The 48 Best Small Business Ideas For Men in 2021

The 48 Best Small Business Ideas For Men in 2021

Are you looking for a small business idea you can start from home?

From our hundreds of case studies, we put together the best business ideas that men are starting in 2020.

Whether it's starting a fashion brand, an e-commerce store, or a online blog, I hope you'll get some inspiration of this list of real online success stories of other men.

Here they are:

1. Premium men's pouch underwear ($1.68M/year)

The men's underwear brand, SHEATH LLC, was founded in Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA almost 8 years ago.

  • Revenue: $140,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 4
  • Location: Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA

In the beginning, it was an idea based out of necessity. I couldn’t find the product I wanted so I created my own. At the time, I was not strapped for cash because I was in the Army, but I was only making about 50 grand a year risking my life for a cause I no longer believed in.

You have to find what works for and motivates you to keep going day in and day out for as long as it takes. Are you willing to sacrifice 20 years to dedicate to this dream without pay? If not, then you may not have what it takes, if so, you do, and most likely it won’t take 20 years.

The idea


2. Men's publication. ($240K/year)

The blog, The Modest Man, was founded in Richmond, VA, USA over 9 years ago.

  • Revenue: $20,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: Richmond, VA, USA

I didn’t really know what I wanted to do after college. My dad was an entrepreneur, and I had the spirit, but with no direction. I got a job in marketing/communications and ran a music production side hustle for a while.

I tried my hand at music full time and basically broke even after a year. I read The 4-Hour Work Week and started learning about online business, passive income, WordPress and SEO.


3. Men's hair products & accessories. ($1.2M/year)

The hair product line, The Longhairs, was founded in San Diego, California, USA about 7 years ago.

  • Revenue: $100,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 3
  • Location: San Diego, California, USA

With backgrounds in design, development, interactive media and copywriting, we started out running a digital agency, building websites for clients, doing email, social media and advertising. It was good business, allowing us to earn a living while learning and practicing skills in the digital space.

The idea struck: Hair Ties...For Guys! We had it! The idea was funny, punchy, and a little was perfect!

Even so we always believed the agency was a means to an end, and from the beginning we were searching for “our thing.” We tried a few ideas but nothing had really stuck, until we were driving home from a client meeting on a fateful day in April, 2014.


4. Online digital magazine. ($600K/year)

The digital magazine, SWAGGER Magazine, was founded in Toronto, Ontario, Canada almost 15 years ago.

  • Revenue: $50,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 25
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Honestly, the idea started as a hobby.

When I started the blog in 2007, it was meant to be an alternative to the major men’s magazines on shelves because the magazine industry still hadn’t fully accepted the fact that everything was going digital and that print would be dying a slow and painful death. I wanted men to have access to cool guy things online, as well as dating advice, with a focus on realistic male acquisitions instead of focusing on things your average guy could not afford. Promoting the "fake it till you make it mentality".

I had worked for a magazine called Performance Auto and Sound Magazine, so I had in-depth knowledge about the business from a print perspective.


5. Journals ($1.8M/year)

The journal business, MindJournal, was founded in London, UK almost 6 years ago.

  • Revenue: $150,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 3
  • Location: London, UK

I’ve personally kept a journal for 10 years now, ever since I first went into therapy to recover from PTSD. My mum took her own life 2 years prior to my breakdown, and I never really got to grips with my emotions or how to process everything that had ever happened.

When I started therapy I was still stuck in the mindset that talking about how I felt was not something I should do. So talking therapy was the most unnatural experience for me. So to help, my therapist recommended I tried journaling – as a way of privately thinking about how I felt and what was on my mind. It was a game-changer of a moment for me.

My mum took her own life 2 years prior to my breakdown, and I never really got to grips with my emotions or how to process everything that had ever happened.


6. Premium menswear ($3.6M/year)

The men's clothing line, I Love Ugly, was founded in Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand over 13 years ago.

  • 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.


7. Sperm analysis and storage ($1.8M/year)

The fertility business, Legacy, was founded in Boston, Massachusetts, USA over 3 years ago.

  • 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.


8. Cross functional shorts. ($180K/year)

The athletic clothing line, Spuds, was founded in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada over 4 years ago.

  • Revenue: $15,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

I feel like I have always had an entrepreneur sense to things. During my junior year of high school, I started a business to help provide protection and accessory products for sports facilities. We sold products such as those large tarps that are laid out over baseball fields when it rains, and even did padding and other products for football fields and running tracks. My family has always been in the field of the construction of these facilities and an opportunity came along to push me to start my own little business in this niche.

Throughout the end of high school and into college, I continued working on this company as a way to make money while focusing on my studies. I never really felt like it was something that I wanted to do forever, so I used it as a way to learn about the business world and to manage my own hours.

