What It's About
An origami-style paper wallet to keep cash safe in style.
Words of Wisdom
Kan has some great advice for people worried about sharing their ideas; "People seem to be reluctant to share their idea because someone might steal it, but most of the time, that's not the case. I think I made the right decision to release the DIY version as soon as possible to get feedback and brush it up"
Origami comes from the Japanese words for “folding” and “paper.” and started in Japan in the 17th century. It has since expanded to be a common art form worldwide. There’s barely anyone who isn’t familiar with the folded paper crane, one of the most common origami symbols.
Notes from Chris
Episode 1076Kan Yamamoto is a freelance graphic designer and woodworker based in Tosayama, a rural village in southern Japan. There he works with clients around the world from his small studio. Tosayama is a tiny place, with a population of just over one thousand. Kan is from there originally, but it hasn’t always been his home base. He spent most of his twenties in Switzerland and Germany studying fine art and graphic design. While he enjoyed refining his skills in Europe, the call of home eventually drew him back to Japan. So, in his thirties he returned to the land of the rising sun to rediscover his roots and contribute to the local community. Living in a rural village has its advantages, including a close proximity to nature and a high quality of life. But there is one great disadvantage: the lack of jobs. It’s why so many people his age move away to the larger cities. Kan wasn’t willing to compromise. When he returned he was committed to making it work financially. While he looked for design clients he picked up some local jobs, including working as a lumberjack and producing charcoal the traditional way. Even though he got by, he had a more defined long term goal. You see, most young people from Tosayama move away for work and never return. Kan thought the best thing to do was learn how to start a small business so he could be an example for the younger generation of villagers. He could show them that it didn’t matter where you lived, you could build a global business using your skills and the internet. Being creative, he began brainstorming ideas for products that he could make by hand. He landed on the idea of a wallet because he couldn’t find the type that he actually wanted. Something slim, lightweight, cruelty free and eco-friendly. Inspired by the ancient Japanese art of origami, he began folding paper into different shapes in hopes of finding a design that suited his needs. He spent weeks shaping and folding different papers until he eventually found something he liked. In his career as a designer, he’d worked with many different types of paper and remembered that some were actually machine washable. They were durable and didn’t use any animal products. Turns out paper, which he’d always considered a material for prototyping, was the perfect solution for actually making the wallets. Kan was serious about this: he didn’t want to launch this side business and have it fold or remain stationary. So he decided to test the market before investing any more time or money. And he did it in a unique way. Rather than create actual wallets and try to sell them, he designed a template that others could print directly onto paper. With it, they could fold a wallet themselves. After selling his first few wallets, he received feedback which he used to improve and upgrade the design. He did the same with his ads, the ones that worked he put a little more money behind or improved them, and the ones that didn’t got thrown out like scrap paper. It was a good method that totally worked. After a year of running the Kamino Wallet as a side hustle, Kan is now selling up to $1,500 worth of wallets per month of which eighty percent is profit. He’s expanded into five different types of wallets and plans to continue obtaining customer feedback to create even more. Kans story is proof that living in a rural community isn’t an excuse not to get started building your own side hustle. We look forward to watching the rest of the Kamino Wallet story unfold.
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- Kamino Wallet: Check out Kan's beautiful wallet designs and order your own at his website.
- Retail Store Manager Creates Miniature Stages for Batman: A retail manager from Kansas reactivates his craftsman skills of long ago to create stages for miniature movie figures.
- Firefighter Uses Chainsaw for Jumbo-Sized Woodworking: A firefighter carves out a lucrative side hustle... with a chainsaw.
- Mental Health Counselor By Day, Headband Artist by Night: A mental health counselor gets a head start with a side hustle that brings in $3,000 a month.
Download 2020 episodes: JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUN | JUL | AUG Download 2019 episodes: JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUN | JUL | AUG | SEP | OCT | NOV | DEC Download 2018 episodes: JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUN | JUL | AUG | SEP | OCT | NOV | DEC Download 2017 episodes: JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUN | JUL | AUG | SEP | OCT | NOV | DEC
Create your online store with Shopify using an exclusive discount for Side Hustle School listeners. For a limited time, get a free 21-day trial and a 10% discount for a whole year.
Many Side Hustle School listeners are building sites using Shopify's easy-to-learn platform. Try it free today!
Social media is nice, but building an email list is still the single best way to get customers and clients for your hustle. It's not hard to get started—sign up for a 30-day trial and join the list-building challenge! You’ll be up and running in no time.
Quote of the Day
Sponsors & Gratitude
Side Hustle School is brought to you by American Express.
No matter what you do in business, from working nine-to-five to working five-to-nine, it’s easier when you don’t go it alone. Get the powerful backing of American Express—don't do business without it! 💳
Side Hustle School is for you! If you’re enjoying it, please take a quick moment to leave a rating or write a quick review. It's really easy and it makes a difference! ✅
It also makes a huge difference when you tell your friends about the show. Remember, it's 100% free and listener-supported.
Keep in Touch
There’s a new story every single day on Side Hustle School. Episodes are produced to be short and to the point—I know you’re busy. Be sure you subscribe to get instant notification of the day’s broadcast!
To infinity and beyond,