A 21-year-old has managed to turn his high school side hustle into a business which has made more than $1 million in sales in less than two years.
Jayson Siu started his business while he was a high school senior, as a way to make some extra cash so that he could buy accessories for his car.
He used some savings to buy a $300 vinyl print which he used to make stickers. He then sold these to mates on Snapchat for $3 to $5 each.
Like any good businessman, he then decided to widen his product range and started selling more high-end items.
One of these new products was of light-up panels that car owners can stick to the inside of their windows, which ended up being a game-changer for Jayson’s business, called invalid.jp.
A TikTok of the product went viral in October 2022, being viewed more than nine million times.
@invalid.jp Wanted LED panels just dropped! Sticks on to any surface, Get yours now for 50% OFF! #invalidjp #caraccessories #jdm #stance #gta5 #gta6 ♬ www.invalid.jp – invalid.jp
Speaking to CNBC Make it, he revealed that the video led to him receiving $12,000 worth of sales in a single day. He ended up spending hours printing and cutting the labels by hand to meet the orders.
A year later, another video of an LED-backlit rearview mirror, which he made by removing the glass of a $20 dollar mirror and customising it with LED lights and stickers, also went viral and led to him bringing in around $38,000 in revenue in just 24 hours.
@invalid.jp Sticks on to any car, shows through ALL tint! Get yours now 🤝 #jdm #cars #caraccessories #invalidjp ♬ original sound – invalid.jp
Now, what was once a side hustle has become a fully fledged business for Jayson, who works 40-hour weeks along with being a student at the University of Hawaii.
To make sure he’s keeping up with his studies, the 21-year-old schedules most of his classes for the morning so that he can focus on his business in the afternoon.
It seems to be working, as in 2022 the business brought in $512,000 in revenue and has already made more in 2023.
Jayson reckons just under a third of the earnings will be profit.
“I’m super stressed all the time,” he said. “It’s not just a business in my [parents’] house where I can just, you know, pause it anymore. Now it really has to work.”
To keep up with demand, he started renting a warehouse last summer and has hired contractors to help make more viral TikTok ads.
Whilst he hopes one day to have a better work-life balance, he admits that he’s still trying to “figure that part out” for now.