I have always had an interest in design and the psychological way people interact with brands. After college, I had initially planned to go into Product Design or Industrial Design because of my interests in how things are built (was always into Legos at an early age). This never panned out, though, as I could never get my artistic portfolio up to a standard that was acceptable in the industry. I loved the concept of design, but I couldn’t get myself to be passionate about the artistic side of it.


9. Shirt folds ($24K/year)

The fashion accessories brand, FLXCUF, was founded in Chicago, Illinois, USA over 4 years ago.

  • Revenue: $2,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: Chicago, Illinois, USA

I came up with the idea while working behind a bar. My uniform was a dress shirt and given the nature of the business -- I ALWAYS rolled up my sleeves. The problem, they never stayed up or looked good. It was a classier place, so appearance was just as important as functionality. I started using rubber bands behind my cuffs. That worked as a temporary fix, but it also cut off the circulation in my arms.

Go for it. If you have an idea, embrace uncertainty and make it happen.

Fast forward to my first-day job in marketing for a casino, I began doing the exact same thing. I would roll up my dress shirt sleeves throughout the day and continuously run into the same problem. Going back to the rubber band trial, the idea of making the shirt cuff “flexible” (ta-da, flxcuf) and allowing it to expand as it went up one’s arm started to come to life in my mind.


10. Men's style publication ($102K/year)

The men's fashion blog, Effortless Gent, was founded in New York, New York, USA about 12 years ago.

  • Revenue: $8,500/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: New York, New York, USA

Growing up, I’ve always been interested in my own personal style.

I loved being experimental and trying new trends. I learned through experimentation that how you dress can change the way you feel about yourself, as well as how other people perceive you.

I’d advise to start small and be consistent. So if you’re going to be a content creator, focus on producing content regularly, whether that’s 1x a week or 1x a day.


11. Sex toys ($28.8K/year)

The sex toys business, Sex Toys For Men Co., was founded in Mariánské Lázně, Northwest, Czech Republic over 5 years ago.

  • Revenue: $2,400/ month
  • Founders: 3
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: Mariánské Lázně, Northwest, Czech Republic

So now you’re probably wondering… why in the world are we in this business? And how did we get started?

Well, we’re glad you asked.

We’d already been involved in the internet marketing world for several years and we were interested in trying out a different niche.


12. Watches. ($300K/year)

The watch brand, Branzio, was founded in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada about 4 years ago.

  • Revenue: $25,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 10
  • Location: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

My family moved to Canada in May 2007 which makes me a first generation immigrant. I was 21 around the time, and I came from Mumbai, India where I already had a job in advertising.

I continued to experiment with drop shipping and other small ecommerce niches, till it hit me - I needed to build a brand, which was focused on longevity, I wanted to start a purpose-driven brand, not just any watch store.

In those days, Vancouver was still a small market and the opportunities in advertising and other related industry were very limited, so I got a job selling Indian (Punjabi) radio and for my first year in Vancouver, Canada. I took public transit to do sales at mom and pop Indian stores door to door to sell radio advertising.


13. Men's grooming products. ($6M/year)

The men's grooming company, Beardbrand, was founded in Austin, Texas, USA almost 10 years ago.

  • Revenue: $500,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 17
  • Location: Austin, Texas, USA

Before starting Beardbrand, I was a financial advisor at a big bank. I felt the corporate pressures to look and behave a certain way and it was too much for me. So I left that career, grew out my beard and started a graphic design business.

As I rocked a beard in the business world, I heard a lot of typical bearded stereotypes - Grizzly Adams, ZZ Top, and Duck Dynasty. While those are interesting people, they weren’t lifestyles that I personally identified with.

We launched the Beardbrand e-commerce store a few days before I found out that my wife was pregnant with our first child. That gave me a tight deadline.


14. Heritage leather wallets ($720K/year)

The wallet brand, Ashland Leather, was founded in Chicago, Illinois, USA over 10 years ago.

  • Revenue: $60,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 8
  • Location: Chicago, Illinois, USA

Dan Cordova and I are the co-founders for Ashland Leather Co.

Both Dan and I are full-time employees at Chicago’s Horween Leather tannery. Simply put, we make sheets of leather at our day jobs.

It all comes down to philosophy. Why are you starting your business? What can you offer? Do people want it? Are you willing to sacrifice sleep to pursue this? You must have passion for your project.


15. Overalls ($204K/year)

The clothing line, The Great Fantastic, was founded in New York, New York, USA almost 5 years ago.

  • Revenue: $17,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: New York, New York, USA

At first, I was really just trying to solve a personal problem - Sweatpant overalls didn’t exist, and I wanted a pair. I’ve always loved overalls for reasons I can’t really explain. Perhaps it’s the fact they’re a little unique to wear...yet functional and practical.

Normal sweatpant overalls did not exist online after a quick google search, nor in any stores that I visited. So I made them.

