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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

Mirror Art

Create cool works of art with mirror pieces that you can get for free.

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? Yes

Business Overview

Mirror art is simply small pieces of mirror in varying colors and shapes that have been assembled together to resemble a picture, landscape or even abstract design. In most cases a trip to your local glass shop will result in all the mirror you will need for this new venture, and usually at no cost.

Why? Most glass shops dispose of mirror cutoff pieces that are too small to sell, but these same pieces of mirror are perfectly sized to create mirror art.

The equipment needed to create the art is inexpensive and includes a few hand tools and a glass grinder. Also, patterns are available to make the mirror art or you can create your own. Once completed, the art can be sold via flea market booths, online or by renting a sales kiosk in malls.

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Arts & Crafts

Potpourri Sales

Figure out a way to differentiate your potpourri and you’ll be surrounded by the sweet smell of success.

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

Starting a business that makes andwholesales potpourri products is an excellent home based businessventure to set in motion.

The potpourri can be made from dried flowers,pine cones and bark mulch with fragrant essential oils added. Oncepackaged, the potpourri can be sold on a wholesale basis to specialtyretailers or directly to consumers via a sales kiosk or craft show.

Oneimportant aspect of the business not to overlook is packaging. Thepackaging for the potpourri should be unique to your business, as amethod to separate your product from the competition.

Additionally, besure to use recycled materials for the packaging of the products, asthis will not only help the environment, but it can also be used as afantastic marketing tool.

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Arts & Crafts

Charcoal Portraits

Use your charcoal drawing expertise to create quick portraits.

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? Yes

Business Overview

Can you produce attractive charcoalportraits of people in a very short time frame? If not, you may want totake some courses so you can, as people portraits created from charcoaldrawings is one of the greatest all time ‘cash’ art business that canbe started. We have all seen street artists who produce quick charcoalportraits of people.

These portraits usually cost $20 and the artist ispaid in cash. I live close to a tourist area, and in the summer I havewatched street artists draw as many as five portraits in an hour’stime. Your math skills do not have to be good to know that adds up to$100 an hour for about $2 or $3 worth of art supplies.

Perhapstraveling to foreign destinations is your dream. If so, this is theperfect business opportunity for you. With little more than a passport,suitcase, and a few art supplies, you could easily work your way aroundthe world producing charcoal portraits in every tourist mecca.

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