146
7 min 51 sec

Mom & Son Create ‘Comfy Cup’ Support for Young Athletes

A Kansas City-area mom and her 10-year-old son invent an unconventional (but essential) product for young male athletes that brings in more than $5,000 a month.
Design Ingenuity Kid Hustles Manufacturing Product

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What It's About

A kid-designed solution to an uncomfortable situation.

Business Model
Manufacturing
Skills Required
Design & Research
Complexity
Medium
Profit Potential
Medium

Words of Wisdom

After weeks of protesting every cup she brought her son, Brandi finally told Kyler, “If you don’t like something, quit complaining about it and come up with a solution!” This is how Comfy Cup came to fruition, and many successful side hustles are born out of the dissatisfaction people experience from using products and services on a daily basis.

Is there something that you know could be improved? Stop complaining, and take action!

Fun Fact

Encouraged by their early success, the Russells show no signs of slowing down. In addition to expanding their sizes to accommodate tweens, teens, and adults, they’re looking to develop a new product using similar materials for more comfortable shinguards. And that’s not all—this year they hired a liaison to help them get their Comfy Cups on supermarket shelves, and they’ve even applied to be featured on the popular show, Shark Tank (fingers crossed)!

Notes from Chris

Episode 146

Three years ago, Kyler Russell was an eight-year-old baseball player in Lenexa, Kansas, a suburb of Kansas City. Kyler loved baseball but didn’t love the bulky equipment that boys are required to wear when playing sports. Brandi bought him every different athletic cup available on the market—from the shelves of their local sporting goods stores to the depths of Amazon.com, but they were all, well… a pain in the crotch. After weeks of protest, Brandi finally told Kyler, “If you don’t like something, quit complaining about it and come up with a solution!” Cue the Comfy Cup™.

Kyler came to his mom the very next day with the idea to invent an athletic cup that’s “soft, lightweight, and moves with your body” as he says. The mother-son duo crafted a one-of-a-kind, hand-sewn cup right in their living room, using foam, fabric, and Brandi’s trusty sewing machine.

This self-described “battle-tested, kid-approved” arts-and-crafts project has come a long way since then—the Comfy Cup™ is now available from various online retailers including Amazon.com, as well as their own e-commerce website that launched this past April. One retailer, a Massachusetts-based site called The Grommet, specializes in “products with a purpose, invented by people with stories.” The Comfy Cup™ fits this bill: purpose-driven, check; unique people with a unique story, check and check.

They reached another milestone this past April when the business broke even. Sales are now consistently over $5,000 per month!

Brandi says that the best part of this Side Hustle, in particular, is seeing her son’s idea become a reality. She remembers when they produced their first 1,000 cups and she thought to herself, “how in the world are we going to sell all these?” They were sold in just a few months.

MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

  • Comfy Cup™: Learn more about the Russells and Kyler's ingenious cup design on their website!
  • Amazon | Comfy Cup™: The Comfy Cup™ store page on Amazon
  • The Grommet: The company that helped Brandi and Kyler get their product out to a larger audience
SEE ALSO:

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

Yours in the revolution,

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Resources

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Quote of the Day
"The mountain of things you have to do to start a business may seem ominous at first, but if you’re able to take small and consistent steps toward your goal, eventually that mountain doesn’t seem so big."
—Brandi Russell #SideHustleSchool

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To infinity and beyond,

Chris Guillebeau