What It's About
A circular side hustle that combines a love of Milwaukee and good beer.
Words of Wisdom
So far, Amanda and Zach have only one real regret: taking a whole two years to get started. Therefore, if they have any advice for potential side hustlers it’s that you should never feel pressured to get everything perfect before you get started.
Sometimes it’s better to just launch and get a better feel for your market instead of waiting until all of your pints are in a row.
Milwaukee’s long love affair with beer dates back to the German immigrants who settled there in the 1800s. Bringing with them a love of lagers, beer gardens, and a meat-and-carb-heavy diet, the area’s new inhabitants quickly began brewing beverages that would provide a taste of home. For more than a century, little changed. But over the last few years, Milwaukee has been experiencing a craft-beer boom that’s dramatic even in comparison to cities like New York and Seattle.
Notes from Chris
The first thing to know about Amanda and Zach Wambold is that they are dyed in the wool Wisconsinites. Having both grown up in Wisconsin, they loved everything about their home state. And they loved living in Milwaukee. They appreciate the culture and the cheese. But what really held a place in their heart was the Milwaukee brewery scene. If you’re not familiar with the area, appropriately dubbed “Brew City,” Milwaukee is one of America’s greatest (and oldest) beer destinations. It has more than its fair share of craft brewing companies, but if you’ve ever found yourself sipping a PBR, Miller High Life, or any number of other popular, domestic beers found at college parties, you’ve had a taste of the city’s brewing history too. And it was that love of a good brew that inspired them to start a side hustle when, a year into their relationship, they relocated to Tampa, Florida for Zach’s job as a Data Analyst. While it was exciting to explore a new city, they found themselves missing the people and culture of their beloved Milwaukee. As Amanda and Zach put it, “there's just something about the Midwest camaraderie, Wisconsin sports fandom, and beer-loving people that is like nowhere else.” They knew that they wanted to move back someday and thought it might be fun in the meantime to start a business with a Milwaukee/Wisconsin theme. Tapping into their love of the city and its brew-rich history, a side hustle came to a frothy head. They decided to create laser-imprinted beer coasters featuring maps pulled from their favorite city. And they called it Milwaukee Beer Gear. Less than a year and a half from launching, Amanda and Zach have sold around 5,500 of their coasters and have expanded their designs to include the Milwaukee People's Flag, the logo from a local T-shirt company called MilwaukeeHome, and even the state map. And since no coaster is complete without a nice pint glass, they started selling those map designs on some glassware too—and those are made locally. So far, they have only one real regret: taking a whole two years to get started. Therefore, if they have any advice for potential side hustlers it’s that you should never feel pressured to get everything perfect before you get started. Sometimes it’s better to just launch and get a better feel for your market instead of waiting until all of your pints are in a row.
MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:
- Milwaukee Beer Gear: Rings don't belong on your tables—guard yourself with some coasters! Head on over to Amanda and Zach's website to get some
- Philadelphia Lover Maps Out $35,000/Year Side Hustle: A neuroscientist turned marketing manager moonlights as an artist, selling original papercut designs on Etsy with very little marketing
- WordPress: Amanda and Zach used WordPress to setup Milwaukee Beer Gear, and here you can learn how to install your own WordPress site in 5 minutes
- Designer Makes $1M Giving It The Old College Try: Missing the south after migrating north to Boston, a designer creates a series of sports-themed pennants and t-shirts that put hometown pride on display. Since starting up, he’s had more than $1M in sales and earned a profit of $5,000 each month
- Boston Designers Open Authentic Arts & Crafts Shop for Visitors: Two friends want to help Boston’s artists bring their arts and crafts to the world—so they create a shop to help them showcase their wares, give talks, and connect with the history of the city
- Beard Oil Behemoth Expands to 35 Countries: How one man grew his $46 idea into a six-figure monthly sales machine selling beard oil
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