The Snuggie. The Flowbee. The Whoopee Cushion.
The history of commerce is marked by small businesses that provoked skepticism in the experts, if not outright contempt. But the buying public embraced their unusual concepts, and the entrepreneurs who believed in them, toiled over them and took a chance on them got the last laugh.
The nonconformist spirit that gave us many one-of-a-kind business ideas is alive and well today, despite a still somewhat sluggish economy. It can be found within the companies that offer products and services founded on ingenuity, inspiration and utter disregard for the phrase, "You're crazy."
CNBC.com presents 10 small businesses founded on unorthodox ideas. Some have proven track records of success, while others are still struggling just to stay open for business. But either way, their very existence violates conventional wisdom and provides inspiration for future entrepreneurs to forge ahead with original ideas.
Read ahead and see 10 small businesses you won't believe exist.
"Crowd Rules" premieres on CNBC Prime Tuesday, May 14th at 9 p.m. ET