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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

Craft Shows

Bringing vendors together can be a crafty part-time business that doesn’t require a lot of capital.

Entrepreneur

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Business At A Glance

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

Business Overview

Do you want to know how you can make anextra $25,000 per year by hosting only four annual craft shows? It isactually quite easy to host craft shows, and in the spirit of beingunique, let me suggest a way that you cannot only make an additional$25,000 per year part-time, but you can also have a lot of fun doingit.

The business concept is very direct. Simply, secure 100 craftvendors per craft show that you host, and charge each vendor $100 fortable rental. Holding a winter, spring, summer and fall show willgenerate total business revenues of $40,000 (4 shows x 100 vendors eachshow x $100 per table booth = $40,000).

The next trick is to keep asmuch of the gross revenues as possible, and seek out ways of promotingthe show so craft vendors will receive maximum exposure. Here is how itcan be accomplished:

  • Free location for the craft shows.Finding a location to hold the craft show without having to pay rent isvery easy. Simply negotiate with the landlord of the location thatshows’ admittance fees and concession snack revenue will be retained bythe location or landlord. One thousand people paying $1 each to attendand spending only $1 each on snacks will result in a two-day ‘same asrent’ fee of $2,000.
  • Free advertising for the craft shows.Advertising and promoting the craft show for free is also very easy.Start by negotiating with the craft vendors that 5 percent of theirtotal sales will go to a community charity.

The next step is to contacta local newspaper or TV station and negotiate a joint venture in termsof sponsoring the craft show and the local charity. Once again, it willnot be hard to find a newspaper or TV station that is willing to giveaway some free advertising in exchange for the goodwill benefits ofbeing a co-sponsor of a community event for charity.

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Arts & Crafts

Woodturnings

If you’re an artist who likes to work with wood, this is the biz for you.

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? No

Business Overview

Fruit bowls, candlesticks, stair spindles orbaseball bats’there are literally hundreds of different products whichcan be manufactured simply by purchasing a wood-turning lathe andmastering the art of wood turning.

While the finished products can besold directly to consumers, a better choice in terms of merchandisingthe wood-turning products is to arrange accounts with retailers, suchas gift shops, to stock and sell the products. Some quick math willtell you that just a dozen or so accounts with retailers like this cangenerate a very comfortable living manufacturing and wholesaling woodenbowls.

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Arts & Crafts

Homebased Tailor

If you’re an experienced tailor, you can contract your work to retailers and then sew from home.

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? No

Business Overview

Retailers of men’s formal and business weargenerally don’t have an in-house tailor, and typically alteration workis subcontracted to outside tailors. This fact creates a more thanample opportunity for individuals with sewing experience to capitalizeby starting a tailoring service that operates right from a home basedlocation.

The fastest way to establish the service is to offer men’swear retailers your services on a subcontract basis, and you canarrange a certain time of the day to pick up garments to be altered andreturn the garments the following day. Additionally, to generate morerevenue for the business, consider purchasing tuxedos that can berented to clients via the men’s wear stores that currently don’tprovide their customers this service.

The potential income range is $25to $35 per hour.

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