Some businesses have an inauspicious start; Eric Fanelli's has a particularly unfortunate one: His cat peed on his hockey gear. But the search to replace his ruined paraphernalia would lead the Connecticut dad to launch a side hustle that now nets him over $100,000 a year.
It started with the hockey pants. Fanelli came across a used pair from the University of Connecticut's team at a local sports store. At $65, they were half the price of new ones — and arguably cooler.
"[Selling] used hockey equipment from schools? That's kind of neat," Fanelli recalls thinking in the store. "It was kind of like a light bulb went off and I was like, 'I think I could do this [too].'"
But how he would build his own business wasn't entirely clear. As a 44-year-old father of three daughters, aged 3, 7 and 9, who works as a full-time salesman at a transport company and coaches high school hockey, time to do anything else was hard to come by.