Super weird businesses that actually worked!
Every so often a unique and brave business peeks over the horizon of madness and sees an opportunity. A curious business idea forms. Is it crazy or is it the best idea they’ve ever had?
1) Eternal Reefs
A quirky little business that combines funeral services with coral reef regeneration. You heard me. The out-there organisation offers a very unique service for the recently bereaved, a combination of cremation and artificial reef building.
The idea is thus: Eternal Reefs is part of the Reef Ball family of companies. Reef Ball are a non profit global organisation dedicated to creating and ‘planting’ hollow perforated concrete structures known as ‘reef balls’. These reef balls in turn attract and nurture coral, fish, sponges and a range of aquatic life seeking shelter and structure.
As an original way of helping to fund their work, while offering an alternative to burial, you can sponsor a reef ball and have the ashes of your loved one incorporated into the structure of the ball itself, with a memorial plaque attached, and become part of a living world. Certainly not for everyone but many people, especially water lovers such as scuba divers, seem quite drawn to the idea.
2) Ship Foliage & Ship Snow, Yo
We are talking two companies here actually but they were both birthed by the same married couple, the irrepressible team of original thinkers, Kyle and Jess Waring. Started as a bit of fun, their first business ‘Ship Snow, Yo‘ set out as seemingly intended, to ship you some snow… yo.
During Boston’s 2015 bumper snow year, they decided on a whim to ship people all over the US, a package of fresh New England snow collected from around their house. They’ll even send you a snowman. Who is the market here? Who knows, but it was so successful they made enough money to start another sister company: Ship Foliage.
Ship Foliage, seemingly a seasonal take on Ship Snow Yo, sets out just as you would imagine – to ship you some local foliage from around the Waring’s house. The unusual couple set out to personally hunt down the season’s best autumn leaves, they then preserve the leaves and go right ahead and ship them to you… for money. What a business.
3) Potato Parcel
I have heard of naughty children receiving potatoes for Christmas but never those willing to pay for a potato message. There are thousands of people out there, however, more than willing to fork out good money to send an inscribed potato to… I really don’t know.
So what has this genius business gone and done? Starting at $11.50 US for a plain text potato with a custom message and ranging up to photograph-emblazoned potato bundles for $24.99, you too can send a personalised potato. Potato Parcel literally buy bags of plain cheap potatoes, enscribe them, ship them and watch their bank account swell.
Aware of food wastage, they even pledge to donate a potato to food banks for every potato parcel sent. They even encourage you to plant your potato when you are done with it. Which I assume is immediately. So there’s that.