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#604 - Military-Themed Teddy Bears Help Kids Hibernate


An ad executive turned teddy bear manufacturer creates a military-grade sleep system for children, earning $100,000 in sales and making a lot of people beary happy.

Side Hustle School features a new story EVERY DAY of someone who started a hustle without quitting their job. You’ll learn how they got the idea, how they overcame challenges along the way, and what the results are.  Share: #SideHustleSchoolShow notes: SideHustleSchool.comTwitter: @chrisguillebeau

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This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
What's up welcome to a brand new week of cider school? My aim is Chris about your host. I have an incredible story for you today, its heartwarming and its also It's a different kind of idea that we haven't really looked out before the story, features and add, executive and former copyright, or for the? U S marine corps who becomes a die? Why Teddy bear? player, offering what he calls a military, great sleep system for children from not knowing think about the role of Teddy Bears, because there is quite a world of Teddy bears. He ends up receive a shipping container of thousands of them arriving in his driveway heaving grows the business too? thousand dollars and sales last year and even gets into target stores, but it turns out that getting into target stores was a bust Does he does better sign them on his own and through boutiques? Now as a bonus in today's episode, also learned what a group of bears is called.
Do you know already? I did not stay tuned for the answer and also bear with me. This enthralling ersite episode is coming right up. Just in Bonn is the full time creative director for the in House Advertising agency at Lenovo, the second largest pc company on the planet. His company devout think TAT computers, MOTO phones and much more before his job at one of our from two thousand five, two thousand twelve Justin was the lead writer of recruitment advertising for the United States more core. It was while he was working there that he was inspired by the men and women serving and uniform they made him want to give back and when his own daughter at the same time, had difficulty sleeping through the night just had an idea. He decided to bring his daughter homemade Teddy Bear in Marine sweatshirt,
He then told her story introducing him as a marine bear who has protected the nation for more than two hundred years? Now he's ready to protect you while you sleep, but what if he falls asleep his daughter ass? Great question, but just in was prepared. He reassured her saying he's a marine. He would never fail at his mission that night, his daughter slept like a bear in hibernation. A light bulb went off injustice head. If this work for his daughter, perhaps he could work for other children. He then develop the concept of sergeant sleep tight, a full, fledged military, great sleep system that party children from bad dreams. Fear of the dark in the night time, anxieties that come from having a deploy parent- and this is not your run of the mill Teddy Bear Sergeant- Sleep tight comes in
with a door. Hangar warning, nighttime monsters that he's on guard a sleep, tight oath to be read with your child before bed, which officially put your bear on duty and a silver slumber star to be awarded to your child. For sleeping through the night, I set a full on system and the project was called. Z bears like Zeb areas with three zis, so we could say, Z bears Mars, but I think I'm just gonna say zippers now, when first turning out just and had no idea how to get a teddy bear made, so he did what most of us would do in that situation. He went back to college. He took a four year, Courson Teddy. Manufacturing then earn a masters degree in no way. Actually sorry I'm running this wrong here. He acknowledges googled it once in its how to make Teddy bears. Ok, that was easier. That Google search led him to Alibaba the gateway to manufacturing. He then tied to an Teddy bears and got back hundreds of manufacturers, he narratives search to ones with experience making military uniforms.
And found one willing to do a small Rhine of two hundred orders to an embarrassed coming right up. What or typing turned out to be easier than expected when it came to finding styles of parity light Justin would send his manufacturer pictures. He would cobbled together ass now from this one, a patch of fur, from that one until he was satisfied with what they have. It was essentially the Frankenstein's monster of bears, except not nearly as creepy spoke to protect its not give them nightmares The greater problem came when he saw his first order to do this. He wired guy several thousand dollars Bia Western Union, which is still a thing from his local grocery store just integrity out of fifty He shot of the whole thing panting out, but about a month later bears arrived safely on his front door. Fortunately, that supplier was honest, unfortunately, that suppliers quality was good, but not great, and these bears deserve greatness.
To find a new manufacturer just and use the power of Facebook connecting with another plush product designer named one would just gotten his product into Walmart. One referred him to his manufacturer. That was two years ago in just and still uses the same minded The new manufacturer has been instrumental in helping them, grow the business, good communication, fair prices and even makes prototypes in small batches for free in the modern fable of Goldilocks Antsy bears that manufacturer was just right now. Let's talk about, started, cost
cost Percy bears were moderate in the beginning. I just in found one of his friends is a graphic designer to make the logo and accessories. He then built a simple inexpensive website through square space and just like that, he had himself a fully functional e commerce business. That was it he was up and running. We just had to buy those bears. His very first sale was from his sister good works is thanks for helping out, but he didn't stop just selling to his family on a whim just and sent a private message through Facebook to the Marine Corps exchange the exchanges out of stores on the basis that sell everything from diapers to alcohol, to TVS the toy are there was impressed and a week later they had a deal, but there's just one problem there, always, as you know, there's just one problem short of those barriers to be any retail box. In other words, she liked the concept, but not that first batch he had produced those berries had to go into hibernation, despite the set back just in It off with a new bachelor bears, and a year later he got into the exchanges for the Navy and a coastguard. Naturally, each one
