components to build a functional prototype. We also hired a solutions provider to design and manufacture a sample run of 10 custom video driver boards.

From there, we did more market research/consumer interviews and refined our prototype more to the point that we can use it to shoot a commercial for our Kickstarter.

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Jack Yao, on starting Mobile Pixels ($1,000,000 revenue/mo) full story

19. T-shirt quilts ($800K/month)

Ross Lohr started Project Repat, which sells t-shirt quilts.

  • Revenue: $800,000/month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 2

We really learned the most in designing our custom t-shirt quilts through the feedback of what our customers were asking for. When we started out, we really knew nothing about the textile industry, or quilting, or turning t-shirts into quilts.

We originally were offering a t-shirt scarf made out of t-shirts. But after hearing so many times about how customers wanted a quilt, we decided to try making a quilt for them. It took 10 hours and would have costed more than $250!

We decided that there must be a better way to make this product at a more affordable price. So we designed a quilt with t-shirts on both sides and nothing in between, just like our t-shirt scarf but with more rows and columns. It worked pretty well! Nobody had ever made a t-shirt quilt that way before.

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Ross Lohr, on starting Project Repat ($800,000 revenue/mo) full story

20. Cycling tools ($750K/month)

Chris Parr started Pro Bike Tool, which sells cycling tools.

  • Revenue: $750,000/month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 2

Once we’d decided to set up a bike tools and accessories brand, we searched for an “ODM” factory in Asia to work with us. All initial research was done online. We contacted up to 20 suppliers with our product brief. We were specific in what we were looking for (high quality yet affordable bike tools with focus on functionality & unique design) and the type of factory we wanted to partner with - proactive, open to feedback, quick to implement changes, ability to consistently deliver great quality and live the same core values as us.

After the first lot of samples arrived in the UK, we knew we had found our supplier and first product, a mini bike pump with an in-line gauge. The in-line gauge was a rarity at the time, and the quality was excellent. Chris visited the factory in Taiwan, worked with the team to produce a unique design and to inspect the production line – he continues to visit twice a year, it’s a highlight in our calendar.

At the time of its launch, this type of pump was not readily available in the eCommerce market and online channels. The pump became a best-seller almost as soon as we launched it. The pump still does very well for us today, although it’s currently on its third iteration – we’ve made various tweaks along the way based on customer feedback to continuously improve it.

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Chris Parr, on starting Pro Bike Tool ($750,000 revenue/mo) full story

21. Infant and toddler clothing ($750K/month)

Erin E Hooley started Bailey's Blossoms, which sells infant and toddler clothing.

  • Revenue: $750,000/month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 30

I don't sew, (or even draw) so I find images to help illustrate what I see in my mind and hire those with the talents I lack to fill in the gaps. The shift to outsourcing began after a 2-year hiatus while our family lived abroad in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Upon our return to the states and purchasing a home in North Texas, I convinced my husband to deplete our savings account so I could send funds overseas in exchange for the product we needed to relaunch Bailey's Blossoms as a DIY destination source. The concept was I would teach others to make what I had. They would save money, I would save time, it was a win-win!

When someone asked me to create a ready-made outfit I considered what that would look like and drafted my first romper. And it worked! From there we morphed into a clothing line.

Even the right people can be wrong if you lead them improperly. I never started my business with the intent to have a team, leading a team has been quite the learning curve for me.

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Erin E Hooley, on starting Bailey's Blossoms ($750,000 revenue/mo) full story

22. Hydration & nutrition supplements ($1M/month)

Patrick Sullivan Jr. started Jigsaw Health, which sells hydration & nutrition supplements.

  • Revenue: $1,000,000/month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 24

We launched JigsawHealth.com on April 19, 2005 as an online health resource for others like my Dad who had been struggling with complex, chronic health challenges. It was an exciting day!

However, we also made a near fatal flaw: My Dad had invented several dozen new formulas, and we were carrying “white label” versions of other health products that Dad wanted to offer as well. At launch, we had 66 different types of products (aka. “SKUs”) and ZERO customers. And we had to pay for all of the product inventory up front.

how-this-father-son-combo-built-a-9m-year-dietary-supplement

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Patrick Sullivan Jr., on starting Jigsaw Health ($1,000,000 revenue/mo) full story

23. Back shaver ($650K/month)

Matt Dryfhout started BAKblade, which sells back shaver.

  • Revenue: $650,000/month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 10

From the beginning, we knew that Angelina was going to have a large influence over the brand.

She has always understood brands and why certain brands stand out over others. She explained to me earlier on that you can have a superior brand that sells an average product. Since we both knew we had a superior product we knew that a superior brand would only help our company that much more.

One thing in particular was our website design. Early on the website was much too busy and cluttered. As you can see now our website is much cleaner and crisp.

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Matt Dryfhout, on starting BAKblade ($650,000 revenue/mo) full story

24. Hair extensions & products ($650K/month)

Mikey Moran started Private Label Extensions, which sells hair extensions & products.

  • Revenue: $650,000/month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 20

It is a very strenuous process when it comes to finding the best manufacturer overseas. A lot of people getting into the hair industry have this problem, and we did the hard work. We went through a lot of bad products to find the right manufacturer that would best suit our needs with great quality products.

The real key to success is being consistent. This goes for every aspect of your business and personal growth.

I now work very closely with manufacturers and spend time at their facilities overseas. This helps build our relationship and makes it easier for us to create new products faster.

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Mikey Moran , on starting Private Label Extensions ($650,000 revenue/mo) full story

25. Low cost solar energy ($600K/month)

David Gomez started Clean Energy Solutions, which sells low cost solar energy.

  • Revenue: $600,000/month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 20

At the time I still had some money saved up from my mortgage days but decided to do everything on a shoestring budget. I rented a desk in my friend’s office and rolled up my sleeves and got to work.

The first thing I had to do was to learn the basics of how the solar industry works. There weren’t any books at the time because the industry was just too new, so I just cold-called random people I found on the internet and started putting the pieces together.

Here’s what I learned:

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David Gomez, on starting Clean Energy Solutions ($600,000 revenue/mo) full story

26. Stair climbing folding cart ($583K/month)

Michael Reznik started Upcart, which sells stair climbing folding cart.

  • Revenue: $583,000/month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 4

Our first challenge was taking Leonid’s Frankenstein-cart prototype and turning it into a real finished product.

Design

We hired a good local design firm that conducted some market research and worked with us on several design iterations. While their designs were beautiful, we had concerns about their practicality and feasibility of manufacturing those designs at a reasonable cost.

how-two-unlikely-partners-invented-the-upcart-and-went-viral-on-qvc

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Michael Reznik, on starting Upcart ($583,000 revenue/mo) full story

27. Time-saving accessories ($500K/month)

Olivier Momma started Ekster, which sells time-saving accessories.

  • Revenue: $500,000/month
  • Founders: 3
  • Employees: 18

We actually started with a monstrosity of a wallet which we put together ourselves, the “Frankenstein” original which we made from different materials. These were early days, so we didn’t have designers and we drew everything ourselves. We also had to explain it to the factory because our drawing skills do leave a lot to be desired, so that was interesting. I definitely think that was a steep learning curve for us - we spent so much time explaining what we wanted at factories that in the process, we ended up learning a lot about leather and the way that different factories work to put a wallet together.

We started with the idea of producing close to home, but we quickly found that it wasn’t really a viable route to go. Partners were expensive, slow, and their expertise was underwhelming. As soon as we abandoned that idea and went to China, everything became much more possible. Light speed, a much better price - we found our manufacture through a mutual contact, and we’re still producing most of our products with them. Developing that relationship has been invaluable for us over the last few years.

We also applied for a patent immediately, but the process is very long, and we’d advise anyone going through it to be very patient.

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Olivier Momma, on starting Ekster ($500,000 revenue/mo) full story

28. Premium golf clubs ($500K/month)

Tyler Sullivan started BombTech Golf, which sells premium golf clubs.

  • Revenue: $500,000/month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 3

My first branded product I ever made (The GRENADE) was designed with a group of engineering students at the University of Vermont via the Capstone project. Each year, groups of engineering students get to work on real life projects with local businesses. I applied to have my golf driver project chosen and luckily I was!

The process to design a golf driver with 4 senior students was anything but smooth...But, the group of students that chose my project were die hard golfers and were insanely dedicated to doing anything it would take to get the design perfect. The best thing I did during this process was be involved. Every design idea, tweak, concept - I asked WHY...How? And tried to break through their design logic. As soon as we had even our most crude mock up, I sent that info to my manufacturer. I worked with them to help answer the questions I didn’t know with material options, manufacturing tolerances and all the missing pieces that the engineering students needed to know. The back and forth from student to me to manufacturer was EXTENSIVE.

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Tyler Sullivan, on starting BombTech Golf ($500,000 revenue/mo) full story

29. Valuation tools for stuff ($500K/month)

Will Seippel started WorthPoint Corporation, which sells valuation tools for stuff.

  • Revenue: $500,000/month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 8

For the first few months, we sat and just talked about “what are we designing?” There was a lot of discussion before technical and other details were designed and finally written. We started out using Drupal for the framework, later connecting to Grails. There was not a dark site while we initially worked on WorthPoint.com, and on May 18, 2007, we were live and open to users.

In those early days, we were not a paid subscription site; instead, we relied on ads. We quickly envisioned our key offerings and focused on building the price guide first. The team built the price guide around auction results. We acquired GoAntiques.com, which provided access to eBay data and to Grails programmers, which we needed.

Looking back, in some ways, given the collective tech knowledge of our team, it is clear that we anticipated aspects of cloud computing and massive data storage that shaped our process. As we added tens of millions of additional online auction results to our database, our price guide grew exponentially.

how-i-built-a-6m-year-antiques-art-database

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Will Seippel, on starting WorthPoint Corporation ($500,000 revenue/mo) full story

30. Underwear ($500K/month)

Fran Dunaway started TomboyX, which sells underwear.

  • Revenue: $500,000/month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 15

Initially, we set out to make the softest, longest lasting waistband out there. We were determined to create one that you don’t even notice because it’s so comfortable, doesn’t leave a mark and doesn’t cut off your circulation.

So we sent off for samples to various suppliers and had a table full of waistbands to choose from. There was one that was close but we had to work with them to give it that little extra special sauce.

Once we had the perfect waistband formula, we focused on finding quality fabrics for the underwear and then working on a design that had seams in all the right places, legs that don’t ride up and partners who have sustainable practices.

creating-a-gender-neutral-garment-and-growing-to-500-000-month

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Fran Dunaway, on starting TomboyX ($500,000 revenue/mo) full story

31. Sports nutrition supplements ($2M/month)

Nick Bare started Bare Performance Nutrition, which sells sports nutrition supplements.

