With University coming to an end for many graduates, for some those University romances don’t quite make it through the summer. It’s been something of a break-up season around campus, but worry not if you are currently heartbroken, there’s a light at the end of the tunnel; entrepreneurship. Here’s a look at some inspiring entrepreneurs that cashed in on their heartache.
Returning home to find his fiancée gone after a three month engagement, having taken all her things, yet leaving her engagement ring behind, a young Josh Opperman decided to try and return the engagement ring that he had scrimped and saved for.
When he approached the jeweller they offered him $3,500 for a ring that he had paid $10,000 for. In his own words Josh decided that rather than get mad he’d get even, so launched his own jewellery resale site aptly named: idonowidont.com
The site creates a platform where the heartbroken can sell their jewellery at a reasonable price and those searching for a budget ring can broker a mutually beneficial deal.
The business has boomed during the recession and the Wall Street Journal highlights that the company has generated upto $1 Million in sales in the last year alone. Now I’d say that wasn’t a loss at all, the good news being that Josh has also recently married, so it’s fair to say that his story has a happy ending.
I don’t think I could write a blog about turning heartbreak into success without mentioning Adele. For anyone outside of pop culture, Adele has been renowned for her “heartbroken soul” lyrics that seem to speak volumes to the world. Her first album went four times platinum, and her second 16 times platinum in the UK as well as gaining her many an award and a top spot on the US Billboard for the longest time since 1985. It is estimated that Adele is worth around $12 Million, which frankly seems like it would ease the blow of a breakup.
The final example I saw of turning a broken heart into a booming business was The Museum of Broken Relationships.
All the exhibits are accompanied with brief descriptions of the item and its story and the museum advocates for newly singletons to use donations as a means to “overcome an emotional collapse through creation.” Motivations for donations include therapeutic relief, closure, exhibitionism and a sense of leaving their “love legacy”.
The Museum based in Croatia has seen its fair share of success, having recently won the prestigious EMF Kenneth Hudson Award which recognises a demonstration of the most unusual, daring and perhaps controversial achievement that challenges common perceptions of the role of museums in society.
For me the real thing that all these businesses have in common other than the broken hearted is their ability to connect with people. Relationships are something that everyone has experienced and I’m sure at varying levels we have all encountered heart break too.
And whilst in the early stages there is alot of listening to Adele, eating Ben and Jerry’s and wondering how things will ever get better. For these entrepreneurs, it was that sadness that generated the ideas that made them successful.
There are many people out there now racking their brain for the next big idea that will strike a chord with millions of potential customers and a lot of them will never have that breakthrough. If anything, seeing these examples has taught me to make the most out of all opportunities, see solutions where there are problems and don’t be afraid to take a risk, even when everything seems grey.
Thank you to stonerosejewellry and brokenships.com for the images.