Indiana 4th Grade Student Banks With Side Hustle

Learn how this 10-year-old makes thousands on top of being a student.

Indiana 4th Grade Student Banks With Side Hustle (Getty Images)

Many people remember what they were doing on school nights when they were in the fourth grade. It may have been homework or potentially holding off the homework, but one student stands out for working on something else. 

Each morning, Jacob Heitmann begins his day by having breakfast before heading to the family’s computer in the basement to check if there are any orders for his 3D printing business. If there are, he reviews the design requested, with his favorite being a rainbow plastic skull, and sets his 3D printer to work. Despite most prints taking at least two hours to complete, the machine operates while Heitmann attends his fourth-grade classes, managing his time efficiently, as the 10-year-old from Indiana explains,  according to CNBC.

Since January, he has generated over $1,700 in revenue by selling 3D printed toys to his classmates through his website and on his Etsy shop, according to documents scrutinized by CNBC Make It. Many of his creations are priced below $20, and he dedicates approximately three hours daily to his side hustle.

“I’ve always wanted to sell stuff to people,” he shared. “It’s fun, setting up a listing and deciding how much to charge for it … It makes me feel like a big business guy.”

Heitmann successfully persuaded his parents to purchase his first 3D printer, a $300 “Ender” model from Creality, for his birthday last July. Despite its limitation of printing one color at a time, He convinced them by touting it as cutting-edge technology that could change lives, he recalls with a laugh.

Armed with his printer, he immersed himself in YouTube tutorials, enrolled in lessons on, and appealed to his parents for a second device — a Bambu Lab P1S multi-color printer, currently valued at $949.

Santa Claus granted his wish for the new printer as a Christmas gift, as confirmed by Heitmann’s father, Chris.

Heitmann’s entrepreneurial journey began early. At nine years old, he approached his grandfather — who owns a printing promotion company — to collaborate on producing T-shirts and sweatshirts featuring the logo of his YouTube channel, initially started under his father’s name for Roblox and Minecraft content.

Although he established a website to market the apparel, he admits he didn’t invest sufficient effort into that venture. He sold a maximum of 20 units before replacing the listings with his 3D-printed designs. He officially launched his Etsy shop, under his mother’s name, in February, after being advised by teachers, alongside his friends who also own 3D printers, to refrain from soliciting sales in class.

In April, Heitmann was commissioned by a family friend to create 12 11-inch replicas of the Chase Tower in Chicago for a retirement party. Initially pricing each piece at $20, heeding his father’s advice, he revised the rate to $45 to cover labor costs, considering that each model required nine hours to print.

At the new price, he accrued $540 in revenue — funds earmarked for college savings or the acquisition of another 3D printer, he revealed.

However, amidst the successes, Heitmann is grappling with the challenges of expanding his side hustle. Since the retirement party, he has received six orders for more Chicago skyline replicas from attendees. These custom requests are pending, though there might be delays as his schedule is occupied with academic assignments and sports commitments. Additionally, his parents require him to activate vacation mode on his Etsy store whenever they travel, further complicating his availability.

“He hasn’t had time to accommodate requests for other buildings,” remarked Chris, Heitmann’s father. “Between school, training for his future spot in the MLB, and his 8 p.m. bedtime, he just doesn’t have the time.”

Noumaan Faiz, (he/him) is a journalist and entertainer from Corona, CA who covers culture and entertainment.

Edited by Nykeya Woods

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