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Arts & Crafts

Custom Buttons

Who says buttons have to be boring? Create interesting buttons that will make people smile when they get dressed.

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Business At A Glance

  • Startup Costs: $2,000 – $10,000
  • Home Based: Can be operated from home.
  • Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
  • Online Operation? No

Business Overview

Are you searching for a unique andinexpensive home based business opportunity that has little competitionand a real chance of succeeding? If so, consider starting a businessthat specializes in manufacturing and selling custom, one-of-a-kindbuttons for clothing. The buttons can be manufactured from just aboutevery type of raw material, including wood, metal, seashells and glass.The key to success in button manufacturing is twofold.

First, thebuttons must be unique in design and appearance.

Second, you need to bea good marketer. Consider the following:

  • Establish accounts with specialty retailers to purchase the buttonson a wholesale basis.
  • Sell the buttons to manufacturers anddesigners of custom clothing.
  • Sell the custom clothingbuttons directly to consumers via the internet.

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Arts & Crafts

Christmas Decorations

While you’ll likely only sell your products during fall and winter, it’s a business you can work on all year.

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Business At A Glance

  • Startup Costs: Under $2,000
  • Home Based: Can be operated from home.
  • Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
  • Online Operation? No

Business Overview

Each year, billions of dollars are spent onChristmas decorations worldwide, and securing a portion of this verylucrative market is easy.

This new business enterprise is verystraightforward and can be initiated by anyone, as it doesn’t requireany special business experience or skills. Simply design, produce andsell custom one-of-a-kind Christmas decorations.

Go for the high end ofthe market where consumers are willing to pay $25 or more for oneChristmas decoration that’ll become a family heirloom. The decorationscan be made from almost any type of raw material, in any popularChristmas theme.

 The key to success is that the Christmas decorationsmust be unique and appealing. The decorations can be sold to specialtyretailers on a wholesale basis or directly to consumers via renting asales table at art and craft shows.

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Arts & Crafts

Wall Murals

Use your artistic skills to create large, custom creations for clients.

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Business At A Glance

  • Startup Costs: $2,000 – $10,000
  • Home Based: Can be operated from home.
  • Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
  • Online Operation? No

Business Overview

Many building and business owners are turning to having wall muralspainted on large areas of their buildings (interior and exterior) forpromotional and interior decoration purposes, and as a method to detergraffiti.

If you have the ability, or can form a group of people withthe ability to produce attractive wall murals, then you can make a lotof money operating your own custom wall mural painting service.

Paintyour first wall mural for free (with permission of course) and use thefinished product as your presentation. Approach businesses with photosof your work.

Additionally, have a few suggestions and rough drafts ofthe wall mural you are proposing. Another way to market your servicesis to partner up with local interior design or architecturefirms–they’ll know when the local Italian restaurant is renovating orwhen the library is adding a new wing. Or, you can also target high-endhomeowners who might want nursery rhyme images painted in their baby’sroom or a lush tropical scene added to a patio wall.

You could also addpainting services, such as faux finishes, to boost your business. Nextto your skill with a paintbrush, your imagination is your best tool forselling your service.

The Market

You can market your services to both businesses and individuals.Creating working relationships with interior designers is key.

Needed Equipment

Paints and brushes, of course, including rollers and other tools usedto cover large areas. You’ll also want an array of ladders and dropcloths, and a vehicle large enough to transport the tools of your trade.

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Arts & Crafts

Gift Basket

Create crafty and beautiful gifts with a gift basket business.

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Business At A Glance

  • Startup Costs: $2,000 – $10,000
  • Home Based: Can be operated from home.
  • Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
  • Online Operation? Yes

Business Overview

If you’re the type who goes nuts at holidays and birthdays, choosingoh-so-special gifts and then dressing them up in creative packages,you’ll get all wrapped up in a gift basket business. You can give giftsall year long and get paid for doing it! This is one of the hottestbusinesses going, with recent annual sales of $800 million.

If you setyour creativity on high and develop your own special niche, you can bevery successful. Gift basket entrepreneurs buy gifts and tuck them intobaskets, decorative tins, boxes or bags for their customers to give tothat certain someone.

Each basket of goodies is designed around atheme, which can be anything from romance to travel to new baby to newhome to just about anything you can dream up. There are even divorcebaskets!

The gift basket business’s advantages are that you can startpart time, your startup costs are relatively low, and if you’re acreative person who likes conjuring up unique themes and packaging andputting them all together, it’s a whole lot of fun.

Plus, the businessis gratifying–everybody’s delighted to receive a fancy basket full ofgifts. A gift basket can be elegant, whimsical or sporty, but make sureit looks smart–you can’t just toss in a hodgepodge of objects andstick on a bow. You’ll need a flair for the creative and the designability to pull it all together into an attractive package. You’ll alsoneed to be a savvy marketer who can sell those unique baskets to avariety of clients and customers.

The Market

The quintessential consumer gift-basket customer is the middle-toupper-income female baby boomer, but you can sell to just aboutanybody. Be sure to tie up business accounts. These will keep your cashflow going during slower retail seasons and can be a terrific source ofrepeat sales.

Wrap up travel and real estate agents, innkeepers,apartment complexes, car and boat salespeople, public relations firms,or any other corporate clients who’ll want to thank, wow or woo theirown customers. And don’t forget clubs and organizations–they’re alwaysthrowing dinners, teas, parties and assorted awards banquets for whichgifts are a necessary ingredient. You can attract these clients andcustomers with creative marketing.

Send brochures to businesses andorganizations, then follow up by setting appointments to show yourbaskets or a professional portfolio of your designs. To reap retailcustomers, place ads in local newspapers, host home parties à laTupperware and exhibit at crafts fairs. Send press releases to localand national publications, offer yourself as a guest on a local radiochat show, and donate a few baskets to other businesses’ grand openingsor for fund-raisers in return for free publicity.

Needed Equipment

In most states, you’ll need a liquor license to add that swanky bottleof champagne or fine wine, and you’ll want a resale license so you canbuy gifts and supplies at wholesale prices. You’ll also want ashrink-wrap machine (or use a heavy-duty hair dryer or paint peeler);that indispensable crafter’s tool, the hot glue gun; and a work spacelarge enough for you to spread out your materials and assemble yourbaskets. (Keep in mind that a business client may order 100 or morebaskets at a time.)

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