9 min 35 sec

Shopify Employee Manufactures Handmade Desk Accessories

A couple brings their love of handmade wooden accessories, technology, and design to life with a side hustle manufacturing handmade wooden desk accessories and phone cases.
Design International Manufacturing Product

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What It's About

A family wooden accessories business that brings in over $40,000 annually on the side.

Business Model
Skills Required
Researching & Design
Profit Potential

Words of Wisdom

Alok’s advice to listeners: find a product that excites you and causes you to wake up extra early so you can find ways to share it with the world. Always think about expansion, and how more people can get their hands on your product—and all of the interesting ways that you can do this.

Fun Fact

Alok and his wife have a four-year-old daughter, and she has been helping them with the business the past two years. She’s been telling her friends and family that she’s their shipping and receiving manager. Whenever an order comes through and chimes on Alok’s phone, she looks at him and knows it’s time for her to get to work.

Notes from Chris

Episode 117

There are several benefits to starting a side hustle of your own, but three of the biggest reasons are:

1. Diversification - having more than one source of income

2. Creative Outlet - providing you with a creative outlet that you don't already have at your day job, and

3. Security - side hustles provide you with the security and peace of mind that comes with the knowledge that you can do something other than what you're doing at your day job and be successful.

Today's story hits on every one of these...and it also makes something like $40,000 annually in part-time income.

By day, Alok Ahuja is the head of a partner program at Shopify. His side hustle, which he runs with his wife, is Madera Craft—a business designing and manufacturing handmade wooden desk accessories and phone cases.

Alok and his wife like technology and design, and have a habit of collecting office furniture and peripherals. After attending local craft shows around town, they thought about melding their interests and creating their own products and working with a manufacturer to help bring their ideas to life.

They experienced some success on etsy as part of their road show, but the real growth of their business came to them as the result of featuring their products on flash sale sites. These sites have businesses give them products at a specific marginal cost, and they keep the difference as their profit from each sale.

The Good News: When you use flash sale sites, you can end up getting lots of sales all at once!

The Bad News: The prices you offer for your products are generally much lower, and the people who purchase your products tend to be fans of the flash sale sites more than any of the products they purchase.

BUT, if you're planning on manufacturing something, featuring your products on a couple flash sale sites might be worth looking into!


  • Madera Craft: Learn more about Alok's wooden accessories side hustle on his website
  • Google Adwords: In addition to using Facebook Ads, Alok also used Google Adwords to promote the Madera Craft
  • Touch of Modern, citiesocial, & Huckberry: The flash sale sites that Alok and his wife decided to work with
  • Etsy: The world’s largest homemade marketplace is ideal to help you get started selling your products today

Inspiration is good; inspiration combined with action is better. Now get back to work!

Yours in the revolution,


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Quote of the Day
"Have an extra revenue stream is amazing, especially when we have two young kids at home. We love to work hard, and the fruits of our labour are allowing our kids to experience some very special vacations and extra perks that would not have normally been able to do."
—Alok Ahuja #SideHustleSchool

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Chris Guillebeau