Anyways, a friend actually sent me a BuzzFeed article about a novelty pair of sweatpant overalls they looked like denim overalls but were made of a sweatpant material. I said to myself, “Man, I would never wear those...but regular sweatpant overalls I would 100% rock!”.


16. Life-changing scents ($4.56M/year)

The soap business, Outlaw, was founded in Sparks, NV, USA almost 9 years ago.

  • Revenue: $380,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 13
  • Location: Sparks, NV, USA

In retrospect, I’m pretty sure no one else has the foolishness we had in the start of our business. But, you know, it worked out ok…

So, first, let me say that we had never made soap before we decided to start a soap company. Yeah, seriously.


17. Dress shirts ($60K/year)

The fashion business, Nimble Made, was founded in Los Angeles, California, USA about 3 years ago.

  • Revenue: $5,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

Born and raised in LA, I have STEM education in Interdisciplinary Computing & the Arts from UC San Diego and Minor in Writing. I started my career as an art director working on integrated creative ad campaigns at TBWA\CHIAT\DAY NY. I moved on to be the first brand hire at fintech start-up Most recently, I was a Senior UX/UI (user-centric interaction design and user experience) consultant advising for financial services clients at Ernst & Young LLP.

There are so many obstacles to overcome and take on on a daily basis and having the perseverance to get through them is, honestly, most of the battle.

My co-founder Wesley Kang is a slimmer Taiwanese-American who was at the time working in finance and had to wear a dress shirt every day to work. He often had a hard time finding a well-fitting dress shirt off-the-rack that fit his build at 5’5” in height and 140 lbs in weight. I saw the same issue with my father who immigrated to the states from China and always stated that “American dress shirts didn’t fit [him]” because they were either too baggy, long in length, or had excess fabric when tucked at the waist. Traditional dress shirt retailers size through a function of neck size and sleeve length e.g. 14.5” neck / 32 sleeve length (usually the smallest size offered… which was still too large for Wesley) and we knew we could create something better for slimmer guys who’ve felt averaged out by the dress shirt industry.


18. Handcrafted jewelry. ($30K/year)

The jewelry making business, Gold Pan Pete Design, was founded in Queenstown, New Zealand about 9 years ago.

  • Revenue: $2,500/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: Queenstown, New Zealand

After graduating from Saint Louis University and teaching for two years in the St. Louis area, I decided to pursue my rugby career in London, England. While in England, I met my now wife, Paula, who is from New Zealand.

After we got engaged, we took a trip to New Zealand. The area where she is from was a huge gold mining area back in the 1800s. I found the history of the area very interesting and found out that there is still a lot of gold around...if you could find it! I made it my goal of the trip to find enough gold to make my wedding ring.

My best piece of advice for anyone who is interested in starting their own business and has a good idea would be to just go for it. Take things in baby steps and gradually get bigger and bigger.


19. Rescue device ($240K/year)

The rescue product, SEE/RESCUE Corporation, was founded in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA ago.

  • Revenue: $20,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees:
  • Location: Honolulu, Hawaii, USA

I grew up in Miami and dreamed about volcanoes and becoming a big wave surfer, but unfortunately, all of Florida is flat (topographically and relatively surf wise). I worked hard in school and fell in love with science. I learned that if I got straight A’s, no one could mess with me and it leads to full scholarships to get my Master’s working on gold deposits in Nova Scotia and ultimately to get my Ph.D. working on submarine volcanoes in Hawaii.

I was a polite pain-in-the-ass and would call media outlets for years until they would write about the technology, years later my media book is so large, I can’t even carry it to meetings with all the reprints of articles and stories!


20. Denim clothing. ($24K/year)

The denim brand, Crawford Denim and Vintage Co., was founded in Manhattan Beach, California, USA about 8 years ago.

  • Revenue: $2,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: Manhattan Beach, California, USA

I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area as the middle child in a large family. Our Dad was a long time high school football coach and our Mom managed the teams while raising the family.

Every student was welcome in our home, making our house a constant hub of activity, sports and art. We learned early in life how rewarding working in service to others is and how to work well as a team. One person’s success is a reflection of the team’s hard work.

Having an alternate source of income will help minimize any lows in sales. It’s the insurance of making rent that allows you to focus on the brand or business that you are trying to grow.


21. Skin care for athletes. ($420K/year)

The skin care product line, w.o.d.welder, was founded in Greenland, New Hampshire, USA over 8 years ago.

  • Revenue: $35,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: Greenland, New Hampshire, USA

Like many entrepreneurs, my backstory has little to do with business.

Although I believe I’ve always had a business mind, I never took any business courses in college and quite frankly, never planned on attending college in the first place.

I was in and out of trouble during high school and ended up spending some time in jail/rehab after graduation. When I was released, I started to put the pieces of my life back together and decided to go to a two-year community college to study Phys. Ed. and play baseball.


