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21-year-old who spent $300 to start his side hustle now brings in $38,000 a day

Bec Oakes

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| Last updated 

21-year-old who spent $300 to start his side hustle now brings in $38,000 a day

Featured Image Credit: Jayson Siu

A 21-year-old's side hustle has turned over a staggering $1 million in sales in less than two years.

When Jayson Siu started his car accessories side hustle while he was a high school senior, he never expected it to go viral.

The then-teenager simply wanted a bit of extra cash to buy accessories for his motor, so he dipped into his savings and spent $300 on a vinyl printer, which he then used to make stickers, selling them to his friends on Snapchat for $3 to $5 each.

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After a while, he decided to expand his business to start selling more lucrative products.

Jayson Siu started the side hustle so he could buy accessories for his car. Credit: TikTok/@invalid.jp
Jayson Siu started the side hustle so he could buy accessories for his car. Credit: TikTok/@invalid.jp

One such product was a LED-backlit rearview mirror, which he made by removing the glass of a $20 dollar mirror and customising it with LED lights and stickers.

It was this product that took his business - called invalid.jp - to the next level, something Jayson admits he was completely 'unprepared' for.

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In October 2021, while he was a freshman at the University of Hawaii, a TikTok video about the LED-lined mirror started racking up serious views.

Jayson told CNBC Make It that this resulted in $12,000 worth of sales in a single day. He would then spend hours printing then cutting labels by hand to fulfil the orders.

Jayson now works at least 40 hours a week on his car accessories business as well as attending college. Credit: TikTok/@invalid.jp
Jayson now works at least 40 hours a week on his car accessories business as well as attending college. Credit: TikTok/@invalid.jp

Just one year later, another video went viral, receiving more than nine-million views. He attributes the popular video to both social media ads and committing to posting TikTok videos regularly.

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This time, invalid.jp brought in $38,000 in revenue in just 24 hours.

Going viral online has turned Jayson's idea from a side hustle into a fully fledged business. The 21-year-old now works upwards of 40 hours a week alongside being a student.

To balance the two, he schedules most of his college classes before noon and spends the second half of the day working on his business.

In 2022, the business brought in $512,000 in revenue and has already exceeded those figures this year.

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Jayson estimates that around 30 percent of those earnings are 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."

Jayson started renting a warehouse to run the business from this last summer and hired contractors to help create more viral TikTok ads.

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In the long-term, he hopes to hire enough people so he can have a better work-life balance.

However, at the moment, Jayson isn't sure how long that'll take and says he's began to look at other side hustle ideas.

"I'm trying to figure that part out," he added.

Topics: News, Business, Money, TikTok

Bec Oakes
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