368
10 min 2 sec

Immigrant Couple Translates Heritage Into Children’s Flash Cards

Two immigrants from Laos meet the needs of an underserved community in a $50,000 per year hustle.
Culture Education Manufacturing Product Self-Publishing

What It's About

A couple honors their culture by teaching new generations a heritage language.

Business Model
Product
Skills Required
Communication & Writing
Complexity
Medium
Profit Potential
Medium

Words of Wisdom

When you're telling potential customers about your product or service, you'll want to be able to tell them what it is and who it's for within the first 1-2 sentences.

Fun Fact

Mykou and Touger increased their video’s views on Facebook by 1500% by uploading the file directly to Facebook, rather than uploading their video to YouTube and sharing it. And the best part—it didn’t cost a dime.

Notes from Chris

Episode 368

When the communist party took over the Laotian government in 1975, the country became hostile toward the Hmong ethnic group. As allies of the United States in the Vietnam War, the Hmong people were considered risks to communism, and a violent wave of persecution began.

Thousands fled the country and settled in America, including young Mykou and Touger Thao, the side hustlers of this story.

Settled and married in Minnesota, Mykou and Touger had their first child in late-2015. They loved to read to her, but they were constantly disappointed by the lack of language learning tools for the Hmong language. There were no children’s books, no flashcards—nothing.

The couple desperately wanted their daughter to be bilingual speaking both English and Hmong, so they began looking into creating their own Hmong flash cards. A month later, in November of 2016, they hired a designer from Upwork to create 26 images for their animal flashcards and printed them out in their home office.

When it was all said and done, the couple had profited $1,000 from this initial set of cards. Launch #1 wasn’t a major success in terms of sales, but it definitely was a success in terms of conversion rate. One in ten viewers had ordered the cards—and Mykou and Touger knew they were onto something.

In their first year of business, Mykou and Touger generated just over $50,000 in sales through HmongBaby. Not only have they created a way to teach their daughter the language of their heritage, but their business has enabled them both to become self-employed so that they can spend more time at home. They want to create more products and streamline their method to be more effective and efficient. They’ve even received inquiries from people in other immigrant communities who want to replicate their success!


MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

  • HmongBaby: Check out Mykou and Touger's educational language learning products on their website
  • Upwork: The freelancing platform that they used to hire a designer to create the 26 images for their animal flashcards
  • Shopify: Touger used Shopify to set up their store for HmongBaby, and they're offering a 21-day trial and exclusive discount for all Side Hustle School listeners!
SEE ALSO:

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Yours in the revolution,

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Quote of the Day
"If you're struggling with creating a business that actually works, try to create something that 'scratches your own itch.' We wanted Hmong language learning products for our own kids, but it didn't really exist. So we created it ourselves!"
—Touger Thao #SideHustleSchool

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To infinity and beyond,

Chris Guillebeau