22. Insulated stainless steel bottles. ($5.4M/year)

The drinkware brand, Ice Shaker, was founded in Southlake, Texas, USA over 5 years ago.

  • 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.


23. Engagement ring advice service ($18K/year)

The dating coaching business, Agent Engagement, was founded in London, England, United Kingdom almost 7 years ago.

  • Revenue: $1,500/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: London, England, United Kingdom

My career has always been about building relationships and partnerships as part of business development for a range of start-ups and successful enterprises. By day I’m a Global Senior Marketing Manager at MOO, the lovely online print and design company and by night I’m a Secret Agent!

You don’t necessarily need to rush: Going full-time on your new business can be a lot of pressure. If it’s possible to test out your idea and product or service at the weekends or evenings, definitely do that first!

As I’m not a jeweler myself, I’ve built Agent E by looking at the experience of buying or creating an engagement ring through the eyes of a customer – who most often have very little experience of buying fine jewellery until this point in their lives!


24. Rustic decor and furniture ($102K/year)

The home decor business, Valhalla Wood Forge, was founded in Portland, Oregon, USA over 4 years ago.

  • Revenue: $8,500/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 3
  • Location: Portland, Oregon, USA

I started Valhalla Wood Forge in 2017 while working full-time as a police officer. Our department was smaller, only seven of us total, we didn’t have full-time detectives so we had to fulfill dual roles as patrol and doing detective level investigations. I was working long hours, investigating a lot of sex crimes, which were taking a huge emotional and mental toll. Additionally, I was (and still am) a Coast Guard reservist, doing law enforcement and search and rescue, so my stress level was very high.

One day, the Police Chief ordered a big wooden flag for like, $500. I remember looking at it and thinking, “I could make that, but better.” So I got some wood, borrowed a circular saw from my parents, and made a flag to donate to my department. The department put a picture of me with the handmade flag on Facebook, and pretty soon, I was getting requests from cops and military buddies for their own flags. For the rest of 2017 and really, the first half of 2018, I didn’t charge much as I was only making 1-2 flags a month. I was having fun and had found a way to unwind and work through a lot of stress, and have my tools get paid for. Score, right?

Do your homework if you’re going to use outside marketing agencies, and don’t take shortcuts.


25. Custom tailored clothing ($480K/year)

The clothing line, Sene, was founded in Los Angeles, California, USA about 5 years ago.

  • Revenue: $40,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 3
  • Location: Los Angeles, California, USA

After graduating from Cornell, I was in management consulting at Deloitte doing global process transformations.

It is not about how smart you are, it’s about the grit to stick it through the darkest and loneliest times.

Then I wanted to experience the other side of the coin, and went to Interbrand and helped companies define their global brand strategy. During my time there, I won a Rebrand100 award for the strategy work for turning around what used to be The Yellow Pages.


26. Preppy men’s clothing. ($252K/year)

The preppy clothing business, Lazyjack Press, was founded in New York, New York, USA over 9 years ago.

  • Revenue: $21,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: New York, New York, USA

I started Lazyjack Press when I had just graduated from law school. During law school, I went back to my alma mater, Dickinson College, for my five-year reunion. While there, I reminisced with my sorority sisters and pretended I was back in college for the weekend. That’s where most of the ideas of my first designs came from like: Beer Goggles, Sweet Shades Bro, and Irish Carbomb (Boilermakers).

During that weekend, my college roommate and I decided to go to the nicer hotel about an hour away for brunch. I saw, quite possibly, the tackiest, most plastic-looking tie I had ever seen and pointed it out to my friend and laughed. When I turned the tie over and saw who designed it, I was shocked. It was a very well-known (and popular, might I add) prep brand.

I went to the mill and had a little trouble (to say the least) because of their religious beliefs - they did not think a woman should be in this business.


27. Sustainable clothing ($216K/year)

The sustainable clothing line, Minimalism Brand, was founded in Madrid, Community of Madrid, Spain over 4 years ago.

  • Revenue: $18,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 3
  • Location: Madrid, Community of Madrid, Spain

I´ve been developing brands for years. I guess Minimalism is the third one. I studied economy and business, I worked for big companies also and I´m the owner of a small agency in which we develop eCommerce, brands, and webs. It's call Growth Sherpas.

Minimalism came as an idea. Sell only products that we use every day, that are made in a sustainable way, that last in time and got a good design. Also, we got much experience with our clients because of our agency, so we know what to do to develop a brand, create our web and to start playing around with our eCommerce. So we try.

In the beginning, it was a game, but now we make 200K per year and got some employes. People like our product and our clothes are selling well without any logo on them. We really love what we are doing. We think we are changing the way people buy and also the way they think about design and, maybe, about life ;)


28. Cuff adapters ($600K/year)

The fashion accessories brand, Cuff Style, was founded in Wilmington, Massachusetts, USA about 3 years ago.

