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Arts & Crafts

Ice Sculpture Classes

It’s very posh to see bars made of ice. If you have the skills, it’s never been hotter to be surrounded by ice.

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Business At A Glance

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

Business Overview

Who would possibly want to learn how to makeice sculptures? The answer is thousands of chefs and caterers.

Providing you have the skills and abilities to produce ice sculpturesand can teach other people, then you have overcome the first hurdle inestablishing a new business venture that teaches students how to makeice sculptures.

Ice sculpture classes are best suited to being marketeddirectly to restaurant and catering company owners by arranging apresentation appointment to display and demonstrate your service. Thebusiness does not require an operating location, as you can travel toyour client’s business location and teach the ice sculpting classeson-site.

This is an inexpensive business to establish and there shouldbe no problems charging clients $40 to $50 per hour for the classes.

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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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Arts & Crafts

Online Art Supplies

A 24-hour shop lets artists shop for what they need next at anytime of day.

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Business At A Glance

  • Startup Costs: $10,000 – $50,000
  • Home Based: Can be operated from home.
  • Part Time: Can be operated part-time.
  • Online Operation? Yes

Business Overview

Remote or small communities often do not have a store that stocks and sells art supplies, and these are the communities that you will want to target if your intentions are to establish a website that features art supplies for sale. In addition to mainstream art supplies like paint, brushes and canvas, also consider selling more exotic or hard-to-find art supplies.

The more varied the selection the better the chances of securing repeat visitors and customers to the site. Furthermore, to keep inventory purchases to a minimum seek to build alliances with manufacturers of art supplies who will ship directly to your customers.

Promote the site in print publications, through art schools and classes, and Internet marketing and advertising options.

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Arts & Crafts

Rubber Stamps

Love crafts? Get into the rubber stamp 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? No

Business Overview

In spite of the popularity of easy to makeand print computerized labels, there will always be a market for rubberstamps that are used for business purposes, as well as in the hobbycraft industry.

Starting a business that manufactures predesignedrubber stamps is as easy as 123.

  1. Research the industry,market, and business.
  2. Establish a manufacturing process, and secureretail accounts for the stamps.
  3. Manufacture the stamps and ship toretailers.

The key to success in manufacturing rubber stamps is to beunique and make the stamps interesting.

In addition to the traditionalbusiness rubber stamps, also manufacture stamps for use in crafts andfor personal use. Right now, animal stamps are very popular and featurejust about every kind of animal.

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