The world is no stranger to weird business ideas, from pranks to people who simply think Cuddle Party will work. Still, it’s safe to say that these weird businesses are successful because of their uniqueness. From spandex outfits and mobile gas stations to socks sold in threes instead of pairs, every company on this list is a success because of its ability to help people out of situations, cater to their strangeness, and make up for all of those socks lost to the drier every year.
Check out these 15 strange business ideas that actually turned into real businesses.
#1 – Cuddle Party
Cuddle Party is a “playful social event designed for adults to explore communication, boundaries, and affection,” according to the company’s website. The events are designed to be safe spaces where people can talk and meet new people and practice consent. The company was founded in 2004 and is recognized federally as a non-profit education organization. Cuddle Party hosts events throughout the United States and Canada.
#2 – MyFriendSmells.com
MyFriendSmells.com is run by SWAGO Scents, a business that sells cologne wipes for freshening up around town. According to the company, this website offers people the ability to anonymously tell a friend that they smell. All you have to do is enter your credit card information, the recipient’s address, and let the site know if you want to send one cologne wipe for $1.99 or a set of four for $4.99. But even if the website promises anonymity, it’s not the best idea to send one of these wipes to a boss.
#3 – Booster Fuels
Booster Fuels could eliminate the need to stop at a gas station by letting the gas station come to you. With a fascinating business model, sites like Tech Crunch believe it’s possible to make this business work. Booster Fuels partners with large businesses to offer on-demand fuel service. Employees park their cars with the gas caps out and use the company’s mobile app to request a fill-up. The app lets customers pay for their gas and tells them when the fuel will be delivered. So far, the company offers its services in Texas, although a planned expansion to Silicon Valley is in the works.
#4 – SomethingStore
If you have an extra $10 to spend, but you aren’t sure what to spend it on, take a look at SomethingStore. This website gives customers who love surprises the chance to purchase a brand new item for $10. The only catch is, they have no idea what that “something” is until it arrives in the mail. According to the company, this mystery item could be anything from a “shiny gadget, rate book, party game, handmade necklace, reverse clock, box of gourmet chocolates, portable table tennis set, pashmina scarf” to pretty much anything else. Basically, anything goes as long as it costs at least $10.
#5 – WTF Prank Candles
Tyler and Mark Ward decided to start WTF Prank Candles more as, well, a prank than anything else. The brothers based their business on the fact that scented candles are pretty much a household item that almost everyone appreciates as a good thing. Plus, everyone loves pranks. Right? The brothers’ prank candles start out smelling fantastic, like apple pie or fresh laundry. However, the 30-hour candles turn sour a little under halfway through. Instead of fantastic smells, the candle-burner smells skunk, baby diaper, or “dirty fart.” The trick candles come in innocent packaging and cost $11.95.