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

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

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. Start a diagnostic tools business ($50.4M/year)

Tyler Robertson from Irmo, South Carolina, USA started Diesel Laptops over 6 years ago, a diagnostic tools business.

  • Revenue: $4,200,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 180
  • Location: Irmo, South Carolina, USA

I had worked at commercial truck dealerships for my entire career.

Through those years, I’ve seen commercial trucks become more and more complex, and more difficult to diagnose. Customers kept asking me how they can perform their own diagnostics, or get their own repair information. All of this was confusing, difficult, and expensive for a customer to figure out on their own.

My employer asked me to make a decision -- Quit my side business and take a nice raise and bonus, or resign.

diesel-laptops-from-selling-on-ebay-to-making-20m-year

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Tyler Robertson, on starting Diesel Laptops ($4,200,000/month) full story ➜

2. Start a gardening tools company ($37.2M/year)

Nate Lipton from Tucson, Arizona, USA started Growers House about 10 years ago, a gardening tools company.

  • Revenue: $3,100,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 50
  • Location: Tucson, Arizona, USA

I wanted to get into the cannabis industry following graduation from the University of Oregon in 2010. The industry was starting to take off. I had recently finished an internship at Morgan Stanley, which put the final nail in the coffin determining that I would not be joining the financial sector--I’m just slightly too alternative to join the mercedes driving, country club crowd.

The month following graduation I moved into my brother's apartment in San Francisco and parked on his couch, applying to probably 30-50 cannabis-related companies a week. After about three weeks of my brother and his girlfriend probably thinking “how long will this kid crash here?” I got a couple of calls back, and I ended up landing a position as a mid-level manager at a dispensary. I worked at the dispensary for about six months before taking a job at another company that focused on selling cultivation equipment online.

My goal in working for diverse cannabis-related companies was to understand the industry holistically and figure out my best long-term place within. In the beginning, I first thought I would open a dispensary. Around 2011, opening a dispensary was for cowboys i.e., people with a high appetite for risk, willing to take on the possibility of law enforcement raiding your establishment--depending on the current local political climate. I decided this was too risky for me.

how-we-built-35m-plant-growing-empire-growershouse

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

3. Start a custom prints business ($36M/year)

Rishi Narayan from Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA started Underground Printing almost 21 years ago, a custom prints business.

  • Revenue: $3,000,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 250
  • Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA

My childhood friend, Ryan Gregg and I started the company in 2001 when we were sophomores at the University of Michigan. I learned about starting small businesses from my father, a professor of chemical engineering at Michigan State University who was also an entrepreneur. When I decided to pursue a degree in chemical engineering at Michigan, I assumed that learning about entrepreneurship would be part of my ChE degree. So in Ann Arbor, I was looking for an outlet for this entrepreneurial spirit. It wasn’t long before Gregg and I started a dorm-loft building business. Gregg, a civil engineering student, designed the lofts and I would sell them. Unfortunately, I soon realized that this enterprise would keep me active only for one week in September. I knew I wanted a business that I could pursue the other 51 weeks of the year.

It’s nice to be important but it’s more important to be nice.

We considered some other products we could sell on campus to our fellow students. In our sophomore year, we decided to start a t-shirt business—after all, everyone wore t-shirts and we had a little experience making t-shirts in high school. We named the company that we ran from our dorm room, A-1 Screenprinting, so our company would be first in the phone book. In 2003, we purchased a screen-printing business in Chelsea so we could increase our production capabilities. We thought that the company’s name seemed like a better fit for our company’s style, so we officially changed our company’s name to Underground Printing.

how-i-started-a-3m-month-custom-printed-apparel-company

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Rishi Narayan, on starting Underground Printing ($3,000,000/month) full story ➜

4. Become a vehicle exporter ($27.6M/year)

Nathan Huskins from Washington, Illinois, USA started Marshal Group LLC about 14 years ago, a vehicle exporter.

  • Revenue: $2,300,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 5
  • Location: Washington, Illinois, USA

Vehicle exporting is a fitting career choice for me because I have been enthusiastic about cars nearly my entire life. In fact, auto fervor runs in my family: my father was in the car business for 23 years. That close exposure to car sales, combined with the fact that my father owned a race car, fueled my passion for automobiles.

I began selling cars when I was 19 years old and specialized in sales at new car dealerships for six years. During that time, I learned the basics about exporting vehicles—which served as a solid foundation for launching my own exporting company.

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/month) full story ➜

5. Start a jewelry making business ($24M/year)

KC Holiday from Santa Ana, California, USA started QALO over 8 years ago, a jewelry making business.

  • Revenue: $2,000,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 45
  • Location: Santa Ana, California, USA

We are often asked the story of how we came up with the concept, and I wish I had some elaborate story about almost losing a finger, but my life isn’t dangerous enough for that.

The simple answer is, we got married.

Ted and I married our wives in 2012, a few months apart from one another. We were both living in Los Angeles pursuing a career in film and television, which really meant we spent a lot of our time working in a restaurant together.

how-kc-holiday-built-qalo-a-100mm-silicone-ring-business

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KC Holiday, on starting QALO ($2,000,000/month) full story ➜

6. Start a mystery game store ($60M/year)

Ryan Hogan from Baltimore, Maryland, USA started Hunt A Killer over 5 years ago, a mystery game store.

  • Revenue: $5,000,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 62
  • Location: Baltimore, Maryland, USA

I’ve spent the last 17 years serving in the United States Navy – separating from active service in 2017 to pursue entrepreneurship full-time while entering the Navy Reserves. A big part of separating from active service five years before retirement was my life-long passion for entrepreneurship. In 3rd grade it was hawking creepy crawlers for $0.25, at 12 years old it was snow removal and lawn mowing, then it was going to auctions and reselling on eBay… there was always something.

In 2009, my wife, Cherice, and I launched the activewear apparel company for service members, Warwear. This was my first dose of: “if you build it, they [don’t necessarily] come.” After acquiring more inventory than I’m comfortable sharing, we had a major problem: it wasn’t moving off the shelves. In 2010, I approached my good friend Derrick Smith with an idea: let’s create an adventure race so we could move Warwear apparel via ‘free’ participant shirts. After opening up a Men’s Health magazine and seeing a Warrior Dash ad (and knowing full-pagers were north of $150,000), I knew there had to be an opportunity in the space; and the new obstacle race company could reimburse for the apparel in exchange for seed capital.

Go with data, not your gut. The amount of time invested in data collection and analysis should be commensurate with the impact of the decision across the organization.

how-we-created-a-2m-month-subscription-based-mystery-games-business

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

7. Start a bedding company ($24M/year)

Aaron Spivak from Toronto, Ontario, Canada started Hush Blankets about 3 years ago, a bedding company.

  • Revenue: $2,000,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 20
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Who would have thought that a background in the software (ScopeLeads.io) and restaurant space (Revitasize.ca) would lead to a health product. We’ve always been entrepreneurs, both dropping out of university and with the mindset that we can create more for ourselves than school would ever provide us.

The idea for Hush started when my partner, Lior, worked at an overnight camp for special needs children. They had a room there called the "Stimulation Room" and it had all sorts of devices and tools that were sensory-related. One of them was a weighted blanket.

If your current idea isn’t successful, don’t give up until you’ve hustled at it for 4 months straight.

selling-anxiety-reducing-blankets-and-growing-to-50k-month

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Aaron Spivak, on starting Hush Blankets ($2,000,000/month) full story ➜

8. Start a hygiene product company ($60M/year)

Josh Elizetxe from Scottsdale, Arizona, USA started SNOW over 4 years ago, a hygiene product company.

  • Revenue: $5,000,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 25
  • Location: Scottsdale, Arizona, USA

Before I started Snow I used to have a couple of friends who were dentists and when I used to go to my dental appointments I would ask them what's missing the oral care space.

After doing my research I figured out that there wasn’t an oral care platform that primarily focused on their consumers’ cosmetic appearance. Now we’re creating our own toothpaste, mouthwash, and breath spray. I wanted a company that offered everything that a person needs to look and feel good.

It's expensive to do things right but it's more expensive to do things wrong.

how-i-started-a-2m-month-premium-oral-care-products-business

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Josh Elizetxe, on starting SNOW ($5,000,000/month) full story ➜

9. Start a digital wallet business ($18M/year)

Yavor Petrov from Varna, Varna, Bulgaria started iCard over 13 years ago, a digital wallet business.

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

My co-founding team and I had an idea, or a dream, to innovate and redefine card payments and make them more accessible and affordable. The idea for the so-called e-money solutions came to fruition way before the legislative body of the European Union defined guidelines, drafted laws and regulations for our industry.

Together we created the company from scratch and built a new real-time transaction processing system directly integrated with all major card schemes such as VISA, Mastercard, AMEX, JCB, UNION PAY.

Being a pioneer means going places no one has visited before.

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/month) full story ➜

10. Start a photo printing business ($18M/year)

Jainam Shah from Georgia started CanvasChamp over 9 years ago, a photo printing business.

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

It’s so happened that one beautiful day, I was just hanging out with my father an evening while we were discussing our family photos. My father suddenly picked up one photo from the album and said, “This is one of the best photos of us. How amazing would it had been that we could find a way to frame our favorite photos artistically.”

I had zero experience, but I did know from my previous job in college that I was good at learning and collecting from data, setting up and building experiments over and over again, and making business decisions with the information provided to me. I believe that this is one of the most important qualities you can have to be a successful entrepreneur.

Suddenly it dawned on me that I should get the photo that my father likes so much, framed. But I checked out the market and saw that the market had split between low-cost providers that would personalize your products very cheaply (of questionable quality) and designers who would personalize your products very expensively (and still of dubious quality). And I only found an opportunity for business in personalized products that way. So I thought to focus on filling a gap which delivered more premium products but well below the designer prices.

how-we-started-a-1-5m-month-custom-canvas-prints-business-online

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Jainam Shah, on starting CanvasChamp ($1,500,000/month) full story ➜

11. Start a mattress brand ($42M/year)

Julien Sylvain from Paris, Ile-de-France, France started Tediber almost 7 years ago, a mattress brand.

  • Revenue: $3,500,000/ month
  • Founders: 4
  • Employees: 40
  • Location: Paris, Ile-de-France, France

Juan Pablo and Jean-Christophe (2 of my now 3 co-founders) started our first company right after graduation.

They were industrial designers and I was a business student - we met during entrepreneurship class and we started to work on a cardboard furniture project as a school project. Quickly, the projected moved to a passionate humanitarian project: cardboard furniture for natural disasters relief that are manufactured locally, close to the need and thus delivered very quickly.

I learned that selling a cheap product or an expensive product requires almost the same efforts!

how-four-friends-started-the-1-mattress-company-in-france

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Julien Sylvain, on starting Tediber ($3,500,000/month) full story ➜

12. Start a pet store ($14.4M/year)

Justin Palmer from Anaheim, California, USA started iHeartDogs over 8 years ago, a pet store.

  • Revenue: $1,200,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 50
  • Location: Anaheim, California, USA

I’m a very unlikely person to have started a pet product company. Growing up, I was highly allergic to both dogs and cats. After getting married, my wife begged me to get a dog. I fought the idea for months, but after a while, she convinced me to go visit a husky rescue.

We fell in love with a 2-year-old husky named Splash who was found wandering in the mountains near our home. But there was just one problem, the moment I walked in the door of the rescue, I had a severe allergy attack.

So we did the most logical thing, of course, adopted her anyway. Somehow, I never had an allergy to her again.

how-we-started-a-1-2m-month-lifestyle-store-for-dog-owners

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Justin Palmer, on starting iHeartDogs ($1,200,000/month) full story ➜

13. Start a drinkware brand ($144M/year)

Dylan Jacob from Indianapolis, Indiana, USA started BrüMate about 5 years ago, a drinkware brand.

  • Revenue: $12,000,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 20
  • Location: Indianapolis, Indiana, USA

BruMate is my 3rd company but the first where I was actually doing any real product development or design. My first company I started in high-school was a part supply company for repair shops / tech centers (batteries, LCD screens, flex cables, etc).

I went on to sell that company to a franchise customer of ours in 2014 after I dropped out of engineering school and decided to pursue entrepreneurship full time.

I thought the idea of creating a product people actually needed and being able to walk around and see people using my creation was the absolute coolest concept.

growing-a-brand-to-1-1m-month-at-23-years-old

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Dylan Jacob, on starting BrüMate ($12,000,000/month) full story ➜

14. Start a speaker store ($12M/year)

Johnathan Price from Las Vegas, Nevada, USA started Down4SoundShop.Com almost 6 years ago, a speaker store.

  • Revenue: $1,000,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 5
  • Location: Las Vegas, Nevada, USA

I’ve always been into car audio since I was 13-14. The older I got, the more obsessed with it I became. The very first system I had was 2 -12s on a 900-watt amp. Now the system in my Tahoe that’s known all across the world has over 78 speakers and 100,000 watts!

