7 min 33 sec

Elementary School Teacher Pans for Gold in New Zealand

After changing continents multiple times, an elementary school teacher finds true love, settles down in NZ, goes panning for gold, and ends up making $40,000/year working mostly on the weekends.
Arts & Crafts Creative International Jewelry Product

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What It's About

After taking a jewelry making class, an American transplant in New Zealand starts creating his own jewelry selling it at a local market.

Business Model
Arts & Crafts
Skills Required
Jewelry Making & Creativity
Profit Potential

Words of Wisdom

Gold Pan Pete has a good profit margin, relatively high price, and a fairly unique product. When you start with a quality product that others want to buy, your product sells itself.

It also doesn't hurt that he sells his jewelry it in a market like the Queenstown Market that has recurring groups of tourists coming through every week. Without both of those elements, it might be more of a challenge.

Fun Fact

When he was teaching full-time and also selling his pieces at the market, Alex was working six days a week and hardly able to see his three small children. With his new schedule and side hustle, he has much more time for them.

Now that his hustle is bringing in around $40,000/year, he's looking to fully retire from teaching and commit 100% of his time to making jewelry. Every day is a step closer to Alex truly becoming his own boss, which is something he's wanted to do ever since he read The $100 Startup.

Notes from Chris

Episode 62
I love hearing how someone is successful—and actually making good money—at a weekly market! If you're looking to create a product that you can sell to others, focus on 1) developing a product that people will actually want to buy, and 2) finding where your customers are.

Before starting his side hustle, Alex was getting burnt out on being a school teacher, but now he can afford to reduce the number of days he spends teaching. Additionally, he's now doing something he really enjoys which is being the school's PE teacher and Sports Coordinator, a three-days-a-week assignment.

Alex originally hoped to strike it rich—or at least find enough gold to craft his wedding ring—but what he's found instead is more sustainable.


  • Gold Pan Pete: the moniker Alex chose and the website he created to sell his handcrafted jewelry
  • Queenstown Market: where Alex sells his wares every Saturday

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

Yours in the revolution,

Chris Guillebeau



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Quote of the Day
"When I was teaching full time and also selling my pieces at the market, I was hardly seeing my 3 small children. However, with my new schedule and side hustle, I have much more time for them."
—Alex Moore #SideHustleSchool

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Chris Guillebeau