What It's About
Presto! Twin brothers create a magical hustle featuring playing cards.
Words of Wisdom
Find something you LOVE and have it be a way you can make a difference in the world. For us, we love our products and we believe they will inspire people to be curious.
Twelve years ago, Dan and Dave were shipping everything out of their house. That was hard, so they finally decided to hire a fulfillment company. However, when they got their bill for the shipping and packing it was a shock. They were oblivious to the terms which resulted in zero profits from the deck they’d just created. Despite this setback, they decided to create another deck (they kind of had to) and press on!
Notes from Chris
TTwin brothers Dave and Dan Buck have loved magic as long as they can remember. Growing up they shared a bedroom, they shared the same interests and hobbies, and they started learning magic at the same time. Wanting to practice on the go, they each carried a card deck with them everywhere they went. Entrepreneurs at heart, they made their first product to sell when they were 15, which was a booklet on sleight of hand techniques for magicians. However, back then, their website had no way for them to accept online payments. So, they had a page that listed their address for people to send them a check and presto... their parents drove them to the post office to ship out orders. This led to the creation of DanAndDave.com in 2007. It catered to magicians and served as a lab for them to try new ideas, create instructional videos, and—critically—offer playing cards for sale. Over the years, their playing card collection had grown substantially. People seemed to really like the deck they featured. In 2007, world-famous magician David Blaine had just released his own playing card deck. This got the twins thinking, “If he has his own deck, we should have one too.” So, in 2008, they began designing and selling their own decks along with promoting the decks of other popular brands they liked. The first deck they designed was a set of two called Smoke and Mirrors (because they’re twins). In 2012, they decided to create a site focused solely on selling playing cards. More and more companies were designing premium decks and their popularity was skyrocketing. So, with the same ease as a three-card Monte setup, they created a Shopify account for what they called Art of Play. They used their existing inventory from DanAndDave.com to feed into their new site. The brothers have since partnered with artists and designers from all over the world in developing their own brands of playing cards and decks. They’re constantly looking through graphic design books and blogs for inspiration. Collaborating with popular YouTubers, posting regularly on Instagram and partnering with some well-known playing-card Facebook pages have all been instrumental in building awareness around Art of Play. The twins typically release one deck per month. Business has grown so much that they have seven people working for Art of Play currently. The income earned from AOP pays their salaries along with the salaries of their employees. Since producing their first deck in 2008, they’ve sold several million of them. Their business has allowed them to make a living doing what they love, support their families and give back to communities and non-profits. Their partnership with 1% For The Planet helps plant trees around the world. Profits for these two prolific prestidigitators aren’t disappearing, and neither is their interest in spreading the love of magic. Since expanding into puzzles, games, and novelty items, they’ve also been able to pull a rabbit from their hat and reach an even wider audience.
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- Art of Play: Checkout Dan and Dave's full lineup of decks, puzzles, and games at their website.
- Shopify.com: The e-commerce platform Dan and Dave built their website on.
- New Yorker Doubles Her Income with Next-Level Tarot Cards: How a senior designer for a feminist media publication decides to create tarot card decks and ends up making as much with her side hustle as she does at her day job.
- Engineer Makes $64,000 Selling Nerdy Playing Cards on Reddit: It started with a single Legend of Zelda playing card she drew for a friend and posted on Reddit—then it became a side hustle selling more than 6,400 full decks.
- Cards Against Humanity Inspire Six-Figure Party Game: Two friends in their twenties create a “nonsense” party game. Ten years later, they turn it into a side hustle that is now sold at Target.
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Sponsors & Gratitude
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To infinity and beyond,