9 min 41 sec

Bass Player Starts BassLayerz Clothing Hustle

Sports fans have all kinds of options to showcase their love of the game through apparel. Why can’t musicians have the same?
Manufacturing Music Niche Ideas Product

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What It's About

Clothing for those who like to "slap da bass."

Business Model
Skills Required
Design & Research
Profit Potential

Words of Wisdom

Despite the digital age we live in, both Russell and Chris say the best way to market their product has been to wear it. Whether they’re going out for the day or just running to the store to get some bread, they treat themselves like walking billboards. "If you can confidently wear your product with pride," they say, "it will help others to picture themselves doing the same."

Fun Fact

The bassists for Aretha Franklin, Miles Davis, Jeffrey Osbourne, David Sanborn, Lauren Hill, and Con Funk Shun are all Basslayerz customers! Florida bass giant, David Pastorius, nephew of legend, Jaco Pastorius, has also been seen wearing the brand.

Notes from Chris

Episode 797
Based in Dallas, Texas, respiratory therapist Russell Harris is passionate about music culture. As a bass player in his spare time, he loves nothing more than playing, creating, or just talking about music. But he’s often felt that music culture was missing something other subcultures have—the ability to express your love for music through your clothes.

He knew that basic apparel, like t-shirts and baseball caps, help you to show your support for a particular artist; that you’re a Belieber or Little Monster or Deadhead. But there was no clothing range out there which showed your passion for music in general. So, he set about creating a brand that would do just that.

His first step was to enlist the help of his fashionable friend, Chris Mathis. They met at a Dallas coffee shop over the course of a few weeks to brainstorm ideas about what products music-lovers would want.

Russell and Chris both felt they should start with one product to test the market. If they got a good response they could expand their catalog in stages. Because Chris is a self-proclaimed hat-snob, they figured they would start with headwear. Specifically, baseball caps and skull-caps, which you might also know as a beanie.

They chose the name Basslayerz. This is a play on the term baselayer often used in sportswear, but for, well ... bass players and layers of clothing. They felt the “layers” aspect stopped them from being pigeon-holed so they could expand into other types—or layers—of clothing in the future.

Since launching in October 2018, the reception and the sales have been strong. They now want to expand Basslayerz to reach more musicians. They also hope that their brand will catch the attention of someone like Daymond John, founder of FUBU. They’re going to start by attending in-person events, like guitar shows and conventions. Sounds like they are tuning up for the next stage!


  • Basslayerz Apparel: Tune up in style—head on over to Russell and Chris' website to snag some bass worthy clothing of your own!
  • Shopify: Russell and Chris used Shopify to set up their site for Basslayerz, and they're offering a 21-day trial and exclusive discount for all Side Hustle School listeners!


  • Pathetic Triathlete Creates $30,000 Facebook Group: Frustrated with snobby and overly-serious triathletes, a man creates a Facebook group for more casual and fun discussion. It then transforms into a $30,000 side hustle with tens of thousands of members
  • Austinite Creates Radical Girl Clothing Line: After feeling burned out from a career at Nike, this merchandiser looks elsewhere for radical inspiration. She then moves her side hustle to Austin, Texas while relocating for a new job
  • Catholic Designer Creates Stylish Apparel Line: What shall it profit a man to gain the whole world but not sell any t-shirts? This designer cast his bread upon the waters and ended up with a profitable fashion line
Inspiration is good; inspiration combined with action is better. Now get back to work!

Yours in the revolution,


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Quote of the Day
"Your first steps getting started should be 1) research your competition and try to be better than them, 2) take notes and write down your ideas, and 3) be patient and smart with your upfront spending."
—Russell Harris & Chris Mathis #SideHustleSchool

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To infinity and beyond,

Chris Guillebeau