The bigger my system would get over the years, the more crazy reactions I would get from it every time I took it to car shows. The more it impressed people the more they started asking “Man where do you get your equipment from?”. Then one day, the light bulb went off in my head! I COULD BE SELLING THESE PEOPLE THIS STUFF! And from there the idea of down4sound was born! But, it was just an idea! I had no idea how to start a business, run a business… or anything about business really. I thought maybe I could figure it out but that was about it. All I could do is give it my best!

At the time I was pumping gas at an airport in the city of Greenville, Making I think $12 an hour and was super broke. I pretty much lived paycheck to paycheck even while living with my parents. It’s where I was born and raised. I did that full time while I cut grass on the side for some extra cash. My dad taught me how to cut the grass when I was younger as a way to make money to buy toys/candy or whatever else I wanted at that age. I kept cutting grass up until the time I decided to move to Las Vegas where I now don’t need to and also don’t have time to.

how-i-started-a-1m-month-brand-dedicated-to-car-audio

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

15. Start a smart home camera business ($12M/year)

Yun Zhang from Kirkland, Washington, USA started Wyze Cam over 4 years ago, a smart home camera business.

  • Revenue: $1,000,000/ month
  • Founders: 4
  • Employees: 30
  • Location: Kirkland, Washington, USA

Wyze has four co-founders and we all met while working at Amazon. As a team, we have a very deep understanding of retail operations, including both e-commerce and big box chains. Team members have worked at Microsoft, Best Buy, REI, Groupon, etc. At each of these companies, as well as Amazon, roles varied between team members. Some of our team members have expertise in operations, some in marketing, some in sales, and so on. We complement each other very well when we bring it all together. This is absolutely at the core of our success since we are able to see problems from many angles and perspectives.

We discovered that in the smart home market, customers only have two options:

  1. Expensive premium brands
  2. Cheap, low quality me-too brands with little-to-no customer service.

going-viral-and-selling-300-000-cameras-in-6-months

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Yun Zhang, on starting Wyze Cam ($1,000,000/month) full story ➜

16. Start a skin care product line ($12M/year)

Kevin Gianni from Berkeley, California, USA started Annmarie over 12 years ago, a skin care product line.

  • Revenue: $1,000,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 26
  • Location: Berkeley, California, USA

We didn’t necessarily start out seeking to start a skincare company, it’s just something that sort of happened. It’s a pretty messed up industry. The dirty little secret in the skin care industry is that many companies are not required to fully disclose all of the ingredients they put into their products. The proof? You don’t have to go much further than the FDA website. According to the FDA, “It is the manufacturer's and/or distributor's responsibility to ensure that the products are labeled properly.” So what this means is that the skin care industry is currently not required to fully disclose all of the ingredients in their products. So we really wanted to change it.

The most learned is from the direct response from people.

It all started when Annmarie and I traveled across North and South America on a two-year journey to track down the best natural care products and protocols to share with our YouTube viewers. One question that we would always get asked was, “Annmarie, what products do you use for your skin?” We combed through our cupboards examining the labels and were horrified that there was nothing met our standards. Shortly after our trip, we decided to find a product line that we could recommend.

how-we-went-from-youtubers-to-1m-month-skin-care-business

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Kevin Gianni , on starting Annmarie ($1,000,000/month) full story ➜

17. Start a dog treat business ($21M/year)

Kyle Goguen from Los Angeles, California, USA started Pawstruck almost 8 years ago, a dog treat business.

  • Revenue: $1,750,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 25
  • Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

I'll always be an entrepreneur at heart. I founded my first eBay store at 16 when local restaurants refused to hire me—apparently having zero work experience isn't a desirable attribute.

eBay was my marketplace of choice for the next two years. From electronics to designer women's clothing, I sold anything and everything I could get my hands on.

One thing I have learned to do is give up micro-managing. As a leader, giving up control is hiring capable people to handle tasks that you need not do.

how-kyle-goguen-started-an-online-pet-supply-business

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Kyle Goguen, on starting Pawstruck ($1,750,000/month) full story ➜

18. Start a laptop accessories brand ($24M/year)

Jack Yao from Boston, Massachusetts, USA started Mobile Pixels over 3 years ago, a laptop accessories brand.

  • Revenue: $2,000,000/ month
  • Founders: 3
  • Employees: 4
  • Location: Boston, Massachusetts, USA

I have used multiple screens my entire life as a professional and as a student. When I was forced to work on a small laptop screen at Amazon, I could not help but think about how much productivity was being lost across from the organization. That was the light bulb moment for me.

It is important to know your market and market size and then crafts your service or product specifically for that market.

I was discussing this problem over lunch with a colleague, and the idea of sliding a second monitor out from behind the first just came naturally. It was an idea that I could not shake.

how-we-designed-a-1m-month-portable-monitor-for-laptops

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Jack Yao, on starting Mobile Pixels ($2,000,000/month) full story ➜

19. Start a quilt business ($9.6M/year)

Ross Lohr from Boston, Massachusetts, USA started Project Repat over 9 years ago, a quilt business.

  • Revenue: $800,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 2
  • Location: Boston, Massachusetts, USA

The Project Repat story starts in Nairobi, Kenya, where I was doing non-profit education work. After sitting in traffic for 2 hours, he discovered the cause of the jam: an overturned fruit and vegetable rickshaw pushed by a Kenyan man wearing a t-shirt that said “I Danced My Ass Off at Josh’s Bar Mitzvah”

Amazed by all the incredible t-shirts that get sold off and sent overseas by nonprofit and for-profit companies in America, we began working with Kenyan artisans to design new products out of castaway t-shirts, including bags, scarves, and re-fabricated t-shirts.

The next thing we knew, we had sold 2,000 quilts in a week and that put $80,000 in our bank account. At the time, that felt like the most money we would ever see in our lives. We were sleeping in our office and showering at the gym at that time.

project-repat-10mm-business-making-quilts-from-old-t-shirts

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Ross Lohr, on starting Project Repat ($800,000/month) full story ➜

20. Start a cycling tools business ($9M/year)

Chris Parr from Marlow Bottom, England, United Kingdom started Pro Bike Tool over 6 years ago, a cycling tools business.

  • Revenue: $750,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 2
  • Location: Marlow Bottom, England, United Kingdom

We both built our careers in commercial roles, with Chris working in sales, marketing and eCommerce across a range of multinational brands such as the BBC, Royal Mail, and The Post Office, while Nicole’s background is in sales and commercial relationship management in the airline industry.

PRO BIKE TOOL was born when Chris decided he’d reached the stage where he wanted to try something new in a field, he felt passionate about. Being an active runner and cyclist, Chris saw his future in the sports industry. As a bike rider, he’s always thought that bike tools sold through traditional retailers were expensive and sometimes over-engineered, while online brands lacked quality.

The single most important thing in the early years, and maybe the hardest thing to develop initially, is the right mindset. Resilience is key.

how-we-started-a-750k-month-amazon-bestselling-cycling-tools-company

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

21. Start a children's clothing business ($9M/year)

Erin E Hooley from Rhome, Texas, USA started Bailey's Blossoms ago, a children's clothing business.

  • Revenue: $750,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 35
  • Location: Rhome, Texas, USA

Married two weeks after my 19th birthday, I had six children by the age of 28. I hold no degree and have completed no formalized training. I don't even know how to sew! My journey started selling hair accessories on Etsy as a side project to keep me busy and provide some greatly needed financial relief after my husband had graduated from school.

A product without a person is just a product. If you can manage to connect with people on a personal level, you will have a fan for life. And a fan is a thousand times more valuable than simply another customer.

Upon his graduation, we were in a mountain of debt and forced to do a Short Sale on our Arizona home as we moved to Michigan for his work. I taught preschool out of our home until Bailey's Blossoms grew to the size that I could make it a more full-time endeavor. I started making tutus and other higher-value items to increase my dollar per hour earnings.

how-i-started-a-750k-month-infant-and-toddler-clothing-brand

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

22. Start a supplements company ($12M/year)

Patrick Sullivan Jr. from Scottsdale, Arizona, USA started Jigsaw Health over 16 years ago, a supplements company.

  • Revenue: $1,000,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 24
  • Location: Scottsdale, Arizona, USA

For over 30 years, my Dad struggled on and off with various health challenges -- fatigue, insomnia, gastro-intestinal problems, and depression.

This was back in the mid-1980s -- pre-internet -- so Dad would read every health book he could get his hands on. And just about every book had a section on “Magnesium Deficiency”... As Dad walked through the list of symptoms he thought, “Well, I’m definitely Magnesium deficient, I got all of these!”, so he’d go to the store and grab the first Magnesium supplement he could find.

But there was one tiny problem. Well, actually a BIG problem! Most ordinary Magnesium supplements act like a laxative. (Think “Milk of Magnesia”.) And because Dad was struggling with gastrointestinal issues -- caused by lack of Probiotics -- regular drugstore Magnesium went right through him.

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/month) full story ➜

23. Start a mens grooming product ($7.8M/year)

Matt Dryfhout from Chicago, Illinois, USA started BAKblade almost 9 years ago, a mens grooming product.

  • Revenue: $650,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 10
  • Location: Chicago, Illinois, USA

After personally experiencing the embarrassing reality of having back hair my wife Angelina would often grudgingly take on the role of shaving my back for me in order to keep myself from looking like a gorilla at the beach. It wasn’t until 2008 when a downturn in the economy forced us to think about developing our own product and brand that we could maintain more control over.

After many discussions that circled around our own problems or inconveniences that we’ve encountered in life it wasn’t until the subject of “back hair” came up that we both realized it was a problem for both of us and we knew we weren’t the only couple dealing with it.

Soon after the video was posted it collected about 30 million hits in the first 72 hours and afterwards went onto do a collective 240 million hits on Facebook pages owned by Mashable, Yahoo, MSN, CNBC, Fortify, and several others.

bakblade-7m-per-year-shaving-men-s-hairy-backs

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Matt Dryfhout, on starting BAKblade ($650,000/month) full story ➜

24. Start a hair product line ($7.8M/year)

Mikey Moran from Atlanta, Georgia, USA started Private Label Extensions almost 9 years ago, a hair product line.

  • Revenue: $650,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 20
  • Location: Atlanta, Georgia, USA

At lunch, one day my business partner was telling me about his girlfriend who was spending almost $700 at the hair salon to get extensions. I instantly thought there could be a huge opportunity here because someone is making a lot of money off hair clients. After digging a little deeper, I found out the insane amount woman was paying for hair extensions.

As a product guy, I quickly learned everything I could about hair extensions. Where the best places to source and manufacture. I have worked hard to bring the best quality products for the lowest cost to the USA market. My previous experience selling online gave me a good background in E-Commerce which helped a lot.

Now I spend about a month a year working with manufacturers in China to ensure we are on top of production and standards. Building relationships has been a huge part of our growth and success.

how-i-started-a-650k-month-hair-extensions-and-products-business

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

25. Start a solar energy business ($7.2M/year)

David Gomez from California, USA started Clean Energy Solutions almost 8 years ago, a solar energy business.

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

As far back as I can remember I’ve always wanted to have my own business. I didn’t go to college (besides a few junior college classes). Instead, I started working in sales, first selling car insurance for a few years, and then making the jump into mortgage loans. After a few years of gaining experience, I opened up my own mortgage company and rode the wave of the mid-2000’s real estate boom. It was an incredibly lucrative time and it seemed like it would go on forever. However, by the end of the decade, the good times were over and the recession hit. Although I hung in there and we did extremely well for several years in a down economy, I still ended up having to shut down my company. During this time I experienced some of the most challenging times of my life and career.

After rolling with the punches, I started looking for the next business opportunity to get involved with. A friend of mine had been telling me for several years about solar power and how renewable energy was the future. After doing some research, I realized what a great opportunity it was.

  • There’s an unlimited amount of solar energy.
  • Solar is clean energy compared to fossil fuels that damage the environment.
  • Solar energy is a cheaper source of energy than fossil fuels, in the majority of markets.
  • Power purchase agreement (PPA) allows a homeowner to get a solar system without having to actually purchase the system. There is not a purchase loan or lien required on a client’s home.

how-i-started-a-600k-month-company-selling-low-cost-solar-energy

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

26. Start a dolly product ($7M/year)

Michael Reznik from Columbus, Ohio, USA started Upcart over 6 years ago, a dolly product.

  • Revenue: $583,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 4
  • Location: Columbus, Ohio, USA

Some great companies are started by very unlikely business partners.

I was at my Dad’s birthday party and was sitting next to a long-time family friend, Leonid Khodor (my Dad’s age), an engineer and patent agent. During the course of the evening, after a few libations, Leonid shared that he had invented this new product but wasn’t sure how to turn it into a business.

Many people write/advise that you must be “All-In” to make a business successful… that’s easy to say if you don’t have a wife, two kids, car payments and a mortgage.