  • Revenue: $2,000,000/month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 16

I found my first contact manufacturer online through some deep google researching. Over the years we have worked with a few different manufacturers until we found the perfect ones. Today, we work with two contract manufacturers (one is in Texas and the other is in California).

In the beginning, when we were just getting started and moving very little volume, there was never a relationship established between myself and the manufacturers. We were a small fish in a large pond. Today we talk with our manufacturers on a daily basis, and usually multiple times a day.

I personally formulated our first two products that entered the market. I worked with the contract manufacturer lab team and R&D department to bring it to life, but the majority of the input came from my research. Even though I was studying Nutrition in college, we never covered sports performance and especially dietary supplement research, so I would spend hours in the evening researching ingredients and their effectiveness. I initially put together a formula, sent it over to the manufacturer to price and received the quote - over $30 per bottle! At the price point, I would have to sell this pre-workout for it would be shunned in the market! Over the next couple of weeks, I went back and forth with the manufacturer to create the best product possible at the most reasonable price too. We removed some ingredients and added others, changing the dosage of some and ended up getting our price point to exactly where it needed to be. It ended up taking about 12 weeks to approve a formula, finalize the flavoring profile and put everything into production (which was another 12 weeks).

how-an-active-duty-soldier-built-6m-year-bare-performance-nutrition

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Nick Bare, on starting Bare Performance Nutrition ($2,000,000 revenue/mo) full story

32. Custom jewelry ($500K/month)

Julien Plouffe started Moonglow Jewelry, which sells custom jewelry.

  • Revenue: $500,000/month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 11

Manufacturing is a process. We contracted with some amazing designers and through a lot of trial and error we came up with a process that has become polished and seamless.

I hired a conversion rate expert who told us our site flow was really bad, we identified that people needed to click way too many buttons in order to checkout, every button you add, the more people drop out and you lose potential customers along the way.

I truly believe we produce some of the nicest jewelry pieces around. But more often than not, it’s trial and error and most designs are not on time, there is so much back and forth, get ready to never give up and learn from mistakes. I write them down to make sure I don’t do them again

growing-an-online-jewelry-store-to-6m-year

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Julien Plouffe, on starting Moonglow Jewelry ($500,000 revenue/mo) full story

33. Hype sneakers and streetwear ($500K/month)

Andrew and Phillip Pevzner started LacedUp, which sells hype sneakers and streetwear.

  • Revenue: $500,000/month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 25

Our “launch” was not so much a launch as a transition out of old business.

Flowboard was doing great, but we saw the writing on the wall. We saw that hoverboards were a fad and didn’t have longevity as a product. At the same time, we saw the potential and growth of collectible sneakers and Laced Up. Those few pairs of Jordan’s that our younger brother put in the store were getting more attention than the hoverboards! Phil started buying more pairs and testing out buy-sell-trade in the shop. It was quickly growing and sneakers quickly became more of our core business than the hoverboards. We decided to take a chance and begin our transition to be called Laced Up. The mall, however, told us that they had an exclusivity contract with Foot Locker, and would not let us change our name and focus on shoes. So, in June of 2016, we left Colonie mall and moved to the better mall in the area, Crossgates, to open Laced Up with shoes as our primary focus.

I came back from college and we began construction on our new store. At 4,000 square feet, it was 4 times larger than our old store, and we had nowhere near the product to fill it. The store looked so sparse and empty, we can’t believe people took us seriously. But that first day in early June 2016, we opened our doors, and I got my first taste of the real potential of sneakers. Within the first hour, someone came in and I sold him a pair of Supreme Air Jordan 5 “Camo” for $450. I was completely floored that someone was willing to spend that kind of money on sneakers, and was immediately sold on the concept. There was really a demand for this kind of store, and we could meet that demand. I was totally sold, and we haven’t looked back.

how-two-brothers-started-a-500k-month-chain-of-high-end-sneakers

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Andrew and Phillip Pevzner, on starting LacedUp ($500,000 revenue/mo) full story

34. Nutritional meals ($600K/month)

Joey van Koningsbruggen started Jimmy Joy, which sells nutritional meals.

  • Revenue: $600,000/month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 30

When I started I used pea protein which tasted horrible. Because I told my friend that I was going to live exclusively off my recipe for 30 days I felt the need to improve the taste and switched to whey and soy. After selling some meals I used the money to gather nutritional expertise and instructed them to create the healthiest meal scientifically possible. Most iterations after that first recipe were focussed on health & nutrition. I currently employ 3 MSc in nutrition to work on that.

We do our own production because outsourcing is expensive. I think it is great to make healthy meals accessible so the price is a big factor. This is a picture of me in our first production space.

how-i-started-a-440k-month-healthy-meals-company-from-my-dorm-room

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Joey van Koningsbruggen, on starting Jimmy Joy ($600,000 revenue/mo) full story

35. Addictively comfortable footwear ($1.5M/month)

Steven Sashen started Xero Shoes, which sells addictively comfortable footwear.

  • Revenue: $1,500,000/month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 44

At first, we were selling DIY sandal making kits. We took big sheets of rubber and cut them into smaller sheets, and took long lengths of polypropylene cord from Home Depot and cut them into shorter lengths, and bundled that together with instructions on how to make your own sandals.

We spent a couple days every week running around to every Home Depot in northern Colorado to find the cord we used for laces, and we bought every sheet of our Vibram Cherry rubber that we could find in the U.S. At one point, we owned every sheet of that material that Vibram had in the world!

One thing that I spent years NOT doing, that I now kick myself about, is adding an "exit intent pop-up" to our site, which lets people enter a sweepstakes to win a Xero Shoes gift certificate.

xero-shoes-growing-a-shoe-brand-to-460k-month

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Steven Sashen, on starting Xero Shoes ($1,500,000 revenue/mo) full story

36. Towels ($450K/month)

Andy Jefferies started Dock and Bay, which sells towels.

  • Revenue: $450,000/month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 12

We didn’t have any experience with any of this stuff - design, manufacturing, accounting...

The process was very much randomly pulled together. We had our designs made abroad through a company called UpWork, a freelancing tool where businesses and independent professionals connect and collaborate remotely. Then it was a lot of going back and forth sending feedback on the samples we received. It wasn’t a slick process at all since we honestly didn’t have any experience so it was very much trial and error before getting a product Ben and I agreed was right.

We actually made out that we were a bigger company than we were to the manufacturers so they took us more seriously. They say fake it ‘til you make it, right? We wanted to make sure each part of the product was exactly how we wanted it and we were sent rope samples for the bags, stitching samples, material samples… I remember we actually spent a week staring at our screens agonizing over towel colours and then once we were satisfied, the sample was sent to us and the colour was completely different in person. It was all a massive learning curve.

how-two-founders-started-a-5m-year-business-selling-beach-towels

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Andy Jefferies, on starting Dock and Bay ($450,000 revenue/mo) full story

37. Motorcycle exhausts and accessories ($600K/month)

Justin Pflanz started TAB Performance, which sells motorcycle exhausts and accessories.

  • Revenue: $600,000/month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 9

In the early days, and even largely today when we’re designing a new product one of the first challenges is to get our hands on the Original Equipment (OE) part that we’d like to replace.

It’s great to experiment and try different things, as that’s how you learn what works best, but you’re probably working with a limited budget so focus on what is giving you the best ROI, rather than worrying about trying to market everywhere.

This allows us to take key measurements that we need to ensure that our parts will fit properly. It also gives us a chance to see the things we like and dislike about the OE part. From there we go to work making styling and functional changes we think our customers will like best. After making some rough prototypes we have to find a bike to test the product on.

how-two-brothers-started-a-4-8m-year-motorcycle-parts-manufacturer

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Justin Pflanz, on starting TAB Performance ($600,000 revenue/mo) full story

38. Smart locks ($400K/month)

Anthony Chow started Igloohome, which sells smart locks.

  • Revenue: $400,000/month
  • Founders: 3
  • Employees: 35

From the beginning, we had one problem to solve - which was to enable Airbnb hosts to manage their guests in a better way.

We designed the locks with over 50 beta Airbnb hosts, iterating with them as we went.

designing-smart-locks-for-airbnbs-and-growing-to-5m-year

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Anthony Chow, on starting Igloohome ($400,000 revenue/mo) full story

39. Apparel & accessories ($600K/month)

Christina DuVarney started Beautiful Disaster, which sells apparel & accessories.

  • Revenue: $600,000/month
  • Founders: 3
  • Employees: 10

The start of every piece of Beautiful Disaster Clothing comes from the needs and wants of the customer. We listen to what they have gone through, what they feel and what they love to wear. We incorporate badass designs with meaningful quotes and phrases for a one-of-a-kind look.

Our designer and co-owner Jamie Vine creates our ideas into works of art, and as a team, we decide which type of garments will go best with each design. We custom produce almost every single garment and do our very best to offer a wide variety of sizes. We have expanded our clothing line to fit all shapes and sizes, with sizes 2 - 24 available in almost every item. We do our very best to reduce errors in production and printing, as we personally check each and every piece of clothing and fold and package all of our items with care.

how-i-started-a-400k-month-women-s-clothing-line

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Christina DuVarney, on starting Beautiful Disaster ($600,000 revenue/mo) full story

40. Wine ($400K/month)

Agent Red started The Wine Spies, which sells wine.

  • Revenue: $400,000/month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 6

Our first website wasn’t the prettiest thing, but it was elegant and functional. We made the choice to build 100% of the software that ran our company, day-to-day.

Our platform has grown and improved but it still handles everything from logistics and fulfillment, customer service and our online selling. We even built our own compliance system that allows us to navigate the strict regulatory framework set for alcohol sellers in America. Today, the platform continues to evolve, and we’re rolling out new improvements and features on a regular basis.

We built the first version of our platform for less than $25,000 and it was paid for in less than 6 months from the time that we launched The Wine Spies.

how-i-started-a-400k-month-selling-wine-online

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Agent Red, on starting The Wine Spies ($400,000 revenue/mo) full story

41. E-commerce fulfillment ($400K/month)

Joe Spisak started ShipDaddy, which sells e-commerce fulfillment.

  • Revenue: $400,000/month
  • Founders: 5
  • Employees: 11

Starting a business is difficult! I knew that for us to be successful we had to establish strong core values from the beginning. We decided to rally our company around the heart and soul of our team, a United States Marine Corps veteran, the ShipDaddy logo himself, Brady Farrell. Brady is a man who embodies the incredible character, determination, and loyalty. His grit and sacrifice are the foundation of our company. This is the man who was packing boxes in an oversized garage with no heat in the middle of winter, teeth chattering, frozen wind clogging up the thermal printer. Brady makes ShipDaddy what it is, and because we believe in his character so much, we made him our logo.

