17 Bizarrely Brilliant Businesses That Will Help You Fall in Love, Get Revenge and More
In honor of National Small Business Week, check out this selection of strangely creative ventures that might just inspire you to start your own.
Entrepreneurs are visionaries and problem-solvers; they zero in on critical gaps and do whatever it takes to fill them. Most of us are familiar with industry giants who have made their mark on the world à la Steve Jobs' Apple and Elon Musk's Tesla, but the truth is that even the smallest fish in the proverbial pond has the power to change customers' lives for the better with a unique business idea.
For more than 50 years now, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has recognized the significant contributions of the nation's small business owners during the first week of May. Sometimes, those contributions might look a bit unusual — or even downright bizarre — but chances are, there's someone out there searching for even the strangest services or products.
If you think that someone might be you (or even if you don't), read on to discover some bizarrely brilliant businesses that might just hook you as their next customer — or inspire you to start a venture of your own.
Related: Need a Business Idea? Here Are 55.
Businesses that address all of your pet-related needs
Get your dog protective gear
Sunglasses are a given for most people, but your puppy's eyes need protecting too. Now, you can give your pet the gift of Doggles, which boast 100% UV protection and anti-fog and shatterproof lenses.
If you've ever wanted to raise chickens (and reap the reward of farm-fresh eggs), Rent the Chicken will set you up with everything you need — from a portable chicken coop to the hens themselves. Plus, if you end up loving it after the trial period, the company will let you make it permanent.
Businesses that solve uncomfortable problems
Recycle that engagement ring you don't need anymore
Sometimes things just don't work out; the founder of I Do, Now I Don't learned that the hard way when he and his fiancée broke up and he was left with an expensive ring that had sharply depreciated in value. Now, his secondhand marketplace offers a sustainable option for diamonds without the retail markups.
Businesses that cater to your professional needs
Try a new vocation
Ever wondered if you'd be happier with a career change? Now, you can find out with Pivot Planet, a service that connects you with an advisor in your field of interest. See if the grass is really greener on the other side, then take the plunge if it is.
Test your UX on moms
Your user experience can make or break your business, so find out if it's serving your audience effectively. The User Is My Mom lets you test your UX on a mom who "yells at her computer" and doesn't understand Twitter, aptly pointing out that "You should design for users who are unlike you. If they can't understand your site or read it with ease, they will struggle and give up."
Businesses that will help you find love and tie the knot
Hire a virtual dating assistant
If you're having trouble finding the one, it might be time to call in the professionals. Vida Select is a modern matchmaking and dating service that promises to help single men navigate the online dating scene with a three-step process that includes designing an appealing profile and setting up dates.
Get married on the go
Want to tie the knot without the hassle or wait? If you happen to be in Las Vegas, you can hire The Wedding Wagon to come to you. For just $129, the wagon will roll up to a location of your choice with a wedding officiant, photographer and witness in tow.
Businesses that will help you gain social clout and/or fuel your self-obsession
Hire a bridesmaid
Wedding parties have become more visible than ever in the age of social media, but what do you do if you don't have enough friends for a well-rounded crew? Look no further than Bridesmaid for Hire, which will provide you with someone to stand beside you at the altar — and even write the speech for your real maid of honor.
Get your 24 hours of fame with personal paparazzi
If you've ever wanted to feel like an A-lister surrounded by paparazzi and fans, you can with Famous for a Day — a service that lets you hire fake tabloid photographers and people begging for your autograph. You'll definitely get some looks, but then, that's probably exactly what you want.
Name a star after yourself (or someone else)
Claim a piece of the sky with Star Naming, the gift that truly lasts forever. For between just $34.90 and $89.90, you can snag a silvernova, supernova or duonova — two orbiting stars recommended for couples.
Commission a book about yourself
Everyone wants their main-character moment these days, and now you can make it a reality with the written word. U Star Novels makes you the central figure; just choose from a range of romance novels or classics and leave the personalization to the experts.
Related: Should You Self-Publish Your Book?
Businesses that will help you get revenge (or feel like it)
Send glitter to your nemesis
Have a score to settle? Ship Your Enemies Glitter will send a glitter-stuffed envelope to an address anywhere in the world and will "also include a note telling the person exactly why they're receiving this terrible gift" tucked in with the glitter to ensure "maximum spillage."
Gift a disgusting bouquet
Send beautiful flowers to people you like; send gross ones to people you don't. Dirty Rotten Flowers will help you with the latter. The company offers a selection of hideous bouquets starting at $30.
Unleash your anger in a rage room
If you've reached the point of frustration where only smashing something to pieces can help you feel better, it might be time to try out a rage room. If you're in New York City, check out Break Bar NYC, where you can destroy your glass when you finish your drink — then step into its throwing range to keep the party going.
Say what you need to say with a root vegetable
Confusing at best and offensive at worst, sending someone you're dissatisfied with a Potato Parcel inscribed with a message of your choosing could just be a creative way to get even. You can snag it on sale now for $18.99.
Businesses that will help you navigate the afterlife
Keep those memories extra close
Close By Me Jewelry offers a unique way to remember a loved one with hand-crafted cremation jewelry that holds solidified ashes. Choose from rings, necklaces, bracelets and more, in a range of gold and silver settings.
Find out if your new place is haunted
Think there might be a ghost in your house? Diedinhouse.com will help you figure out for sure, with a full report that notes any deaths at the residence and other relevant details such as cause of death, reported fire incidents, nearby cemeteries and more.