  • Revenue: $50,000/ month
  • Founders: 4
  • Employees: 4
  • Location: Wilmington, Massachusetts, USA

Cuffstyle LLC was founded by myself, Jason, Chris, and Carl.

Carl came up with the original concept while trying to solve a very simple problem he was having. He loved playing acoustic guitar, but shirt sleeves always seemed to get in the way while he was strumming. He would typically fold his shirt cuff up just enough to keep it out of the way, but the cuff would constantly fall back down while he was playing. He wanted a way to keep the cuff held back, and he thought cufflinks would do the trick. Unfortunately, he didn’t own any French cuff shirts, so he started to improvise, and thus the idea was born.

All in all, we believe the key to success in business is not being skilled in any specific technical area, but rather being skilled at networking, managing, and motivating people.


29. Digital & software services ($72K/year)

The wireframing software business, Brainverse Technologies Ltd, was founded in Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya over 8 years ago.

  • Revenue: $6,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 15
  • Location: Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya

I started Brainverse when in my second year in college, driven by the necessity to finance myself at school. Like every other startup, I started solo. My first gigs were about designing blogs and simple websites for my friends and some businesses. I must admit that the starting point was lousy, fuzzy, and uncalculated. I had no clear vision of what I wanted the company to be, beyond adding more money in my pocket. I could afford to be off duty when I wanted, and hey, I was a student, living in his own terms.

Beginning of finding a purpose - Brainverse Recess

In early 2014, I started on a project that sprouted from my urge to develop a product for young people, especially those on campus. With 2 other friends, we started a social networking site - VibeCampo, our own version of Facebook that would address the needs of young people and help them nurture their talents. We delved into the depths of learning everything we needed to make this a success. I truly admit that running such a venture was not easy, without a constant stream of funding, since we had no idea how to implement a proper revenue model.


30. Custom necklaces ($60K/year)

The jewelry making business, Aziza Jewelry, was founded in Asheville, North Carolina, USA ago.

  • Revenue: $5,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: Asheville, North Carolina, USA

I first started making jewelry as a hobby when I was a little girl. My very rudimentary jewelry somehow became popular with family and older friends of the family and they actually bought some of my early jewelry pieces believe it or not! From childhood, I was always very encouraged to continue with my art.

I attended art schools for most of my life and I intended to study jewelry design in college, however, once I started taking jewelry design classes, the program didn't appeal to me, so I chose to study ceramics instead. After college, though, I resumed my love of jewelry design by taking several types of different classes at various art studios in NYC. I studied all types of jewelry making techniques from glass bead-making to metalsmithing to working with PMC (precious metal clay). After graduating from college, I took about 10 different types of jewelry making classes over the years.

After making connections at a glass bead making studio, called Urban Glass, I gained enough confidence in my designs that I was able to start selling some of my early glass bead jewelry at the Shop at Urban Glass.


31. Organic, natural plant-based skincare ($64.8K/year)

The skin care product line, The Laughing Tree Organics, was founded in Boston, Massachusetts, USA ago.

  • Revenue: $5,400/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Researchers have even found evidence that these chemicals can interfere with the body’s hormones. According to a study published in Environmental Health Perspectives about the effects of these compounds on 1,151 pre-pubescent girls in the U.S. found that the chemicals caused a variety of problems in puberty, and even triggered the early onset.

Studies show that “early pubertal development in girls can have adverse social and medical effects, including the development of cancer and diabetes later in life.” Upon reading this, I strongly felt that this is not acceptable! That we can do better for ourselves and our families! We all need to be more concerned and aware of what we put into our bodies. But these studies hit home personally for me because I have young children who are living in an age where they are exposed to many more environmental toxins than we ever were growing up.

I realized that if I want to change, then I have to be a part of it; and that positive change will not only be good for ourselves, but good for our planet and our families. And this is how The Laughing Tree Organics came to be. For me, it was like the name always existed and I felt it truly represented the Company and our mission to formulate products that work with your body’s chemistry, the way nature intended and were not harmful to our planet.


32. Four-way volleyball nets ($6M/year)

The volleyball net product, CROSSNET, was founded in Miami, Florida, USA over 4 years ago.

  • Revenue: $500,000/ 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.


33. Luxury shoes ($960K/year)

The shoe brand, KASA, was founded in Nagpur, Maharashtra, India about 3 years ago.

  • Revenue: $80,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: Nagpur, Maharashtra, India

I started KASA as my first company as a 16 years teenager in the summer before high school, although it was not my first business. Since I was 12 years old, I did small projects like making websites and running marketing for clients.

When secondary school ended, I came to know about FlightClub, StockX, and Sneakerdon and got introduced to the sneaker culture around the world. With my connections made in the previous venture, I was able to get inside contacts in big sneaker brands who could supply me with the shoes skipping the waiting line.

