8 min 16 sec

Consultant Spends $200 on Advertising; Creates Million Dollar Leather Business

He hopes to show his clients an example of a successful business, but this consultant ends up with a million-dollar success of his own.
High Profit Manufacturing Product Retail

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What It's About

Today it's all about leather bag wishes and side hustle dreams!

Business Model
Skills Required
Research & Experimentation
Profit Potential

Words of Wisdom

Since he couldn’t find any other leather customization websites at the time, he didn’t want to spend a lot of money and time building an elaborate website only to find that no one was interested in buying. So he made a simple yet functional website to test out his side hustle idea.

As I've said before, you should always try to start before you're ready because doing so helps you to validate your idea. After all, why should you waste time and money on something that won't pan out?

Fun Fact

When Jerry’s very first sale came through, he was convinced that someone was messing with his website. So he called up the customer to make sure they really did place the order. After the customer confirmed they wanted the product, that gave him the confidence he needed to move forward with his hustle.

Notes from Chris

Episode 265

About 5 years ago, Jerry Lee was working full-time as a web consultant, helping businesses establish their website and generally advising new business owners on how to launch and run their business.

At the time, he was looking for a side hustle of his own so that he could practice some of the techniques that he gave to his clients. He wanted to have an example to point to, showing clients that he listened to his own advice and created a successful business.

With that thought in the back of his head, he was looking for a leather laptop bag online one day and wasn’t able to find one that suited his taste and budget.

So, he emailed around to a couple of factories in Asia and ended up finding one in Taiwan, his home country, that was willing to make a single custom order for him. After visiting the factory to build a personal connection with the production team while he was back on a visit, he was able to convince them to make one-off orders for him. That was the beginning of Jerry’s side hustle, Story Leather.

Within his first week, Jerry's revenue grew slowly but steadily, and he was constantly experimenting with new products and ways to advertise. The business has slowly morphed over the years from primarily making iPhone cases to customizing wallets, bags, passport holders, key chains and more.

And over the years, his revenue has grown immensely to the point that this side hustle has turned into his full-time job. Even though his annual sales are now in the million dollar range, he shared that he still feels like a small business and is constantly learning new things as a business owner.


  • Story Leather: Check out the million dollar leather accessories side hustle for yourself when you visit Jerry's website
  • Magento: The flexible, open source commerce platform that Jerry used to set up the Story Leather website
  • Google AdWords: Google's online advertising platform that places your ad in the 'Sponsored Links' section next to search results to boost website traffic and sales

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
"Side hustling is very much a self-exploration process, from the experience you learn what you are good at and what you are terrible in. But most important of all, you learn to have patience and learn how to deal with best times and the worst times of your life."
—Jerry Lee #SideHustleSchool

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To infinity and beyond,

Chris Guillebeau