If you haven’t heard of the fidget-spinner by now, that’s impressive. It’s a toy that purports to help alleviate restlessness typical of ADD and ADHD sufferers, but it’s also driving teachers (and parents) crazy. Oh, and it’s making two teenagers incredibly, incredibly wealthy.
Those two teens are Allan Maman and Cooper Weiss, and they created the original Fidget360. Maman, 17, was searching for something to help with his own ADHD and he discovered the concept of a toy that helped you to unconsciously drain extra energy while focusing on a task.
3D Printer At School
Maman saw a hole in the market for these fidgeting tools, realized he could fill it, and Fidget360 was created. Maman partnered up with Weiss, another 17-year-old business mogul, and the two began making fidget-spinners on their high school’s 3D printer.
They were able to streamline the manufacturing process with the help of their physics teacher, Eric Savino, and using the school’s 3D printer allowed them to have higher profit margins.
Being able to use school supplies instead of their own enabled a successful start. Maman and Weiss were instantly inundated with requests from their classmates and made hundreds of dollars within the first few days. While the administration was less than pleased (the pair almost got suspended from school as a result of their business), it did not deter Maman and Weiss in the slightest.
Setting Up Shop
Taking their initial capital from selling fidget-spinners in the school, the team moved into Weiss’s basement where they bought eight 3D printers of their own. Unfortunately – or perhaps fortunately – demand quickly outstripped the supply, and they moved to a factory in Brooklyn. There, 30 printers made Fidget360 spinners 24 hours a day. Except for even that factory was too small, and quickly Weiss and Maman had to move production to traditional injection molding in China. What a problem to have.
The toys cost only roughly $3.50 to produce, and retail for around $25.
“If you really wanted, you could get the sale price down to $12,” Maman told Crain’s Business Magazine. “Right now, though, we’ve got a pretty big profit margin.”
Fidget360 spinners have only been on the market for six months, but have reported hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales, all with almost no seed money to boost the project. The fidget-spinner launched first on Weebly in October of 2016, and later on Shopify in November of the same year, and now they ship to all 50 states, 30 countries and have nearly 200,000 followers on Instagram.
Social Media Reach
Maman and Weiss were able to harness social media in an incredibly effective way to help boost sales. Their first Instagram ad cost just $15 and resulted in nearly $2,000 in sales – in just 24 hours. When the business partners began to see Fidget360 knockoffs appear on the market, they sprang into action.
Now, the duo produce a number of shell companies that sell cheap knockoffs of the original Fidget360. This ensures they won’t lose their spot in the fidget-spinner marketplace and also earns them even more money.
Just a few months after the initial 3D printed Fidget360 spinners aggravated their high school’s administration, Maman and Weiss put their toy into Walmart and other massive retailers. They have also received an offer to purchase the company that would pay the two in the mid-six figures (they said no).
Maman and Weiss are currently in the middle of studying for finals and acting like normal high school boys – well, to an extent. Between fielding calls from potential investors during class and planning for their next product, it’s anyone’s guess what their next money-making venture will be.