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

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Michael Reznik, on starting Upcart ($583,000/month) full story ➜

27. Start a niche accessories brand ($18M/year)

Olivier Momma from Amsterdam, North Holland, The Netherlands started Ekster over 6 years ago, a niche accessories brand.

  • Revenue: $1,500,000/ month
  • Founders: 3
  • Employees: 18
  • Location: Amsterdam, North Holland, The Netherlands

We launched the company on Kickstarter, a few months after Rick and I met in the USA. We were both on a Fulbright scholarship in Pittsburgh, and being Dutch gave us something to bond over. Both of us knew from day one that we wouldn’t end up working a 9-to-5 job and were both keen on building something from the ground up. In addition, we had a couple of frustrations in common, one of which was; why are all the things you carry with you on a daily basis not evolving as quickly as our phones are? Take the traditional leather bi-fold wallet for example. Why does it have so little security built into it and why is it still so bulky?

I quickly learned that Rick was always searching for his wallet, his cards, his keys - sometimes he found them, and sometimes he didn’t - but we spent so much time looking for stuff that we thought, hey, we can probably make this easier. A quick search on Kickstarter validated our frustration, we were going to build the “Next Generation Wallet”.

We validated the product through market research; we started with our own demographic and surveyed our peers to see if there was an interest in what would become the Parliament. We received positive responses, which gave us one certain demographic to work with. A big part of building Ekster was using our own frustrations, little annoyances which we wanted to go away, to make products that can do the same for other people.

raising-1m-on-kickstarter-to-launch-a-500k-month-time-saving-accessories-brand

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Olivier Momma, on starting Ekster ($1,500,000/month) full story ➜

28. Start a golf club brand ($12M/year)

Tyler Sullivan from Williston, Vermont, USA started BombTech Golf about 10 years ago, a golf club brand.

  • Revenue: $1,000,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 2
  • Location: Williston, Vermont, USA

I grew up playing golf and was obsessed with the game. After college, I started "competing" in long drive, which is like the home run derby of golf. I wasn’t that good, but I started assembling my own golf drivers and at one point had 30 golf drivers in my bag. I was always searching for more distance and performance.

I started out by wholesaling and building custom golf drivers, this was my proof of concept. Initially I sold very few, but I still remember the first time I got a sale notification on my cell phone, while being on my boat.

At that point I knew that this was my destiny. I just sold something, while I was on a boat!! My mind was completely blown.

selling-premium-golf-clubs-and-growing-to-500k-month

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Tyler Sullivan, on starting BombTech Golf ($1,000,000/month) full story ➜

29. Start a digital subscription business ($6M/year)

Will Seippel from Atlanta, Georgia, USA started WorthPoint Corporation over 14 years ago, a digital subscription business.

  • Revenue: $500,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 8
  • Location: Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Around 2002, a convergence of professional and personal factors aligned to inspire what became WorthPoint.com.

I had a growing family and wanted to settle down after many years and frequent moves in corporate America. I also had a lot of fun and enjoyed lucrative success selling items on eBay, juxtaposed with increasing frustration over the laborious process researching items of unknown value.

To start a business you must be equal parts entrepreneurial and optimistic. Things usually take longer than planned and only gain complexity as they take shape.

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

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Will Seippel, on starting WorthPoint Corporation ($500,000/month) full story ➜

30. Start a men's underwear brand ($24M/year)

Fran Dunaway from Seattle, Washington, USA started TomboyX over 8 years ago, a men's underwear brand.

  • Revenue: $2,000,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 34
  • Location: Seattle, Washington, USA

When we started the company, my co-founder (and wife) Naomi and I didn’t know a knit from a woven. We just had a burning desire to make beautiful button-up shirts, like a Ben Sherman for women.

We wanted to create a shirt with fine quality fabric, fun details and fit for a woman’s body. At the time, we both had careers that we loved and made a decent living with vacations and paychecks… This was just a side project for us.

We chose the name TomboyX because we thought it was cute.

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

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Fran Dunaway, on starting TomboyX ($2,000,000/month) full story ➜

31. Start a supplements company ($30M/year)

Nick Bare from Austin, Texas, USA started Bare Performance Nutrition almost 10 years ago, a supplements company.

  • Revenue: $2,500,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 23
  • Location: Austin, Texas, USA

In 2012 I was a junior in college studying Nutrition at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. I was also in the ROTC program there so I knew that upon graduating college I would be commissioning into the US Army as an officer.

My friends and I were your typical broke college students and we loved weight training. Because we couldn’t continue to buy our own pre-workout supplements due to personal funds, or lack thereof, we decided to all go in together and purchase bulk ingredients to make our own pre-workout supplements.

Many of these college students, and friends of mine, took out this $25K loan to buy new cars, take vacations, get engaged and married, but I decided that this would be my funding to launch my company.

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

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Nick Bare, on starting Bare Performance Nutrition ($2,500,000/month) full story ➜

32. Start an online jewelry store ($6M/year)

Julien Plouffe from Miami, Florida, USA started Moonglow Jewelry over 9 years ago, a online jewelry store.

  • Revenue: $500,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 11
  • Location: Miami, Florida, USA

Unfortunately, I was always messing around in school, I loved socializing and was friends with everyone, I was pretty bad at everything except theater and sports. Bad in a classroom setting, but I flourished out in a crowd selling.

When I turned 16, the principal told my father I should quit school and work for him. I did. My father had a pitch business selling infomercial-type products in fairs across the United States, but most products I sold were either passing trends or did not hold my interest, at least not until Moonglow.

In 2011 at a fair in Springfield, MA called The Big E is where my life changed direction a bit. I was 23. I was selling Moonglow for the first time and the sales were great. People loved the idea, the concept, and I knew this was the product I wanted to focus on and could really build a brand.

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

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Julien Plouffe, on starting Moonglow Jewelry ($500,000/month) full story ➜

33. Start a streetwear brand ($13.2M/year)

Andrew and Phillip Pevzner from Albany, New York, USA started LacedUp over 5 years ago, a streetwear brand.

  • Revenue: $1,100,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 40
  • Location: Albany, New York, USA

I am 23 years old and my brother Phillip is currently 24. Business and entrepreneurship have always been big passions for us. Laced Up was founded about 3.5 years ago, but there were 4 businesses before it, starting with a lawn care venture at age 10, that rolled into one another, leading us to this point. Our parents were immigrants from Belarus, and we grew up poor in New York. They always encouraged an entrepreneurial spirit in us, and as we grew up they started multiple businesses of their own.

Early on, we would hire our friends and anyone that was willing to work. To this day, not a single one of our original staff is still with us. Hiring the wrong people for the job will make your life miserable.

Our first business was a lawn care service we did in elementary school. We would go around and offer to mow neighbors lawns for some money. When middle school came around and Phil was about to get his driver’s license, we started a new venture based on Phil’s love of everything automotive, called Motorhead Parts. We would buy crashed motorcycles, ATVs, and dirt bikes on craigslist and part them out on eBay. This was our first taste of the opportunities of selling online. That business continued through high school, but it was not an easy business to run. Having to take apart and clean greasy mud-covered parts really helped to give some perspective for years to come. We finally ended the business in 2013, but soon after started up a new one in 2014, right after we both graduated from high school.

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

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Andrew and Phillip Pevzner, on starting LacedUp ($1,100,000/month) full story ➜

34. Start a meal prep business ($7.2M/year)

Joey van Koningsbruggen from Amsterdam, North Holland, The Netherlands started Jimmy Joy over 7 years ago, a meal prep business.

  • Revenue: $600,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 30
  • Location: Amsterdam, North Holland, The Netherlands

I got annoyed with having to choose between healthy or fast food. So I set out to create healthy fast food. Which then became a mission to create the healthiest meal scientifically possible. Starting with interns from the University of Wageningen and by partnering with a large manufacturer of baby food, the first recipe was created to be as close to health recommendations from the World Health Organisation.

When the company grew I hired a food technologist, a research analyst and worked with certified dietitians to do in house research to improve further health. Food is more than just the nutritional makeup however and recent updates focussed on flavor and sustainability too. Real fruit was added to improve flavoring and the highest quality ingredients were sourced to create not only the best in nutrition but also in texture, creating a smooth milkshake-like experience.

When I started there was nothing like it in Europe, I made it because I really wanted the product to existing here like it did in the US. The US company was focussed on making meals as close in the experience of drinking water. I immediately felt the need to work on taste. Even though the focus of our meals is nutrition, the taste is still very important, which is why I started with different flavours and options, flavoring with real fruit, vanilla sticks, and cacao.

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/month) full story ➜

35. Start a shoe brand ($18M/year)

Steven Sashen from Broomfield, Colorado, USA started Xero Shoes about 12 years ago, a shoe brand.

  • Revenue: $1,500,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 44
  • Location: Broomfield, Colorado, USA

Lena and I were retired from 2000-2009 thanks to some clever real estate investing and passive income from some Internet businesses I had built. But with the crash in 2008, things were changing.

Coincidentally, in 2007, at the age of 45, I got back into competitive sprinting, and was getting injured all the time. A friend who is a world champion cross country runner suggested I try running barefoot to see if that helped with my injuries.

If you’re a true entrepreneur, there’s no way I can convince you not to start your own business (no matter how bad your idea may be)

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

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

36. Start a towels business ($5.4M/year)

Andy Jefferies from Sydney, New South Wales, Australia started Dock and Bay about 6 years ago, a towels business.

  • Revenue: $450,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 12
  • Location: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Personally, I always knew I would have my own business. I watched my dad run his own recruitment agency from a young age and I loved the freedom that came with being your own boss. Even though I studied Business Management at Leeds University in England, I didn’t start my own business straight away as I needed to find something I was passionate about first.

Don’t be put off by the big picture, doing all the small steps first allows you to get started. Things like deciding on a company name, registering your company, purchasing your domain, designing a logo... All of these small steps can get you inspired and help you move forward with your goals.

Ben and I came up with the idea after we had been traveling a few years ago. We hated using soggy, bulky towels that took up your suitcase space and had a weird odour after a few washes. We wanted to create a towel that didn’t hold you back from exploring, and all of the other quick dry towels we found were small or had dull colours. We didn’t have any expertise in this space and we both worked in finance at the time, so we took a huge risk, packed in our jobs and started researching manufacturers to make our dream towel.

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

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

37. Start a motorcycle parts business ($7.2M/year)

Justin Pflanz from Lincoln, Nebraska, USA started TAB Performance almost 18 years ago, a motorcycle parts business.

  • Revenue: $600,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 9
  • Location: Lincoln, Nebraska, USA

My Brother and I grew up in a very entrepreneurial family. Our parents had started, grown and sold several companies growing up and it’s something we both had a passion for.

We’ve also always felt that our personalities and experiences complimented each other well. Generally speaking, I tend to be more detail oriented and risk averse whereas my brother is better at looking at the big picture and is more comfortable taking risks. I went to college and got a degree in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in business and he got his degrees in both Business Administration and Marketing.

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

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Justin Pflanz, on starting TAB Performance ($600,000/month) full story ➜

38. Start an iot startup ($4.8M/year)

Anthony Chow from Singapore, Singapore started Igloohome over 4 years ago, a IoT startup.

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

As Airbnb hosts, our co-founders faced the frustrations of the inconvenience of physical key exchanges, especially when guests wanted to check in at odd hours. As such, the team wanted to enhance the experience of both hosts and guests and therefore set out to eliminate such problems.

Subsequently, we discovered that the management of access is a problem that is not limited to Airbnb—most home and property owners faced similar issues. As such, we developed our products and app further to cater to different market segments.

The response to the product has been very good. We received a lot of feedback from customers saying that they really appreciate the product works offline - maintenance of the lock is minimal for them, and it's very easy for them to grant access when they're away from home. As such, we continued our efforts in improving our products’ user experience till where we are today.

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

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Anthony Chow, on starting Igloohome ($400,000/month) full story ➜

39. Start a women's clothing line ($7.2M/year)

Christina DuVarney from California, USA started Beautiful Disaster over 13 years ago, a women's clothing line.

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

The Beautiful Disaster brand was built to inspire women to move closer to happiness and further from pain. We have failed more times than we can count, much like the women in this tribe! Through years of ups and downs, we were able to create the brand we always wanted.

Being able to make a positive impact on someone makes all the hard work worth it!

I wanted to create a brand that was like no other and had a purpose behind it. Before starting the brand, I worked as a personal stylist for VH1 reality shows, such as Rock of Love, Daisy of Love & Charm School. I had extensive job experience and an eye for fashion but had no idea how to run a clothing company but I didn’t let that stop me. I believe in life you have to start right where you are and figure it out as you go.

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

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Christina DuVarney, on starting Beautiful Disaster ($600,000/month) full story ➜

40. Start an online wine business ($12M/year)

Agent Red from Santa Rosa, CA, USA started The Wine Spies almost 15 years ago, a online wine business.