bears in their respective branches uniforms. The name sergeant sleep tight, didn't work, because neither the Navy nor the coastguard has sergeants mother fun fact. So, in addition to the new bears just had a trademark new names as well sailor, sleep, tight and costly sleep tight, these new bears were spreading either way side note: what is a group of bears called? I honestly did not know, and so just like us- and I also went back to college- and you know just type something into Google and a group of bears here's. What comes up that extensive research, a group of bears Be called a sloth pack mall or sluice how about that a sleuth of bears? However, many bears are solitary animals, so they don't often travel together in groups. That's why you don't often hear of a sloth or a pack or a mall or a sleuth of bears.
Now back to our story. Everything was going. Great Justin was doing everything with the business along with his wife. No third parties there are doing all their own shipping in fulfilment the bearers arriving in shipping containers from China and as much of a challenge as it was when those container shut up in his driveway. The burden was bearable. Justin was ready for the next step and we had the chance to meet with buyers from get. He thought he found it after one. Twenty minute meeting with those buyers in Miami Hotel Room just had won them over. They love the bears, or at least he thought they did. They agreed to stop them in five hundred stores, or at least he thought they did. It turned out that getting his bears into target. Wasn't all it was cracked up to be a day is bears response arrived on the shelves, just in called his local store, just to make sure they were available and it turns out they weren't. What's worse, is the guy Found the store manager had no idea We're Justin was talking about eating, Another story had the same experience, then in an tenacity.
Just in higher three students from local college, to call all five hundred locations to see at the bears were displayed turns out, fair amount haven't even heard of them. Many of them. In stock, but didn't put them on display, one store even describe them on their first day as the weeks I'm just in cap checking sales numbers much to his disappointment. They were not very good in a sequel of products. His brand of six bears. Wasn't it out and you didn't have the marketing dollars to make a meaningful push. You decide to make a change and focused elsewhere, however, being on the shelves of target, at least the ones that actually stopped him did are unjust and some straight credit not allowed him to approach out. Like abc the view, so I wasn't a total loss. Zebras gives back with every purchase, donating bears to children who have lost apparent in the line of duty through their partnership with the children of fallen Patriots Foundation and with taps. So what for this is yo of Zeb errors and by the way you wrote as crimes busy yo? Why twenty
seventeen he did just over a hundred thousand dollars and sales with ten thousand dollars in profit, and he says twenty nineteen will be a pivotal year. No insists on asking his audience for help and believes in Facebook as a great way to receive immediate feedback. When he posed the question regarding a product, their developing, he gets hundreds of replies. You says this kind of research used to cost a lot of money, but now it's practically free, plus the interaction built relationships in his audience, feels more invested in the success of seafarers. Just then started this project with little knowledge of manufacturing, little knowledge of retailing and no idea how to get here retailing anew dear how to get his sleeping centuries. Arctic is you now know. The lack of knowledge is no barrier to entry. Are here is a fund fact and a quote fund fact about the story by the way: Congrats Justin Fantastic story just once received a twenty four container from China, full of barriers at his front door and had to unload four thousand of those bears Teddy bears. That is down his.
I went into his house The laundry room became the assembly room and his garage became the warehouse. How about that? As always beside US school truth is stranger than fiction. Now here's a good quote as well, which is kind of like a bonus lesson to this whole episode, which I think is just inspiring and an interesting for all kinds of people. But the quota is growing up. My mom used to tell me how good I wasn't everything from drawing to baseball, to brushing my teeth. I now realize it was a well meaning lie. Nobody is good at everything, so be brutally honest in assessing your strengths and weaknesses, then get help find people you need, put them to work and stay focused on what you do best p s. I love you mom. I love that because its eye, they are very dangerous thing to be sort of good, a lot of different things. The challenge when you're so got it. A lot of things is that you never become truly great at something, and you just end up becoming above average, which is is nice, but would it be credited to be great so good for him figuring out the universal truth that none of us are good at everything is much better
understand what you're good at and what you're, not and last but not least, as I conclude, this episode do in EAST Asia, You are active duty, military and veterans, as well as support staff who are listening to sign it. The school you guys are amazing. Thank you for your service, not only those who are in the USA but elsewhere as well and listeners They part of the military. Not thank you for being part of a community you're amazing to me. To hear what you're working I, what you're up to and what you're crazy success story is going to be. It's gonna be hard to talk. Getting a twenty container from China arriving at your door with four thousand Teddy bears, but hey anything is possible. The best is yet to come. I really do believe that so dont forget in sport, It is good, but inspiration with action is so much better. Today shone out to going to check out bears just go to satisfy spore dot com. Slash six! Oh for this episode. Six hundred and four about that, also are working on revising the five sets, a host, of course, which is completely free and that website I've gotta pick it up. You can go into that. Look for a new and improved version very soon.
I'm not going to sign off the day. Thank you for bearing with me he'd be unbearable at times, but it is. You hear that responsibility, bringing you these stories every single day, so stay too much more on the way mightiness preschool about- and this is my national sport.
Transcript generated on 2020-04-28.