968
9 min 36 sec

Marine Goes “Under Cover” To Create Eyewear Protector

When a U.S. Marine scratches his sunglasses after placing them in his pocket, he solves the problem with a 3D printed solution.
Manufacturing Niche Ideas Problems & Solutions Product

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What It's About

This under cover clip keeps Marines looking slick with well-protected eyewear.

Business Model
Manufacturing
Skills Required
Prototyping & Marketing
Complexity
Medium
Profit Potential
Medium

Words of Wisdom

Someone once said that "if you build it, they will come," but who exactly are "they" and how do you find them? This is why I suggest creating an "Ideal Customer" in my book, Side Hustle: From Idea to Income in 27 Days. Write up a short, summary about who this person is, what their goals and interests are, and then figure out where they spend their time. Put together a pitch just for them, go to where they are, and start hustling!

Fun Fact

Victor normally carries a few of his clips around when he travels to different Marine bases. He'll approach other Marines and simply talk to them, or ask the young Marines knowledge questions. Afterward, he hands them a clip and thanks them for their service.

Notes from Chris

Episode 968
It was a glaringly sunny day on base when Victor de la Flor, a United States marine, put on his brand new sunglasses. It’s common for military personnel to carry glasses with them everywhere they go. Unlike office workers, they spend long stretches training outside.

Later that day, when the glare had died down, Victor placed his sunglasses into the pocket of his uniform, safely squared away. It wasn’t until the next morning that he realized the mistake he’d made. The lenses were scratched by some loose particles in there, and his glasses were ruined beyond repair!

Beyond being upset, Victor was intrigued. He knew there had to be a better way to carry around prescription eyewear or sunglasses. Something that kept them safe and secure but also neat. Marines take great pride in wearing their uniform, so simply hooking them on the shirt somehow wasn’t an option.

It became a battle between Victor and the problem of scratched sunglasses … one in which he was determined to emerge victoriously.

He spent the next year brainstorming solutions and eventually came up with a novel one. You see, Marines wear their ‘covers’—military talk for hats—when out in public at all times. He noticed there was plenty of space underneath the cover, enough to safely stash away his glasses.

He devised a small clip. It would sit inside the hat and hold the glasses when he wasn’t wearing them. A simple solution, right? Well, that simple solution actually took over a year and a half to create. He came up with seven different prototypes in that time, all with varying degrees of success.

Part of the problem was when it came to prototyping, Victor was no seasoned veteran. In fact, he had no experience at all. He knew he’d have to create a 3D model but wasn’t quite sure how to go about it.

It became trench warfare. Every time Victor came up with a concept, he was hit with counterfire that made it impossible for him to progress. As a last-ditch effort, he utilized the services of a designer to help him convert his drawings to a model that could be used on a 3D printer. He took the models and made use of a 3D printer at his local library to turn the designs into reality.

When he finally had a version that fit his requirements, he called it the Under Cover Clip.

Months went by and today, Victor has sold hundreds of clips to military personnel all over the country. In less than a year, he’s now nearly matched his salary as a Marine.

For the rest of 2019, he’s working on deals to get in several more military shops all over the country. He still plans on doing this while being the sole employee and maintaining his work and training in the military. What else would he do? He’s a U.S. Marine.

Victor, thank you for your service … and Semper Fi!

 
  MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE:

  • Under Cover Clip: Clip on over to Victor's website to learn more about this lens-saving side hustle!
  • American Dream U: A non-profit organization dedicated to helping our military get the education and access to resources they need to find their dream job or start a business of their own

SEE ALSO:

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

Yours in the revolution,

cg-sig-newsletter


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Resources

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Quote of the Day
"In the beginning, try advertising to your friends or Facebook groups you are a part of. After launching the FB advertisements and reaching a Marine Corps and Navy-specific audience, it began to spread like wildfire. Friends of friends began to share the ad and the page, and before I knew it, I was getting orders coming in repeatedly during the first few weeks.​"
—Victor de la Flor #SideHustleSchool

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To infinity and beyond,

Chris Guillebeau