  • Revenue: $1,000,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 6
  • Location: Santa Rosa, CA, USA

I had spent most of my professional career in high-tech and with the advent of the Internet, I dove headlong into eCommerce. I had worked on successful projects with the likes of Philips, Sony, KMPG, Urban Decay, and others, helping them early on to define and launch their Internet presence and eCommerce strategy.

On one thrilling project for the San Francisco Newspaper Agency, the company that I was running hired a skilled developer. At the conclusion of that project, I became friends with their lead on the project. We stayed friends and had many discussions about one day starting a business together. I made a life change and moved up to Sonoma County where I started a joint venture company with a Swiss toy manufacturer. They had a great guy named Alex join our California team, helping to liaise between California and Switzerland. Alex loved wine and he felt like a kid in a candy store in Sonoma Wine Country. He would take us along on outings to wineries and I work up to just how big the industry was - and how badly it needed a trusted online source for fine wines. We wrapped up our joint venture a year later, and I set about to figure out what my next startup would be.

I literally went door to door, visiting with hundreds of wineries and trying to describe to them this new-fangled ‘flash sale’ business model.

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

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Agent Red, on starting The Wine Spies ($1,000,000/month) full story ➜

41. Start a jewelry making business ($4.8M/year)

Diane Lawrence & Dawn Pochek from Colombia started Inspiranza Designs almost 16 years ago, a jewelry making business.

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

Dawn and I were lunch friends at the law firm that we both worked for years. We would often eat our lunch and discuss how we thought that God had a greater plan for us and how we would love to start our own business someday. Dawn had a fine jewelry background so she had insight as to how to get started and wholesale vendors to use. I had an IT background and was the firm's IT Manager. These two things were the perfect ingredients for the birth of Inspiranza Designs. One day she came to ask if I wanted to sell sterling silver jewelry with her at home parties. I thought it would be an awesome Idea as jewelry was something that we both loved!

After just one night of pondering the idea, I came back to Dawn with an even bigger idea! Why don’t we start our own direct sales business and provide the opportunity for other women to own their own business? Dawn agreed!

Only spend what you have.

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/month) full story ➜

42. Start a seeds business ($4.8M/year)

Parker Garlitz from Salt Lake City, Utah, USA started True Leaf Market over 47 years ago, a seeds business.

  • Revenue: $400,000/ month
  • Founders: 4
  • Employees: 95
  • Location: Salt Lake City, Utah, USA

Our history is a little complicated because True Leaf Market as a business is the culmination of several businesses that all came together. There are various threads that weave together. I’ll start with my thread first.

In 2000, my sister Kaitlin had graduated from High School and was preparing for college. At the time I ran a small business repairing laser printers and selling printer supplies. I had started that business in 1990 serving my local area but soon discovered the Internet as a way to reach a wider market. I listed a refurbished NeXT Laser Printer on the UseNet in 1995 and ended up selling it to someone in Portugal. In 1995, that was just completely crazy to me. I was hooked and got obsessed with marketing online and by 2000 was doing much more revenue online than I was doing with the original local business. Bottom line is, I spent years in front of a computer learning how to market online by simple trial and error.

Kaitlin approached me about helping her start an online business in order to pay her way through college. We brainstormed and decided to focus on something she was passionate about. Kaitlin is a vegan and was getting into growing and juicing wheatgrass. We decided to partner up and sell wheatgrass growing kits and juicers online. We started in my garage. She would run the business day-to-day, and I would handle the online presence and marketing. We founded Living Whole Foods, Inc., and launched our first website.

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/month) full story ➜

43. Start a rave clothing store ($4.8M/year)

Dan Watkins from Tallahassee, Florida, USA started GloFX almost 10 years ago, a rave clothing store.

  • Revenue: $400,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 25
  • Location: Tallahassee, Florida, USA

Although I never set out to start my own business, I think I’ve always been an entrepreneur by nature. At one point when I was working 40 hours a week with a different employer, I realized that all my hard work was paying off for someone else’s idea of success.

I started GloFX with $400 in capital, and within 30 months, I watched that $400 snowball into $1,000,000.

GloFX was originally a side project I started in my garage when I wasn’t at work, and I was just selling basic glow products to local clubs. I was putting the money I earned back into the business, and before I knew it, I was making 80% of my income by only putting 20% of my time into its creation. And that’s saying a lot when you also have a 40-hour week job!

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

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Dan Watkins, on starting GloFX ($400,000/month) full story ➜

44. Start a skin care product line ($4.8M/year)

Michael Koh from San Francisco, California, USA started Tree To Tub over 5 years ago, a skin care product line.

  • Revenue: $400,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 3
  • Location: San Francisco, California, USA

When I was a baby in Taiwan, I had horrible sensitive skin. Bathtime was pretty much a nightmare and the harsh chemical soaps would give me a rash every time.

Out of desperation, one day my grandma collected some Soapberries in the mountains. These Soapberries would lather up with a rub, and were used as soap by the indigenous people for thousands of years before the cheaper, more convenient, synthetic soaps became popular.

We were all surprised, the suds from these fruits didn’t sting my skin at all! I was finally able to end the bathtime nightmare, and shower like a normal kid.

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

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

45. ($4.8M/year)

Anton Willis from Emeryville, Ontario, Canada started Oru Kayak about 9 years ago, a business.

  • Revenue: $400,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 10
  • Location: Emeryville, Ontario, Canada

I grew up in the rural backwoods of Northern California. As a kid, I had two overwhelming passions: being outside, and making stuff. In college, I gravitated towards design and developed an obsession with boats- to me they really express the essence of design as a marriage between function and beauty.

It’s a lot easier to find a unique marketing or branding angle on something that’s already basically worked out, and that has factories ready to hit “go”.

Eventually, I went to graduate school for architecture and fixed up an old fiberglass kayak which I used to explore the San Francisco Bay on weekends. After graduating, I moved into a small apartment and had to put my kayak in storage. At the same time, I read a magazine article about origami and had the crazy idea to make a kayak that could fold up like a piece of paper.

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

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Anton Willis, on starting Oru Kayak ($400,000/month) full story ➜

46. Start an online jewelry store ($4.62M/year)

Nikolay Piriankov from London, England, United Kingdom started Taylor & Hart about 8 years ago, a online jewelry store.

  • Revenue: $385,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 27
  • Location: London, England, United Kingdom

It all started many years ago in South Africa where I grew up, originally born in Bulgaria though. At the age of 17, I got a job as a sales representative in a diamond store tailored for Chinese customers. That was the first time when I developed an interest for diamonds. After finishing high school, I headed to the U.K. to study digital marketing.

During this period, me and my high school friend David Sutton decided to start several websites and e-commerce businesses while studying at the University of Manchester​. Some teenage experiments and years later I reunited with David and we decided to start a real venture this time. That’s how the brand Rare Pink ( the first name of Taylor & Hart) was born in 2013.

Think whether or not you need an investment and when exactly to make an investment round. An investment makes you grow faster and potentially bigger than growing organically, but you need to think about what you are getting into.

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

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

47. Start a hvac equipment shop ($4.5M/year)

Mike Luongo from Ohio, USA started Total Home Supply almost 12 years ago, a HVAC equipment shop.

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

I have a background in both retail and wholesale. I have been with wholesale distributors, retail appliance chains, and Internet-based companies. This background has helped me to learn what is important to succeed. Having watched many companies grow in the 70s, 80s, 90s and into the new millennium, I have seen them have explosive growth, then crash. This was a common thread. This was not what I wanted for Total Home Supply.

Our other founding members bring different talents to the team. Our data entry manager, Elaine. was the head of data entry at another company where she had 6 people on her team. Another member, Kathi, had a writer's background. Mickey Luongo, my son, learned from the ground up. He joined my previous company at the age of 14. He started in the warehouse where he learned everything from sweeping the floor to preparing LTL shipments. He worked his way up and eventually joined the management team and also got into sales. Stu has over 30 years in retail as the owner of Joe D’s Appliance selling major appliances in the northern New Jersey area.

I knew to build a better and long-lasting company, the key was to give customers a reason to make their purchases from us. Offering more knowledge of the products, the ability to help design the correct solution for their needs, and support and troubleshoot any issues after the equipment was purchased, would be the differentiator.

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/month) full story ➜

48. Start a flip flop brand ($4.2M/year)

Matt Griffin from Issaquah, Washington, USA started Combat Flip Flops almost 9 years ago, a flip flop brand.

  • Revenue: $350,000/ month
  • Founders: 3
  • Employees: 2
  • Location: Issaquah, Washington, USA

I’m an army brat and a single child of divorced parents. I bounced around a lot as a child, but I claim Iowa as home. When I was 18 years old, I left Iowa for West Point and started my career in the Army. As a member of the class of 2001, life quickly transformed after September 11th, 2001.

The attacks drove me to become a part of the Special Operations community with the 75th Ranger Regiment. In the Regiment, I learned what is possible with a team guided by values and driven by purpose. After four deployments to Iraq (1) and Afghanistan (3), I saw the futility of Armed conflict to defeat radicalism and left the military--with a desire to take the teamwork and leadership lessons learned in the Army to help those in need.

Before Combat Flip Flops, I held a variety of jobs. I built homes for a national homebuilder. After the market crash in 2008, I worked for Remote Medical International, coordinating clinics and medical care in “difficult” regions of the world.

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/month) full story ➜

49. ($4.2M/year)

Adam Dwidari from Columbus, Ohio, USA started Scarpetta Shoes ago, a business.

  • Revenue: $350,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 25
  • Location: Columbus, Ohio, USA

In high school, I had always been interested in owning my own business, though I was always working toward one specific goal. With a family business of optometry in my wheelhouse and an entrepreneurial spirit, my goal was to go to optometry school and build my own business. During high school, I was simultaneously enrolled in an optical dispensing school to have an advantage when I went to college. However, it wasn’t until after my first year at Ohio State University that I decided to switch to actuarial science because it had a wider application.

While completing my major, I was accepted into an internship with MetLife Insurance and was later hired on full-time while still in my sophomore year. However, I soon became bored. In an effort to graduate college without debt, I started selling various items online, acquiring inventory through liquidation sales. I sold everything from video games to rugs; finally landing on women’s shoes. The footwear industry found me, really. I recognized that women’s shoes had the highest demand and were the easiest to store and ship.

You will have 1,000 failures before you have one success.

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/month) full story ➜

50. Start a subscription box business ($4.2M/year)

Michael Berk from Phoenix, Arizona, USA started Cannabox ago, a subscription box business.

  • Revenue: $350,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 3
  • Location: Phoenix, Arizona, USA

As a daily cannabis user, I found that there were some things I needed the most that I honestly didn’t feel like going to the shop and purchasing once or twice a week. It was time-consuming, and frankly, I wanted a better solution to this problem.

This was in 2013, and as a subscriber to LootCrate (another subscription box), I searched for a subscription box for cannabis products. Turns out, this didn’t exist at all. I was doing insurance then and had free time after work to start doing research on this subscription box. I began by advertising it through my friends and social networks, and from then on it just kept growing and growing in subscribers.

I’ve learned is to stop looking at your competitors, and to just stay humble. Competition is good when other people search for your competitors, you’re bound to come up somewhere. This is something that is completely out of your control, but what is in your control is how hard you work.

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

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Michael Berk, on starting Cannabox ($350,000/month) full story ➜

51. Start a skills training business ($4.2M/year)

Stephen Somers from Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom started Marketplace SuperHeroes ago, a skills training business.

  • Revenue: $350,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom

If we rewind the clocks, you could say I started out in business when I was in my teens at college. I’ve always been quite entrepreneurial, trying everything from starting my own band, to spending hours at night learning everything I could about marketing, business, and personal development.

I reached a point in my early college days when I thought to myself, ‘I’m not really learning how to become an entrepreneur here. I’m basically learning how to become an employee.’

From there, I gave up the college dream and got a job where I was working for the Government as a data processor... which is literally THE most boring job on earth!

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

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Stephen Somers, on starting Marketplace SuperHeroes ($350,000/month) full story ➜

52. Start a fire safety business ($3.65M/year)

Peter Thorpe from Utah, USA started FireAvert over 9 years ago, a fire safety business.

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

I’m a full-time firefighter in Provo, Utah, and that’s where I saw the need for FireAvert. I went on so many fire calls where someone simply forgot they were cooking, and I thought to myself, “There has to be a solution to this!”

Unattended cooking is the #1 cause of fires, and as a firefighter, I saw this first-hand. I decided that I could solve this problem and started on this adventure of creating something that would stop the needless destruction.

I didn’t always envision myself as an entrepreneur. When I was in high school I was a lifeguard and we had an incident where paramedics had to come to help someone who had been injured at the pool and I thought to myself, “I want to be like them.” So after graduating I went to paramedic school and got certified as a firefighter.

