What It's About
A man’s accidental side hustle fulfills a long-held dream to make movie sets, but not in the way he expected.
Words of Wisdom
Today's episode is a great example of why you don’t have to scale your side hustle. Lots of listeners start their side hustles for various reasons—set your own goals and do what’s best for you.
Jason actually learned about Side Hustle School when a customer came into the store that he manages and encouraged him to submit his story to us!
Notes from Chris
During business hours, Jason Huot manages a large retail store in Kansas. His climb in the retail sector took him from Kansas City to Chicago to Mall of America for companies like Fossil and Eddie Bauer. After eight years, he returned home to settle down. In college, Jason had imagined himself making miniature sets for the movie industry. He had grown up using his hands and imagination to fix cars and houses alongside his Dad. He was also a huge movie fan, always fascinated by anything miniature. At about the same time, filmmakers began using computer-generated imaging, or CGI, to create their miniature sets, so Jason set the dream aside to become a star in retail. Jason didn’t set aside his love of movies or miniatures, however. He discovered the world of sixth-scale miniature figures from movies and television. Batman was his favorite. These One-Sixth Scale figures stand 12” tall. The process of creating the figures is a long back-and-forth between the studios and the companies who create them. The figures have to be as exact as possible, and particularly in Asia, this is a billion-dollar business. The manufacturers typically post pre-production photos of the characters online and take pre-orders. It is common to wait six to nine months for delivery, with limited runs. Collecting sixth-scale figures became popular in the US about ten years ago. The figures range from about $150 to well over a thousand dollars. Jason loved collecting figures but didn’t like how others collectors displayed theirs. They put them on stands, as if in a museum. Jason felt his figures deserved more. He wanted to place them in a scene from their movie. On the side, working in his off-hours, he started building one-sixth scale miniature movie sets.
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- Mischief Dioramas: Take a look at some of Jason's amazing creations on his website or Instagram account
- Timewalker Toys: The toys and collectibles online store near his home that encouraged Jason to create dioramas
- Planet Comicon: The largest comic book and pop culture convention in the Kansas City area
- “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
- Engineer Makes $64,000 Selling Nerdy Playing Cards on Reddit: It started with a single Legend of Zelda playing card she drew for a friend and posted on Reddit—then it became a side hustle selling more than 6,400 full decks
- 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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