Presented by Submit Your Story Back

Josh Layhue, Gi Patches

How I got my first 3 customers and the steps for you to do the same.

Josh Layhue

Gi Patches

I went to what I enjoy doing. I've been studying Brazilian Jiu Jitsu (BJJ) for about 3 years and I train with a great group of guys. We're always looking for more ways to grow together as a team and represent our gym. I had mentioned to them all a year or so ago that it would be cool to have custom gi patches with our gyms logo on them. That way, when we go to tournaments, we can represent our gym (and look cool... bonus points for that). They were completely on board.

I sent a message via Facebook asking how many people were interested. I received a response from about 50% of the people (about 8 total) in less than 5 minutes. In less than 30 minutes I had 5 people commit to buying, but then the hard part came. Would they really pay? In less than 8 hours I had received 4 orders. Validation complete!

This business is interesting because it's basically a small niche in the apparel business. There are many gi manufacturers and there are tons of BJJ schools. This business will allow me to meet new people from new schools and give them an easy way to customize their gi. One advantage I have is that my wife owns a screen printing business and I create all of the artwork. Most gym logos are very basic so I can create a custom patch to be exactly what they want in very little time. All they have to know is how many they want. I create the artwork and deliver the product. I make it easy for them.

The Tip

To whet your beak

Don't over complicate it. Find something you do every day and ask people if they will pay you to make it better. Make it easy for them to say yes.

Want all the tips?

We've put together a PDF for you to download with the lessons learned by everyone featured on this site.

Produced by

Start a Business

We'll teach you how

We created software to help you get your first dollar and beyond.

Learn More