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Am dreaming of opening a craft shop,... come and tell me what your dream shop would stock

(75 Posts)
Ingles2 Thu 29-Mar-12 10:19:09

well, maybe a little more than dreaming, I'm starting a business plan eek! grin
So what gorgeous things you would like to see in my shop?
I'm thinking, Sewing and Knitting, open to any suggestions

AKMD Thu 29-Mar-12 11:09:57

I know it's less of a 'thing' but I would love it if my local needlecraft shop did 1-day workshops on how to do things like quilting, knitting blanket squares, cross-stitch etc. Needlecraft can be quite intimidating to get into if your mum didn't teach you the basics and workshops would be a great way of getting new customers.

On things, I like:
- Sirdar baby bamboo wool. So nice to knit with.
- Ribbons in different colours and textures.
- Tiny beads for embroidery.
- Buttons - boring ones and bright children's ones too.

TunipTheVegemal Thu 29-Mar-12 11:15:09

well chosen lovely patchwork fabric and other kit for quilting (hoops, thimbles, wadding etc).

TwoJackRussellsandababy Thu 29-Mar-12 11:17:20

Knitting/sewing group on a sat which is free, attracts people in to spend in the shop.

Locally produced wool, including hand spun/hand dyed, I want to be able to buy something special which I can't get from other places, I will and do travel to places to get extra special stuff.

Loyalty program is always good too.

TunipTheVegemal Thu 29-Mar-12 11:20:04

this is my local one which I love
It's tiny but because the lady who runs it has such lovely taste I always end up spending more money there than at this enormous place that has everything under the sun.

Ingles2 Thu 29-Mar-12 11:25:35

yep, am already thinking of groups and social stuff, mainly because I'm desperate for a sewing group myself and there is nothing here smile
Loyalty program is a good idea....Thanks JackRussell
I'm designing some cross stitch / tapestry kits so I'll have those and I was also thinking of designing one that would appeal to tourists... this is a choccy box town and full of older ladies on coach trips grin
I don't know Sirdar Baby bamboo.... is it nice AKMD? I was thinking Rowan maybe? instead, do you think? or both?
but I'll definitely look for more local stuff
Any suggestions on quilting Tunip ?, that's something I've not tried myself
<gets excited>

Ingles2 Thu 29-Mar-12 11:28:24

ooh yes Tunip I love those felt kits... gorgeous!
more suggestions please smile

ungratefulbiped Thu 29-Mar-12 11:32:21

I've had 2 shop ideas that I always thought could be combined into one. One would be to import Carters and Osh Kosh children's clothing as it's so reasonable in the States and so hearty! But I know nothing of import/export and all that so I quickly gave up.

The other idea I had was to do a proper children's consignment. So people would bring their children's clothes and equipment in and sell it with the shop taking a cut. Kinda like a charity shop... without the charity.

Best of luck to you!! xx

Ingles2 Thu 29-Mar-12 12:24:45

there was one of those recycling /take a cut children's shops in North East London Biped a few years ago... I think it was really quite popular smile

ungratefulbiped Thu 29-Mar-12 12:36:57

ooooh! Thanks for that. I'll have to look next time I'm up that way.

zippyrainbowbrite Thu 29-Mar-12 12:42:18

Ooh, I went to a lovely shop in Bath yesterday called The Makery! It sold lots of lovely little things like pretty buttons and ribbons, and they run workshops for all sorts from knitting to knicker making! The shop assistant in there was so friendly and helpful that I'm thinking of signing up for a few workshops even though it's about an hour from where I live!

BiddyPop Thu 29-Mar-12 12:48:37

There is a wool shop which has opened near me, which has a small coffee shop in it which is popular (homebaked goodies, tea, coffee, couple of kiddie juices). They have knitting circles a couple of times a week, I know a few M&C little groups and a couple of pensioners too have "adopted" it different mornings, and it is a way of keeping people coming in (and seeing new ideas and stock). And makes it part of the neighbourhood (llittle shopping strip in a residential area - a Spar, F&V shop, Dominos, hairdresser and an insurance broker all alongside).

They are running classes too, I think, and I keep passing it just as it closes (damn FT work angry) and wanting to go in and browse, relax over a coffee while considering a pattern, perhaps knit a bit while talking to other knitters.....a few I know who can visit it during the daytimes find it really helpful, friendly, and the coffee shop means they can take their kids in and distract them with juice/flapjack while they browse the goods!! Or just have a like-minded natter with shop people or other shoppers.

CarpeJugulum Thu 29-Mar-12 12:55:34

A tie in with a proper framer who will stretch, mount and use non-reflective glass.

So hard to get a hold off, and my old local shop (sadly now 200 miles away) used to use a great independent framer. I'd end up taking one thing in to be framed and then buy my next project.

