What It's About
This family-run faux taxidermy side hustle really turns heads!
Words of Wisdom
Lindsay credits their success to the fact that since this was a side hustle for them, they were able to take it slow. They were able to test the waters before they dove in and made huge investments that may not have paid off.
We asked Lindsay if she had any memorable customized orders and she said that they once were asked to create a human skull with fangs and a unicorn horn. Unfortunately, due to the client's budget constraints, they did not create the piece.
Notes from Chris
Episode 471When Lindsay and Rick Baublitz first started dating, there was a big difference between them that caused a few disagreements. Lindsay is an avid animal lover and PETA supporter, who would rather take a spider outside then step on it. Rick, on the other hand, is an avid animal hunter, who loves going deer, goose, and duck hunting. They eventually worked through these minor issues and got married, but the topic reared its head again when Lindsay and Rick started looking for a house and talked about how they wanted to decorate. For some reason, the thought of having trophy animal heads peering down at her like they did at Rick’s family home did not appeal to Lindsay! She had a crafty idea for getting around this—she decided to surprise Rick by decorating a resin deer head with fabric. In other words, an artificial, arts-and-crafts replica. It was a completely cruelty-free way to bring his love of hunting into their home without hurting so much as a fly… let alone a deer. She was nervous about what he would think of the faux decor, but not only did he love it—he encouraged her to make more and sell them. So Lindsay made a second fabric-covered faux deer head and created an Etsy shop called Near & Deer. She was so excited when it sold within a week, confirming that she wasn’t the only person in the world who liked artificial animals hanging over their mantle. She immediately bought more supplies to make another faux deer wall mount, and eventually expanded the line by adding different patterns and sold them for two hundred dollars each. That first year she sold six pieces and was excited to have a little extra income. Soon Rick joined in on the faux taxidermy fun by painting the resin heads solid colors to sell a higher volume at a lower price point. They also introduced other faux animals into their line-up, including moose, antelope, cow skulls, unicorns and even a dinosaur or two to expand their home decor options… because one challenge of hanging traditional animal heads has been that hunters always have a hard time finding unicorns and dinosaurs. After six months of selling on Etsy, Lindsay and Rick created their own e-commerce site. After business started to pick up, they made the decision that Rick would quit his full-time job as an HVAC technician to work on growing the business full-time. They so busy keeping up with demand that one of them needed to do it, and Lindsay liked her day job as a business appraiser. That year they sold twelve hundred pieces—six times as many as they sold the previous year. And all this from trying to make a little cruelty-free compromise and not wanting to be stared at by a real deer head on the wall. You never know what kind of ideas can lead to life-changing side and main hustles. For Lindsay and Rick, they really are turning unicorn heads and selling them worldwide.
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- Near & Deer: Turn heads with Lindsay and Rick's faux taxidermy creations—get a dinosaur bust of your own on their website!
- Etsy | Near & Deer: The Etsy page that Lindsay and Rick started with before creating their own website
- Canadian Mom Spells Out Success with Letter Board Loot: After a search for customizable letter boards leaves her empty-handed, a Side Hustle School listener sees the writing on the wall
- High School Student Earns $20,000 Making Wooden Bow Ties: When a young woodworker receives a wooden bow tie as a gift, he’s unimpressed. After making his own, he earns $20,000 while going to high school full-time
- Carpenter Pays His Mortgage Selling Embroidered Travel Patches: Tired of look-alike flag patches, this carpenter and frequent traveler creates his own designs based on a modern style with a nod toward 1920s luxury travel
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