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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

VerityClinch Tue 03-Apr-12 16:47:09

That toy shop is a nightmare. I never go in if the marauding toddlers are with me. Even on my own I find it really claustrophobic!

nickelhasababy Tue 03-Apr-12 17:11:34

my best tip is about bills.

every time i receive an invoice, i put it into a sheet "bills that need paying"
invoices are paid at the end of the following month, so eg April's invoices will go on May's page.
each time i get a bill for a monthly charge (eg, notice of direct debit schedule for elec) i put all the details in each month that it will be taken.
then at the end of that month (eg april), i order them all by payee, and pay them in one go.
then when (may) comes, at the bottom of the list, i put details of all receipts of purchases in that month.

my headings are:
to whom, for what, invoice number, amount, vat amount, how paid, bank details (you only need to fill these in the first time) contact details, extra information.
i highlight them as i pay them in purple, and email them to confirm payment.

when i do my VAT return, i add them all up (invoices are vat'ed the month before) and use them to calc my vat.
at the end of the year, i add them all up for my tax return.

i also have a spreadsheet of daily takings, which is filled in every day when i cash up, and again, added up for the relevant returns.

doing this not only means you have a ready reckoner of expenses/income, it also means that you don't have to sift through hundreds of bills and invoices at the end of the tax year.

ChippingInNeedsCoffee Tue 03-Apr-12 18:55:56

I am so excited for you smile

The market sounds like a good idea - what day of the week is it? No matter what day it is, a good part of your customer base wont be able to get to the market, so it may not be indicitive of your success.

Ingles2 Tue 03-Apr-12 19:55:41

Hi Everyone grin
Well, didn't get quite as much done as I wanted, I got distracted by an owl I'm embroidering and trying to illustrate a windmill I think might be good for a tourist cross stitch blush I'm back in front of it now though.
I'm actually using which is fantastic!
you're right Verity that toyshop is a nightmare, but full of gorgeous things no? wink
Thankyou Nickel for all that advice on paperwork, I am terrible with it, But I'm going to have to bite the bullet.
And thankyou for your enthusiasm Chipping,.. smile the market is on thursday in my village, thats the really popular one. And then there's a mini market in town on friday so I could do 2 a week if it went well.
I'm veering towards excitement and complete fear...Dh is a bit confused because iho I've already got a pretty successful career, but after 10 yrs the commuting is just making me miserable...I need to make a change. Eeek.. If I think about it too much, I get horrible panicky feeling in my chest. <breathes into paperbag>
it'll be fine... Verity, forget the coffee, we'll need gin soon!

VerityClinch Tue 03-Apr-12 21:14:47

Oh well you know where I worked before I went all SAHM. Gin I can definitely do. grin

HippyHippopotamus Wed 04-Apr-12 09:19:08

I think we're all hoping that the location of your new shop is close enough to visit!

Things I would love (sorry if repeats of above, I haven't read all of the messages)

* Late opening, even if only for one night a week
* A door that is wide enough for a pushchair and will stay open til I'm inside
* An area where I can leave a child and pushchair that is out the way of other shoppers
* somewhere reasonably close to park (or walking distance from my house!)
* a job for me smile

I'll have a think, I'm sure there's more!

BigBoobiedBertha Wed 04-Apr-12 10:46:41

If you are going to start with a market stall, perhaps it might be a good idea to also do some of the big needlework shows. I don't know where you are (I did a quick trawl through, sorry if I missed itblush) but there is bound to be one within communting distance.

If I were you I would also get the website off and running sooner rather than later. Websites aren't cheap (unless you can make a decent one yourself) but it would be a good half way house to a more expensive shop refit - if it goes well the market stall and the website could provide you with funds for your shop after a few months.

Don't skimp on advertising either - usually the first thing businesses cut in a recession but it probably should be one of the last. If you don't have one already it might be worth getting a FB, Twitter and Linked In account plus a blog. Anything that drives real and virtual traffic your way.

(Can you tell I have been working with a marketing lady to sort out DH's marketing on his business? Sorry if I am preaching to the converted on this!)

nickelhasababy Wed 04-Apr-12 11:07:47

yes, one of the reasons i took the plunge was because i was fed up of having to commute (it took too much out of my day, especially sitting in traffic for up to an hour)

nickelhasababy Wed 04-Apr-12 11:08:57

Hippy - even then, i still get customers who awkwardly hold the door half open with one hand while they push the pushchair with the other hand. grin they don't even try to push it all the way open to see if it stays!

nickelhasababy Wed 04-Apr-12 11:12:37

Bertha - i know what you mean about advertising, but it really is too expensive.
one tiny advert in our local weekly paper for one issue is £60 +vat.
the size of the advert is 10cm wide (can't remember the height).

