What It's About
California man helps terrorize the friends of others with musical cards that just won't stop.
Words of Wisdom
Travis isn’t a big fan of “rules of thumb” because he thinks that there are no two businesses that are exactly alike. He thinks it’s important to take the opinions and advice of other business owners with a grain of salt and focus on finding your own path.
Travis is locking in the greeting card market, one side hustle at a time! His most recent greeting card venture is called Bloom Greetings! These cards are not joke related—it’s a different concept altogether. Instead of a card that will not stop playing music, each card comes equipped with a sheet mask.
Notes from Chris
Episode 744Travis Peterson didn’t have a childhood aspiration to make a non-stop musical greeting card that looped for up to 6 hours. He didn’t study the greeting card industry in college—he studied finance. He didn’t hate his job in investment banking—he liked it just fine. But life is funny, and these days, Travis spends much of his time managing a little project that sells close to half a million dollars a year, all built around what was admittedly a silly idea. The silly idea came about when Travis and his brother Nick were visiting a relative who had received a musical greeting card—you know, one of those cards that plays a little annoying tune when you open it up. Travis said, “This is really dumb,” and Nick said, “Right, but what if it didn’t stop.” This was the extent of the idea validation they did. There weren’t any focus groups, prototypes, or competitor analyses. Their goal was to make $1,000 in profit from a prank musical greeting card that loop non-stop when opened. You couldn’t turn it off unless you destroyed the card. If musical greeting cards were annoying, theirs would be the most annoying of all... Their Kickstarter project for the card raised a bit more than $1,000. It raised more than $90,000. Once that happened, Travis decided to give it more of his attention. He ended up launching a side hustle and called it Joker Greeting. He found a manufacturer in China and got 1,000 cards made. Buoyed by that crowdfunding momentum, Travis began direct sales at the same time they began to reach out to vendors and retailers, hoping to be stocked in stores. After all, most people buy greeting cards in person. That second part took a while, but once some stores began to sell them, Travis' competitors noticed Joker Greeting and soon they had requests coming in. Keep in mind, stores and retailers are always looking for new ideas that have strong sell-through. Every product on their shelf goes stale at some point. As the business grew, Travis added more features and marketing tactics:
- - Included glitter to explode whenever you rip up the card … adding another step to the prank.
- - Made a video of the card being dunked in water … it still worked!
- - Uploaded another video, this one 8-hours long, of the card being played non-stop to YouTube. That video has 100,000 views which says a lot about how people spend their time on the internet.
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- Joker Greeting: Looking to one up your friend following that prank gone wrong? One of Travis' cards may fit the bill!
- Bloom Greetings: In the event that you don't want to terrorize your friends but still want a unique card to give to friends and/or family, check out Travis' other greeting card company
- Kickstarter | Joker Greeting: The Kickstarter campaign that started it all
- Shopify: Travis used Shopify to set up his site for Joker Greeting, and they're offering a 21-day trial and exclusive discount for all Side Hustle School listeners!
- Bartender Earns Extra Income With “Revenge By Mail” Postcards: Want to embarrass your frenemy? Send them an awkward, anonymous postcard congratulating them on a purchase they didn’t make. This bartender and yoga teacher earns an extra $100/day from her inventive idea!
- Internet Trolls Eat Their Words in This Comedic Cake Hustle: After seeing a mean comment on Dolly Parton’s Facebook page, a woman bakes up a hilarious and ironic side hustle
- It’s Not Vandalism, It’s a $15,000 Yard-Gram Hustle: A school teacher earns an extra $1,000 a month placing pink flamingos in neighbors’ yards. Yes, really!
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