Want to turn your hobby into cash? This man knows how

Deus Ex Machina: Taking a 'stew' of ideas global
Deus Ex Machina: Taking a 'stew' of ideas global

Could you turn a hobby into millions of dollars? Serial entrepreneur Dare Jennings did. And not just once.

Jennings is the founder of Mambo, the Australian surf-wear brand famous for its cheeky prints. It started as a backyard project in the 1980s and grew into a multi-million dollar company with 22 stores worldwide.

The company designed the uniforms worn by the Australian team at the opening ceremony of the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. But Jennings wasn't ready to rest on his laurels: He sold Mambo that year and moved on.

In 2006, he opened Deus Ex Machina. Part store, part restaurant, the place offers everything Jennings is passionate about: custom motorcycles, surf boards, fashion and food.

Related: The man who turned $40 into a $6 billion business

Since opening the first shop and restaurant in Sydney, the brand has expanded to Europe, the United States and Indonesia. But Jennings said his concept goes beyond the ordinary chain store.

"The idea is art. It's not trying to reproduce one idea over and over," he said. "I like to go to a new country and kind of take the idea, the philosophy, if you like, but let it express itself according to the environment that it's in."

Related: How to create a restaurant empire

Take the Italian city of Milan as an example. A long way from any beach, the shop there focuses on motorcycles and bicycles.

Jennings says his company rakes in more than $17 million in revenue a year, and has even catered to celebrity customers.

"Orlando Bloom was one of the first people to come in here. We built him stuff. We built stuff for Billy Joel...Ryan Reynolds has bought a couple bikes from us," he says.

CNNMoney Sponsors