even sending out a christmas catalogue - i pay £80 per thousand for a generic books catalogue with my shop details printed on it, but to get it delivered out, royal mail have a minimum delivery of £500, which I think would cover about 3000

nickelhasababy Wed 04-Apr-12 11:19:15

online things like facebook are great - fb, twitter.
definitely get a paid listing in yellow pages (inc online listing) and thompson. - yell has started to do separated listings, and in my area, it looks like i'm the only bookshop because smiths and waterstones haven't taken the paid listings.
there are loads of free online directories

BigBoobiedBertha Wed 04-Apr-12 11:42:56

Local papers are expensive Nickelbaby but you can get an ad in a knitting or cross stitch magazine for about £30 which isn't bad when you consider that those types of magazine are quite often kept for a long time and people refer back to them if they want to do a project. Local papers are either not looked at for ads or are binned pretty quickly.

The ad would be one of those thin, 2 column ads though (not massive with pictures and loads of info) and you usually have to commit to half a year.

BigBoobiedBertha Wed 04-Apr-12 11:44:13

Sorry I meant to say I know that isn't relevant to you, being a bookseller and all! Local paper is probably your only relevant place to do an ad?

nickelhasababy Wed 04-Apr-12 11:47:00

yes, that's true, useful for the op! grin

yes, no point me trying to advertise any further afield. smile

Kennyp Wed 04-Apr-12 20:06:39

Remnants bin
Notice board with local stuff on it .. For sale etc
Lovely service!!!! Our local one is sketchy to say the least
Loan of craft books? Save buying them etc

Agree re sewing machine repairs, or be able to recmmend people who could mend etc

Ingles2 Wed 04-Apr-12 20:15:50

Evening everyone grin
more brilliant advice, so thank you... Haven't done anything crafty today, we had to go to Bluewater uniform shopping and I've been a tad distracted by my trainer incident!!! here, but no-one wants to talk to me about it grin
Last night though I was reading through the business plan and there is a section for listing advisors and help... it did make me snigger at the thought of listing all your names,.... especially you Bertha!
What would the bank manager say? grin
I'm hoping to get all this stuff together over the weekend and sitting down with dh to talk persuade . I think I've decided on a name though... Daren't tell you yet though incase you all think it's crap! grin
Nickel Have you decided on a date for your drinks yet? can you link me your thread, it's dropped off my list.

BigBoobiedBertha Wed 04-Apr-12 20:56:30


patchworkchick Thu 05-Apr-12 10:11:34

Fabric by Jennifer Paganelli, Kona Solids and other designers that are impossible to buy off line.

nickelhasababy Thu 05-Apr-12 10:33:55

may meet up
It's the 5th May. smile

remanants/bargain bin deffo good idea.

also, our local knitting shop knits to order. They charge for the pattern, the wool, and the time it takes to do. They did me a lovely top, which cost £20 to make on top of the pattern and wool - and you get to keep the rest of the wool (eg half a ball) and the pattern (in case somehow you learn to knit and make another one for yourself? wink )

nickelhasababy Thu 05-Apr-12 10:35:02

If you personally can't mend/service machines, then get a person in cahoots with you who does know how to do it. I'm sure there must be machine servicers/repairers in your locality who want more custom. smile

TunipTheVegemal Thu 05-Apr-12 10:37:07

y to remnants bin.
You know how it is - you go into the shop for a bargain from the remnants bin, find the bargain you are looking for and feel so pleased with yourself you end up buying something at full price to go with it.

nickelhasababy Thu 05-Apr-12 10:55:12

which is why the remnants bin should never be by the door! wink

r3dh3d Fri 06-Apr-12 12:29:21

Yes to remnants bin.

Have actual proper sales from time to time. Not "this one roll of fabric is half price but everything else is unchanged" & then you feel a mug for being lured in by the SALE sign and leave in high dudgeon. £1 per m off everything is better.

Gutermann (did I spell that right?) thread, not effing Coats which seems to have taken over in the UK recently, I suspect some sort of Thread Mafia conspiracy.

Plentiful elastic and velcro. Not "oh we've only got 30cm on the roll, maybe we should order some more." Wtf were you thinking? Who needs 30cm elastic? Sewing gnomes?

Amy butler/tilda type fabric

Decent base/utility fabrics (denim/canvas/homespun/calico/plain cottons) at reasonable prices

A great big noticeboard of useful stuff: local craft fairs, knitting cafes, machine repairers, dressmakers (for rescuing your disasters), lessons etc. And active encouragement for people to leave cards up there.

MildlyMonica Wed 02-Jan-13 16:08:04

Reading with envy - did you ever get it off the ground Ingles?

Ingles2 Tue 08-Jan-13 12:53:32

it did Monica I opened 4 weeks ago... grin
I started a new thread [ here]]

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