7 min 21 sec

Chemical Analyst Strikes a Side Hustle Match(Stick)

Ever wondered how match strikers are made? This chemical analyst figured it out, and now earns $2,000/month from her online shop.
Niche Ideas Power of Observation Product Reselling

Subscribe Now For A Free Five Step Tutorial

What It's About

A side hustle that's truly on fire!

Business Model
Skills Required
Power of Observation & Resourcefulness
Profit Potential

Words of Wisdom

So here’s a challenge for you: take note of some of the random items you encounter through your day. See if you can figure out where they come from.

Imagine that you had to find a way to either buy them or commission them or make them yourself—how would you do it?

Fun Fact

Everyone has that one friend who collects matchbooks from restaurants. “Phillumeny” describes the people who collect them, and other match-associated things.

Notes from Chris

Episode 665
They say that where there’s smoke, there's fire. And, in Melissa Moore’s case, where there’s fire, there’s a side hustle. Based in Atlanta, Georgia, the chemical manufacturing senior analyst is also a lifelong candle and incense lover.

Her side hustle is matchsticks and the paper you strike them on. You know the striker strip on the side of matchboxes? Well, she imports them by the sheet (about the size of a piece of paper, US letter size) and sells them online on Etsy, Amazon, eBay, and my own website.

In addition to generic ones, she also cuts them down into various sizes to create more artistic strikers—circles, squares, rectangles, etc., as well as hearts, moons, letters, and even outlines of US states. The sheets and the die-cut shapes have an adhesive backing, so they function like stickers.

  How did this come to be?

For years, Melissa tolerated tacky lighters and ugly matchboxes to help fulfill her candlelit dreams. But when she took a casual wander through stacks of homemade pottery at an arts festival, an idea sparked in her mind.

While perusing oil warmers, she noticed that there was a small compartment on some of them that could be the perfect size to hold matches. The clay also gave it an easy striking surface. It was while staring at the oil warmer that Melissa realized that all she really wanted was a cute container to hold her matches in and complete her candle collection.

So, she turned to Google to start searching for match holders. But all she could ever find were dingy antiques or flimsy plastic ones, which just wouldn’t do for her modern decorative needs. After many days, and even more refined search terms later, Melissa found the perfect jar size for her grocery store-sourced matches.

But just because she had the matches, and a nice container to put them in, did not mean her work was done just yet. She still needed a way to light those matches. Sheer willpower wouldn’t do the job, so Melissa went back to the drawing board to figure out how to source striking paper that she could stick onto her jars.

A few weeks after that she got her first paper delivery in the mail. A Sunday afternoon crafting session later, Melissa had glued the paper to her containers, filled them with matchsticks, and realized that she couldn’t possibly be the only person who needed an answer to the inevitable matchstick/container problem in their lives.

The side hustle fire was lit—she called it Strike a Match.

That was seven years ago. It’s been a slow burn since then, Melissa now brings in about $3,500 in monthly revenue. Her profit margins are almost 50%, which means she’s making just under $2,000 in profit each month. Since people use striking paper and matches for a plethora of reasons, like gifts, emergency supplies, or to pair with antique match holders, Melissa has pretty steady sales through the year.

Melissa realized how fragmented the matchstick industry was because there wasn’t one ‘go-to’ destination, so she set herself the goal of making the purchasing experience easy and fun. It’s an additional bonus that it’s given her the freedom to spend more time with her family.

Sounds like she’s on a hot streak.


  • Strike a Match: Looking to light a fire of your own? Head on over to Melissa's website!


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

Yours in the revolution,


Download Episodes By Months:

Season 6 (2022): JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUN | JUL | AUG | SEP | OCT | NOV | DEC |

Season 5 (2021): JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUN | JUL | AUG | SEP | OCT | NOV | DEC |

Season 4 (2020): JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUN | JUL | AUG | SEP | OCT | NOV | DEC |

Season 3 (2019): JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUN | JUL | AUG | SEP | OCT | NOV | DEC |

Season 2 (2018): JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUN | JUL | AUG | SEP | OCT | NOV | DEC |

Season 1 (2017): JAN | FEB | MAR | APR | MAY | JUN | JUL | AUG | SEP | OCT | NOV | DEC |



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!

Learn More


Social media is nice, but building an email list is still the single best way to get customers and clients for your hustle. It's not hard to get started—sign up for a 30-day trial and join the list-building challenge! You’ll be up and running in no time.

Learn More

Quote of the Day
"The best way to brainstorm side hustle ideas is not to try to think of side hustle ideas, it's to look for problems that you can solve—preferably problems you have yourself."
—Melissa Moore #SideHustleSchool

Sponsors & Gratitude

Get Your Logo Today With Logojoy!

Side Hustle School is brought to you by Logojoy, an online tool that uses artificial intelligence to help you design a beautiful, custom logo.

Try Logojoy today and get 20% off any logo package when you visit logojoy.com/hustle.

Get it Here

Like the Show? Leave a Rating!

Side Hustle School is for you! If you’re enjoying it, please take a quick moment to leave a rating or write a quick review. It's really easy and it makes a difference! ✅

It also makes a huge difference when you tell your friends about the show. Remember, it's 100% free and listener-supported.

Here's How

Keep in Touch

There’s a new story every single day on Side Hustle School. Episodes are produced to be short and to the point—I know you’re busy. Be sure you subscribe to get instant notification of the day’s broadcast!

To infinity and beyond,

Chris Guillebeau