A butterfly business takes flight

An entrepreneur starts a business on a dare - and wins.

By Brandi Stewart, FSB Magazine

(FSB Magazine) -- Jose Muiz's career began when a friend bet him $100 that he could not sell butterflies for a living. Now, seven years later, the former business consultant and his wife, Karen, own Amazing Butterflies (amazingbutterflies.com), a live-butterfly distributor with offices in Tamarac, Fla., and San Jose, and a projected $1 million in revenues in 2006.

The dramatic effect created by the release of scores of butterflies has made the business popular among wedding, funeral and charity event planners.

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The company, which charges as much as $95 for a dozen monarchs, has also worked events for companies such as Viacom's (Charts) Nickelodeon, which ordered several hundred butterflies in August for a filming in Burbank, Calif.

The butterfly-shipping industry has attracted some controversy from conservationists, but that hasn't slowed Muiz's business.

Next spring, the company plans to open a third office, in Dallas. Though Muiz, 47, is still waiting for his $100, he says that he has backed his way into a job that he loves. "I could never go back [to consulting]," he says. "This is just too much fun."

Would you start a business on a bet or a dare? If you've done it, did you hope to prove someone wrong by succeeding? Write in and tell us about it.

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