In this sense, since world-class service is our product, the design of our “product” was establishing faith in our brand, trust in our services, and loyalty in our business partners. Our business partners entrust us with the most critical element of their operation, getting the product into the hands of customers, and that is a responsibility we all take seriously. With Brady’s face as the ShipDaddy logo, customers feel secure knowing they can always get him on the phone. Their product is in great hands, Daddy’s hands!

The design of the logo itself had to reflect the values we hoped to portray. We use our favorite design team in Ukraine, Tubik Studios. We have worked with them on many projects, and they can seriously do it all! We sent them a description of the business much like the one included in this piece, knowing they could transform the legendary figure of Brady into the ShipDaddy forevermore. They chose to go with powerful primary colors, strong American Flag red, white, and blue, an obvious hint at the service we provide. They knocked it out of the park on their first try!

how-we-launched-a-4-8m-fulfillment-service-starting-in-our-garage

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Joe Spisak, on starting ShipDaddy ($400,000 revenue/mo) full story

42. Sterling silver jewelry ($400K/month)

Diane Lawrence & Dawn Pochek started Inspiranza Designs, which sells sterling silver jewelry.

  • Revenue: $400,000/month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 8

Today we are instrumental in the design of many of our pieces but when we began, we just started to work with wholesale companies to build our brand. We soon found that this just simply would not work. Actually, it was a disaster! Our first catalogs cost $20 per catalog to produce and we found that after we photographed the catalogs and produced them….the wholesale companies would discontinue the products! This made for a stressful start.

We would spend hours upon hours trying to find an alternative for the product that was discontinued trying to find a replacement piece that looked almost exactly like the one we had photographed and presented in our catalog!

how-our-silver-jewelry-company-went-from-200k-in-debt-to-5mm-year-sales

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Diane Lawrence & Dawn Pochek, on starting Inspiranza Designs ($400,000 revenue/mo) full story

43. Seeds & growing supplies ($400K/month)

Parker Garlitz started True Leaf Market, which sells seeds & growing supplies.

  • Revenue: $400,000/month
  • Founders: 4
  • Employees: 55

In the early days of our product launch, the process was a pretty shotgun. Our original wheatgrass kit was designed by Kaitlin, along with the step by step instructions. I did the (very sub-par) original photography. As it was an online / mail-order product, we did not have retail packaging and shipped the kit contents in a regular brown cardboard box.

Today, product development is much more streamlined with a dozen people working on aspects of it from sourcing and prototyping, to copywriting to photography, to packaging design, etc. Most of our products are very straight forward to new seed varieties. For example, if we want to onboard White Habanero Hot Pepper seeds, which are currently in the onboarding queue, those types of seed products go into a fairly well-developed onboarding process. We source seeds from reputable growers, send the seed for testing, sometimes do trials depending on circumstances and do photography and create size variations, etc… Simple seed products can be on-boarded fairly quickly, and we average 50 to 100 new SKUs per month in product development.

how-we-started-a-400k-month-business-selling-seeds-and-growing-supplies

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Parker Garlitz, on starting True Leaf Market ($400,000 revenue/mo) full story

44. Party eyewear and flow props ($400K/month)

Dan Watkins started GloFX, which sells party eyewear and flow props.

  • Revenue: $400,000/month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 25

Creating a product is not a walk in the park. One of our most substantial and earliest launches was the Lux Series, and for around two years we were pinching pennies to get enough money to start the production process. The Lux Series was specifically a Glove and Orbit launch. An Orbit is a spinning disk on a string with LED lights. When spun, the LEDs create mesmerizing patterns and trails. Gloving is a popular hobby in which people use the lights on the end of their gloves to create glowing patterns as they move their fingertips. Both very different, but the flowing aspect remains the same between the two forms.

And then when we thought we had enough money (over six-figures worth of investments) we still went $20k over budget and spent over a year editing and tweaking the prototypes to create the perfect products.

how-i-started-a-4-8m-product-business-in-the-edm-scene

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Dan Watkins, on starting GloFX ($400,000 revenue/mo) full story

45. Skincare for sensitive skin ($400K/month)

Michael Koh started Tree To Tub, which sells skincare for sensitive skin.

  • Revenue: $400,000/month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 3

By the time I stole my college best friend Brian from the corporate world, I had already ran out of savings from traveling. I invested my last $10,000, he put in a little more, and we were ready to go!

Know the what, why, who, where, how about your customers. You need to toss away whatever assumptions you have about your products and customers.

Since we both had no experience in skincare manufacturing, we naively thought we could just extract the Soapberries, put the juice in a bottle, and WALLAH, that’d be our product. After 2 weeks of boiling Soapberries in our tiny kitchen, we learned that this was certainly not the way to go if we wanted to build a real business. We had to talk to someone who knows how this industry works!

how-we-started-a-4-8m-e-commerce-skincare-company

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Michael Koh, on starting Tree To Tub ($400,000 revenue/mo) full story

46. Origami folding kayaks ($400K/month)

Anton Willis started Oru Kayak, which sells origami folding kayaks.

  • Revenue: $400,000/month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 10

I started with folding pieces of printer paper, then cardboard, then 4x8 sheets of corrugated plastic from a sign shop. The first prototype sank in less than a minute- it turns out that a sheet that size doesn’t make a kayak big enough to float me. But I kept going, and the next prototype actually worked.

At first, it was just a fun hobby. But as I went out to test prototypes on weekends, people started to ask if and when they could buy one. Eventually, I decided to take the plunge. I got a high-paying contract day job for 6 months and saved all the money I made. This lasted me another 6 months of intensive prototyping and work on the business side of things; at that point, I also started to work with my business partner, Ardy. We launched a Kickstarter campaign in late 2012, with almost nothing in my bank account. Luckily, it raised almost half a million dollars, enough to launch a real company on a shoestring.

how-we-started-a-400k-month-origami-folding-kayaks-business

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Anton Willis, on starting Oru Kayak ($400,000 revenue/mo) full story

47. Engagement rings ($385K/month)

Nikolay Piriankov started Taylor & Hart, which sells engagement rings.

  • Revenue: $385,000/month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 27

Piers’ girlfriend at the time, now wife, Jenny, was studying in the field of nanoscience and he wanted something that would be personal to their story, but representative of her (and her attention to detail at the ‘nano-level’).

We went through many ideas together and once he’d settled on a design, the next step was for us to make it into a reality.

I think one of the greatest journeys in developing a company is the personal transition you go through as entrepreneur within the company.

starting-and-growing-a-jewelry-business-to-4-6m-year

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Nikolay Piriankov, on starting Taylor & Hart ($385,000 revenue/mo) full story

48. Heating and cooling equipment ($375K/month)

Mike Luongo started Total Home Supply, which sells heating and cooling equipment.

  • Revenue: $375,000/month
  • Founders: 5
  • Employees: 5

Our first product was our website and our people. We knew that we needed to create a great online experience for our customers. We used a combination of commercially available software and some custom development to make our unique shopping experience that helped make complicated products easier to buy.

Staying focused was the most important lesson I learned. We wasted time and money trying to be in too many categories in the beginning.

When we started Total Home Supply, we decided to have everyone work from home to keep the costs down. We invested in a phone system that would allow everyone to work no matter where they were. We used online tools to share information and keep us updated.

how-5-founders-left-their-jobs-to-start-a-4-5m-heating-cooling-business

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Mike Luongo, on starting Total Home Supply ($375,000 revenue/mo) full story

49. Footwear ($350K/month)

Matt Griffin started Combat Flip Flops, which sells footwear.

  • Revenue: $350,000/month
  • Founders: 3
  • Employees: 1

The process took three years from idea to launch. It was a team effort from a large number of people to make it work. Specifically Donald Lee, Fellow Ranger and CMO and Andy Sewrey, Brother and President, as well as friends, family, and mentors.

The idea first happened in 2009 and my fellow Ranger, Donald Lee, registered our website name. We sat on it over a year until my sister-in-law married Andy Sewrey.

Andy learned about the mission, started working on designs, and helped us bring the idea into a digital rendering form. From there we started floating images and messaging on Facebook. Followers gave us feedback and input until we had a design good enough to prototype.

growing-an-e-commerce-company-with-a-positive-mission-to-350-000-mo

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Matt Griffin, on starting Combat Flip Flops ($350,000 revenue/mo) full story

50. Designer women's shoes ($350K/month)

Adam Dwidari started Scarpetta Shoes, which sells designer women's shoes.

  • Revenue: $350,000/month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 25

Our business started simply by listing products on major marketplaces. We were able to keep our growth scalable in the beginning because purchasing apparel online was a fairly new concept.

We started in my dorm room with $2,000 selling rugs I bought at a closeout sale and an idea that we could be pioneers of this new online movement. At first, we were ecstatic to break even and within a month we had made our first $1,000 in profit. Fast forward to today and we currently sell on 25 of the world’s leading online marketplaces, including eBay and Amazon. Our sales on eBay are ranked in the top 10% of sales in the footwear category, both domestically and internationally.

After our initial success in eCommerce, my brother and I launched our first website and saw some growth. There were a lot of growing pains as we had no technical help and had to learn through trial and error. It wasn’t until we decided to partner with a 3rd party integration platform to handle our ordering and inventory process that we saw the most growth.

how-i-started-a-3-6mm-year-business-selling-designer-women-s-shoes

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Adam Dwidari , on starting Scarpetta Shoes ($350,000 revenue/mo) full story

51. Subscriptions for cannabis accessories ($350K/month)

Michael Berk started Cannabox, which sells subscriptions for cannabis accessories.

  • Revenue: $350,000/month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 3

There really wasn’t much of a “prototype” phase, as we just kind of launched that first month and hoped for the best. Our first box theme and products used were very bare minimum compared to our current boxes, but being a pioneer in this industry, people loved the idea of getting their products monthly in a fun way. That first month I went to my local smoke shop and bought the products at a retail price while making the boxes in my own garage, and we barely profited, but this was more of a market test to see if this was even feasible.

Back then we weren’t even designing our own glass and had been buying it from a local blower whom I had been friends with at the time. Our startup costs were around $1,000, including products, the domain, server time, and paying my friends for help.

Over time, our process has evolved into a full-scale multi-warehouse operation with 10-20 people packing boxes during our shipping time. The actual process of how the products are designed and curated has never changed however, it’s just what we feel would fit best according to the time of year, that particular month’s theme, new products being released in the marketplace and products we think everyone needs.

how-i-started-a-350k-month-cannabis-subscription-box

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Michael Berk, on starting Cannabox ($350,000 revenue/mo) full story

52. Amazon seller trainings & services ($350K/month)

Stephen Somers started Marketplace SuperHeroes, which sells amazon seller trainings & services.