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

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Peter Thorpe, on starting FireAvert ($304,000/month) full story ➜

53. Start a backpack line ($3.6M/year)

Fred Perrotta from Remote started Tortuga over 11 years ago, a backpack line.

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

In 2009, before we ever knew we’d start a travel company, my best friend Jeremy and I went on a backpacking trip to Eastern Europe. We learned how hard it is to travel with the wrong gear. The shoulder strap ripped off of Jeremy’s bag on the first day. I had to check my giant hiking backpack. The bag arrived on time but was a disorganized mess.

Our trip was a blast, but our luggage was a disaster. Despite weeks of pre-trip research, we couldn’t find the perfect travel backpack. So after the trip, we decided to make it ourselves and co-founded Tortuga.

Context matters. What worked for us won’t work for you. The hot new thing everyone’s talking about probably won’t work either.

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

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Fred Perrotta, on starting Tortuga ($300,000/month) full story ➜

54. Start a men's clothing line ($3.6M/year)

Valentin Ozich from Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand started I Love Ugly about 13 years ago, a men's clothing line.

  • Revenue: $300,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 20
  • Location: Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand

I began I Love Ugly as a clothing brand in 2008. Prior to that, it was a magazine interviewing artists that I found on MySpace.

I knew nothing about clothing, but I could see what the silhouettes and designs looked like in my head.

I quickly found out there was little money to be made in magazines and for some reason felt clothing would be an interesting space to play in, and I Love Ugly would be a very intriguing name for a fashion brand. Although I studied Graphic Design, I knew nothing about clothing, but I could see what the silhouettes and design looked like in my head, plus I was a pretty good illustrator and had graphics ready to be printed on T-Shirts. I had no interest to learn how to sew, as I knew it would slow me down while I was growing the business. Instead, I went out and looked for someone that could, and discovered the art of delegating. Most people think that when you start out you need to know how to make the product, but it's not necessarily true. I believe it’s more important to have a vision of what you want and learn how to get other people to make it.

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/month) full story ➜

55. Start a party supply store ($4.8M/year)

Dean Salakas from Sydney NSW, Australia started The Party People almost 36 years ago, a party supply store.

  • Revenue: $400,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 40
  • Location: Sydney NSW, Australia

30 years ago, my mum was “Patches The Clown” catering for kids parties. Her passion for parties led her to open a small party store with my grandfather. From the age of 4, I was put to work filling small bags with sand for 5 cents each which would be used to weigh down helium balloons on tables.

We love change. Every time something changes, there is an opportunity for us to be early and capitalize while everyone else drags their feet.

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

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Dean Salakas, on starting The Party People ($400,000/month) full story ➜

56. Start a 3d printing business ($3.6M/year)

Jeremy Simon from Algonquin started 3D Universe, LLC about 8 years ago, a 3d printing business.

  • Revenue: $300,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 4
  • Location: Algonquin

In 2012, after selling my shares in a consulting firm I had owned for 15 years, I became interested in 3D printing and bought my first 3D printer. I became amazed by the possibilities offered by 3D printing.

While exploring the designs on Thingiverse, a popular 3D file repository, I came across a design for a 3D printable prosthetic hand. Investigating further, I found my way to an online volunteer community called e-NABLE, with people using 3D printers to make free prosthetic devices for people around the world.

I joined this community and started making e-NABLE prosthetic devices for people. A man in my local community named Jose Delgado reached out to me to ask if I could make a hand for him. Jose was born without fingers on one hand, and while he owned an expensive prosthetic device, it didn’t work very well for him. So I made an e-NABLE device for Jose and did a video about it. This video ended up going viral on YouTube, and led to an interview on Fox News. Partially as a result of this publicity, the e-NABLE community grew rapidly, from a few hundred members at the time to thousands of members around the world.

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

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

57. Start a photo booth business ($3.6M/year)

Brandon Wong from California, USA started Photobooth Supply Co. over 8 years ago, a photo booth business.

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

My wife and I were wedding photographers. If you’ve been to a wedding lately, you’ve probably seen a photobooth.

The same was true 8 years ago. We saw booths everywhere, and started thinking… why not add one of those? We purchased the “old” style photobooth, the enclosed box. It became clear very quickly that at least two things could be done better. It wasn’t really portable and it didn’t take the prettiest pictures.

I contacted a few metal suppliers down here in Orange County and asked if they could put something together for me. I wanted something sleek and portable, but it also had to be able to take gorgeous pictures.

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

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

58. Start a food delivery business ($3.6M/year)

Cameron Manesh from Rockville, Maryland, USA started Cameron's Seafood over 4 years ago, a food delivery business.

  • Revenue: $300,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 10
  • Location: Rockville, Maryland, USA

My father invested in the first retail seafood location in 1985 and my uncle ran it. My father and I built our Apartment Brokerage while my uncle and his son built what is now the largest retail Maryland crab company in the world.

My cousin, Pey, and I are second generation and we wanted to ship Maryland Crabs from the Chesapeake Bay to people who can’t get them real thing, nationwide.

One morning, a crab-lover from West Virginia rolled up to one of our family-owned food trucks in Hagerstown, MD, to buy a bushel of Maryland blue crabs. He told my cousin Pey, who was working on the food truck that day, that he was so sick of paying exorbitant prices for dodgy crabs in WV, and to him it was worth driving 6 hours, round trip, to come get the real Maryland crabs from us.

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

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

59. Start a healthy snack food business ($3.6M/year)

Krikor Angacian from New York, USA started Protes Protein Snacks over 8 years ago, a healthy snack food business.

  • Revenue: $300,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 6
  • Location: New York, USA

I had the idea back in college when I came back from a training session at the gym I sat on my couch and ate a very unsatisfying protein bar. I thought to myself right then, “why don’t protein chips exist?”.

At the end of the day making decisions should be taken after collecting a wide group of consultation and advice and making your own decisions.

The idea went away and I graduated from college, moved to New York City to become an investment banker. After over two years of grinding away as a banker, I realized I absolutely hated finance.

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

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

60. Start a luxury brand ($3.6M/year)

William Forshaw from York, England, United Kingdom started Maxwell Scott Bags Ltd almost 20 years ago, a luxury brand.

  • Revenue: $300,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 14
  • Location: York, England, United Kingdom

After university, I attempted different jobs but nothing seemed to suit me and I saw no career potential. After I had been made redundant from the advertising industry after only 12 months, I knew that I needed to refocus and find a path that I felt truly passionate about.

It was on a holiday to Italy that I realized that those plastic carrier bags and poor-quality briefcases, that I had seen my corporate colleagues carrying, were an opportunity to offer a better option.

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.

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

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

61. Start a furniture business ($21.6M/year)

Greg Hayes from New York, New York, USA started Branch Furniture about 3 years ago, a furniture business.

  • Revenue: $1,800,000/ month
  • Founders: 3
  • Employees: 20
  • Location: New York, New York, USA

My co-founders and I have no background in office furniture. This shouldn’t come as a huge surprise: it’s common that great solutions come from people with no preconceptions about how to solve a problem in the first place. What we do have is plenty of personal experience with the problem itself.

In my case, I spent the first five years of my career in institutional commercial real estate. I loved my job and the team I worked with, and I truly thought I would spend my entire career working for the same fund. But as luck would have it, life came knocking: my girlfriend (now wife) Taylre moved to New York City for work, and it wasn’t long before I followed suit. The change of scenery prompted me to think about a change of career for the first time. It wasn’t long before I was interviewing with startups and companies in the proptech world, eventually landing at a fast-growing company called Breather that built and operated flexible office space for growing companies. It was at Breather that the pains of procuring office furniture presented themselves to me for the first time.

Breather was growing at an incredible pace; they had identified needs in two large markets within the world of commercial real estate (short-term meeting spaces and flexible office spaces), and both investors and customers were throwing money at them, fueling breakneck growth. In the two years, I spent at Breather their portfolio of spaces grew from less than 150 to over 500 units. As you can imagine, that meant Breather was buying a lot of office furniture, and they were being plagued by a problem that had faced enumerable companies before them: they wanted beautiful, high-quality furniture for the spaces, but the cost of buying it was beyond justification.

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

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Greg Hayes, on starting Branch Furniture ($1,800,000/month) full story ➜

62. Start a bedding company ($3.6M/year)

Mike Schaefer from Seattle, Washington, USA started Soaring Heart Natural Beds almost 40 years ago, a bedding company.

  • Revenue: $300,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 15
  • Location: Seattle, Washington, USA

Soaring Heart started as a futon manufacturer - marrying traditional Japanese bed building techniques with western sleep habits.  We began by learning how to build a great mattress - and then honed our skills by leveraging materials such as latex or innersprings in our beds.  

We soon learned the importance of developing stringent product specifications, allowing us to be completely transparent to our customers about what they were sleeping on, as well as comply with a myriad of ever changing health and safety regulations.  

The idea of “going organic” with our product line grew out of the conclusion that we had reliable access to great quality raw materials.  Global organic standards now exist, certifications can be independently tested, and the natural options we’ve found for complying with stringent safety regulations have been both time and laboratory verified.  Because of the support of our suppliers, our bottom line today includes both profit AND a commitment to a healthy planet.

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

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

63. Start a supplements company ($3.6M/year)

Logan Christopher from Watsonville, California, USA started Lost Empire Herbs over 9 years ago, a supplements company.

  • Revenue: $300,000/ month
  • Founders: 3
  • Employees: 12
  • Location: Watsonville, California, USA

I had been using herbs for a number of years myself mostly to enhance my athletic performance. In addition to this company, I also run Legendary Strength, where I teach people feats of strength, kettlebells, gymnastic-style training and more. You can see a few examples of my feats of strength including pulling an 8,800 lb. firetruck by my hair, juggling flaming kettlebells and more on my Best Of Videos here.

We knew nothing about this industry going in. And I think that was okay, we’ve just been learning and growing along the way.

Anyway, back in 2012 my two brothers, Cloud and Zane, were starting to get into herbs too, most notably the Pine Pollen. Cloud said to me one day, “If I find a supplier of this stuff do you want to make a business out of it?” I said yes, and that’s how we started. Although I had experience in the info-marketing space, ecommerce was new to me. And being in the supplement space was completely new to all of us!

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

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

64. Start an online jewelry store ($3.44M/year)

Tara Mikolay from Chappaqua, New York, USA started Desires by Mikolay over 17 years ago, a online jewelry store.

  • Revenue: $287,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 7
  • Location: Chappaqua, New York, USA

Scott of course had such incredible experience and was a Master Jeweler at a very young age. But his ambition would not let him stop there...it was a natural progression when his father wanted to retire to consider growth.

Scott & I have always been such a great team in every sense of the word. We truly balance each others skillset. We sat down one night in our home, opened a bottle of red wine and discussed what the options where. While the thought of opening a store was intimidating, we felt we could do it better and with more HEART than other jewelers in the area.

What I have learned from this is to slow down, take the time to review information properly and make educated decisions.

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

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Tara Mikolay, on starting Desires by Mikolay ($287,000/month) full story ➜

65. Start a watch brand ($3.84M/year)

John Pietrasz from Miami, Florida, USA started Delray Watch Supply over 4 years ago, a watch brand.

  • Revenue: $320,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 4
  • Location: Miami, Florida, USA

While currently, I am deeply ingrained in the luxury watch space, this was not always the case in my career journey.

The real foundation for my career progression I would likely attribute to my earliest of memories- playing with Legos as a child. I had developed a fascination and building and fixing things at a young age, and it has followed me up to this day.

If you have an idea try it. Yes, you may fail, but you will learn things in the process. You may fail the next 10 tries thereafter, but you will learn even more. That 11th try may be your Delray Watch. It was mine.

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

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

66. Start a cbd business ($3.3M/year)

Evan Marshall from Chatsworth, Ontario, Canada started Plain Jane over 3 years ago, a CBD business.

  • Revenue: $275,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 16
  • Location: Chatsworth, Ontario, Canada

At MIT, Duane and I grew weed in our dorm room and were really interested in learning more about the plant. After college, I went to work for a tech startup in San Francisco as a software engineer.

Duane created Miramix, a supplements manufacturing and branding company. Over the few years we were out of college, we saw the tides turning for cannabis legalization and knew we wanted to be involved.

When 2018 rolled around, I quit my job and Duane flew out to California.

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

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Evan Marshall, on starting Plain Jane ($275,000/month) full story ➜

67. Start a wine club ($3.24M/year)

Mack McConnell from New York, USA started Taster’s Club about 9 years ago, a wine club.

  • Revenue: $270,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 3
  • Location: New York, USA

Back in 2012, I was living in San Francisco, working at a big tech company and got the bug to launch a business that aligns with my passions. At the same time, I was getting fascinated with craft spirits from across the world and also became obsessed with reading and learning about them.

Even under tight constraints (day job, family etc…) don’t underestimate the impact of focused, continuous work, even done a little at a time, every night for a year.

