Monetizing Your Hobby

Benedicto Wanyama, Marshon Aunjel & Their Son Michael Oduori Gonzo – It’s an online family affair


Benedicto “Ben” Gonzo and his son Michael have created a new lucrative online selling service. They have photos taken of great products for potential clients to view for purchase. This has been a lucrative endeavor for them both in 2021 and they see the potential for 2022.  Additionally, Ben builds and creates wood working, drums, shakers, jewelry boxes, storage furniture and unique functional cabinet pieces. Let’s not forget the queen of the house, wife, and mom Marshon Gonzo.  She designs, or together with the client assists in creating beautiful works of art. If that’s not enough, Ben works with partners to build Music Studios and Van Conversions for business or living spaces. Again, his partner in crime, Marshon Gonzo uses her passion for photography, love of cooking, and love for helping people to bring in money via an independent home assistant, nanny and elderly care provider.

Ben & Michael Gonzo

They collectively see their hobbies as a fun family way to generate business.  Marshon explains, “When my husband Ben sold his first piece (a drum at Venice Beach, CA) and when someone in our community noticed a storage cabinet in our living room Ben created from an Idea I drew up of, we knew we were on to something lucrative”. Realizing the need for extra training, Ben took online courses for very specific ideas, as he needed clarity on whether building certain pieces and pure creative ability would align. To test market items, Ben began to sell items at his brothers store in Venice Beach and displayed his drums at drum gatherings. The response was overwhelmingly positive.

Of course, with the positive there are always challenges.  Creating unique shapes for drums and furniture with stability was perfected through trial and error. Marshon recalls, “I remember a table Ben made with at least 1000 or more thin strips.  The process included glue, screws, setting and sanding to obtain smooth results. It was a strain that took at least 6 months. I can with say with confidence, Ben is very patient”.  When it comes to the paperwork and administration side of things, most of the work is during tax season and involves purchase orders, which helps us track and make sense of our expenses for the year. “We are also able to keep our overhead expenses to a minimum by displaying and selling items online via Facebook, Instagram and Etsy”.  As a family, the Gonzo’s have found the key to being steadfast about their passion. They listen to advice, explore vintage stores, always keep joy and laughter and the forefront. “We dance, have a glass of wine, or beer and just enjoy each other’s company. Most importantly, we have found, if you don’t have love, you have nothing!  No amount of money can bring true happiness – This comes only from G O D”.

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