But, due to strict Indian customs and taxations, this business failed in the first month itself. I was able to import the shoes at my home but was unable to sell for a good profit because it charged high custom fees and high international courier charges as potential customers were in the USA.


34. Online dating photography service. ($62.4K/year)

The online dating consultant, The Match Artist, was founded in Austin, Texas, USA about 4 years ago.

  • Revenue: $5,200/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: Austin, Texas, USA

I have always been an entrepreneur. When I was in high school, I wanted to start my own business, so I took to one thing that I knew how to do- mow lawns.

Afterward, while I was in college, I started a mobile DJ business, which was a great way to earn some extra cash in college. After graduating from NDSU with a degree in Computer Science, I took a full-time job working as a software developer. While working as a developer, I really wanted to start a SaaS Company, which translates to “Software as a Service”, so I did just that. I created Midwest Streams - Simple Funeral Webcasting, which helps funeral directors webcast their funerals.

I ended up spending too many hours working on Midwest Streams while I was at my software developer job, so my employer fired me. (If you are reading this, I really am sorry!) This happened in February of 2014, and Midwest Streams was only making $400 a month. I decided not to go back to work and try my hardest to grow my company. I had some savings, but burnt through it pretty quick, as it’s really hard to survive with only $400 a month.


35. Hatchet experience ($960K/year)

The axe throwing business, Stumpy’s Hatchet House, was founded in Eatontown, New Jersey, USA ago.

  • Revenue: $80,000/ month
  • Founders: 4
  • Employees: 5
  • Location: Eatontown, New Jersey, USA

My husband and I, along with their friends Mark & Trish Oliphant had a casual backyard barbecue one night after a sail on the Barnegat Bay. Chopping wood for a chiminea fire led to the creation of an impromptu game of throwing the axe to a makeshift bullseye on a stump from a tree that came down during Superstorm Sandy.

The game evolved to a more sophisticated target of 2 x 6′ timbers on a tripod stand in the backyard. Soon, the four of us realized this game had potential and decided to take it indoors, recreating the fun and bonding over food, drinks, and some hatchet throwing. We wanted our business to provide more than just a place to play a game. Stumpy’s “social throwdown” allows friends to get together to create memories by doing something slightly out of their comfort zone in a beautiful, rustic environment.

Starting a business was something that the four of us often talked about when spending time together for our “next career”. Mark, a retired union carpenter, was raring to go. His wife Trish had been working for Ralph Lauren in the men’s wholesale division, while I was 3 years from retiring from the school system as an elementary school principal. My husband, Stuart, was also eager to have a successful side business, but at the time none of us had thought this business idea would evolve into a major recreation industry. After the business was up and running for several months, Trish, Stu, and I were able to join Mark in retirement from our “day jobs”. The four of us used our diversified backgrounds set out to go “all in” with our goal to be the #1 name in indoor recreation for adults.


36. Fun & colorful groomsmen gifts ($240K/year)

The socks business, No Cold Feet LLC, was founded in Chicago, Illinois, USA about 5 years ago.

  • Revenue: $20,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: Chicago, Illinois, USA

During college, I (Matt) became enamored with startups, entrepreneurship, technology, and the idea of working for a company that combined all three of these. I ended up with a degree in advertising and anticipated working in that industry where people commonly job hop from one agency to another every couple of years.

I left college with somewhere north of $75k in student loans which largely meant a job at an early stage startup was out of the question. I ended up at a 90-year-old manufacturing company as a Marketing Coordinator where I have thrived there largely in part to an amazing manager and the nature of a small company where you can wear as many hats as you put on.

In hindsight, this was an incredible opportunity for me and largely what allowed my wife and me to successfully launch No Cold Feet. On the professional side, I gained experience in marketing, sales, e-commerce, product development, manufacturing abroad, hiring, and so many other skills that ultimately fed into operating our business. On the personal side, the stability of the company, some early promotions and raises, and living at home for three years allowed me to significantly pay down my student loans, buy a car, and save for an engagement ring...


37. Vintage lighting ($420K/year)

The lighting store, Any Old Lights, was founded in Fowey, England, United Kingdom over 7 years ago.

  • Revenue: $35,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 3
  • Location: Fowey, England, United Kingdom

I must have written millions of words in my lifetime - for magazines, newspapers and my books - and I loved every minute of it. But kids come along and maybe the city life isn’t ideal for them growing up.

That’s the beauty of starting a business - you have to cram knowledge into your aching grey matter, day in, day out. And it’s really exciting. So new and different and initially bewildering. But cracking it is a major buzz.

So in Summer 2011, my family moved to Cornwall, a delightful and quirky county that takes up the final chunk bottom-left of the map of England, where my wife, Sinead, had grown up. Now the kids have beaches and boats and crabbing. And I had…


38. Crossfit gear ($144K/year)

The fitness equipment company, Thor Fitness Europe, was founded in Tunbridge Wells, England, United Kingdom about 2 years ago.

