Weird Businesses that Actually Make Millions
Multi-million dollar entities based on incredibly unique, niche ideas.
Me and the Bees Lemonade. “Founded” by a 4-year old girl named Mikaila, this company sales are based on an old timey family recipe for Flaxseed Lemonade. Of course there has been lots of “help” from the family, but it is very neat business model that will keep her family legacy alive. Check out their press page – she has been on Shark Tank, she visited the White House, and was interviewed on Good Morning America.
Archer Roose. Founded by Marian Leitner and David Waldman, this millennial power couple has created premium products in the boxed wine segment. Boxed wine creates 80% less landfill and lasts 6 weeks after being opened compared to 1 week with bottled wine. According to Inc, Archer Roose is on pace to offer 15 varietals and to be making tens of millions in revenue.
Step4Ward Media. Founded by Johnny Ward, it is an online media company that specializes in content marketing. This is not a weird idea of course, but is interesting that is is a million dollar business, created while travelling the globe. According to Levo, the man has visited over 140 countries!
Mabel’s Labels. Founded by Julie Cole, Julie Ellis, Cynthia Esp and Tricia Mumby, these busy moms sell durable, kid-proof labels to help their kids’ items return home and not get mixed up with other kids’ stuff at school. According to their “About” page, Mabel’s Labels has been featured on The View, Today, The Early Show, Rachael Ray, LIVE! with Regis and Kelly, as well as in Parents, In Style, The Washington Post, The Huffington Post, PEOPLE.com, Forbes and countless other blogs and websites.
Honorable mentions to:
Music Teacher’s Helper. Founded by Brandon Pearce, it is an online application that manages the business side for private music studios and teachers. It is not a million dollar business, but it still pulls in 6 figures. This is his inspiring case study in support of lifestyle designed living.
C.W. Pencil Enterprise. Founded by Caroline Weaver, she is in the business of pencils – very cool pencils. She has a shop in New York, as well as an online presence. Her top 5 customers spend $3,000 to $4,000 on pencils annually. She is getting the headlines as being a profitable business, as capture by this article in Bloomberg. I am not sure if it is a million dollar business, but she is living out her life passion.
The year was 2005, and Alex Tew was a student who wanted to get some money to pay for his third year at the university. His bank account was empty, and it seemed that all he had was a notebook and a pen. However, that was enough to come up with a brilliant idea.
He wrote down just one question on his notepad: “How can I become a millionaire?” After 20 minutes of a heavy brainstorming, he got the answer. So he said to himself: “What if I can sell one million pixels of advertising space on a website for $1 per pixel? This is one of those crazy, quirky ideas, but it just might work. I’ve got nothing to lose anyway.”
So he borrowed $100 for the domain name and basic web hosting. If to get into details, Alex’ idea was very simple: businesses can buy at least 10×10 or larger blocks of advertising space for a $1 per pixel and place their logos and links on the website. Then Alex convinced some family members and close friends to buy the first 1,000 pixels. He also assumed his idea could be an intriguing story for the media, so he made sure to contact the local press.
Like you’ve already guessed, Alex hit the bull’s eye. The word quickly spread through the media and within two weeks he sold $40 000 worth of pixels. In no time, the website was discovered in more than 35 countries and just in five months he made $1 million. Enough to pay his college, right?
He sold the remaining pixels on Ebay. The last ad space on his site was bought for $38,000. “I’ve spent probably about $40,000 maintaining the site and publicizing it, so there’s been some degree of expense to keep it going. But still–it’s a healthy profit at the end of the day.” – happy Alex says.
In May 2015, Alex Craig launched Potato Parcel, a website that ships an inscribed potato to your friends (or basically to anyone). Yes, you got it right: a personal message on an ordinary potato.
Like the official motto says: “Send a message.. with a potato!”
Do you find the business concept irrelevant? You do? Well, Potato Parcel’s customers don’t. The 24-year-old business genius has averaged $10,000 per month in sales since the website’s launch. He has sold more than 3,000 spuds in just four months.
The average cost is $10-$15 per potato, and the working process is simple: Alex just buys batches of potatoes, makes a writing, and sends them to the address requested by his client.
Selling Canned Air
To sell air – the dream of each and every lazybone in the world has finally come true. The thing is that lazybones do not earn $8,000,000.
However, a Chinese businessman named Chen Guangbiao does. This may sound like a bad joke, but it’s not something to be called funny. As a matter of fact, air pollution has become a major issue in China and poses a real threat to Chinese public health. So Chen Guangbiao had this wildest idea. Eventually, he has sold over 10,000,000 cans of air from less polluted places in China in 10 days. The air was sold at 80 cents a can.
Do you have archenemies? Or, maybe, your ex is so annoying you can’t just let it go?
If the answer is positive, you better know about DRF – an online shop that sells…withered flowers. Yeah, the ones you throw away after your Birthday party is over. The business concept is plain and simple: you choose “the bouquet”, provide an address and the person you “like” receives a rather unpleasant surprise.
Without any doubt, the founders of the website just reinvented the florist business. And judging by the testimonials on their website, the standard flower sellers have a huge competitor now.
Although they only have 4 articles with prices ranging from $29 to $33, the business goes well. Alas, the world is full of vengeance (and weird ideas).