As I kept on buying/trying new stuff, it became obvious that the process of discovering spirits is old and boring; most people go to the store and probably pick out whatever it is they had last (or, even worse, something they saw a commercial for!). I wanted to create a way for people to get spirits that was more exciting, convenient and encourages discovery. I was getting stoked about this stuff and I wanted to bring people along with me.

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

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

68. Start a personalized gift business ($3.12M/year)

Tom Strickland from London, England, United Kingdom started Bookblock about 7 years ago, a personalized gift business.

  • Revenue: $260,000/ month
  • Founders: 3
  • Employees: 30
  • Location: London, England, United Kingdom

In 2010-11 I was just out of University and I took some financial exams. I realised very quickly that finance was not the way forward for me, but I did enjoy the world of entrepreneurism and business, so I decided this was the path to take.

In 2014 we decided it was time to quietly let Monsieur Notebook go, set up our own factory, and rebrand the business to focus on corporate gift manufacture.

This was around the time that Moleskine, the little black notebook, was really taking off around the world. I looked at their product and brand and thought it was such a simple, but well-executed, idea.

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

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Tom Strickland, on starting Bookblock ($260,000/month) full story ➜

69. Start a drinkware brand ($5.4M/year)

Chris Gronkowski from Southlake, Texas, USA started Ice Shaker about 5 years ago, a drinkware brand.

  • Revenue: $450,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 9
  • Location: Southlake, Texas, USA

The middle of 5 brothers, being the shortest meant I had to do something to stand out.

I was able to excel in school and in the weight room but struggled to get an athletic scholarship to play college football. After signing a letter of intent to go play at the University of Penn. and getting accepted into the Wharton Business school, I ended up getting a late scholarship offer to play division 1 football and accepted it. After playing college football, I had a chance to play in the NFL for 3 seasons.

Start slow and build fast! I started both my companies with very little money. They both started off extremely slow and it took time for me to figure out what was going to work.

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

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Chris Gronkowski, on starting Ice Shaker ($450,000/month) full story ➜

70. Start a sunglasses business ($2.28M/year)

Cory Stout from Santa Monica, CA, USA started Woodies over 9 years ago, a sunglasses business.

  • Revenue: $190,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: Santa Monica, CA, USA

I studied Economics at the University of Florida but the real education was scalping football tickets outside of the stadium. I really learned my lessons on those streets...

For example, there were a lot of characters I learned to deal with. The ticket street hustlers are really really sharp dudes. They would always ask to see my tickets, and make me offers on them.

Pick something that you’re going to enjoy selling/talking about nonstop.

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

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Cory Stout, on starting Woodies ($190,000/month) full story ➜

71. Start an ebikes business ($3M/year)

Stephan Aarstol from San Diego, California, USA started Tower Electric Bikes over 11 years ago, a eBikes business.

  • Revenue: $250,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 4
  • Location: San Diego, California, USA

I live right on the boardwalk on the beach in San Diego. I get a good sense of up and coming trends in beach lifestyle while just kicking back on my patio with a Margarita and watching the world go by. In the last three or four years, there has been an explosion in electric powered things buzzing down the boardwalk. They've always been there, but it used to be one dude cruising the boardwalk with some kind of homemade electric skateboard or something once a week. Then the trend started growing exponentially in the last few years and you could just see the future.

My main form of transportation down the boardwalk has always been a beach cruiser. While bikes are also recreation around the beach, unlike many places they're a central form of transportation for anyone who lives at the beach. Why sit in aggravating coastal traffic and then search for scarce parking when you can just cruise down the boardwalk with the wind in your hair and an ocean view. A rusty beach cruiser literally offers you a better quality of life than a car which might set you back $50K. Not to mention the rent for a garage to park said car might be $500/mo.

The thing about electric bikes that most people don't get is that they're basically the perfect form of transportation. This is NOT just a "different kind of bike". Aside from kids, beach dwellers like myself, and what my son refers to as "butt darts" (those odd and colorfully dressed Tour de France type road cyclists), normal people just don't use bikes as transportation in the US. Bikes are a recreation with a side of exercise. Electric bikes can be better described as a replacement for a car. It's like a scooter that doesn't require a helmet and you can ride on paths, boardwalks, sidewalks, across the lawn, wherever. The first time you ride one, the light bulb goes off in your head... wait, this is fun, requires no effort even up hills, let's me avoid traffic, doesn't require a parking spot, has a range of 30-60 miles, and if the battery does die I can just pedal the rest of the way home.

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/month) full story ➜

72. Start a liquor company ($20.4M/year)

Justin Fenchel from Austin, Texas, USA started BeatBox Beverages over 8 years ago, a liquor company.

  • Revenue: $1,700,000/ month
  • Founders: 5
  • Employees: 18
  • Location: Austin, Texas, USA

I had the idea with a lifelong friend of mine (co-founder Brad Schultz) to make a party version of boxed wine.

We saw how popular boxed wine, typically Franzia was in college, at tailgates, kickball games, beach trips, etc. But no one was buying it because they loved the taste of the wine. They loved the affordability, convenience and taking the bag out of the box to slap the bag! We also saw the explosion of flavored malt beverages like Four Loko, Lime-a-Rita and Mike’s Hard Lemonade. So we asked ourselves why had no one made a fun flavored version of boxed wine for the millennial consumer?

Don’t just assume your idea is great. Even if your family and friends say so. Get a prototype out into the market. Get people outside of your network to tell you it’s a good idea.

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

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Justin Fenchel, on starting BeatBox Beverages ($1,700,000/month) full story ➜

73. Start a fragrance store ($3M/year)

Gary A. from Toronto, Ontario, Canada started Fragrancebuy Canada about 8 years ago, a fragrance store.

  • Revenue: $250,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 2
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Having a background in Business and a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Toronto, I’ve always had a passion for identifying opportunities and filling voids. Whether it was problem solving, negotiating a contract or simply brainstorming new ideas for upcoming programs and initiatives, I always have viewed life as a series of opportunities waiting to be taken. When I graduated, a saw a huge burst in the concept of warehouse sales and an equivalent explosion in online shopping. That got me thinking of ways to capture an untapped market ...

Customers love low prices online, but what if we coupled low prices with an online shopping experience that was satisfying, memorable and praiseworthy? We started what is now the most trusted online fragrance store in Canada with an aim to answer this fundamental question.

We began with the basic Five P marketing analysis, which in business terms we refer to as product, price, people, place and promotion. We had the product since fragrance wholesale was the crux of our business, and we had great prices due to the extensive network of partners we had developed over 18 years in the industry. We then proceeded with an action plan of adding value at every stage in a customer’s purchasing experience. Promoting our products through several fun social media initiatives and offering an unparalleled customer service experience are all value-added measures that now form the crux of our company’s success in the online ecommerce world.

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

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

74. Start a bicycle company ($3M/year)

Jonathan Shriftman from Los Angeles, California, USA started Sole Bicycles over 12 years ago, a bicycle company.

  • Revenue: $250,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 14
  • Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

In 2009, fixed gear bicycles started gaining popularity from bicycles messengers and city dwellers. If you wanted to ride a fixed gear bicycle, you had to buy an old road bicycle frame, rims, grips, and build a bike from scratch.

When all the shops asked how fast we could deliver our initial Sole bicycles, we knew we had product-market fit and a customer in hand. Our first container of bicycles sold out in less than two weeks…. 157 bicycles.

I started looking into that process and realized to build the bicycle I wanted, it would cost $1500, money I didn’t have as a college student. So I got resourceful and had the idea to go right to the source. I googled “bicycle manufacturer” and discovered a website where I could connect with bicycle factories, globally.

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

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Jonathan Shriftman, on starting Sole Bicycles ($250,000/month) full story ➜

75. Start a framed prints ecommerce ($3M/year)

Mehdi Kajbaf from Atlanta, Georgia, USA started Matboard & More almost 10 years ago, a framed prints ecommerce.

  • Revenue: $250,000/ month
  • Founders: 3
  • Employees: 10
  • Location: Atlanta, Georgia, USA

I believe that entrepreneurial success is a combination of hard work, opportunity and most importantly knowing yourself.

Most entrepreneurs work hard, but if you don’t know yourself, you won’t see the opportunities that best suit you and you won’t be able to set meaningful goals, so you’ll simply miss opportunities.

I love my life, I’m 33 years old, I work a moderate amount while making enough to live a life full of comfort for myself and my wife.

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

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

76. Start a bicycle company ($3.6M/year)

Xavier Claveria Masip from Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain started Santafixie almost 12 years ago, a bicycle company.

  • Revenue: $300,000/ month
  • Founders: 3
  • Employees: 20
  • Location: Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

Born in 1982 in Barcelona, I studied in a liberal and secular school where art and music were an important role in education.

My personal goals were focused on my music band, I love playing the guitar, but although it may sound weird, I ended up studying for a degree in Economics. But as you can imagine, I was not the typical economics student, it took awhile for me to finish my degree. I liked it, but it was just too soon for me to sit and decide what I would be.

A few years later, in 2010, I was working as a financial controller. Everything seemed to be fine, good salary, good position, and a whole career ahead to professionally grow. But I felt empty. I quit my music band and my job and I moved to London, where it all started.

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

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Xavier Claveria Masip, on starting Santafixie ($300,000/month) full story ➜

77. Start a weighted blankets brand ($3M/year)

Robin from New York, New York, USA started Luna Wellness almost 4 years ago, a weighted blankets brand.

  • Revenue: $250,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 2
  • Location: New York, New York, USA

I’m a Dallas native and came up to the east coast to attend college at Cornell. I got my start in real estate/finance straight out of college, and am currently at a hedge fund in New York City (expected to quit this month).

Being in this environment and industry resulted in anxiety in my daily life and began to affect my sleep quality to the point where I would wake up several times a night. I tried meditation, white noise machines, melatonin supplements, you name it.

When I got back from the China trip, we immediately put in a small order of about 500 blankets. We decided that we would start Luna exclusively on Amazon as that seemed to be the fastest way to enter the market.

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

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Robin, on starting Luna Wellness ($250,000/month) full story ➜

78. ($2.88M/year)

Isabel Aagaard from Copenhagen, Capital Region of Denmark, Denmark started LastObject over 2 years ago, a business.

  • Revenue: $240,096/ month
  • Founders: 9
  • Employees: 6
  • Location: Copenhagen, Capital Region of Denmark, Denmark

We are three independent designers that together wanted to create designs that help our planet. I am more specifically a co-designer and have always been very interested in waste reduction and sustainable design solutions. Everything that I have done throughout the years has in some way tapped into these interests.

The idea for LastSwab came to us when we were researching which single-use items were the most harmful for our planet and the cotton swab was surprisingly quite high on this list. We found that one of the biggest issues was that people didn’t discard them properly, mainly because they are so small. If flushed down the toilet they often don’t get caught by filtration systems and are dumped directly into the ocean, and later end up in the stomachs of sea creatures. We felt that by solving this problem, we would create an impact on marine life as well as single-use pollution.

We find it valuable to validate our ideas through crowdfunding platforms. We work with the community to change and improve our ideas and outreach.

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

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Isabel Aagaard, on starting LastObject ($240,096/month) full story ➜

79. Start a cbd business ($2.64M/year)

Gunhee Park from Tempe, Arizona, USA started Populum over 5 years ago, a CBD business.

  • Revenue: $220,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 7
  • Location: Tempe, Arizona, USA

After college, I got a corporate job in Austin, TX. I graduated with a business degree, so I was pretty excited to get to work for a Fortune 500 company. I feel like that’s the main thing business school teaches you - how to network, polish up your resume, be professional, ace your interviews - essentially how to excel in the corporate world.

It was when I stopped “asking for permission”, but rather aggressively pushed the envelope that I started making progress. I set up meetings with local banks, where I could personally sit down and explain how hemp is different than marijuana.

But once I got started, I quickly realized how much I disliked it. I didn’t like the prospect of climbing up the ladder, and I wasn’t happy playing politics or navigating the bureaucratic nightmare. I wanted to quit. I ended up working there for close to 3 years, but I set my mind pretty quickly to find a way out.

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

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Gunhee Park, on starting Populum ($220,000/month) full story ➜

80. Start a niche accessories brand ($2.64M/year)

Anders Ankarlid from Stockholm, Stockholm County, Sweden started A Good Company over 2 years ago, a niche accessories brand.

  • Revenue: $220,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 12
  • Location: Stockholm, Stockholm County, Sweden

You know those child-entrepreneurs who scale up their lemonade business to earn real cash? That was me growing up. Appreciating a hard day’s work, setting goals, and learning from both success and failure were values instilled in me by the closest members of my family, most of them hippies-turned-entrepreneurs.

Me, eight years old — planning my next business venture

After high school, I wanted more imminent and tangible challenges than college could provide, so instead of jumping on the business school-track I heeded the call of my entrepreneurial side and launched my first eCommerce venture.

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

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

81. Start a bedding company ($2.4M/year)

Colin McIntosh from Denver, Colorado, USA started Sheets & Giggles over 3 years ago, a bedding company.

