Good morning all,
This particular hobby started as a youngster, say 7-8 years old. I love aquariums and keeping fish - always have. From little "beta bowls" to massive aquariums, I have always been fascinated with this hobby and how to keep our slimy friends alive for years and years.
I began studying the filteration systems that were used on fresh and marine aquariums, and started creating my own based upon the same basic philosophy as what I saw at the pet stores - "remove gunk!"
Since I didn't have any money, I had to get creative on how I would begin building my own filter systems and getting the parts. At this point in my story, the old adage, "necessity is the mother of invention" came to play. I went to the local grocery store, and visited quite a few in the area asking for the big bread trays as a donation so I could experiment. Well, luckily, after a week or so, I had plenty. Not sure if the grocery stores felt sorry for a 10 year old kid asking for bread trays (those big, plastic trays that were roughly 2ft x 2ft). But, alas, I had what I needed.
Fast forward, I asked the local aquarium shop if they had any cracked aquariums. I was able to get 3-4, which allowed me just about everything I needed to get started. Rather than buying a new aquarium, the cracked tanks allowed me to replace one piece of glass and be up and running in under $5. So, what does this have to do with turning my business into a hobby?
I never expected to turn my hobby into a business, but because so many of the pet stores new what I was doing (I would pester them with questions to no end), they all wanted to see what I had built. Take away here, your hobby or passion can often be the best business ever as you don't see it as work. Often times, no one can sell your passion better than you - so go for it!
Here's what I was building at the age of 10:
My bread trays quickly became replaced with acrylic trays like this:
The local stores started asking me to show them what I had been building, the philosophy, and how it worked. Low and behold, they hired me to design huge sump systems for them so they wouldn't have to buy the mega-buck shop filters. Talk about a great opportunity! I had made at least 4-5 dozen systems over about 3 years.
Although I've moved on from that business (done others since) I do continue to build custom systems as it's simply fun. Here's an example of one (I didn't build this particular one) that used lighting systems to showcase the filter.
The biggest compliments are from the owners of my systems - they enjoy looking at the filter system as much as the aquarium.
Take away here, take pride in what you do and what you deliver to customers, and they'll find you.
I hope you found this story enjoyable. Thank you
Love that @Knight_Vision, funny how people think money is the key to starting a successful business. I also like the notion of a wiz kid surrounded by a bunch of adults waiting on your next move. Thanks for sharing.
roy darling *my posts seem a lot shorter in my head