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This is a carefully curated list of weird businesses that made millions.
Everybody wants to have a business they can call their own once in their life. Usually, modern business ideas revolve around the concepts of restaurants, software, service-based industries, manufacturing, retail, and more.
But, you would not believe how weird some businesses have been with time. Some really weird businesses that made millions have originated from unusual but straightforward ideas and concepts.
Read about such businesses and get inspired. Try something new. Do not listen to anyone who tells you that your idea is “Trash.” Be realistic. But, be optimistic.
Weird Businesses That Made Millions:
Dogs are already cute, furry, and awesome, friendly creatures. But what can you do to make them even cooler? That’s right, make them wear, Doggles, goggles for dogs.
One of the weird businesses that made millions, Doggles, was created by Runi Di Lullo. Its initial purpose was to correct the squinting that her dog experienced in sunlight.
The brand is now mass-produced in its very own company located in California and sold commercially in 4500 stores through 16 countries. Talk about making a fortune from something so unpredictable.
The Doggles were also distributed to the U.S Army dogs who were working in Iraq, for protection against sunlight and sandstorms.
Do you remember those internet memes and viral twitter threads, where a cute, funny, or a sarcastic message was etched on a potato? If you know about Potato Parcel, then you do.
This is one of the weird businesses that made millions. It was founded in 2015 by a mobile app developer who started this delivery service with personalized messages on a potato.
He later sold his company to an entrepreneur Riad Bekhit for $40,000. Bekhit brought progression to the company by introducing new products like Potato Pal, a lump of coal potato, potato postcard, and spooky tater.
This business inspired a movement where more entrepreneurs came up with similar ideas implied on eggplant or a banana. As of 2018, the yearly profits of Potato Parcel were reported to be more than $700k.
Its an American figurine brand that is used to grow chia, a species of flowering plants. The fun part is the chia grows in a way that it resembles the animal hair. Its truly an innovative product, and one of the weird businesses that made millions.
Chia Pets were first produced in 1977, by the California company Joseph Enterprises, Inc. and marketed by Joe Pedott.
Since its inceptions, many hundreds of different figurines have been developed, which range from animals like cats, dogs, frogs to cartoon characters like Scooby-doo, Shrek, and The Simpsons. Real-life chia pets of Barack Obama and Bob Ross have also been introduced.
The holding company also markets seeds for the chia sprouts. The product is sold only during the holiday season, and the price ranges from $10-$40 depending on the type. The annual turnover exceeds millions.
The founder of the collectible toy brand, Gary Dahl, came up with the idea while at a bar with his friends. The discussion was about the pains to raise a pet. Gary sarcastically noted that a pet rock would not need to be fed, bathed, or groomed.
He went ahead with his idea, collecting the rocks from Mexico’s Rosarito beach. He fully formulated a custom cardboard box, containing a straw and hold the box so that the pet rock will “Breathe.”
Moreover, a set of instructions that spanned 32 pages was included in the box, that guide on how to care and raise your “Pet Rock.” Most of the instructions were sarcastic jibes.
All in all, he very cleverly utilized his advertising skills and brain and sold over a million of those pieces for $4 each.
Literally, a bathrobe that is to be worn backward. Snuggie is the name for a brand, which is a type of a body-sized blanket with sleeves made of nylon or fleece. The Snuggie brand became hugely popular, gaining a cult following when the cast wore it on the Today Show.
One of the weird businesses that made millions, Snuggie was later made popular when groups of people, bear-hopped wearing these blankets. The intention was to raise money for African Orphanages, but it also indirectly promoted the brand. The cult was furthered when sports fans wore Snuggies in Soccer and Football games in stadiums.
This greatly pumped the sales of Snuggie, which was sold in the volume excess of 4 million. Initially, it was priced at $14.95 for one Snuggie and later, $19.95 for a pair of Snuggies. Although the company that owned the brand of Snuggie was fined by the US FTC for $7.5 million in 2018, for deceptive marketing.
The Million Dollar Homepage:
This was an idea launched by a student Alex Tew, which really one of the weird businesses that made millions. The homepage consisted of one million pixels arranged in a 1000 x 1000 pixel grid.
The purchasers bought one pixel at the rate of $1/pixel, and a tiny image was assigned to the pixel, redirecting to a URL. A slogan was also displayed when the cursor hovered over the URL.
Initially, friends and family of Alex Tew bought pixels, worth $1000. After the phenomenon gained considerable coverage on the Tech website “The Register” and BBC, the site visitors and the Alexa rank of the domain skyrocketed! Within five months, all the pixels on the homepage were sold.
Prominent companies like Yahoo!, The Times, Independiente Records purchased pixels from the homepage. Alex Tew had initially started the website, intending to be able to cover his university fees, but guess he got way more than he expected.
Founded in the year 1995 by the San Francisco based Techie, Craig Newmark. His initial agenda for Craigslist was limited to his own use, where he would create mailing lists for his coworkers and friends. The lists had the inclusion of details of social events, which would be of interest to software developers working in the SF Bay area.
Over time with word-of-mouth marketing, the subscribers and users of Craigslist grew. Later many categories were added, and the website was used as a medium for classified advertisements.
Now, it is famous for people who seek sexual partners. It has grown to one of the weird businesses that made millions and currently operates in over 70 countries.
This is a very popular joke device that has been used since time immemorial. The Whoopee cushion or the farting bag, as is called commonly, produces the sound of “Fartulence” when someone sits on it.
It has been used as a prank device, and almost every one of us has been pranked or been the one who pranks. The modern version was invented by JEM Rubber Co. of Ontario in the 1920s and was successfully marketed by the Johnson Smith Company.
Laughter and toilet humor really can make someone millions, when applied right.
No, these are not just two random female names. ashleymadison.com is actually a website that is dedicated to online dating, for “People in a relationship/married.” Its tagline goes as “Life is short. Have an affair”.
This is a highly controversial website that has drawn severe criticism over the years for its intended audience. Yet, in February, the website announced that it had reached the 60 million user mark.
It is a membership-based website, with its operations running from Canada. In July 2015, customer data from the Ashley Madison website was hacked and stolen. It included various information related to credit cards, emails, names, home addresses, and even sexual fantasies.
The hackers threatened to leak the data online unless the Ashley Madison website was not permanently closed. Nevertheless, after several controversies, hacking, and lawsuits, the website is still running and although many would wish the worst upon its owners. It is one of the weird businesses that made millions.
The art of scrapbooking or filling in scrapbooks your personal and favorite details has existed since the middle ages. Though Marielen Christensen founded the modern version of the scrapbook in the 1970s, she opened up a bookstore named “Keeping Memories Alive” along with her husband in Spanish Fork, Utah.
And although she did innovate the modern art of scrapbooking. Since then, over 1600 companies or brands are said to be involved in creating scrapbook products. In the years from 2001-2004, the industry was estimated to hold a market share of $2.5 billion.
Although in the last decade, the art of scrapbooking has lost its zest and value due to the emergence of social media like Facebook and Instagram. It has evolved into digital scrapbooking, journaling, and sketchbooks—one of the weird businesses that made millions.
After reading about all these weird businesses that made millions, you might probably be inspired and worked up. Although ideas like these can be a little intimidating and challenging to pull off, there doesn’t always need to be a weird factor involved.
You can always start with simple and unique ideas. Who knows where it might land you? One thing we know for sure is all these people were pretty confident when they decided to launch these weird businesses that made millions.