Niche Market

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Project by Todd Swartwood posted 347 days ago 1618 views 6 times favorited 14 comments Add to Favorites Watch

After many years of marketing I decided to try a “Niche Market” The pet industry and mostly fish tank stands and tops known in the industry as canopies. I sold the first one on Ebay and lost money, But the next thing I new my web site was getting requests first slowly than one after another. I shipped Stands And Canopies all over the country as fast as I could build them. These stands were not for small tanks they mostly started at the 150 gal size, and went up to systems that were close to 700 gallons. I did try some other versions like the last picture that would hold 2 55 gallon tanks. Those ones never caught on well I don’t really know why because most fish keepers have multiple tanks. So I ended up only building about 4 double stands.

Thanks for looking

-- Todd Swartwood (Todd Swart-Woodworks)

14 comments so far

View SuperCubber's profile


250 posts in 911 days

#1 posted 347 days ago

Great work, Todd! You say shipped, as in past tense. What made you stop?

View Todd Swartwood's profile

Todd Swartwood

55 posts in 352 days

#2 posted 347 days ago

I retired after my 5th back surgery, and have had 7 as of now. I can not put in only few days a week and have not found anyone to take on to work with. I do keep busy in my shop, doing what I want to do now.
I have however bought a 14,000 sq,ft. building that my shop is in, I am about to complete apartment #1 with 2 more apartments to go. And I am also putting in a bakery for my wife to run a Gluten free Bakery.

So I keep busy
Thanks for asking, Todd

-- Todd Swartwood (Todd Swart-Woodworks)

View doubleDD's profile


2392 posts in 670 days

#3 posted 347 days ago

These are some really nice looking stands and canopies Todd. Too bad you are unable to do it anymore. Good luck with your building.

-- --Dave, Downers Grove, Il. When you run out of ideas, start building your dreams

View TCrossan's profile


35 posts in 347 days

#4 posted 347 days ago

Awesome idea and work! I hope you can figure out how to keep going.

-- Jn. 14:6

View lightweightladylefty's profile


2636 posts in 2339 days

#5 posted 347 days ago


You do nice work and are a brilliant marketer! Welcome to LJs and thanks for sharing.


-- Jesus is the ONLY reason for ANY season.

View Ken90712's profile


14878 posts in 1815 days

#6 posted 346 days ago

Great work they are beautiful…. Hope the back is OK, 14000 sq ft shop wowza….

-- Ken, "Everyday above ground is a good day!"

View eugenerussia's profile


28 posts in 791 days

#7 posted 346 days ago

Wow! reading the comments – what a pace! do the 7 surgeries have anything to do with such amount of work that you’re doing?

-- Free games for you and your kids:

View Todd Swartwood's profile

Todd Swartwood

55 posts in 352 days

#8 posted 346 days ago

Actually I forgot to mention the morphine pump in my side that makes it possible to get out of bed and do anything.

And I will probably at some point build these Stands & Canopies again. I also believe Furniture Quality Bird Cages
would be a good seller. We have to remember That like we love our tools and equipment, people with other hobbies
will find a way to buy something that displays their hobbies better. It really does not matter what the hobby is.
thanks again, Todd

-- Todd Swartwood (Todd Swart-Woodworks)

View TCrossan's profile


35 posts in 347 days

#9 posted 346 days ago

Good point about hobby lovers loves!
I’ll remember that for sure.

-- Jn. 14:6

View nuttree's profile


244 posts in 1951 days

#10 posted 346 days ago

Nice work Todd. Sorry to hear about your back. I built the stand and canopy for my 55gal and had two different friends commission theirs. That was about six years ago – haven’t sold one since. May have something to do with the fact I haven’t marketed them either.

-- I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in. -John Muir

View DavidATX's profile


23 posts in 428 days

#11 posted 345 days ago

Hi Todd,

I have built 2 stands, one for myself and one for a tank at our church. I have thought about marketing to pet stores locally and was curious if you tried that? Also, what would you sell a 55 gallon stand for?
Did you add alot of bracing for the larger stands?

It is a very good looking stand!

View Todd Swartwood's profile

Todd Swartwood

55 posts in 352 days

#12 posted 345 days ago

Dave, I did sell a few through pet stores but meeting their price point is almost Impossible to make any money. They have to be written off as advertisement. the large stands were built out of 8/4 or double 4/4 stock. Their was no way I could make money on small tanks like 55’s and smaller.

Thanks again, Todd

-- Todd Swartwood (Todd Swart-Woodworks)

View dgrant's profile


16 posts in 343 days

#13 posted 342 days ago

Hi Todd,

Those are beautiful stands and canopies. I have been an aquarium hobbyist since childhood and for some reason, the stand and canopy are as important for me as the tank itself. Before I started woodworking, I spent a thousand bucks for a nice set for a 55 gallon tank. Now, I could build it for less than half that, easy. Your photos gave me a couple ideas for one I am about to make. Thanks.

View Todd Swartwood's profile

Todd Swartwood

55 posts in 352 days

#14 posted 342 days ago

I am very glad you can use some of my ideas. If you are going to build a canopy, I changed my design slightly. I made the raised panel areas to lift and stay rather than the whole top face. That works really nice, sorry I could not find any photos of those.

-- Todd Swartwood (Todd Swart-Woodworks)

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