What It's About
Kansas man turns $2 in supplies into $170 bows for Renaissance Faire and cosplay enthusiasts.
Words of Wisdom
Jeremy’s advice to fellow hustlers: Find something you love, look for shortcomings in that area, and solve the problems people have.
Jeremy can make a bow in about 40 minutes, using $2 worth of PVC, which he then sells for $40, making a profit of $30.
Notes from Chris
Jeremy Bays has been a Robin Hood fan since he read the Howard Pyle novel in fourth grade. It’s also what inspired his interest in bow making. And now, the Computer Technology Instructor at a career school is turning $2 of PVC material into $30 profit—over and over—from his bow making craft through sales at Renaissance faires, on eBay and his own website. How did this come to be? In his youth, he would search his yard for sticks and branches to fabricate his own bow until he had saved enough lunch money to purchase a used fiberglass bow. After high school a lack of time caused him to set aside archery, although the interest always lingered in the back of his mind. After the birth of his first child, Jeremy’s financial situation was strapped. Every penny in the budget went for food, diapers, and childcare. He longed to get back into archery, but money was tight and he couldn’t afford the $100 investment. Yet that didn’t stop him because he was resourceful. Jeremy emailed the site’s owner and asked if he could barter something for a bow. Thankfully, the bowmaker, who was 65 at the time, was looking to establish a better online presence and Jeremy was just the person to help. Three years after his partner closed up shop, Jeremy saw a YouTube video of a guy building bows from PVC sprinkler pipe which got his attention. Jeremy went to work, and after a few attempts, he found he could make a PVC bow in about 45 minutes. And Woodland Archery was born! Jeremy makes about $800 a month selling bows at local festivals. When not a festival, he uses eBay and his own website to generate a few hundred dollars more. The best part of his side hustle experience has been the spending money. It’s given Jeremy a layer of security for when he’s had a family emergency and an opportunity to splurge now and then. He hopes to expand his business further by getting involved with more faires and possibly branching out into archery tag, in addition to selling medieval and oriental swords—another of his hobbies. Stay tuned for that episode!
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- Woodland Archery: Discover your inner Robin Hood and check out Jeremy's customized bows
- GE Engineer Sells Hand-Crafted Slate Artwork to All 50 States: A GE engineer uses his skills to make and sell hand-crafted slate artwork to all 50 states. In addition to bringing in a great side income, it’s also given him more courage and security to make decisions at his day job
- “Cosplay” Photographer Earns $47,000 from Epic Star Wars Portraits: A Texas photographer combines his love for art and science fiction to add magic to his photography specializing in cosplay and all things geek
- Comic Creator Illustrates His Way to $30,000: A long love affair with the Sci-fi genre helps this side hustler build an empire—both imaginary and real—through his successful comic books and audio drama podcasts
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