  • Revenue: $350,000/month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 0

When I was working with Robert up in Northern Ireland, I started to think back to all the previous years in college and all the valuable knowledge I had acquired from books. The key purpose of a book is to help you develop your own thoughts, right? And your thoughts mold your actions, which in turn help grow your personal and business capabilities.

So I started to apply my knowledge of the online business world to what I was learning from Robert and what he was doing with physical products. From there, we basically re-engineered the entire business. The key difference this time was that I really began implementing what I had learned, as opposed to just consuming lots of information.

At the time, Amazon FBA (Fulfillment by Amazon) was growing in popularity. So we decided to get rid of the warehouses, along with all the staff and slim down the business to just myself and Robert. We then aggressively started to find new products in new markets and worked our butts off for an entire year. Long story short - we built a multi-7-figure business over a period of around 18 months from complete scratch.

how-we-started-a-350k-month-business-training-amazon-sellers

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Stephen Somers, on starting Marketplace SuperHeroes ($350,000 revenue/mo) full story

53. Fire safety ($304K/month)

Peter Thorpe started FireAvert, which sells fire safety.

  • Revenue: $304,000/month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 7

When I decided to start FireAvert I partnered with some engineers to help with the design and prototypes. The engineer that I ended up partnering with I met at my church. When I first decided that I wanted to start this business I remembered that a member at my church was an engineer/entrepreneur so I talked with him. He loved the idea and decided to come on board.

We brainstormed different ways that the device could work and settled on using the smoke alarm as a signal. We have a current model that plugs in behind the stove and syncs to the sound of the smoke detector, but have plans to alter this slightly so we can get into some different markets.

The most important thing a new entrepreneur can do is to not think they have all the answers. You need to prototype quickly and get in front of customers as soon as you can. The customer will tell you what they need. You shouldn’t assume that you have all the answers.

how-this-firefighter-invented-a-3-6m-product-that-prevents-kitchen-fires

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Peter Thorpe, on starting FireAvert ($304,000 revenue/mo) full story

54. Carry on travel backpacks ($300K/month)

Fred Perrotta started Tortuga, which sells carry on travel backpacks.

  • Revenue: $300,000/month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 9

We were clueless about design and manufacturing.

The design stage went quickly. We hired a designer on eLance and went from idea to tech pack (the blueprint for a physical product) in a few months. Sampling and manufacturing turned out to be a real problem.

We started our search for a factory in China, where most bags were made at the time. Without any connections in Asia, we were stumbling in the dark emailing random factories and working off of unreliable referrals. Finally, after months of trying to get a sample made, we got an email with a picture of our first ever physical sample.

how-we-started-a-300k-month-business-selling-carry-on-travel-backpacks

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Fred Perrotta, on starting Tortuga ($300,000 revenue/mo) full story

55. Premium menswear ($300K/month)

Valentin Ozich started I Love Ugly, which sells premium menswear.

  • Revenue: $300,000/month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 20

When I first began things were messy. I would print my designs on T-Shirts purchased from a blank apparel company. This was to get a feel for what the customer wanted without committing to big minimums. This printing was all done in New Zealand. People liked the designs and were requesting garments that weren't just T-Shirts.

To this day, I still attend every photoshoot we do and have for the last 10 years.

From here I wanted to expand into other garments and found a seamstress/ patternmaker and explained what I wanted and started by using an existing pair of pants as a starting block. She came back with a sample, and they weren't quite right. We went back and forth around 10 times to get the right fit. Once it was right, I had to find a manufacturer that would produce low minimums and also give us credit terms (because I only had a few thousand dollars at the time, I couldn’t afford any upfront payments). I think I may have only produced 20 or 30 pairs of pants for the first run. I ended up finding this manufacturer on Google, and they also happened to be local which made it easier to communicate and get a feel for how the production process works from start to finish. They were hesitant with my small orders, but I sold them my dream and pretty soon they were on board with the idea. I learned that when you start out not everybody is going to be on board with your idea. Even friends and family members will make you second guess yourself just because they had a failed business or knew someone that did. You got to learn to ignore the naysayers and realize that rarely will you be criticized by someone who is doing more than you. You will only be criticized by someone doing less, or nothing at all.

how-i-started-3-6m-new-zealand-fashion-brand-i-love-ugly

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Valentin Ozich, on starting I Love Ugly ($300,000 revenue/mo) full story

56. Party supplies store ($300K/month)

Dean Salakas started The Party People, which sells party supplies store.

  • Revenue: $300,000/month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 40

The Party People was originally a clown hire business. My mum started helping people with the catering and clean up so became a full-service party planner and entertainer. Back in the 80’s, everyone had parties at home and there were no hardly any kids party venues so she had an idea to start one up.

She opened a small venue where she had planned to host kids parties but at the same time McDonald’s launched its party rooms and so the party room didn't go so well. The venue did, however, sell a small range of party items and balloons which was going really well so my mum pivoted the business to focus on retail and the party shop was borne.

In 1998, It was at a time of dial-up internet and my mum had a vision that people could have great parties all over Australia even in remote areas and people who work long hours also had a way to shop with us. As her son, she gave the website responsibilities to me and I set it up. Back then website software didn't exist so we built our site from scratch using two university students who had studied IT.

starting-a-party-store-and-growing-into-a-chain

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Dean Salakas, on starting The Party People ($300,000 revenue/mo) full story

57. 3d printers, laser cutters, and other digital fabrication supplies ($300K/month)

Jeremy Simon started 3D Universe, LLC, which sells 3d printers, laser cutters, and other digital fabrication supplies.

  • Revenue: $300,000/month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 3

Some of the products 3D Universe sells are purchased from other manufacturers. For example, Ultimaker manufactures their 3D printers in Memphis, TN, and we simply resell them. However, there are some custom products that we manufacture.

After working with the e-NABLE volunteer community for several months, it became clear that one of the challenges preventing more people from making the e-NABLE prosthetic devices is that a variety of assembly materials are needed for each device produced. These materials include things like screws, cords, velcro, foam padding, etc.

Avoid products where the manufacturer has lots of resellers drop-shipping their products. It’s hard to compete when nearly anyone can sell a product without having to keep it in inventory.

starting-a-3d-printer-store-online-and-growing-to-300k-month

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Jeremy Simon, on starting 3D Universe, LLC ($300,000 revenue/mo) full story

58. Photo booths ($300K/month)

Brandon Wong started Photobooth Supply Co., which sells photo booths.

  • Revenue: $300,000/month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 10

I’d argue that no one would buy anything unless it solves a problem. So our job as entrepreneurs is to identify which one we wish to tackle, survey, and then execute.

I’d recommend downloading Sketchup for a hardware product or Sketch for a software product. Use those tools that to make your first round of iterations. It doesn't have to be pretty, but it can communicate more effectively than a napkin sketch or even verbally.

As you can imagine, the process gets much easier when you are encountering the problem yourself. Our photography business was not scalable and unfortunately hit a revenue cap that was hard to break through. Creating additional services was the only way to move past this. Of course, this is where the photobooth came in.

embracing-the-experience-economy-with-a-300k-mo-photo-booth-startup

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Brandon Wong, on starting Photobooth Supply Co. ($300,000 revenue/mo) full story

59. Seafood delivery ($300K/month)

Cameron Manesh started Cameron's Seafood, which sells seafood delivery.

  • Revenue: $300,000/month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 10

We buy our product from our retail stores, who catch the crabs every morning. Mother nature creates our product in the Chesapeake Bay.

We were lucky to leverage upon an existing 33 year old family-owned seafood business. We have 16 crabbers and a fleet of third parties as the stores go through about 75,000 bushels of crabs per year, which is probably more than all of our combined Maryland competitors. We have access to over 100 SKUs from our store but we received valuable feedback from an indirect competitor to keep our site clean and non-confusing.

Manufacturing

cameron-s-seafood-175k-per-month-selling-maryland-crabs

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Cameron Manesh, on starting Cameron's Seafood ($300,000 revenue/mo) full story

60. Protein snacks ($300K/month)

Krikor Angacian started Protes Protein Snacks, which sells protein snacks.

  • Revenue: $300,000/month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 6

My business partner was my best friend from college and like me was disillusioned with his corporate finance job. I pitched the idea for a protein chip to him and we decided to move forward with the concept.

We would go to the local grocery store and look for anything with high protein in a powder. We used anything from whey protein to soy even to vita wheat gluten… Every single night we’d cook for at least 2 hours to try and come up with an edible protein chip. There were countless nights of awful iterations with “chips” that didn’t crunch, were soggy, or terribly dry… pretty much you name a terrible “chip” and we made it. Thankfully after about 6 months of trials, we had a half-decent MVP. From there we put together a business plan, bootstrapped the business, quit our jobs and set out to create a protein snacking empire.

We ended up working in a commercial kitchen in Brooklyn literally hand pressing chips and hand sealing bags. We took the late-night shift of 6 PM - 12 AM because it was the cheapest. We make chips by night, and sell chips in New York City by day. It was arduous but we were building something and it was exciting.

how-i-started-a-protein-snacks-company

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Krikor Angacian, on starting Protes Protein Snacks ($300,000 revenue/mo) full story

61. Luxury italian leather bags ($300K/month)

William Forshaw started Maxwell Scott Bags Ltd, which sells luxury italian leather bags.

  • Revenue: $300,000/month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 14

First and foremost, the hardest part of designing any product is working out exactly what the customer wants and needs. You can design a product which you think is amazing and yet, your audience is not as receptive as you thought. Therefore, for my first briefcase, the process of design was truly thoughtful.

The biggest lesson I have learnt: Trust your own ability and make confident, measured decisions.

With only 6000$ to start my business, I visited over 100 factories/tanneries in Italy in order to source the finest materials and workers to build my vision. The leather was the hardest part of the production process to locate because I wanted only the very best. This meant finding truly decent leather - that is to say, full grain (the topmost durable part of the cowhide) and vegetable-tanned which is environmentally friendly and reveals the natural grain of the leather, allowing it to breathe.

3-6m-per-year-selling-luxury-italian-leather-bags

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William Forshaw, on starting Maxwell Scott Bags Ltd ($300,000 revenue/mo) full story

62. Office furniture ($300K/month)

Greg Hayes started Branch Furniture, which sells office furniture.

  • Revenue: $300,000/month
  • Founders: 3
  • Employees: 7

Getting the first prototypes of our furniture manufactured was an intense process. We initially planned to manufacture everything in the United States, but this proved difficult for two reasons. First, the US furniture manufacturing industry has been decimated over the past thirty years, so there were very few factories for us to work with. Second, the cost to produce a run as small as our first one in the US was prohibitively expensive.