If memory serves, the shop took the order, framer picked them up once a week and returned them 1-2 weeks later depending on complexity.

craftynclothy Thu 29-Mar-12 13:06:48

Stylecraft Special DK (for the cheaper end - used often on the Attic24 blog)
Jarol Heritage DK
Rowan Handknit cotton
Crystal Palace Yarns Mini Mochi
Variety of hand-dyed/handspun/art yarns & fibres

Handmade stitch markers
Handmade knitting bags/project bags
KnitPro needles
Polymer clay crochet hooks (like you see on Etsy)

Quilting fabric
Extra wide backing fabric
Good selection of good quality plain colour quilting fabrics
Jelly rolls/layer cakes/charm packs
Nice selection of FQs, which are well cut unlike Hobbycraft
Designer fabric (esp stuff that seems hard to get hold of here)

Buttons - preferably buy X grams for Y pounds rather than priced per button, with perhaps some packs of button sets seperate
Embroidery thread
Nice selection of quality quilting thread, esp variegated stuff

Would love all that plus a nice cafe with a little play area for toddlers and a big bookshelf so you can have a read of craft books while you drink your coffee smile

AKMD Thu 29-Mar-12 13:23:48

Sirdar Baby Bamboo is an 80/20 bamboo/wool mix. It is SO nice! I have quite sensitive skin so find a lot of wools give me prickly rashes when I knit but this one is smooth and a delight to use. Anything knitted with is has the softest, most gorgeous texture. It is fairly expensive though.

BigBoobiedBertha Thu 29-Mar-12 13:49:53

This is my LYS It is very good, I love it and they get of business off me blush . Actually I want to buy their business but it is run from what was once a garage attached to their family home (garage has been much extended over the years) so I doubt I will ever get the chance. <sigh> A girl can dream.

Anyway, the question is what could you do to improve it I suppose, things that you could do if you were starting from scratch. It does knitting (obviously) cross stitch and tapesty, patchwork and quilting, card making and beads plus buttons, ribbons, threads I actually think they could ditch the card making and the beads and expand their yarns into the more obscure/harder to get hold of stuff which not many people stock. It would look good on their website too as a USP. (I would have a website, definitely)

I think what I am trying to say is don't spread yourself to thin in what you think you might cover. I wonder if they even need to do the Patchwork and quilting stuff although a few simple ranges with plenty of plains and batiks should keep most people happy. They have Amy Butler and some Rowan fabrics for instance because that is part of the Patons/Rowan/Coats/Anchor group and they can get them off the same rep and everything ties in together. I don't go there for major spends on P&Q, just for little bits and pieces and emergencies (if you can have a P&Q emergency grin). You would need a lot of space to be the 'go to' point for lots of different crafts I think. The start up costs would be huge.

Have something that is unique to you so that people might be prepared to travel. That could be courses as well as stock I suppose but it sounds like you could launch your own range of kits.

TunipTheVegemal Thu 29-Mar-12 13:52:27

yes, if you're going to stock a small number of patchwork fabrics the Rowan ones are the ones to go for.

Ingles2 Thu 29-Mar-12 14:21:03

Thankyou everyone, this is brilliant! grin
Just dashing out now but will reply later

MrsZoidberg Thu 29-Mar-12 16:44:47

BBB that used to be my local too - I missed it sooo much when I moved.

OhdearNigel Thu 29-Mar-12 16:48:16

Moda quilting fabrics and maybe some of your own cheaper jelly rolls/layer cakes/charm packs

nickelhasababy Thu 29-Mar-12 16:49:47

craft books.

i will pm you with supplier.

OhdearNigel Thu 29-Mar-12 16:52:26

Can you offer sewing machine repairs ?

BigBoobiedBertha Thu 29-Mar-12 17:22:05

Oh no MrsZoidberg, I wonder if I know you! shocksmile

You've now got me thinking of all the people I know who have moved away.

Ingles2 Thu 29-Mar-12 19:37:23

Hi everyone again... Had a chance to read all your replies properly now and I'm really glad that it looks like we're all on the same page grin
I'd love to have a space big enough for coffee and cakes but I've been looking at commercial rent this pm and am slightly horrified at price. I'm sure there must be room for negotiation though..
That baby Bamboo looks lovely AKMD , pics aren't quite as nice as mine however! mine grin grin
That's a brilliant list, thank you craftynclothy
and I agree BigBoobiedBertha I'm not going to try and stock too many different things and am definitely not doing card making stuff. Hobbycraft have that all sewn up I think! smile
Thankyou Nickel will pm you, and thanks to everyone else as well...
so, nighttime crowd..... if you've got this far... any recommendations?

Ingles2 Thu 29-Mar-12 20:24:55

Also meant to ask BigBoobiedBertha is your name from How to train your dragon? grin

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