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.


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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