  • Revenue: $200,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 6
  • Location: Denver, Colorado, USA

From 2015 - 2017 I ran biz dev at a Techstars-backed wearable tech startup in Denver. We raised a $3M seed round, grew to a full-time team of 25, and were in most major retailers in the US… and then it all abruptly ended in September 2017. It was pretty devastating, and I can’t really go into the reasons why it ended, but leaving retail partners at the altar without holiday inventory was particularly upsetting for me as the partner lead.

Build a business model first, not a product. So many entrepreneurs spend time and money building a solution for a problem they perceive without ever validating that it’s a viable business.

After that experience, I decided that the timing was about as good as it was going to get for me to found a company: I had a great CO network, had just been through Techstars, was on the founding team of a company that launched two crowdfunded physical products at nationwide retail, and had built a skill set in marketing and distributing physical products. That said, I didn’t have much money in my bank account (working at startups will do that to you), and I didn’t want to raise VC right off the bat, so I knew I had to do a crowdfunding campaign.

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

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

82. Start a supplements company ($2.4M/year)

Benjamin Hebert from Seattle, Washington, USA started Natural Stacks about 8 years ago, a supplements company.

  • Revenue: $200,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 10
  • Location: Seattle, Washington, USA

I got my first experience in e-commerce at an e-commerce startup called Gift Card Rescue - a type of secondary marketplace for unused gift cards. I started as an intern while at the University of Maryland and eventually went full-time as the first employee. I was working full-time and going to school full-time.

It was an awesome experience of really “being in the trenches”. Kwame, the founder of Gift Card Rescue, got on the first season of Shark Tank which led to explosive growth for the company.

What I took from that experience was how to build a bootstrapped or self-funded business. It’s a lot easier to learn these lessons the first time when the mistakes aren’t your own dollars! Since then, I’ve founded and sold three other companies.

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/month) full story ➜

83. Start a reusable straw business ($0/year)

Emma Rose Cohen from Santa Fe, Argentina started Final Straw over 3 years ago, a reusable straw business.

  • Revenue: $0/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 4
  • Location: Santa Fe, Argentina

As a child, I’d roam the neighborhood where I grew up, collecting fruit from neighbors’ trees. When I was seven years old, I set up shop at a local farmers market to sell the fruit that otherwise would have been doomed to a perilous, rotting existence.

FinalStraw was born after a voracious Amazon search for a reusable, travel-friendly straw. There was nothing. Zip. Zilch. Nada. We saw the huge gap in the market for fun, innovative items that replace single-use plastic straws. So, we decided to go for it.

Two decades and several business ventures later, I found my passion in sustainability. In October of 2017, the stars aligned and I was introduced to my former co-founder. A mutual friend told him to give me a call because he had a concept for a portable, reusable straw, and thought I might be able to help. After all, my friends do refer to me as the “straw lady.”

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

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Emma Rose Cohen, on starting Final Straw ($0/month) full story ➜

84. Start a women's clothing line ($2.4M/year)

Kristi Soomer from Toronto, Ontario, Canada started Encircled about 9 years ago, a women's clothing line.

  • Revenue: $200,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 10
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

I started Encircled out of frustration with a lack of versatile and stylish travel clothing.

While packing for a last-minute yoga retreat, my suitcase broke. I had to stuff everything into a much smaller bag, and it opened my eyes to the fact that I was one - bringing way too much stuff, and two- none of my pieces were versatile, and had potential to be I had a circle scarf packed, and I started to wonder...

  • What if this was made out of better fabric?

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

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Kristi Soomer, on starting Encircled ($200,000/month) full story ➜

85. Become a toy maker ($2.4M/year)

Ben Baltes from Oakland, California, USA started Toybox about 4 years ago, a toy maker.

  • Revenue: $200,000/ month
  • Founders: 4
  • Employees: 3
  • Location: Oakland, California, USA

The process of building the product was brutal and we learned a lot of hard lessons along the way.

There were two major components to this product. First, was the hardware system that powered the product, and second was the software system that enabled kids to print thousands of toys and design their own - both were pretty massive feats of engineering and design.

Given that we were well versed in software and experience design, building the software system was relatively easy compared to the black box that hardware was. Don’t get me wrong, building the entire cloud operating system and bringing in thousands of toys and testing them was very very time consuming but the hardware design, was a whole different animal that we didn’t have the expertise for. We considered designing and building our own in-house because Zach (our CTO) and I had some experience prototyping some, but we quickly found out that product design, manufacturing, and supply chain setup would quickly cost half a million to a million dollars.

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

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Ben Baltes, on starting Toybox ($200,000/month) full story ➜

86. Start a supplements company ($6M/year)

Joe Johnson from East Lansing, Michigan, USA started VADE Nutrition over 5 years ago, a supplements company.

  • Revenue: $500,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 7
  • Location: East Lansing, Michigan, USA

I’ve been an entrepreneur and athlete my whole life.

I wrestled for Michigan State University and was actually the captain of the team. I got my degree in finance and I landed a job as a wealth management financial adviser for after graduation, which I turned down to go into full time athletic ministry at Michigan State.

We immediately knew this was what we needed to do. I turned down my job and started working on this full time while sitting beside Megan’s hospital bed.

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

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Joe Johnson, on starting VADE Nutrition ($500,000/month) full story ➜

87. Start a kitchen supplies store ($4M/year)

Michael “Medium Rare” O’Donnell from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA started Cave Tools over 8 years ago, a kitchen supplies store.

  • Revenue: $333,333/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA

The true start of my journey goes back to college when I took an unpaid internship with a serial entrepreneur. I always wanted to be an entrepreneur, but I never knew anybody that was actually running a successful business. It made me realize that I could play things safe and get stuck in the rat race of a regular job or I could take responsibility for my own destiny and build a business that would help create the freedom I desired in life. Just 6 months after graduating from Penn State, I took the leap and started my own marketing agency.

That experience exposed me to the world entrepreneurship and gave me the confidence to start my own marketing agency just 6 months after graduating from Penn State.

When I started, there was no grand design to build out this giant brand.

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/month) full story ➜

88. Start a water filter store ($2.4M/year)

Jay Vasantharajah from Canada started PureFilters over 6 years ago, a water filter store.

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

Honestly… I accidentally got into the business.

I run a digital marketing agency and at the time we had a lot of HVAC Contractors as clients. One of my clients was explaining to me how he sells furnace filters to customers that he visits, and wondered if he could sell them online instead. I researched this for him and concluded that there were a ton of Google searches for furnace filters. I pitched him on creating a new campaign to sell these filters online. He decided not to do it.

Once an idea comes into my head, I don’t rest until its given a fair shot, that’s just how I am. Even though my client said "no", I still wanted to do it because I was curious. I saw it as an opportunity to get a better understanding of the e-commerce landscape and the marketing challenges involved.

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

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Jay Vasantharajah, on starting PureFilters ($200,000/month) full story ➜

89. Start an online t-shirt business ($2.4M/year)

TJ Mapes from Chicago, Illinois, USA started RIPT Apparel over 12 years ago, a online t-shirt business.

  • Revenue: $200,000/ month
  • Founders: 3
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: Chicago, Illinois, USA

RIPT Apparel was created by myself and two of my oldest friends, Matt Ingleby and Paul Friemel.

We grew up together in Bettendorf, Iowa. Matt and I played on the same pee wee baseball team and Paul and I played in a pop-punk band together for many years. We all attended the same high school and later college at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa.

After we graduated college, we found ourselves spread out for a few years but ultimately all ended up in Chicago.

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

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TJ Mapes, on starting RIPT Apparel ($200,000/month) full story ➜

90. Start a makeup academy ($2.82M/year)

Anastasia Andreani from Los Angeles, California, USA started Vizio Makeup Academy almost 11 years ago, a makeup academy.

  • Revenue: $235,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 15
  • Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

Let’s start from the beginning…

A career in beauty education was not what I grew up thinking I would do. I was born in a small town in the Midwest. Life wasn’t always a bed of roses for me. The circumstances of my upbringing and the fear and uncertainty I experienced at a very young age when my parents got divorced contributed to an early sense of needing to fend for myself. Having very little money, I worked many jobs to try to make ends meet. I struggled between working and going to school. While I thought my parents’ divorce had been a curse for most of my childhood and into my teen years, I later realized it hadn’t been a curse at all; it had actually turned into a really valuable gift for me. It has given me a spirit of both independence and experimentation, which I truly believe has led me to where I am today.

I first studied business administration and finance in college and earned my business degree. I spent many years working a 9-5 office job, but it wasn’t long before I knew I wanted more—something was missing. For my entire life, I have had a love for beauty. I’m a creative person by nature, and art has forever inspired and moved me. I also have a true love for being able to help others grow, to feel beautiful and to be more confident about themselves. This passion drives me and gives me the energy to help others see their true beauty and potential. I knew I wanted to do something in life that caused people to smile on the outside as well as on the inside and that used my creative talents in a more meaningful way. These longings led me down an entirely new path in life.

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

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Anastasia Andreani, on starting Vizio Makeup Academy ($235,000/month) full story ➜

91. Start a hangover cure product ($2.4M/year)

Eddie Huai from New York, New York, USA started Flyby over 4 years ago, a hangover cure product.

  • Revenue: $200,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: New York, New York, USA

In my opinion, traveling is one of the best ways to spark your imagination.

In March of 2015, while I was still a senior at NYU, I traveled to to Japan. Japanese people are the embodiment of work hard, play hard. Heavy drinking is an ingrained aspect of society and business culture there, spawning a $178 million hangover cure industry.

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

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Eddie Huai, on starting Flyby ($200,000/month) full story ➜

92. Start a knife sharpening service ($2.4M/year)

Marc Lickfett from Malibu, California, USA started Knife Aid over 2 years ago, a knife sharpening service.

  • Revenue: $200,000/ month
  • Founders: 5
  • Employees: 20
  • Location: Malibu, California, USA

I have a long and successful history in branding and starting businesses, one of them being my biggest success, Happy Socks, which I started 12 years ago. The biggest motivator for me to create my own companies is being free and in control of my own destiny and constantly living an adventure. It’s about the journey of creating something from the beginning that is built on the need or desire of people and then trying to put it in front of as many people as possible to be successful. Shortly after writing our business plan I found Magnus Petersson. With 30 years’ experience in knife sharpening, and having achieved celebrity status among chefs in the high-end restaurants in Los Angeles, and coincidentally originally from Sweden, Magnus was the perfect lead Knifesmith for the company.

Me and my family, moved to California to start this idea, and Knife Aid was established in Malibu with Mikael as CEO and Magnus as Master Knifesmith, training and overseeing a team of knife sharpeners.

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

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Marc Lickfett, on starting Knife Aid ($200,000/month) full story ➜

93. Start a volleyball net product ($2.28M/year)

Chris Meade from Miami, Florida, USA started CROSSNET over 4 years ago, a volleyball net product.

  • Revenue: $190,000/ month
  • Founders: 3
  • Employees: 18
  • Location: Miami, Florida, USA

I graduated from Quinnipiac University in Connecticut with a film degree in 2014. Growing up in a small farm town in Woodstock, CT, my dream was always to make it big and become a famous horror movie director. I had such a strong passion for directing and cinematography, but after one cold morning in Chinatown at 4 am on the set of the HBO show GIRLS, I knew that I wasn’t cracked up for that life.

I then took my first sales job in 2015 at a software company in New York City called Contently to pay off my student loans. It ended up being one of the most important things I ever did as I learned invaluable sales and outreach skills that would help me later land deals for CROSSNET with retailers such as DICK’S, Target, Academy, Walmart, and Scheels.

After a lovely layoff in the spring of 2017, I got offered a gig as Uber’s first-ever external Account Executive in their NY HQ helping launching UberEats in Boston and Providence. Through Uber’s relaxed start-up culture and demanding sales quotas, I learned the value of providing autonomy and trust to my future employees and freelancers. Who cares if you take a 20-minute coffee break and take an extra day off if you are hitting 150% of your quota. I have that same mentality for all of my employees, as long as we are hitting our deadlines, putting out high-quality work, there’s no need to add extra stress in anybody's life.

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

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Chris Meade, on starting CROSSNET ($190,000/month) full story ➜

94. Start a children footwear brand ($3M/year)

Lisa Will from Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada started Stonz over 17 years ago, a children footwear brand.

  • Revenue: $250,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 7
  • Location: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

My story started in 2004 with a dream that I could go anywhere, at any time with my 9-month-old, at the drop of a hat! That meant easily and spontaneously getting outside, no matter the weather, and he would love it as much as I did!

As a lover of the outdoors, I was frequently outside, doing anything from tennis, running, windsurfing, skiing, paddle boarding, hiking, biking, camping, or just long walks. To this day I need to be outdoors doing something! So many people told me once you have a child this all would change. I could get my head around not being able to play tennis every day, or continue driving 7+ hours often to Hood River windsurfing Friday night through Sunday, but I couldn’t get my head around not still having spontaneity in my life.