With that in mind, I started scouring the globe for the best factories, looking in Canada, Mexico, Poland, China, Malaysia, Vietnam, and India. Ultimately, China proved to be our best bet: it had by far the best supply chain, and its pricing was highly competitive, despite newly-enacted tariffs. I also found out that many of our high-end competitors were producing their furniture there, which made me feel a lot better about offshoring.

In October of 2018, I flew to China, hired a translator, and started visiting factories. Despite many disappointing meetings and plenty of dead ends, I was able to find two factories that agreed to take a risk and produce some prototypes and a small test run for us. Even better, both factories appeared to be producing very high-quality furniture.

how-i-started-a-300k-month-premium-office-furniture-business

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Greg Hayes, on starting Branch Furniture ($300,000 revenue/mo) full story

63. Handcrafted beds ($300K/month)

Mike Schaefer started Soaring Heart Natural Beds, which sells handcrafted beds.

  • Revenue: $300,000/month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 15

Building a great mattress not only takes great raw materials - it takes great patience.  Our sewing teams hand-craft our organic cotton mattress encasements to assure consistent firmness and breathability.  Our bed builders then assemble our mattresses with specific layering of organic wool, cotton and latex requested by our customers.  Finally, our packaging and delivery crews work hard to assure everything leaving our certified organic manufacturing facility arrives freshly wrapped at your door.  

/ Visiting our latex supplier in India - we work directly with our raw materials suppliers.

running-a-furniture-company-for-30-years-and-moving-online

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Mike Schaefer, on starting Soaring Heart Natural Beds ($300,000 revenue/mo) full story

64. Herbal supplements ($300K/month)

Logan Christopher started Lost Empire Herbs, which sells herbal supplements.

  • Revenue: $300,000/month
  • Founders: 3
  • Employees: 15

Cloud had been ordering pine pollen wholesale from another company, and then he was re-selling it to his friends. So when we looked to go direct, buying from a supplier we went onto Alibaba.

We were able to buy this pre-packaged, slapped a label on it and voila! we had our first product. I don’t recall the exact details but it was probably less than 200 units for less than $1000 including shipping.

how-i-started-a-seven-figure-supplements-business

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Logan Christopher, on starting Lost Empire Herbs ($300,000 revenue/mo) full story

65. Jewelry ($287K/month)

Tara Mikolay started Desires by Mikolay, which sells jewelry .

  • Revenue: $287,000/month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 7

Being a husband and wife design team I feel like we are constantly designing together! We get inspired by almost anything! Last year’s trip to NYC, Scott fell in love with the bold lines of the Chrysler building and created a modern line of jewelry to represent the Art Deco movement.

I recently was visiting the Buddhist monastery that I live close to and got all sorts of inspiration for Devout. We take the everyday and make it into wearable art.

starting-and-growing-a-jewelry-store-as-a-married-couple

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Tara Mikolay, on starting Desires by Mikolay ($287,000 revenue/mo) full story

66. Luxury watches ($320K/month)

John Pietrasz started Delray Watch Supply, which sells luxury watches.

  • Revenue: $320,000/month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 4

With DelrayWatch.com., we were very fortunate to have all of the necessary skills needed to go live, and perform well for our customers since day 1.

My business partner Federico had been in the watch industry for over 10 years including being a popular YouTuber. I had been in the tech business industry for 10 years. We were both avid watch collectors and savants. This was the perfect equation for success, even though we were quite unsure of it when we started. Ah, that is the psyche of an entrepreneur, right?

The idea was that each of us, as partners would oversee the type of roles that we had experience in. Federico would cover sales, media, marketing, and watchmaking. I would cover technology, business, accounting, and scaling. While our team has grown a bit since launch 20 months ago, we are both still aimed in our corner of the ring. This has proven to be extremely effective for us.

how-we-started-a-3-3m-watch-business-selling-on-youtube

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John Pietrasz, on starting Delray Watch Supply ($320,000 revenue/mo) full story

67. Cbd cigarette ($275K/month)

Evan Marshall started Plain Jane, which sells cbd cigarette.

  • Revenue: $275,000/month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 16

There are a bunch of different philosophies about creating products so this is just my take.

I believe a product has to have some essential attribute that makes it different from existing products. It can be price or a unique feature but something has to be different about it. I believe marketing and brand is a lagging indicator of your products. Simply selling something already out there with a different label doesn’t really appeal to me. Most of the work of selling a product is done by the product so differentiation can be crucial for growth.

Our first goal in prototyping our product was to figure out if our identifying attribute, a low smell and ultra smooth weed was an interesting concept to anyone.

how-two-college-roommates-started-an-online-cbd-business

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Evan Marshall, on starting Plain Jane ($275,000 revenue/mo) full story

68. Craft spirits membership ($270K/month)

Mack McConnell started Taster’s Club, which sells craft spirits membership.

  • Revenue: $270,000/month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 3

Because alcohol is so heavily regulated, we had no choice but to work with third party, licensed warehouse/shippers to work within certain states, which conveniently answered some key questions upfront (dropship or hold inventory?).

We began with select shippers only in select states. We were able to find them simply by figuring out who the leading e-commerce sites were working with.

Launching fast and lean was important because it allowed us to be the first to market (now there’s over 50 alcohol-related subscription services), let us define the category and gave important early lessons.

how-i-grew-my-online-booze-business-to-270k-month

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Mack McConnell, on starting Taster’s Club ($270,000 revenue/mo) full story

69. Gift boxes ($260K/month)

Tom Strickland started Bookblock, which sells gift boxes.

  • Revenue: $260,000/month
  • Founders: 3
  • Employees: 30

The original Monsieur Notebook was an incredibly simple product that I had originally designed whilst travelling in India. With most notebooks a very thin bit of leather is stretched over cardboard, but this loses the supple nature of real leather, and ultimately lots of customers cannot tell the difference between leather and plastic.

Fail to prepare, prepare to fail. Whilst I set up my business in my early-20s, it really took all of my 20s worth of set-backs and failure, and a lot of family and friends’ support, to pop out into the 30s with a viable business.

The Monsieur had a single piece of thick hide that had been skived on the spine to make it soft. It felt, looked and smelled like real leather. Whilst it was a lovely product we couldn’t make it sufficiently profitable. However, by trying to manufacture it we were exposed to all kinds of stationery manufacturing, and we gradually picked things up, which led to us becoming first experts in how books are manufactured, and then experts in actually manufacturing them.

how-we-grew-our-corporate-gifting-platform-to-2m-year

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Tom Strickland, on starting Bookblock ($260,000 revenue/mo) full story

70. Stainless steel bottles ($250K/month)

Chris Gronkowski started Ice Shaker, which sells stainless steel bottles.

  • Revenue: $250,000/month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 3

Manufacturing the product was not easy.

This was a brand new product that had never been made before. We had to get multiple prototypes before deciding on which bottle we wanted to go with.

The problem with making shaker bottles is that if they aren’t made correctly, then they will leak, which is exactly what you don’t want a shaker bottle to do. This was our number one concern when making the first prototype and if there was any sign of leakage we had to find a new seal or different way to make the lid.

how-chris-gronkowski-left-the-nfl-and-became-an-entrepreneur

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Chris Gronkowski, on starting Ice Shaker ($250,000 revenue/mo) full story

71. Wood sunglasses ($250K/month)

Cory Stout started Woodies, which sells wood sunglasses.

  • Revenue: $250,000/month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1

I just went to China and found three suppliers on Alibaba. I toured each factory and chose the one I felt the best about.

Price wasn’t the most important consideration. It really came down to a comfort level with the supplier. The rep that I would work with closely spoke great English, they presented themselves well, they showed me their equipment and let me tour the factory while they were in production.

PRO TIP: If you visit a Chinese factory, ask politely to the use the bathroom. They will have to oblige, and if you find a really messy, disgusting bathroom, then it’s definitely a red flag.

woodies-sunglasses-3-5-million-per-year-with-one-employee

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Cory Stout, on starting Woodies ($250,000 revenue/mo) full story

72. Ebikes ($250K/month)

Stephan Aarstol started Tower Electric Bikes, which sells ebikes.

  • Revenue: $250,000/month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 4

Product design is critical. Not just the aesthetic look of something (which is also critical), but the functional choices you make in product design. You've really got to take a blank slate approach and get to the heart of what the product you are designing will be used for. This is an area that I've found I kind of excel in. I'm a fair contrarian thinker so I don't just accept the status quo and go along with what everyone else is doing. I challenge everything. If everyone is doing something one way, my assumption is that it's probably the wrong way to do it. Herd mentality and groupthink take things in the wrong direction a lot of times. Maybe most of the time.

When we launched in paddleboards back in 2010, part of the reason I started was when I went shopping for my first paddleboard I learned that these things cost like $1200-$1600 for what was basically a big surfboard. And you could buy a cheap surfboard for $300. It didn’t make sense. Ninety-five percent of these paddleboards and the ~80 or so brands at the time that were making them were using a traditional retail sales model with brands, distributors, wholesalers, salespeople, and retail stores. As a result, SUP boards were selling for 4-5 times what they cost to produce. Additionally, the majority of brands seemed to perceive paddle boarding as a different kind of surfing. Lastly, there was this oddity called inflatable paddleboards in the market that had been around for years, but they were horribly designed and only represented about 1% of the market.

Keep your burn rate low. Worry less about the competition putting you out of business and worry more about yourself putting you out of business.

how-i-partnered-with-mark-cuban-to-start-a-250k-month-company-selling-ebikes

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Stephan Aarstol , on starting Tower Electric Bikes ($250,000 revenue/mo) full story

73. Alcoholic party punch ($500K/month)

Justin Fenchel started BeatBox Beverages, which sells alcoholic party punch.

  • Revenue: $500,000/month
  • Founders: 5
  • Employees: 18

Once we realized people loved the idea, we then had to figure out how we were going to make it.

The alcohol industry has just an insane amount of laws, and every state is different. So the first thing we did is get an understanding of the lay of the land speaking to an alcohol beverage law firm.

They quickly told us that our idea of making a vodka cocktail in a 5L box was illegal, as you can’t put hard alcohol in anything over 1.75 liters. But fortunately they helped us find a flavor company who specialized in a unique wine that drank much more like a spirit and we could recreate our top tested the flavor, a raspberry lemonade crystal light, and vodka.

how-we-launched-and-grew-a-party-punch-beverage-to-3m-year

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Justin Fenchel, on starting BeatBox Beverages ($500,000 revenue/mo) full story

74. Perfumes and colognes ($250K/month)

Gary A. started Fragrancebuy Canada, which sells perfumes and colognes.

