17-year-old girl makes $34,000 a month from her Amazon business – Telemundo Denver

At the age of 12, Bella Lynn had a problem. His guinea pigs were disappearing.

At the time, Lynn let her three guinea pigs roam in her parents’ grassy, ​​fenced yard outside San Francisco. It was better than the alternative, they thought: Lynn, now 17, tells CNBC Make It that the two-pound creatures looked “miserable” in their cramped cage with prison bars.

She remembers that she assumed the first Snoopy had escaped and continued to release her guinea pigs outside until her father saw one hawk flying away with another. Determined to keep pets away from traditional cages, he began building prototypes.

Lin, a senior at Khan Lab School in Mountain View, California, studied several models and invested about $2,000 of her savings to launch her side business GiniLoft on Amazon in November 2022.

According to documents reviewed by Make It, it sold about 11,000 cages and earned more than $410,000 last year — an average of about $34,000 a month.

In addition to academic courses, extracurricular activities, and college applications, Lynn works about 20 hours a week at GiniLoft. That’s how he built a side business so successful that he’s considering delaying going to college to focus on it.

An unprofitable side business led to the “disclosure”.

Lynn told his computer programmer father that he wanted to build a better cage. Lin says he got in touch with a family factory in China through a former customer and introduced him.

After a year of prototyping, Lin became distracted by another idea: he wanted to sell sportswear for girls at a lower price than big fashion brands. She did her research, found another factory in China, contacted them, and created a business plan to sell leggings starting at $23.

Lin explains that the first prototype of GiniLoft was built with office supplies on his parents’ dining room table. Credit: Bella Lynn

That side business, called TeeLeggings, launched in July 2019. She says it brought in about $300,000 in revenue in 2020. It also earned Lynn a place on Bizworld, a project-based entrepreneurship program for 16 to 22-year-olds.

They completed a 12-week course and worked with a business mentor, but did not win a project pitch competition or cash prize at the end of the program. This was one of the few signs that Tealeggings was failing: despite high revenue numbers, the company was never profitable, and Lynn was having trouble keeping up with its competitors.

He closed it down in early 2022 and began focusing on GiniLoft.

“I had a strange epiphany where I realized there were a lot of other companies trying to make leggings,” says Lynn. “There was no innovation there, whereas with Giniloft, I was able to fill a huge gap in the market.”

working between classes and late at night

Lin realized that his early prototypes were promising, but incomplete.

Traditional guinea pig cages are made with canvas or plastic bars, roofs, and bottoms. These are difficult to clean and often smell like feces, Lynn says.

Its early glass and open floor enclosures allowed greater visibility and maneuverability, and it featured a two-tier rear section. Dirty bedding can be placed in a removable plastic tray. But glass was too expensive and the little guinea pigs’ feet would get stuck in the ground.

Lynn’s pets roam freely in their GuineaLoft enclosures (Photo: Bella Lynn)

Lynn rearranged her schedule so she could do homework between classes. He stayed in China late to research and virtually test the products with his team of six: a manufacturing manager who works for the factory and five full-time Giniloft employees who previously worked with Lin’s father or the fabric’s management. Had done the work.

Lin explains that these six people are responsible for purchasing, manufacturing, packaging and photographing the products. Lynn manages Giniloft’s product design, pricing, marketing (TeaLeggings taught her a lot about social media, she says) and overall business strategy.

In the end, the company chose acrylic instead of glass and made replaceable bottoms of wax-coated biodegradable paper, similar to, as Lin says, “airplane vomit bags.”

It’s easy to throw away funds, which is good for business: When satisfied Giniloft customers run out of money, they just have to return to Lin’s Amazon store to replenish the stock.

Winning a $10,000 Contest

The factory produced 100 cages in its first batch. Lynn was delighted when three were sold within the first few hours.

Within two weeks, Giniloft dropped out of the 100 “without doing any marketing,” he says. Last year he re-entered Bizworld and won $10,000 in investment funds in the competition. He explains that that money will be spent on adding accessories and new cages for a variety of small pets like rabbits and hamsters.

He says Lynn has had guinea pigs for years and has had up to 10 at a time. (Photography: Bella Lynn)

Lin explains that 25% of each cage’s profit margin is immediately reinvested in marketing, market research and new product development.

This means he hasn’t saved any money yet, but when he applies to college, he’ll be spending a year in China after high school to visit a factory, learn more about production, and grow his business. Thinking about taking a hiatus.

“It’s encouraging to see the real effects of[the GiniLoft Cage]through customer comments and emails,” says Lin. “As someone who once placed great emphasis on academic validation,[my]success has increased my confidence in life beyond high school.”

This article was originally published in English by Megan Sawyer for our sister network CNBC.com. Go here for more from CNBC.


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