21-year-old spent $300 to start his sticker side hustle—now it brings in up to $38,000 a day: I was ‘unprepared’ to go viral
Ever thought a small idea could turn into something huge? Well, Jayson Siu is a perfect example of such transformation. You’re about to see the perfect example of how an ordinary person just like you managed to achieve success in the span of one day. How did it happen? Well, let’s start from the beginning.
Humble beginnings and the rise of Invalid.jp
Have you ever wondered how a simple idea can turn into a thriving business? Jayson Siu’s story is all about that. Three years ago, while still a high school student, Siu was selling $3 stickers on Snapchat. His initial goal was modest – to save up for new parts for his car. But, who would have thought that this small endeavor would transform into a booming business called Invalid.jp, now generating over half a million dollars a year?
Invalid.jp’s rise to success was anything but ordinary. With an array of flashy car accessories, from LED-lined rearview mirrors to customized cupholders and license plates, Siu tapped into a niche market. At 21, while juggling college life, he operates from a warehouse he rented, marking the end of the days running his business from his parents’ apartment. The popularity of his products, especially the customizable LED mirrors, skyrocketed following a viral TikTok video in October, 2021. But was it just luck?
Siu’s strategy was relentless. He honed a posting strategy over the years, defying the odds. He believes that if you post one to two videos every day for a month, that’s 30 to 60 videos, and at least one of them is bound to go viral. This consistency paid off when a video of Invalid.jp’s LED mirror stickers garnered $12,000 in sales in just 24 hours.
The power of social media
Imagine being a freshman at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, like Siu was. What would you do if you had a sudden rush of orders? Well, Siu ran to Office Depot and spent hours there. What was he doing? He was printing and cutting out shipping labels by hand to send off all the products that people had bought.
Then, fast forward a year, and Siu’s creativity strikes again. Another video of an LED-backed light-up sticker, went viral. We’re talking big numbers — over 9 million views! Now, isn’t that something?
With all those views, you might be wondering, how did it translate to sales? Well, his business, Invalid.jp, made an incredible $38,000 in revenue in just the next 24 hours. And that’s not all. Over the whole year of 2022, the business earned a total of $512,000! Siu even said that they’ve made more than that this year already. Now, isn’t it impressive that around 30% of that money is pure profit, as Siu estimates? But is going viral enough to sustain a business?
I’m super stressed all the time, 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.
Siu admits that when his first product went viral, he was unprepared. Sales exploded, but the back-end operations, like printing and cutting labels by hand, were overwhelming. It’s an important reminder that success can come with its own set of challenges. Can a side hustle maintain momentum, or does it risk fading away?
Building a consistent profit
Siu learned the hard way that virality isn’t the same as consistency. He discovered that leaning on social media ads was key to raising Invalid.jp’s “revenue floor.” The shift from quantity to quality in content production meant investing more in social media ads and hiring contractors to ensure the content was top-notch.
When Siu’s business wasn’t getting as much attention, what do you think happened to his profits? That’s right, they went down. He needed to find a way to keep his sales up. He started using social media ads, but at first, it wasn’t easy at all. Can you imagine spending thousands and not seeing any results?
I was wasting, like, thousands of dollars. I was barely breaking even, sometimes even losing money. It was super unmotivating.
But he didn’t give up. Siu decided to expand his offerings. What if you could buy cupholders, visors, and license plates that were not only useful but also had your personal touch? That’s exactly what he did. He would buy these items in bulk, customize them, and then sell them at a profit. Even though he added these new items, his stickers and LED mirrors were still the stars. So, what did he do? He combined them to create light-up stickers that could change colors with a remote. Pretty innovative, right?
Racing against time
Let’s talk about balancing work and life. Running a successful side hustle while attending college is a colossal task. Siu, who now works at least 40 hours a week on top of a full class load, knows this all too well. “I’m super stressed all the time,” he confesses. With a warehouse costing $1,500 per month and upgrading to a Toyota 4Runner to manage deliveries efficiently, Siu’s side hustle is a full-time commitment, because with success comes the sacrifice of personal time, doesn’t it? How does Siu manage his time? He takes most of his college classes in the morning, leaving the afternoon for business and manages everything with the help of his mom, girlfriend, and hired contractors.
Looking to the future
The business that began with an initial $300 investment in a vinyl printer and $20 for a sample mirror has now exceeded $1 million in sales in less than two years. But the road wasn’t easy. Siu worked 24/7, packing orders, and filling his parents’ living room with boxes – a testament to his dedication.
With roughly 30% of Invalid.jp’s earnings as profit, Siu has turned his side hustle into a primary income source. He refined his advertising strategy, focusing on platforms like TikTok, Google, Facebook, and Instagram. By improving the quality and reach of his campaigns, he found a more consistent sales flow.