  • Revenue: $250,000/month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 2

Fragrance wholesale was the crux of our business and we had developed an extensive network of supply chain partners over 18 years.

The most important lesson we learned throughout the process is that the most difficult part is the starting phase but it doesn’t need to be perfect.

But with a deteriorating global economy, wholesale clients were paying late and we needed to adapt to a rapidly changing economy. Using the online Shopify platform, we were able to expand our client base and reach Canadians across the country, and offer the same wholesale pricing we had been before but without the stress of late payments.

launching-and-growing-canada-s-largest-online-fragrance-retailer

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Gary A., on starting Fragrancebuy Canada ($250,000 revenue/mo) full story

75. Bicycles ($250K/month)

Jonathan Shriftman started Sole Bicycles, which sells bicycles.

  • Revenue: $250,000/month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 14

Initially, we found our manufacturer through Alibaba.com. We had worked with local bicycle shops and bike experts to design the perfect frame dimensions, specs, and components.

It was a struggle to make the perfect product for a number of reasons and it took a full year to get a bike we felt comfortable bringing to market. Issues like welding, faulty components, etc. We probably went through four or five different prototype samples until we had the perfect one.

Over 60% of our traffic is attributable to word-of-mouth marketing. We know this because when people purchase, we have an attribution pop-up to ask how they heard about the brand. Nothing better than referrals from friends, family, and colleagues.

how-we-ve-generated-10m-in-sales-with-our-online-bicycle-business

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Jonathan Shriftman, on starting Sole Bicycles ($250,000 revenue/mo) full story

76. Custom matboards ($250K/month)

Mehdi Kajbaf started Matboard & More, which sells custom matboards.

  • Revenue: $250,000/month
  • Founders: 3
  • Employees: 10

I view ourselves as having two product segments, one is the website and the many customization features we offer. The other is the physical products we manufacture and sell. This distinction provides me perspective because we compete on having the best quality products and the best user experience on the website.

Custom Matting in Multiple Colors

The physical product expertise comes from my partner in charge of production. He is able to source the matboards, frames and accessories that we sell. He also bought the mat cutters, frame joiners and other machines we utilize to create our products. There isn’t a lot novel about the products we sell, these are matboards and frames available in many retail stores or websites. My partners expertise here meant we hit the ground running.

finding-financial-freedom-through-starting-a-matboard-business

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Mehdi Kajbaf, on starting Matboard & More ($250,000 revenue/mo) full story

77. Fixed gear bikes ecommerce ($250K/month)

Xavier Claveria Masip started Santafixie, which sells fixed gear bikes ecommerce.

  • Revenue: $250,000/month
  • Founders: 3
  • Employees: 15

Beginning of Santafixie was a pure market place, so we only needed to find good suppliers to work with. In 2018 we decided to move forward and to create our own brand and our first bicycle prototip.

First point was to decide what kind of bicycle, what price and what quality would be our first bicycle.

Second question to solve was: would the name of the website be the name of the brand? Santafixie? Had we need to create a new name? Keeping the same logo or a different one?

how-we-built-a-250k-month-fixed-gear-bike-business

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Xavier Claveria Masip, on starting Santafixie ($250,000 revenue/mo) full story

78. Weighted blanket ($250K/month)

Robin started Luna Wellness, which sells weighted blanket.

  • Revenue: $250,000/month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 2

At the moment, the only available blankets were poorly stitched, had issues with breathability (would wake up in sweats), used noisy heat plastic beads and came at a steep price of $200-$300. So I sought out to create a higher quality weighted blanket at an affordable price so it would be possible for everyone to access its benefits.

Make sure you create a product that customers NEED and has SUSTAINABLE, HEALTHY margins so you can compete with your competitors. If you can’t meet these two criteria, then find another product, there’s tons out there.

I first reached out to a family friend who had connections in the textile manufacturing industry and fortunately they were able to connect us to someone who could create weighted blankets. Since this was a relatively (and still is) new industry, there was no set blueprint on how to create a weighted blanket.

how-we-grew-our-weighted-blanket-product-to-250k-month

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Robin, on starting Luna Wellness ($250,000 revenue/mo) full story

79. Reusable alternatives to single-use ($240K/month)

Isabel Aagaard started LastObject, which sells reusable alternatives to single-use.

  • Revenue: $240,096/month
  • Founders: 3
  • Employees: 6

We prototype a lot. The product, the packaging, the content. Everything is made and edited hundreds of times while constantly being tested. We try to get our designs in our hands even though most of our work is on a computer. It’s really important for us not to sit on our ideas and think we know best. We are not afraid to change things along the way, to the very end.

We have the same mentality throughout the company. When working with manufacturers, marketing, sales. It's all about having people involved through the process and constantly improving for the better.

how-we-raised-1-2mm-to-create-the-first-reusable-cotton-swab

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Isabel Aagaard, on starting LastObject ($240,096 revenue/mo) full story

80. Hemp cbd oil ($220K/month)

Gunhee Park started Populum, which sells hemp cbd oil.

  • Revenue: $220,000/month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 7

There are a few ways to break this down:

  1. Product dev.
  2. Coming up with the name.
  3. Designing the brand & product.

how-i-started-and-grew-my-cbd-oil-company-to-3m-arr

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Gunhee Park, on starting Populum ($220,000 revenue/mo) full story

81. Sustainable everyday products ($220K/month)

Anders Ankarlid started A Good Company, which sells sustainable everyday products.

  • Revenue: $220,000/month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 12

Our very first product was a stone paper notebook. We had been fascinated by the un-common material for a while and wanted to make a product out of it that people could use in their everyday lives. We went on a long sourcing trip to find the right factory (there aren’t that many stone-paper factories to go around) and finally found a family-run factory that checked a lot of the boxes for us. For a sustainable and social impact startup, diligence in ensuring a sustainable production line is key. We could neither afford to cut any corners (or else our trust capital would be gone with the wind) nor did we want to. But with this mindset, sourcing takes a really long time.

We at A Good Company were familiar with the production technique and were looking for a supplier with the same appreciation for detail as ourselves. Our sourcing team in Hong Kong located the factory, and we researched the company extensively before making contact.

how-i-started-a-220k-month-brand-of-sustainable-everyday-products

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Anders Ankarlid, on starting A Good Company ($220,000 revenue/mo) full story

82. Eucalyptus lyocell bedding ($200K/month)

Colin McIntosh started Sheets & Giggles, which sells eucalyptus lyocell bedding.

  • Revenue: $200,000/month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 6

Because I didn’t have any textile experience, I had to hire outside consultants to help me design, develop, and test our products.

I gave them my high-level criteria (lyocell for sustainability, has to be super soft, has to be premium, must be durable, must be made by a socially conscious manufacturer, etc.), and they created my tech packs and other designs for me.

We sourced our manufacturer at market week in NYC in March 2018, and we left with a handshake agreement with an Indian company who hit all our criteria more so than anyone else. I had a blast visiting them to inspect production in June (fun fact: India is hot in June). We had massive fabric rejections due to poor quality in our first production runs, which lowered our overall sales potential for the year and set our ship date back, but we had to make sure our product was perfect.

starting-a-bed-sheet-business-making-600k-in-first-8-months

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Colin McIntosh, on starting Sheets & Giggles ($200,000 revenue/mo) full story

83. Mental-health focused supplements ($200K/month)

Benjamin Hebert started Natural Stacks, which sells mental-health focused supplements.

  • Revenue: $200,000/month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 10

I have the best business partner, Roy. We operate almost like a restaurant where I’m front of the house and he’s back of the house. So he handled the manufacturing side for the initial product launch. We scoured the world to source the best possible ingredients.

In order to live by our mission of transparency, we decided to list all of our ingredients on our website.

This was unheard of for any supplement company because anyone could copy you. It’s kind of like a lamer version of Elon Musk opening up all of the Tesla patents. But we know it's for the greater good, so we’re all for it.

starting-a-mental-health-focused-supplements-company-and-growing-to-200-000-month

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Benjamin Hebert, on starting Natural Stacks ($200,000 revenue/mo) full story

84. Reusable collapsible straws ($0/month)

Emma Rose Cohen started Final Co., which sells reusable collapsible straws.

  • Revenue: $0/month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 4

We came up with the idea in October 2017 and found someone in Los Angeles who could mock up the CAD design for the case.

Then, we used standardized metal tubing and found a lathing shop in LA to create the tentpole like structure of the straw. We were stumped on what to do for the tubing.

When we launched the Kickstarter campaign, we had a goal of $12,500. In the first 48 hours, we raised over $200,000. By the end of the month we had raised $1.89 million. Our excitement quickly turned to dread—we had 5 months to design, manufacture and deliver 100,000 straws.

how-i-created-a-collapsible-metal-straw-and-raised-1-89m-on-kickstarter

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Emma Rose Cohen, on starting Final Co. ($0 revenue/mo) full story

85. Womens clothing ($200K/month)

Kristi Soomer started Encircled, which sells womens clothing.

  • Revenue: $200,000/month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 10

The product development process has changed dramatically since I first started Encircled.

I have no fashion background - I have a finance degree and an MBA, so at the beginning, I had no knowledge of how to make a garment. So, I took an illustration course, a sewing class, bought a few books, and visited a few fabric shows to educate myself on what goes into the fashion design process.

Early in my career, I worked for a home security provider, and I remember the CEO once saying that it costs 10-20x less to retain a customer than to get a new one. That has always stuck with me.

embracing-a-minimalist-wardrobe-and-building-a-business-around-it

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Kristi Soomer, on starting Encircled ($200,000 revenue/mo) full story

86. 3d printers for toys ($200K/month)

Ben Baltes started Toybox, which sells 3d printers for toys.

  • Revenue: $200,000/month
  • Founders: 4
  • Employees: 3

Before we even had a product we tested the market pretty extensively. Not many people know this, but Toybox started from a string of projects that we had. We had witnessed people waste a lot of time building out previous products that sounded cool but had no market so we got in the habit of testing concepts with the market before we built them.

With Toybox, we created a website advertising a product that didn’t exist. It was complete with a checkout which opened a notification that said the printer wasn’t available for purchase. We did initial tests and we saw that people were coming to our website and clicking the button to purchase at pretty high rates. On top of that, a few publications somehow found us and we're writing about us. We even got our first cease and desist within 2 weeks. We figured this attention was a good sign and that we could make a splash.

At that point, I quit my job and we put all of our money into making prototypes, by the time we had one that we thought was ready. We did our big launch on the website. We were expecting to sell 50-100 given that our email list was about 400 people strong. We ended up selling two, one was outside the country and we couldn't ship to him, and the other was in New York. After about a year of hard work, we had one sale to show for it, it was humiliating and I felt absolutely crushed- I let myself down and the entire team.

on-creating-a-3d-printer-and-creativity-platform-for-kids

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Ben Baltes, on starting Toybox ($200,000 revenue/mo) full story

87. Dissolvable protein scoops ($500K/month)

Joe Johnson started VADE Nutrition, which sells dissolvable protein scoops.

