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Arts & Crafts

Online Fabric Shop

Add some texture to your business side with an online shop that’s made of good material.

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Business At A Glance

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

Business Overview

Option One:

Develop a portal that brings fabric manufacturers and distributors together with fabric retailers via an online fabric directory website. Worldwide there are thousands of fabric manufacturers and fabric retailers, thus an exciting opportunity exists by bringing these two parties together to buy and sell fabric.

Revenue could be earned by charging both fabric manufacturers and retailers a fee for using the directory service. You could even create a password application that would enable both to have their own online warehouse, shipping center, inventory control, and tracking system. This type of website would be beneficial to both parties as it would enable them to do business online without the added expense of middlemen, sales consultants and costly marketing campaigns.

Option Two:

Focus on the direct-to-consumer market by creating a website that features fabric for sale.

Potential customers include hobby seamstresses, fashion designers, interior decorators and tailors. The site would be easy to create and could feature pictures and descriptions of the various fabrics you sell as well as a price list. Customers would select the fabric they wanted, add it to their shopping cart, make a payment and submit the order, all with a few easy clicks of a mouse button.

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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

Online Art Auctions

Connect artists with customers far and wide in online auctions.

Entrepreneur

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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

Once again, millions of professional and amateur artists are seeking ways to sell their artwork and this fact creates a fantastic opportunity to start an online art auction service.

The challenge with operating this type of venture will not be securing works of art to be auctioned, but promoting the site in such a manor that it receives a lot of visitor hits and interest. In terms of marketing and promoting the site, consider building an alliance with a major player on the web like a brand name site.

Revenues and profits will be created when artwork has been successfully auctioned and I would suggest retaining a commission in the range of 10 to 25 percent of the total selling value for providing the service.

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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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