  • Revenue: $12,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: Tunbridge Wells, England, United Kingdom

Believe it or not, I came up with the idea whilst on my honeymoon (don’t tell my wife Emma!). I have always been very interested in design, art, music and so on. During my youth, part of it was probably misspent as I learned how to try and draw, handle a spray can and do graffiti at the legal paint hotspots in Brighton and London.

Further down the line, I purchased some turntables and learned how to mix, scratch (and beat juggle, badly). This lead onto music production where I read magazines and taught myself how to produce music over a 6 year period using programs such as Logic 8, Cubase and Reason. In total, I made a collection of around 170 tunes, mainly drum and bass, but also House, Hip Hop, Dubstep and other Electronic music. A very small number of the tracks got signed, but nothing was ever serious. I would literally spend hours in my little studio, every evening after work, before I started doing Crossfit. Unfortunately, all the DJing and studio time resulted in chronic tinnitus from constantly hammering my poor delicate eardrums, so I had to give up music as it were, leaving a creative vacuum was all that that time was once spent.

Thor for me became a creative outlet once it got going. I learned how to use Abode Illustrator and Photoshop, plus some other handy apps. I have a desire to read only books that I can glean knowledge. Never fiction - always self-help, learn-how or in some instances autobiographies - if I can learn from them. There is so much in the world we have been given, and don’t feel as humans that we should waste time with emptiness being lazy. We all have different gifts and talents - we should look to use and refine these skills - for the greater good of others if possible. I personally enjoy learning, solving problems and hearing other peoples' experiences. I also love to experience life for what it has to offer. My main work background is in electrical engineering and project management. My career has been multifaceted, so I’ve been able to apply many of the skills learned in this trade for e-commerce and ultimately the base-work that’s required for the founding of a brand.


39. Aviation-focused apparel. ($414K/year)

The aviation gear store, ATC Memes, was founded in New York, USA about 6 years ago.

  • Revenue: $34,500/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 2
  • Location: New York, USA

Ever since I was a kid, I have been interested in aviation. For most of my youth, I was obsessed with video games; specifically simulation games. I was borderline addicted to Microsoft’s Flight Simulator and the online WWII dogfighting game Fighter Ace. It was these two games that really got me into flying. I thought I wanted to be a pilot, and it was all I dreamed about. My parents purchased me a few intro flight lessons at the local flight school, and the first time I was able to actually control an aircraft (with an instructor, of course!) was at 12 years old. I still remember that moment and image very clearly. We were in a shallow bank over Saratoga Lake. “Ok, it’s your airplane!”, the instructor said.

But eventually, somewhere between the 6th and 8th grade, I had discovered the world of music. I would later become addicted to the consumption and creation of music, to the point of it becoming literally everything I did outside of school. I listened to everything I found, and also tried to learn everything I could about the art form. I played guitar and drums, and I was even doing session work for local musicians who had asked me to play on their demos and albums. It was pretty cool for someone of my age. Nonetheless, I still wanted to be involved in the aviation world, but I didn’t want to give up music. Being in a band meant being a pilot would be difficult.

I would say the most important thing is to start small and conquer a small niche before expanding; set realistic goals.


40. Bodysurfing handboards and accessories ($960K/year)

The surfboard business, Slyde Handboards, was founded in San Clemente, California, USA over 11 years ago.

  • Revenue: $80,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 3
  • Location: San Clemente, California, USA

The Idea of Slyde Handboards started back on the beaches of Cape Town South Africa where I grew up. My Mother would take me and my brother down to the beach a lot to get us out the house. We spent most of the time bodyboarding or bodysurfing. We used to find all sorts of objects that we would use as a planning device to get us a little more speed and lift on the wave from frisbees to flip flops, some worked well others not so much. It wasn't until my teens that I decided to break open an old surfboard and re-use the foam to shape into a mini handheld board that would later become the very first prototypes for Slyde.

I figured we were the only ones doing this, but It wasn't until I went travel surfing around the world and met other surfers and water men and women and heard their stories of growing up using all sorts of found objects like lunch trays or even making boards themselves. It was then I realized there was a possible opportunity to create a brand around this awesome growing watersport movement, as no other company was doing this.

There is definitely a defined problem that we solve, in that a handboard is easy to learn, hassle free and fun to take to the beach. The idea was really born from simple enjoyment that I was having using one. It felt almost selfish to not share it with the world. It turns out I wasn't wrong, because almost immediately we started to form a community and movement as more and more people started to find out about us either online or through friends.


41. Gym apparel ($101K/year)

The fitness clothing line, Infinite Elgintensity Gym Apparel, was founded in Silver Spring, Maryland, USA almost 8 years ago.

