What It's About
One man's trash is another man's side hustle—couple refurbishes unwanted furniture and turn it around for profit!
Words of Wisdom
If you’re looking to start a similar business, Jamie says there are two practices you’ll need to have:
1) You should never sell a piece at a loss, even though it’s tempting to take lower prices when you’re first starting out. You should keep in mind the time, effort and money to put into the piece and sell it for what it’s worth.
2) You should set up a pricing system for buying pieces should you not be able to find them for free. For example, Lindsay will never pay more than $60 for a dresser, even though she knows she could sell it for a $300-$400 when it’s complete. This helps to regulate the costs and invest in the pieces that are most worth your time.
Did you know furniture accounts for over 9.8 million tons of household waste in the US each year? If you’re handy and interest in DIY, upcycling these unwanted items could be your next big side hustle [source].
Notes from Chris
Have you ever heard the old saying, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure? Well for furniture upcyclers Lindsay and Jamie Larue in Ottawa, it’s helped form the basis of their side hustle. The couple have been finding unwanted pieces of wooden furniture in their local Ottawa area and breathing new life into them for close to a decade. Partly as a hobby, partly to help affordably decorate their home with unique pieces of furniture. And with so many years practice under their belts, they began to get pretty good at it. When it came time for Jamie to reduce his hours at the bank he worked for and “carve” out more time at home with his pre-school aged children, it was the perfect side hustle option. Jamie could work from home during the day while Lindsay was at her day job, and Lindsay could work from home in the evenings when Jamie went back to the bank. This allowed them to increase their household income, save on childcare costs and pick and choose how much work they took on each month. It was also a cheap side hustle to start. Most of the unwanted furniture they work with can be found for free using classified ads, websites and garage sales, meaning the only real investment the pair would have to make would be around $40 on paint and parts. All of which can be factored into the final price of the piece! But before they began Casa Azul Ottawa, the business they named after their bright blue family home, they wanted to test their idea to see if it was profitable. The logistics of working out of a family home can be quite challenging, but they discovered an easy and fun way for them to bring in an additional $500-$1,000/month with Casa Azul Ottawa. It also gave them a chance to connect and work together to build something, and the Larues show no sign of slowing down.
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- Casa Azul Ottawa: Check out some of the pieces Lindsey and Jamie have flipped in their spare time on their website
- Kijiji: The online classified advertising service that Lindsey and Jamie used to promote their finished products in order to generate sales
- DIY Network | How to Refinish Wood Furniture: Learn more about how you can find a manufacturer for your product
- Operations Manager Manages to Make Heavy Furniture Light: A Maine university employee uses her logistical savvy to deliver IKEA enthusiasts their goods at greatly reduced rates
- Bright Idea Leads Chicago Woman to Million-Dollar Hustle: A Chicago-based plastic recycling sales rep overcomes her fears and doubts to transform her love for DIY lamp shades and $10 in supplies into a multi-million dollar business
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