Top Ten: Quirky businesses started by women

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From offering to whack other peoples’ children, to establishing a multi-million dollar Other World Kingdom where women rule and men are slaves, there has been no dearth of zany business ideas from creative women thinking outside the box. Here is a list of the top ten quirky ventures spinning gold for their female initiators, writes FARZANA AHMAD

10. Purple Cloud Studio

Michele Palenik designs cremation keepsakes to keep her Purple Cloud Studio afloat. She is a marine biologist and artist who was inspired by her husband’s funeral directory business to create mementos for families using the cremated ashes of their departed loved ones. Her jewellery, plates, spoons and other novelty items are well received all over the world. Michele usually asks for only a teaspoon of the ashes, and then turns it into something amazing to be cherished by family and friends forever. Quirky? We thought so.

9. Baby Bangs

Her slogan ‘For the girl who has everything – except hair!’ is self-explanatory. Lisa Campbell’s Baby Bangs are touted as the first and only ready-to-wear hairstyle hairbands for baby girls. Lisa, a hair replacement artist, started experimenting with the miniature hair pieces after the birth of her granddaughter Wren. Two years later the first Baby Bangs were in production offering babies with little or no hair a chance to dazzle in stylish and super comfy-to-wear hair pieces.

8. Anger room

Smashing plates and punching a hole in the wall does help when you’re in a foul mood, but the guilt that comes after makes it not a popular option for relieving stress. Donna Alexander of Dallas has delivered a solution. She came up with the concept of the Anger Room, where she promises you won’t get in trouble for letting loose. Clients can choose from baseball bats and other items, to unleash their rage in rooms designed to imitate workplaces and homes. Destroy furniture, computers, mannequins, glass, crockery – anything to feel better. Try it! They swear it works.

7. YourNovel.com

Ever wanted to be the star of your favourite novel? Well now you can. Kathy Newbern founded YourNovel.com in 1992, in partnership with her husband, to make such fantasies true. You supply the details including a photograph of yourself, theme and location, and for a small sum you can have a personalised romance novel, written to your specifications and starring you. How cool is that!

6. HungryPod

Is ours the laziest generation to ever live? Well, judging by the more than $100,000 a year Catherine Keane pocketed for uploading music to other people’s iPods, we’d be tempted to say, yes. Catherine had a light bulb moment in 2004 when a friend offered her $500 to upload his CD collection to his iPod. Her online business HungryPod.com started converting CDs into MP3s for iPods and offering music consultation services. HungryPod was sold to a competitor in 2008 but still continues to yield cash.

5. Slobproof fabric

Imagine furniture that will remain pristine no matter how much abuse your clan dishes out. Debbie Wiener’s Slobproof fabric is the answer to many homemakers’ frustration. The miracle fabric promises to remain spill, moisture, bacteria and odour free for years making it an ideal solution for messy kids and pets. Debbie admits she was forced to come up with the Slobproof fabric to help her cope with her family of slobs comprising a husband, two boys, a dog and a bird. Nowadays the business is booming with more people attempting to slob-proof their homes than ever before.

4. Cheese Sculptures

Sarah Kaufman of Wisconsin is better known as The Cheese Lady. She has carved a niche for herself as an artist using a unique medium… you guessed it! She creates amazing sculptures using huge cheddar cheese blocks. She sells her creations through her website www.sarahcheeselady.com and is often invited to give demonstrations, attend food fests and make commissioned sculptures for special events.

3. Mrs Brown’s Bath Bakery

Fancy a choc-mint cake batter shampoo, frosting toothpaste or peanut butter cookie foot scrub? Dream no more. Nadine Brown has you covered with her chemical free, organic, food grade bath products that look and smell deceptively like real, edible desserts. Nadine set up her Mrs Brown’s Bath Bakery in Tucson, Arizona in 2011 with the aim of combining her passion for food and organic personal cleaning products. The result is a successful business that continues to grow.

2. The Snuggery

The Snuggery is the brainchild of Jacqueline Samuel who utilised her womanly instincts to answer the human need for physical touch in boosting relaxation, restoration and feel good factors. As a professional non-sexual snuggler, Jacqueline snuggles with up to thirty men every week, helping them de-stress while they sleep. A Single Snuggle session of 45 minutes will set you back $50 and then there is the Double Cuddle…

1. CitiKitty cat toilet training kit

At first glance it seems like a joke. Seriously? Training cats to use toilets? Don’t be deceived, not only is it a legitimate business but one that is churning the moolah like only a clever idea could. Rebecca Rescate of New York launched her CitiKitty cat toilet training kit in 2005 after experimenting with various ways to toilet train her own cat. The idea became a runaway success amassing a fortune for the young entrepreneur.


Farzana Ahmad
Farzana Ahmad
Farzana is a freelance writer, artist and children's author

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