  • Revenue: $8,378/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: Silver Spring, Maryland, USA

I decided to capitalize on my newfound YouTube popularity by selling workout clothes to my fanbase of lifters and other fitness enthusiasts. I was working full-time as an attorney, so I needed someone to print apparel and fulfill the orders for me. Law school barely prepares lawyers for law practice, let alone the clothing business, so I asked a fellow Youtuber how he got started. He got me in touch with the owner of an established fitness apparel brand for production and fulfillment, and they both taught me how to run the business, from setting up my Shopify store to streamlining order fulfillment.

If your competitors beat you to an idea, think of a complementary one that won’t get you into legal trouble.

Most of my apparel designs complement my YouTube content. For example, my “ZERO” design is based on a 2012 video in which I chanted “ZERO" to mock a crossfitter for cheating his reps during a pull-up record attempt. I’m a well-known opponent of the fat acceptance movement, so I made the “Plus-Size Model” to suggest that chubby dogs like pugs are the only ones deserving of that title. By basing shirt logos on my own content, I make money on that content twice: first from ad revenue, and again from apparel sales.


42. Framed tweets ($300K/year)

The custom prints business, Framed Tweets, was founded in New York, New York, USA over 4 years ago.

  • Revenue: $25,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: New York, New York, USA

I dreamed up the idea for Framed Tweets a year prior to starting it.

It was December 2015, and I was holed up in my room, avoiding the New Year’s party my parents were hosting downstairs. I was scrolling through Twitter, when suddenly, I thought, “what if you could frame a tweet?” (Honestly, that’s how most ideas come about, at least for me. They just randomly happen.)

That night, I tweeted the link to some random people who I found by searching Twitter. The next morning, I woke up to find Framed Tweets featured on Product Hunt, Mashable, Uncrate, and a few other websites.


43. Mental-health focused supplements ($2.4M/year)

The supplements company, Natural Stacks, was founded in Seattle, Washington, USA over 8 years ago.

  • 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.


44. Old-school radios which are restored to perfection with option to add bluetooth, wifi or amazon dot or google chromecast ($0/year)

The electronics repair business, Retro Radio Farm, was founded in Connecticut, USA about 8 years ago.

  • Revenue: $0/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 2
  • Location: Connecticut, USA

One day back in 2012, I happened to go to a local flea market. I wasn’t looking for anything in particular, and I'm not a flea market or garage sale regular.

I noticed these two old radios for $15 each. I had not been interested in old radios before, and I was not a collector or a retro guy. These particular radios were from 1950s, bright and colorful, oozing with retro pride, but in sad, neglected shape.

As far as my professional background, I have an electrical engineering degree but never worked on radios. My understanding of these things was only basic at best. I knew analog audio sounded better than digital from my guitar days.


45. Programmatic ott/ctv advertising ($15M/year)

The online advertising agency, Strategus, was founded in Denver, Colorado, USA over 7 years ago.

  • Revenue: $1,250,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 21
  • Location: Denver, Colorado, USA

My career has been running fast at the forefront of digital advertising. I rose quickly through the ranks at Digital First Media and AdTaxi Networks. I saw the need for a new approach to the growing market in digital streaming.

There were two trends on the rise at the time that I knew were not fads and wouldn’t be going away any time soon: people were starting to watch television over the internet (“over-the-top” of cable and satellite, also known as “linear TV”) and advertisers were starting to track and target audience data to make their buying decisions. Consumers were adopting the new delivery systems that stream digital content. Content providers like Netflix, Amazon, and Hulu and now Disney Plus were growing by leaps and bounds. Facebook, Google, and others were taking user data -- everything from their browsing habits to their physical location -- and selling that information to advertisers. That’s when everyone started to notice that the ads they were seeing were becoming more relevant to them, with products and services that they had perhaps been shopping for already.

Work is work, and hobbies are hobbies. Keep them separate. Find what interests you and make that your work. Don’t ruin your hobby by making it your work.


46. Luxury italian leather bags. ($3.6M/year)

The luxury brand, Maxwell Scott Bags Ltd, was founded in York, England, United Kingdom about 20 years ago.

  • 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.


47. Career & freelancer advice ($36K/year)

The career coaching business,, was founded in Toronto, Ontario, Canada over 6 years ago.

  • Revenue: $3,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

I started my 20s like most new graduates — unemployed and eager to start earning a living. I had just moved to Toronto, Canada, and I wanted to get a decent start to my carer.

But, as you can imagine, I went through all the challenges of the job search. I sent numerous applications and got only a handful of interviews and then struggled to convert those interviews into a successful job offer.

After a year of struggle and odd jobs, I did manage to break through and land a successful corporate job at age 22 in the electronic payments industry. It was my first breakthrough and laid the foundation for a successful Corporate Sales Career.


48. Furnace filters online supplier ($2.4M/year)

The water filter store, PureFilters, was founded in Canada over 6 years ago.

  • 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.


Pat Walls,  Founder of Starter Story

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