What It's About
An East Coast woman gets a grip on a niche hair market.
Words of Wisdom
If you're planning on working with an overseas manufacturer, Estee recommends getting orders in early because they can occasionally be a little unpredictable. For example, in China where their manufacturer is, there’s a ban on factories dying their products right now, so manufacturing is being delayed for close to a month. Hope for the best, but always prepare for the worst!
She also recommends placing an order yourself, so you can see what kind of envelope or box the product comes in and what condition. This is the best way to know how your product is being packaged.
Estee has a four-year-old and a one-year-old, so juggling work and her children is often time-consuming. So she tries to make her side hustle as passive as possible. She has an accountant, a dropship company that handles their shipping, and a liaison that deals with the manufacturer in China.
Notes from Chris
Episode 268Today’s story comes from Estee Brick in New Jersey. She works as an administrative assistant for Yeshiva University Stern College for Women and she’s a busy mother of two. Her side hustle is selling a product called The Hair Grip—a $20 velour band that goes underneath wigs and scarves to prevent them from falling back. Estee started her side hustle when she first got married and her husband was unemployed and looking for work. In Orthodox Jewish culture, it’s customary for married women to cover their hair, and Estee was looking for options to help keep her wig and scarves throughout the day rather than falling off. She discovered that a velour band would do the trick, and thought other people could use her solution, too. She spent a year coming up with the design, logo, packaging, and colors. The logo was created by a friend who has a background in graphic design, and the packaging was created by their manufacturer in China. Once the design and creation was done, they then placed an order for 7,000 velour bands and started selling them. At first, Estee and her husband started the business to help keep wigs on women’s heads, esp. women in the Orthodox Jewish population. But the band isn’t just for that population—it also works well for people suffering from conditions that cause baldness, people undergoing chemotherapy or just anyone with a penchant for wigs and scarves. They also sell to cosplayers, drag queens, and Broadway performers. They created the business to have another income, but Estee says the responses from people who say the product has changed their life is what keeps them going. At first, Estee was nervous that they wouldn’t sell any of the 7000 pieces they bought, but now they are up to their 5th order from China. After her first sale, she remembers thinking she only had 6,999 to go. They didn’t celebrate but kept on pushing. They sold 7000 hair grips in their first year (2011/2012) and 14,000 in 2016, and they're expecting to well surpass these figures for 2017. These days, Hair Grip makes an average of $4,000 a month in profits! MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- The Hair Grip: Get a grip on your hair with Estee's hair grip!
- Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA): The model that Estee used that allowed her and her husband an opportunity to pass on the responsibility of keeping stock and shipping out orders
- How To Find a Manufacturer or Supplier for Your Product Idea: Learn more about how you can find a manufacturer for your product
- Clothing Store Salesman Invents Baby Harness, Earns $100k Per Year: An innovative salesman creates a baby harness that benefits both parent and child, all the while creating a six-figure side income for himself
- Hair Salon Owner Designs Mittens for Cold Runners: An avid runner has a difficult time finding gloves or mittens that feel comfortable enough for running while also keep her fingers warm in the winter. She decides to make her own and pursues a patent for her idea
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