What It's About
A bow tie business that leads to so much more.
Words of Wisdom
I often say a side hustle is not forever—and today's episode is a great example of that. That's the beauty of running a side hustle—you can do it for as long as it works for you!
Kobi has taken a lot of customized bow-tie requests, but the one that stands out the most is the time he was paid $500 to create a replica of Dr. Strange’s bow-tie for one of his customers.
Notes from Chris
Kobi Amponsah is a man of many talents. By day, he works in a hospital as an operating room attendant. He’s also a competitive powerlifter with a kinesiology degree, and in his spare time he trains firefighters. His previous side hustle was working as a personal trainer. He’d helped to pay off his college tuition with the income from his clients but wanted a little extra money to feel comfortable. Plus, personal training was taking its toll. He felt he spent more time traveling between clients than actually making money working. To put it simply, he wanted something different. Kobi had long toyed with the idea of starting another business. As an active member of his community in Brampton, Ontario, Kobi felt wanted to inspire younger people in the area. He also felt drawn to explore his creative side and make products to sell. To come up with ideas of what he could create, he looked at what made him unique. He explored the parts of his life he enjoyed which also helped him stand out from others. He found the answers… right under his collar. Kobi had always been fashion conscious and loved to wear bow-ties. He felt they were a great way to express his individuality while breaking social norms. Everyone expects you to rock up to a business meeting or formal event wearing a normal Windsor-knotted necktie, and Kobi got a kick out of wearing something unique. So, he decided he would center his side hustle on making and selling bow ties. But there was one problem; he didn’t know how to make them. Over the course of the next two weeks, Kobi spent four hours in intensive bow-tie training and began bouncing the idea for his side hustle off of the seamstresses there. In this workshop, Kobi learned two things. The first is that bow-ties aren’t terribly time-consuming to make, taking between 20 and 45 minutes depending on the fabric or style. The second is that ties are cost-effective to make, with the average tie costing him just $5.00 to make. These findings helped Kobi to confirm this was an idea worth pursuing, and he invested $250 in getting it off the ground. Kobi has made a total of $25,000 since he first started Neck Couture. Some months profits would be high at $2,000, and others they are less. But much of his work is seasonal, so Kobi doesn’t panic in the low-income months. Looking to the future, Kobi is planning to slow down Neck Couture’s production and move on to other ventures. He’s started a podcast to help inspire young people to start their businesses, which he calls the Purposeful Story Podcast, where he shares the successes and insights of his fellow entrepreneurs. Whatever happens next, Kobi can say he’s mastered a new skill, he’s found a way to make it viable, and should he ever need to make bow ties at any other point in his life, he’ll know exactly what to do.
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- Neck Couture: Snag yourself one of Kobi's sweet bow ties over on his website before they go extinct!
- Squarespace: The website building platform that Kobi used to create his website for Neck Couture
- Purposeful Story Podcast: The podcast Kobi started to help inspire young people to start their businesses
- DIY Men's Bow Tie: Itching to try your hand at making a bow tie? Here's a video that will put you on the right path!
- 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
- College Buddies Create $15,000 Bow Tie Hustle: After making the decision to upgrade their wardrobes, two Virginia college students start a bow tie side hustle
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