550
10 min 52 sec

Canadian Powerlifter Creates Elegant Bow Tie Biz

This hospital employee and competitive powerlifter wasn’t making enough money on the side as a personal trainer, so he turned to a completely different idea: bow ties!
Arts & Crafts International Product Retail

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What It's About

A bow tie business that leads to so much more.

Business Model
Product
Skills Required
Bow Tie Making & Design
Complexity
Low
Profit Potential
Medium

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!

Fun Fact

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

Episode 550

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

SEE ALSO:

Inspiration is good; inspiration combined with action is better. Now get back to work!

Yours in the revolution,

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Resources

CREATE YOUR ONLINE STORE

Create your online store with Shopify using an exclusive discount for Side Hustle School listeners. For a limited time, get a free 21-day trial and a 10% discount for a whole year.

Many Side Hustle School listeners are building sites using Shopify's easy-to-learn platform. Try it free today!

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GET YOUR FIRST 1,000 EMAIL SUBSCRIBERS

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Quote of the Day
"I believe every single person in this world has some sort of an entrepreneurial spirit within them, but overtime that's something we are trained out of. Maybe everyone isn't meant to run a business, but I firmly believe that through our purpose there is something entrepreneurial we can all achieve."
—Kobi Amponsah #SideHustleSchool

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To infinity and beyond,

Chris Guillebeau