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Arts & Crafts

Gift Basket

Create crafty and beautiful gifts with a gift basket business.

Entrepreneur

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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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Arts & Crafts

Caricatures

The profits this business can draw up is no laughing matter.

Entrepreneur

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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

Big, easily recognizable heads and faceswith small bodies is funny stuff, especially if the caricature is of aperson we know and do business with.

Hire a caricature artist who isprepared to work on a piece-work basis and start to market caricaturedrawings to local business owners. You will be amazed at the interestyou will receive right out of the blocks.

Restaurants will purchasecaricatures of their staff to adorn the front of menus, professionalswill purchase a caricature of themselves to send to clients in the formof a thank-you card and retail businesses will purchase caricatures ofvalued regular customers to hang above the cash register.

This is agreat business enterprise to put into action as it only requires alittle bit of creativity to ignite and about $1,000 to start.

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Arts & Crafts

Seashell Jewelry

Cater to the fashion-minded who never want to leave the beach behind.

Entrepreneur

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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

Do you live near the ocean and take dailywalks on the beach? If so, you could be walking past thousands ofdollars in potential profits and not even realize it. Starting a homebased business that designs and sells seashell jewelry is not only aneasy and inexpensive business to set in motion, it also could prove tobe very fun and interesting.

Collect various sizes, shapes and colorsof seashells right from the beach, and create beautiful seashelljewelry. Once completed, the jewelry can be sold to local retailers ona wholesale basis or placed in retail stores on a consignment basis.

Aseashell jewelry manufacturing business is not only easy to start andrun, but it could also generate extra income of $10,000 per year ormore.

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Arts & Crafts

Dried Flowers

Dried flowers’ longevity makes them an attractive alternative to the real thing.

Entrepreneur

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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

Growing, processing and selling driedflowers could put you on the path to self-employment, independence andfinancial freedom.

One of the best aspects about setting this businessin motion is the fact that it can easily be started right from yourhome, using your own garden as the initial source for the flowers to bedried and sold. Once the business is ready to be expanded, there are acouple of options.

The first is to lease vacant land to increase flowerproduction, and the second option is to purchase flowers. While thesecond option is easier, it may reduce your profit margin.

Once driedand packaged, the flowers can be sold to retailers on a wholesalebasis.

Profit potential range is $5,000 or more per year part-time.

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