  • Revenue: $500,000/month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 7

When we started this business we had to search for partners and manufacturers. I reached out to over 100 manufacturers before finding one we wanted to work with. Once we found our manufacturers the problems started. Our first manufacturer cut off communication with us as soon as we were getting ready to launch.

We found another manufacturer and invested all of our money into this powder for our new launch. Unfortunately, this manufacturer was going out of business and they lied to us about the powder. They sent us protein powder with no flavoring whatsoever.

We took a step back and started the search again. During this time we were perfecting our product formula. The search was a very long trial and error but we did find the right one that could perfect the flavor and packaging we were looking for. My advice is to know what you’re looking for and what you want and don’t settle until you find that. You don’t need to settle because someone will be able to make it happen! I learned that you can never trust anyone too much, protect your brand and company.

how-i-started-a-protein-powder-business-and-landed-shark-tank

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Joe Johnson, on starting VADE Nutrition ($500,000 revenue/mo) full story

88. Barbecue tools & accessories ($333K/month)

Michael “Medium Rare” O’Donnell started Cave Tools, which sells barbecue tools & accessories.

  • Revenue: $333,333/month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1

When I first started out, my first product was as generic as they come. I literally found a supplier on Alibaba, wired a couple of thousand dollars to China, and crossed my fingers. Back then the market on Amazon was not as sophisticated so I was able to get away with this and still sell ok. There was definitely an element of good timing on my side because nowadays it would be very difficult to start this way.

When I first started out, my first product was as generic as they come. I literally found a supplier on Alibaba, wired a couple of thousand dollars to China, and crossed my fingers.

how-we-built-a-2m-year-business-selling-barbecue-tools

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Michael “Medium Rare” O’Donnell, on starting Cave Tools ($333,333 revenue/mo) full story

89. Furnace filters online supplier ($200K/month)

Jay Vasantharajah started PureFilters, which sells furnace filters online supplier.

  • Revenue: $200,000/month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 4

In order to buy furnace filters, most manufacturers require that someone in your company has a gas fitters license, something I did not have. I remember I had a friend from high school who was an HVAC contractor. I reached out to him and made a deal with him. I hired him as a consultant, which meant we were able to use his license to try to open up accounts with manufacturers.

Even with the license I got denied from just about every single manufacturer (due to lack of business history in HVAC) except one account. This manufacturer happened to be one of the most recognized HVAC brands (something I didn’t even know at the time). This stroke of luck seriously helped PureFilters grow and scale.

launching-a-furnace-filter-store-and-growing-to-60k-month

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Jay Vasantharajah, on starting PureFilters ($200,000 revenue/mo) full story

90. Shirts that start conversations ($200K/month)

TJ Mapes started RIPT Apparel, which sells shirts that start conversations.

  • Revenue: $200,000/month
  • Founders: 3
  • Employees: 0

The next piece of this puzzle was to find a screen printer who could print all the millions of t-shirts we were about to sell (hehe). We actually lucked out because Matt’s Dad was an investor in a small screen printing company back in our hometown.

This was a huge break for us because we didn’t have to search for a printer and we ended up getting a great deal on printing. PLUS they were going to fulfill all our orders for us too.

Things didn’t stay peachy for long though as the daily nature of the business proved difficult to keep up with and also this small printer wasn’t used to printing highly artistic designs with lots of colors and detailed halftones.

how-three-friends-launched-2-4m-t-shirt-startup-ript-apparel

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TJ Mapes, on starting RIPT Apparel ($200,000 revenue/mo) full story

91. Professional makeup courses ($200K/month)

Anastasia Andreani started Vizio Makeup Academy, which sells professional makeup courses .

  • Revenue: $200,000/month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 10

We invested an enormous amount of time and energy in developing this concept. We didn’t have a big budget to work with, so with very little capital, a lot of hard work and persistence, we did it ourselves. We didn’t hire any employees to help us in the beginning; it was just the two of us working nonstop, all hours of the night and every weekend, tirelessly. I find myself reminiscing of the past sometimes, and I can remember having only $100 in the bank, doubting and wondering if this was really a good idea to pursue. I can honestly say there was a voice inside me literally yelling at me with the answer YES, keep moving forward. We believed in ourselves and in each other so much that we knew in our hearts we were on the right path; we knew this was going to work and grow.

So, we started building it all from the ground up. All the makeup lessons and information taught within our courses are lessons that I and our elite makeup instructors have invested our time and hearts into. I have personally taken great pride in being able to offer my trade secrets and knowledge with others. I consider myself beyond lucky that my love of makeup and skincare, after many long years of hard work, has turned into a successful business for so many others to learn and grow from.

It was not easy at the beginning since we did not have thousands of dollars to invest. We learned everything we could about this business and how it works. Once the academy was built, we decided we wanted to create and design our own cosmetic line. We did not want to give students generic makeup products; we wanted to give them something we had created. The first 2 years were spent testing and trying new products until they worked. There was no giving up on anything we did; we kept fine-tuning and making it work.

how-i-started-a-200k-month-online-makeup-academy

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Anastasia Andreani, on starting Vizio Makeup Academy ($200,000 revenue/mo) full story

92. Hangover supplement ($200K/month)

Eddie Huai started Flyby, which sells hangover supplement.

  • Revenue: $200,000/month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1

Starting Flyby right out of college, I had little exposure to manufacturing, supply chain, and operations in the supplement industry, let alone running my own business. So there was definitely a little bit of a learning curve.

I started off doing due diligence on the regulatory landscape for supplements (via the FDA’s website) and came across what the FDA calls current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) regulations. This requires that manufacturers evaluate their products through testing identity, purity, strength, and composition so consumers know exactly what they’re inside.

flyby-selling-1m-of-hangover-pills-in-10-months

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Eddie Huai, on starting Flyby ($200,000 revenue/mo) full story

93. Knife sharpening ($200K/month)

Mikael Soderlindh started Knife Aid, which sells knife sharpening.

  • Revenue: $200,000/month
  • Founders: 5
  • Employees: 20

Our mission was to develop a sustainable business that does not contribute to more consumption, but instead maintains and restores the value of what we already own, while at the same time bringing joy to the preparation of what we like the most – food and life in the outdoors.

We have an appreciation for the craft of knife sharpening and know convenience is paramount in a day and age when everything is available to us at the click of a button. That is why we have taken the old trade of knife sharpening and modernized it to make it easy and accessible to anyone in the US via our online platform.

Whether you’re a professional chef, self-taught home cook, or just learning your way around the kitchen, you’ll quickly find that quality knife sharpening will add joy to your cooking.

how-we-started-a-200k-month-mail-knife-sharpening-service

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Mikael Soderlindh, on starting Knife Aid ($200,000 revenue/mo) full story

94. Four-way volleyball nets ($190K/month)

Chris Meade started CROSSNET, which sells four-way volleyball nets.

  • Revenue: $190,000/month
  • Founders: 3
  • Employees: 1

After rigging up our four-way volleyball prototype in the backyard we knew we had some work to do if we wanted to make our dream a reality. Nothing could be overlooked as we had to worry about everything from tension, stability, the net being tight enough, safety, the product being easy to set up, portability, and also coming up with an entire set of gameplay rules as we were fusing volleyball and four-square rules together.

Fortunately for us, we had an engineer on our side, and Mike handled all of the blueprint work and manufacturing conversations. After trying effortlessly to find a USA supplier to no luck, we vetted dozens of overseas manufactures from AliExpress and finally decided on one that excelled in sporting goods manufacturing. We then sent along with our blueprint, negotiated a small order for 100 units (around $5000), and waited patiently. Hindsight is always 20/20 but I wish we spent more time negotiating that first initial PO because you’ll always be working down from that initial number when your PO size scales.

You may feel like you’re at the mercy of the manufacturer, but in reality, there are dozens if not hundreds of other manufacturers that want your business. Negotiate early and often.

how-we-invented-a-2-5m-year-four-way-volleyball-net

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Chris Meade, on starting CROSSNET ($190,000 revenue/mo) full story

95. Kids vegan footwear & apparel ($185K/month)

Lisa Will started Stonz, which sells kids vegan footwear & apparel.

  • Revenue: $185,000/month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 7

It was now 2004, and I saw a need in the market for stay-on footwear for kids with chubby feet, who loved being on the go, like me! After searching the market in Whistler and my hometown Vancouver, I didn't find any footwear that would stay-on, go on quickly and easily, and be warm enough to be out for hours at a time. I met up with a friend who had taken a slipper and shrunken it down and I could see it would stay on. I knew I wanted to pursue this idea and I knew I’d be solving a problem. I felt I could run with this. I asked if she wanted to start a business with me. She lived in a different city and she hadn’t had any intention of starting a business. She said she’d think about it and get back to me. A few weeks went by and I was ready to jump into this with both feet. She eventually got back to me and said yes, she wanted to join me.

We incorporated, choosing the name Stonz for a shortened and more Google-friendly version of stay-on. And a name that didn’t sound like a feminine product with wings! I wanted a strong, grounded name that would enable our boots to become an eponym, like Kleenex, Bandaid, or Xerox. A “pair of Stonz” I thought sounded perfect!

Stonz’s initial product launched late in 2004. It was our stay-on bootie that would go over whatever the child was wearing on his/her feet. This could be onesies, knit booties, slip-on baby shoes. Any footwear. And with a fleece lining it could also be worn as main footwear as well as footwear to go over something.

how-i-started-a-185k-month-baby-and-children-vegan-footwear-brand

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Lisa Will, on starting Stonz ($185,000 revenue/mo) full story

96. Healthy meals delivered ($180K/month)

Mary Drennen started Nourish Foods Co., which sells healthy meals delivered.

  • Revenue: $180,000/month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 20

We spent a great deal of time and effort on our recipe development phase. Not only do the meals need to be delicious and nutritionally sound, but we also have to consider that the meals will be reheated in the microwave or oven (sometimes a few days from when it was made in our kitchen).

So we do a LOT of recipe testing and flavor/quality checks. Every component in every meal is made from scratch in our commercial kitchen, including mayonnaise and bone broths, etc.

We don’t outsource any part of the production process, so we can ensure our quality is the best on the market.

how-two-friends-bootstrapped-a-meal-delivery-startup-to-2m-year

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Mary Drennen, on starting Nourish Foods Co. ($180,000 revenue/mo) full story

97. Wiper blades with a purpose and windshield clarity products ($187K/month)

Billy westbrook started Scrubblade Inc., which sells wiper blades with a purpose and windshield clarity products.

