What It's About
Two brothers find side hustle success in a leather shop.
Words of Wisdom
Sometimes side hustles serve a deeper purpose than just making money. In this case, it allows Luke to work in a peaceful setting with his brother, who he says is his best friend, and it gives Jake a chance to work with his hands at his own pace and energy level. Luke uses his artistic side and Jake uses his construction skills. Maybe it’s also a reminder that if you experience a challenge, ask yourself is there an opportunity here as well? That’s what the Goodridge brothers found in their small town in Ontario, Canada.
One challenge in selling grain is competing against people selling cheap leather belts. Some $10 belts say “genuine leather,” which is actually a low grade of leather. Old Country Leather is full grain leather, which is much stronger and lasts much longer. They expect their belts last for 20 years, whereas the cheap belts crack and peel and last a year if that. Luke and Jake start right from the cowhides and cut and dye themselves, so their products are much higher quality. Educating people about “genuine leather” and how people are being misled is an uphill battle.
Notes from Chris
Today’s story comes from Luke and Jake Goodridge in Ontario, Canada. Luke works in retail, a job that comes with inconsistent hours. For a number of years his older brother Jake had a small construction business, but due to health problems, he had to stop. Jake didn’t want to stop working with his hands… but also wasn’t sure what he could do. It was Luke who had the idea to start a leather shop making custom leather dog collars, personalized camera straps, and belts. They also sell dog leashes, knife sheaths, keychains, book covers, and guitar straps (basically “all things leather accessory-wise”). They called it Old Country Leather, and opening it up allowed Jake to work at his own pace and energy levels, still using his hands, but without having to do any heavy lifting. Luke and Jake had both noticed that the items they’d seen in stores were low quality, and options were limited, so they already had an idea of what they wanted to do differently. Old Country Leather started by selling to friends and families, which was a good way to get honest feedback and iterate. Then they sold at a local market, which was promising—they made $1,000 in a weekend. However, the Goodridge brothers live in a rural area, so that market is only open once a year. They knew they’d have to rely on online sales if they wanted to have any chance at making a sustainable profit. And they’re on track for that, currently averaging around $1,500/month. So far, they’re investing much of that money in equipment that will help them produce more quickly without cutting corners on quality.
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- Old Country Leather: If customized leather accessories are your bag, check out Luke and Jakes' website!
- Craftsman Creates $350,000 Hustle from Handcrafted Leather Products: A leather craftsman starts a successful, multiple six-figure side hustle after being inspired by the tannery he works at for his day job
- Consultant Spends $200 on Advertising; Creates Million Dollar Leather Business: He hopes to show his clients an example of a successful business, but this consultant ends up with a million-dollar success of his own
- 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
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