Bringing my infant son on adventures with me was going to be part of life...I was determined. When my son Lachlan was 5 weeks, my husband Mark and I headed to Hood River, Oregon camping. We wanted to see what it was like with an infant and see just how hard this really was. It was mostly a successful trip - we camped in our VW Van with only one trip-up...we overheated our son by wrapping him in so many blankets with worrying about him being cold. Our learning; no matter what it is our kids will tell us. That was the most he cried. Other than that he loved the fresh air, new places, and keeping on the go. More on that to come! I spent the rest of my maternity leave walking, carrying, or strolling him around just to get him to sleep!

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

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Lisa Will, on starting Stonz ($250,000/month) full story ➜

95. Start a meal prep business ($2.16M/year)

Mary Drennen from Birmingham, Alabama, USA started Nourish Foods Co. about 7 years ago, a meal prep business.

  • Revenue: $180,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 20
  • Location: Birmingham, Alabama, USA

I was born and raised in Birmingham, AL. My interest in cooking began at an early age in my family’s kitchen, helping my mother (an avid home cook and proponent of family time) whip up simple, yet delicious Southern-focused fare. These early interactions and memories fostered my passion for the culinary arts.

In 2004, after culinary school in NYC, I moved back to Birmingham to work for Cooking Light (a Time Inc. publication) in their test kitchen. Tiffany (my co-founder) and I were both tasked with creating healthy recipes for home cooks, that were not only balanced nutritionally but beautiful and creative as well. Although food delivery, as an industry, wasn’t even born, we were planting the seeds for what would launch as Nourish 10 years later.

One of my mentors told me early on, “If you can run and grow this business without taking on investors and giving up the equity, do it.” And I took that to heart.

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

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

96. Start an aftermarket car parts business ($2.24M/year)

Billy westbrook from Temecula, California, USA started Scrubblade Inc. almost 15 years ago, a aftermarket car parts business.

  • Revenue: $187,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 6
  • Location: Temecula, California, USA

I thought of the Scrubblade idea when I was driving home late one night. A large bug hit my windshield and being the clean freak I am, I tried wiping it off with the wiper blades and washer fluid but all that happened was a massive smear directly in my line of sight.

I thought, ‘why can’t wiper blades remove more than just water from the windshield?.’ That’s when the idea of Scrubblade was born. In the morning I sketched out the first design.

Oncoming lights at night would enhance the smear causing bad vision. I thought, “why can’t wiper blades remove more than just water from the windshield?.” That’s when the idea of Scrubblade was born. In the morning I sketched out the first design that still hangs in our offices today.

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

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

97. Start a bento box shop ($2M/year)

Thomas Bertrand from Kyoto, Japan started Bento&co about 13 years ago, a bento box shop.

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

When I moved to Japan in 2003, I knew that I wanted to create my own company here.

Being in a completely different environment, in a country with a different culture, different values is something that gets your brain thinking a lot.

In 2005, I started a blog about life in Kyoto and Japan. At the time I had about 800 unique visitors per day, so I thought I could start selling Japanese items to my readers. I was able to express these feelings on my blog and develop this idea.

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/month) full story ➜

98. Start a fertility business ($1.8M/year)

Khaled Kteily from Boston, Massachusetts, USA started Legacy over 3 years ago, a fertility business.

  • Revenue: $150,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 6
  • Location: Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Believe it or not, I didn’t grow up dreaming of running a male fertility company. I don’t think most people do. But I always had had a deep interest in healthcare, and have held this strong belief that doing anything substantive in the world means doing something completely different.

It was a personal experience that drove me to the world of fertility. Years ago, a close friend of mine found out he had cancer, and he froze his sperm before beginning a chemotherapy process that would likely leave him infertile.

I had never heard of the concept of sperm freezing before that moment, but I had spent years working in Health & Life Sciences Consulting at a management consulting firm, Oliver Wyman. It triggered me to learn more about something that most of us, especially men, keep buried. I took coursework and eventually joined the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.

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/month) full story ➜

99. Start a 3d printing business ($1.8M/year)

Braydon Moreno from San Diego, California, USA started Robo 3D almost 5 years ago, a 3d printing business.

  • Revenue: $150,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 30
  • Location: San Diego, California, USA

The idea for Robo came up pretty organically. My business partner, while in college at San Diego State University, was designing a 3D printed prosthetic leg using an industrial 3D printer for his senior mechanical engineering project.

When I saw what he was doing, and laid my eyes on 3D printing, it just made sense to me. I could see how this tool could be used in education, to bring product ideas to life, and to enhance the speed of innovation within businesses. The possibilities were endless. I knew from that moment that we needed to build our own machine.

Never spend money starting by filing your business with the state, getting a trademark, etc etc. Stop with the easy tasks that make you "official." Start the business with getting a prototype made (if it’s a product) or customers (if it’s a service).

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

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

100. Start a handmade goods business ($1.8M/year)

Samuel Davidson from Nashville, Tennessee, USA started Batch over 8 years ago, a handmade goods business.

  • Revenue: $150,000/ month
  • Founders: 3
  • Employees: 6
  • Location: Nashville, Tennessee, USA

During the summer of 2013, my co-founders (Rob Williams & Stephen Moseley) and I were discussing all the great things our hometown of Nashville had to offer, especially in the way of small-batch, handmade gifts and treats. But, there was no one-stop shop to get all of these items (you had to run around town or attend certain farmers markets or festivals).

Lo and behold, we actually hit the 200 mark our first month. The local media covered what we were doing and sales jumped to 600 for the second month and then 1,000 or month three (well beyond our original goal!).

Could we come up with a way to consolidate all of these local, small businesses making awesome products under one roof?

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

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Samuel Davidson, on starting Batch ($150,000/month) full story ➜

101. Start an online courses business ($1.8M/year)

Adam Tal from Tel Aviv-Yafo, Tel Aviv District, Israel started Pushtak almost 8 years ago, a online courses business.

  • Revenue: $150,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 10
  • Location: Tel Aviv-Yafo, Tel Aviv District, Israel

I’ve never been able to “fit in” anywhere, which was a problem way before I dropped out of high school - my mom says I was even thrown out of kindergarten…

That made it hard for me to keep a job or dedicate myself to projects. In retrospect, it makes perfect sense, as I know now that I’m an introvert, and suffer from Cyclothymia, which is a “lite” form of bipolar, as well as ADHD.

But before being diagnosed, I just thought something was wrong with me, and that I might be the only person in the world who can’t keep a deadline, or that I was “lazy” on days that I couldn’t get out of bed or make decisions.

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

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Adam Tal, on starting Pushtak ($150,000/month) full story ➜

102. Start a clothing boutique ($1.8M/year)

Sasithon Bella from Michigan, USA started The Kewl Shop over 9 years ago, a clothing boutique.

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

Our story starts with Charles who already had The Kewl Shop up and running when I met him in 2012. At the time he worked for a large investment bank and wanted a way out. The Kewl Shop was his dream (and his idea for the name), although it is the two of us that built the business into what it is today.

Today I’d say our biggest asset is consistency. It’s taken us seven years to understand what works and what doesn’t and now we do the things that work. Over and over again, every day, but each day growing a little bigger. Yes, it can be boring, but I prefer dull, safe and profitable.

Charles analytical skills and his ability to get under the covers of SEO, PPC, and SEM - ultimately to drive visitors to the website - and my product knowledge and connections into the dressmaking market in Asia are the ingredients that made it happen.

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/month) full story ➜

103. Start a skin care product line ($1.8M/year)

Andy Hnilo from Los Angeles, California, USA started Alitura Naturals over 7 years ago, a skin care product line.

  • Revenue: $150,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 6
  • Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

Prior to my accident I had made a living based upon my appearance (modeling & acting) and the execution of demanding physical tasks as a Division 1 athlete (baseball). Essentially, I was 30 years old, broke, pursuing a career in the entertainment industry that flat out was unfulfilling to me and working night time jobs to help pay the bills. But I had this feeling that there was something more for me out there.

Everything changed when life rocked me right into my purpose in March of 2011: I was attempting to cross a busy street in Los Angeles, California, when I was blindsided by a westbound headed Land Rover that hit me into the eastbound lane where I consequently was run over another time by a Toyota Tundra. Unconscious, I lay in the middle of the street where first responders began cutting off all of my clothes in an effort to get me on the stretcher and to the emergency room at Cedars Sinai Hospital as soon as they could. Dazed on morphine, I woke up in an ICU bed completely unaware of what had happened. I had two friends of mine in the room with me that quickly explained the severity of the situation and words cannot describe that feeling. I had 7 broken ribs, a collapsed lung, chest tube inserted to drain fluid and one of the worst compound fractures that the resident maxillofacial surgeon at Cedars Sinai had ever seen.

BUT… I was alive. Driven and determined to get back on my feet quickly and in better shape than I was before the accident, I cannot describe the daily motivation that was ignited to accomplish just that. That accident rocked me right into my purpose. Period. Unimpressed with the products that my Doctor’s recommended me to use to heal my abrasions and scars, I began researching organic ingredients from nature to accelerate my scar healing. I truly believed my body was going to respond best to an all natural, holistic ‘meal’ of nutrient dense, mineral rich ingredients from the earth.

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

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Andy Hnilo, on starting Alitura Naturals ($150,000/month) full story ➜

104. Start a bathroom appliance business ($1.8M/year)

Chris Crawford from Vista, California, USA started RinseKit almost 7 years ago, a bathroom appliance business.

  • Revenue: $150,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 3
  • Location: Vista, California, USA

It all really just stemmed from my love for surfing. I was tired of getting in my car salty and dirty with no time to go home to shower before work and the only real portable shower available at the time was the cheap solar bag. I'd drive up and down the beach all the time looking for a good place to surf and saw that most people were just using old laundry detergent bottles to rinse themselves off. So I recognized that there was an opportunity to make a shower system that was portable and easy to use.

I had my own pool construction business at the time so I made the first version out of PVC pipe. I had several people ask me how I made the shower in the back of my truck so I started to sell them​. After making a few design changes, we launched the brand and ran the business out of my garage. It all just grew from there.

The worst thing you can do as a business owner or entrepreneur is to try to mundanely copy what other businesses around you are doing. Don’t be afraid to be a pioneer.. and don’t resort to outsourcing everything.

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/month) full story ➜

105. Start a tupperware business ($1.8M/year)

David Krippendorf from Southlake, Texas, USA started Kitchen Safe almost 10 years ago, a tupperware business.

  • Revenue: $150,000/ month
  • Founders: 3
  • Employees: 3
  • Location: Southlake, Texas, USA

I had put on some extra pounds from snacking on junk food before dinner, and so I wanted something to help me enjoy the occasional dessert, without allowing me to snack throughout the day.

My first solution involved my wife Jenny hiding the junk food, but in the event of a strong craving, I could find anything.

After playing hide and seek with my cookies for a few years, the idea dawned on me. If I had a container with a timed locking mechanism to store my food, I would not be able to snack, and my Wife and I could stop with the hide and seek games.

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

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David Krippendorf, on starting Kitchen Safe ($150,000/month) full story ➜

106. Start a dessert boxes business ($1.8M/year)

Samantha Khater from Sydney, New South Wales, Australia started Dessert Boxes almost 5 years ago, a dessert boxes business.

  • Revenue: $150,000/ month
  • Founders: 3
  • Employees: 20
  • Location: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Dessert Boxes.com.au was born out of our frustration of having to send and receive boring gifts which would end up being thrown away, dying, never used, and at best, re-gifted.

So, a week before Valentine's Day last year, we launched a Nutella themed Dessert Box! We collaborated with the biggest dessert makers in the industry, and within five days, we sold over 400 boxes! We searched for the best products on Instagram and did Google searches to find Nutella themed products.

This was our first ever Dessert Box:

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

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Samantha Khater, on starting Dessert Boxes ($150,000/month) full story ➜

107. Start a watch brand ($1.8M/year)

Christian Zeron from New Jersey, USA started Theo & Harris almost 7 years ago, a watch brand.

  • Revenue: $150,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 3
  • Location: New Jersey, USA

I started reading about watches about 18 months before we launched and, while extremely passionate, I was absolutely unqualified to buy vintage pieces at scale.

Be self-aware, be fast and be happy. If you're not self-aware, you'll waste time on bad ideas you're romanticizing. If you're not fast, you're either losing your lead or lengthening someone else's. If you're not happy, you won't last long.

It’s a treacherous business - there are millions of dollars to be made, lost and stolen. But ignorance is bliss and I dipped my toe into the market - I invested the only money I had and bought $10,000 in inexpensive, unsexy watches.

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

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Christian Zeron, on starting Theo & Harris ($150,000/month) full story ➜

Pat Walls,  Founder of Starter Story

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