World's weirdest businesses
Most of us make a living doing pretty banal jobs. We're cooks, cleaners, lawyers and teachers. But a lucky few have the imagination and chutzpah to embark on enterprises that boggle the mind. Here are a few of the best.
I'm a professional pervert
Cascie Wills has two unusual businesses - Hire A Hunk, which hires out male topless waiters for events and parties and Art4Play, which organises life drawing classes for hens' nights.
"As funny as it sounds, I'm a professional pervert. In 2004 I came up with the idea of renting men after I couldn't find a date to the races. I quickly realised there was a need in the market so I started Hire A Hunk. I hunted for hot guys everywhere - gyms, bus stops and coffee shops were my top picks, but I'd chase them down anywhere I saw them," says Wills.
"We had a tough recruitment process and I screened every hunk. They had to be the sort of guy I would take home and introduce to my family, but with an extra sexy edge." Ten years on, the business operates around Australia
"I still own Hire A Hunk and now I also run Art4Play, which is a nude drawing experience for hens parties. I am lucky that I still get to do all of the hiring, every nude model and topless waiter is interviewed by me for quality control. With a team of more than 150 hunks, that's a bigger job than it used to be," Wills laughs.
I have a mail-order sex toy business
Amy Clark started Our Cheeky Treats in March 2013 after her love life became somewhat boring. Rather than accept all relationships end up in a bedroom routine, she had an idea to create Our Cheeky Treats.
"We are a discreet monthly delivery service to help Australian couples spice up their love life. At the start of each month we send a parcel of three surprise adult toys to enjoy," says Clark.
She says the business is a success because many couples don't like to go into an adult store. "People also struggle to buy adult products online as they have no idea what to order and toys are intimidating." The business ships Australia-wide.
I'm a fashion psychologist
New York-based Dawnn Karen claims she is the first fashion psychologist in the US and one of only three in the world. The master of arts graduate from Columbia University's counselling psychology program and former model and designer says she specialises in "styling from the inside out".
"I bridge the gap between perception and reality and merged two distinct disciplines to form fashion psychology. My business serves clients around the world including business men and women, CEOs, politicians and entertainers to simultaneously enhance their psyche and wardrobe," says Karen.
"A New York entrepreneur recently requested my service. Through counselling and colour and branding services, he left with a new-found confidence, a new wardrobe and the potential to increase revenue for his business. I also work with everyday people on handling first dates, job promotion and many other issues," she explains. As they say, only in America...
I make Lego for a living
Minifig World is a small family business that sells custom minifigures (the name for Lego figures) and custom accessories for minifigures.
"The figures are created using Lego body parts and then outfitted with accessories imported from different manufacturers around the world that specialise in creating Lego compatible accessories," says Mark Boehm, who runs Minifig World.
The business was born in 2009 after Boehm lost his my job.
"I decided I wanted a change and to do something that didn't seem like work but still made enough money to pay the bills. When I came across a manufacturer of Lego minifig compatible accessories on the internet I decided to try importing these accessories and began building and selling my own custom minifigures from a website I designed myself."
Minifig World has become a steady, full-time business for Boehm, with young and old customers all over the world.
"We hope to expand our business by manufacturing our own accessories and developing minifigure-related board games," he says.
I massage thoroughbred horses
Christian Langeder is an equine soft tissue therapist, specialising in soft tissue massage for thoroughbred horses. Working with Melbourne's leading stables and trainers, Langeder helps to physically prepare equine athletes for events.
Apparently known around the stables as 'The Muscle Guy', Langeder started his business Thorough Performance seven years ago after he fractured his back and only soft tissue massage offered relief. Experiencing the benefits first hand, he sought certification as a soft tissue therapist for humans, so he could develop the therapy for animals.
"I began working with dressage rider Sylvia McLachlan four years ago after she had spent thousands of dollars on her mare Mayfly, only to be told by a vet that the horse would never compete again. I treated Mayfly twice and she has been competing in top-level dressage ever since, with no hiccups," he explains.
Sydney Morning Herald