380
8 min 28 sec

Auto Employee Earns $100,000 Selling Stickers on Instagram

On a trip to Tokyo, a serial side hustler discovers popular stickers in Tokyo. He comes home, learns to produce his own, and earns six-figures in the first year of operation.
Design High Profit Manufacturing Product Social Media

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What It's About

Niche stickers sold on Instagram quickly become a huge success.

Business Model
Social Media
Skills Required
The Power of Observation & Trendspotting
Complexity
Medium
Profit Potential
High

Words of Wisdom

Pay attention to where this idea came from. On a trip to Japan, they see some cool stickers. Then they notice there’s a whole store that sells only this brand, right in the heart of downtown Tokyo—where rent is really expensive. In other words, they noticed that people loved stickers enough to sustain a major business. Then they came back home and got to work using their creative and marketing skills.

These are the two most important characteristics of starting profitable projects: the power of observation, and the willingness to take action.

Fun Fact

When Remi talked to his cousin in Korea about the sticker business, he mentioned that people like miniaturized things. So Remi decided to test random images to see how they perform—stuff like miniature Statue of Liberty stickers or coffee cup stickers. Some of his stickers have been home runs and others not so much, but it's exciting to print new images and see how the market reacts to it.

Notes from Chris

Episode 380
Today’s side hustle comes from Remi Silva. By day, he’s a digital media manager for a 24-dealership auto group in Los Angeles. You may remember Remi from Ep. 109, where we discussed his meal prepping service, one of this side hustles.

At the time he had just started Blank Tag Co. another side hustle selling stickers. He started this one with his girlfriend Alondra after they visited Tokyo. On the trip, they went to a department store called Tokyu Hands and noticed that it had some really interesting stickers produced by a company called B-Side Label. A few days later while walking through the Harajuku, a famous street in Tokyo, and noticed the flagship B-Side Label store. Remi was surprised to see that a company that only sold stickers made enough money to have a physical store.

So in February, they decided to start their own sticker company, investing a few thousand dollars in product and design and $100 or so on the website and some plugins. They tried out a few designers from dribbble.com and ultimately settled on one they like.

The first few stickers they made were disasters. Remi commissioned a few pop art images to use as stickers, as well a zombie, a zombie dog, and a suspicious turtle. None of them sold and Alondra suggested making food stickers. The company only started growing after he listened to her—there’s a lesson there for someone.

Since then, they’ve been selling 2-3,000 stickers a month at an average price point of $3-5. They spend about $2,500/month in advertising, but they’re getting a great return on that investment. Since beginning last February, less than one year ago, these low-priced stickers have made more than $100,000 for Remi and Alondra. They’re not cashing out just yet—they’re reinvesting, constantly looking for new images and products and other ways to market.

They love stickers and bringing happiness to others. They also hope that everyone who starts a side hustle experiences the same joy they feel.

MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

Resources

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Quote of the Day
"I don't measure our success purely on profit, and the best part of this for me has been when my customers share with me how much they love our stickers and how it reminds them of their childhoods."
—Remi Silva #SideHustleSchool

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To infinity and beyond,

Chris Guillebeau