  • Revenue: $187,000/month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 6

When trying to get a prototype made I found an invention company on TV and decided to give that a swing.

I borrowed $7k to have this company find a manufacturer, design a brochure and look into the patent process. Big waste of time and money. That was my first lesson learned and definitely not the last. During my detailing business I met a gentleman that was currently getting products made overseas. After months of washing his cars, I asked what he was doing with all these products in his garage. ( I thought he was an eBay seller.) He mentioned to me that if I had any ideas for products (that are good) he could get his broker to find a factory to work with me. I automatically told him about Scrubblade.

Our first packaging was just a competitor packaging wrapped in our artwork. Hey... you do what you gotta do.

how-i-invented-a-better-windshield-wiper-and-a-2m-year-business

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Billy westbrook, on starting Scrubblade Inc. ($187,000 revenue/mo) full story

98. Bento boxes ($167K/month)

Thomas Bertrand started Bento&co, which sells bento boxes.

  • Revenue: $167,000/month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 14

Thanks to the blog and my wife, I connected with a couple friends that helped me create and launch bentoandco.com. One was a graphic designer, and one was a developer. They helped me set up the original website using a customized Shopify theme. This back was when Shopify was in their Beta program. It was free to use, but they took a commission of your sales!

As far as getting the inventory, I went to a shop in Kyoto and wrote down on a piece of paper the name of two manufacturers. My wife and I contacted them, got their catalog, and ordered the products directly (paid cash at delivery). We got by without a fax machine for the entire year... this was a big achievement in Japan!

starting-an-e-commerce-store-in-japan-and-growing-to-167-000-month

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Thomas Bertrand, on starting Bento&co ($167,000 revenue/mo) full story

99. Sperm analysis and storage ($150K/month)

Khaled Kteily started Legacy, which sells sperm analysis and storage.

  • Revenue: $150,000/month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 6

This was actually extremely difficult. I had to reach out to my entire network to get connected to the types of agencies that could with the design, prototyping, testing, and manufacturing that we needed to be done.

Finally, I found an amazing industrial design agency in Europe that was willing to take a bold bet on us and worth it with an unknown start-up to design, prototype, test, and manufacture the product. Here, a warm introduction made all the difference.

Today, having been a founder for over two years and being part of the Y Combinator community, that process would be totally different. This is the kind of question you can ask in the Y Combinator Slack - or to your network of other entrepreneurs - and get an immediate answer to. “Who should we work with for manufacturing?” “Here’s a pre-screened list of 20 agencies across the world.”

how-we-started-a-150k-month-male-fertility-company-that-offers-sperm-analysis-and-storage

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Khaled Kteily, on starting Legacy ($150,000 revenue/mo) full story

100. Education 3d printers and 3d printable stem curriculum ($150K/month)

Braydon Moreno started Robo 3D, which sells education 3d printers and 3d printable stem curriculum.

  • Revenue: $150,000/month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 30

Our design process has changed quite a bit over the years.

When we were building our first machine, we created over 20 different concepts with a freelance designer and simply chose the one that we all thought was the coolest. We knew the framework had to be different than what was out there because we wanted to stand out in a lineup. We accomplished that with flying colors.

As we came to our second generation of machines, we had already defined our brand and our target demographics and it was more about compiling features and a style that appealed to the specific needs of that user base. We had a lot of feedback throughout the process from prototypical customers and it drove quite a bit of the direction and feature set. Then we added more touches that were crucial into making our 3D printers simple and easy to use, which everyone would appreciate and find pleasant.

raising-13x-their-original-kickstarter-goal-with-a-viral-3d-printer

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Braydon Moreno, on starting Robo 3D ($150,000 revenue/mo) full story

101. Southern handmade small-batch gifts ($150K/month)

Samuel Davidson started Batch Nashville, LLC, which sells southern handmade small-batch gifts.

  • Revenue: $150,000/month
  • Founders: 3
  • Employees: 6

We don’t make any of our own products; we buy goods from hundreds of small business owners and makers across the southern US. But, that means we’re constantly looking out for what’s new and fantastic when it comes to what others are making.

As an entrepreneur, the beginning can be really fun and sexy. Working long hours and doing hard work is a joy because you’re bootstrapping and chasing a big dream. But, even in the early days, that time is money and your sweat equity won’t scale long term.

For our first subscription shipment, we hit the pavement, attending local fairs and festivals and meeting makers who were selling at those events. We quickly found out that the maker community is highly networked and they helped us spread the word as well, giving us a bevy of options when it came to what to put in our first subscription shipments.

how-we-validated-and-launched-a-subscription-box-company

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Samuel Davidson, on starting Batch Nashville, LLC ($150,000 revenue/mo) full story

102. Finance courses ($150K/month)

Adam Tal started Pushtak, which sells finance courses.

  • Revenue: $150,000/month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 10

Creating online courses is pretty easy to start, which is also the achenes heel of this business, due to the low entry barrier. What I did know was that I took the term “MVP” SERIOUSLY.

This is crucial, because for more people, what they consider to be an MVP, is not really the minimum viable. I didn’t want a “lean” business, I wanted an “anorexic” business. I wanted to keep the same lifestyle affiliate marketing allowed me, with more control of the products, pricing, etc, but I didn’t want to get into expensive production, customer service, etc.

how-a-high-school-dropout-started-a-150k-month-online-courses-company

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Adam Tal, on starting Pushtak ($150,000 revenue/mo) full story

103. Bandage & bodycon dresses ($150K/month)

Sasithon Bella started The Kewl Shop, which sells bandage & bodycon dresses.

  • Revenue: $150,000/month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 6

We’re in the dress market, it’s fiercely competitive and dominated by huge brands with budgets much more significant than ours. We needed to walk before we could run.

The solution was a two week trip to China, the City of Guangzhou, bandage dress making capital of the world. The city is dotted with dress factories and markets and with the right contacts a wealth of opportunity.

We left Guangzhou with agreements to take the excess stock off three or four factories, but only when we made a sale. These agreements worked for both parties, the factories now had the possibility of dress sales that they didn’t have before, and we had access to stock at no upfront cost. Yes, these dress styles might have been a little dated, but we considered them classics.

leveraging-seo-to-grow-an-online-store-to-1-8m-per-year

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Sasithon Bella, on starting The Kewl Shop ($150,000 revenue/mo) full story

104. Skincare products ($150K/month)

Andy Hnilo started Alitura Naturals, which sells skincare products.

  • Revenue: $150,000/month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 6

Because of my appearance after the accident, I didn't really want to be seen in public; so I was left with a lot of time to research, create and test.

Jaw wired shut, front teeth missing, I would then start driving around Los Angeles with a little backpack filled with a bamboo bowl, a blend of organic essential oils, a mineral-rich blend of four clays, organic superfoods, a bottle of apple cider vinegar, other nutrient dense ingredients and of course the clay mask. Just seeking feedback. The response was incredible! I knew I had something special when I picked up a friend of mine who had seen me in the hospital just weeks earlier and was completely blown away by my appearance and how quickly it improved.

No website, no price, no company name, I continued to give the product away for about a year or two. What that did was allow me to beta test and get feedback on how to improve the product.

near-fatal-car-crash-to-150k-month-selling-skincare-products

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Andy Hnilo, on starting Alitura Naturals ($150,000 revenue/mo) full story

105. Portable pressurized showers ($150K/month)

Chris Crawford started RinseKit, which sells portable pressurized showers.

  • Revenue: $150,000/month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 3

The manufacturing process took a lot of time and a lot of attention. I had initial concepts from models I had made, but going into mass production required redesigns, constant testing, and a lot of back and forth with our manufacturers. Our product relies on a tool that is created out of something called a CAD file. The CAD file is essentially a 3D digital design model for an object. It took months for us to build the CAD file and design a product that functioned well and looked good.

Once we had approved design, I actually flew out to China where our product is manufactured. While I was there, I got to see the product being made, test it, and make changes in real-time. There are so many things that come up during the production process, it’s nice to be there in person to troubleshoot problems and brainstorm changes. I actually got to be there for the creation and refinement of the product- and that was big for us!

Once a small amount of the product was made, we began to test it to try to stretch the limits of what it could do and test for possible failures or defects. It takes a while to do a quality test on a new product, but it’s so worth it.

how-i-designed-a-150k-month-portable-pressurized-shower-and-went-on-shark-tank

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Chris Crawford, on starting RinseKit ($150,000 revenue/mo) full story

106. Time locking container ($150K/month)

David Krippendorf started Kitchen Safe, which sells time locking container.

  • Revenue: $150,000/month
  • Founders: 3
  • Employees: 3

I had this great idea, but lacked any experience or knowledge of how to develop a product or bring it to market. The idea sat there as a sketch for years, until one day I realized if I didn’t commit to making it happen, I would look back and regret it.

I reached out to Ryan Tseng, a classmate with a background in design, and over the last 18+ months we worked together to develop the Kitchen Safe.

The secret is that no one knows how to start a company until they start a company. We all learn best by doing. So, if you want to start a company, then start a company!

transforming-one-idea-into-a-150k-month-business

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David Krippendorf, on starting Kitchen Safe ($150,000 revenue/mo) full story

107. Dessert boxes ($150K/month)

Samantha Khater started Dessert Boxes, which sells dessert boxes.

  • Revenue: $150,000/month
  • Founders: 3
  • Employees: 20

When it came to creating our website, we knew it had to resemble an online gift giving store, which people were used to. This would make it easier to educate the market on what a Dessert Box was and for what occasions they could purchase one.

So we started by creating Shop by Occasion & Shop by recipient tabs which made it easier for people to navigate our website and make it a quicker process.

growing-a-dessert-box-company-to-150k-month-in-one-year

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Samantha Khater, on starting Dessert Boxes ($150,000 revenue/mo) full story

108. Vintage watches ($150K/month)

Christian Zeron started Theo & Harris, which sells vintage watches.

  • Revenue: $150,000/month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 3

Sourcing quality vintage watches is a full-time job. You're constantly on the phone with owners and wholesalers from all over the world, hunting for treasure and trying not to get robbed.

On a good day, with the perfect storm of prerequisite knowledge, attention and clientele, you can make $10,000 in 18 minutes.

We’ve put real stress on knowing our audience, too. Collecting information on our community, while previously a non-priority, is paramount if we’re going to operate on a higher level. We want to know exactly what they're looking for, so we can provide it.

how-i-started-a-1-8m-year-vintage-watch-company

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Christian Zeron, on starting Theo & Harris ($150,000 revenue/mo) full story
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Starter Story,   Founder of Starter Story