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Thread: Business Idea

  1. #1
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    Business Idea

    I've been kicking around an idea for about a year now, and decided it was time to discuss it with other quilters. I live in rural Illinois, and like many of you, have limited local shops for purchasing fabric. The ones that are available are often 30+ minutes away. Not a big deal except that I work full time so it's not always convenient to go running around after fabric.

    I've been thinking of starting a Fabric Truck where I would take the fabric to small towns around me. I could sit on the town square or in large parking lots, and open my truck up as a storefront. I would also be available to travel to quilt guild meetings if anyone was interested in that.

    What do you all think? Only honest opinions please. It would be mainly Saturdays or by appointment.

    Thanks for your input.

  2. #2
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    If I'm not mistaken, someone is doing this. I don't remember where I saw it, or when, but I do remember seeing pictures of people "shopping" in the back of a truck. Do a google search, you should find something.
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.

    Sue

  3. #3
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    it sounds like a possibility. better check local ordances to see what the legal aspect is for selling from a parkinglot.
    Many guilds welcome vendors at their meetings.

  4. #4
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    You should price out inventory and cost of gas, truck, etc. to see if you could charge enough for fabric to cover these costs. Good luck. sounds fun!
    Linda

  5. #5
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    That's hard to say, that business would be based off supply and demand, how many people would actually need something like that. There are so many shops in my area that I'm not sure that there would be a need for it, and then you are limiting yourself to one to two days a week, would you be able to make enough profits on those day to stay in business. Someone who majored in business here might know if its a good idea

  6. #6
    Senior Member ragqueen03's Avatar
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    Sounds like a good idea to me - but again i would check the local ordiances to make sure everything was ok with that. They have farmer's markets on Saturdays around here - why not a quilters market? I definitely think it has possibilities especially if there are no fabrics stores nearby. Keep us posted!

  7. #7
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    that's a clever idea, but the expenses seem like they would be high.
    Nancy in western NY

  8. #8
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    Why not sell at the Farmer's Market on Saturday and hand out your business cards about your mobile fabric shop??

  9. #9
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    How many small communities are within a 2-3 hour drive that have no LQS? Do you have a truck, van, SUV? Have you tried selling at craft fairs or flea markets to see if you like that venue? What will you do for personal security? What are the arrangements from wholesalers? Will someone be available to help with set-up and and take-down? What $ investment is needed to start? Where will it come from? How long can you carry the business before you need to show a profit? Are you thinking you are providing a service or going to primarily be in a business for profit? What type advertisements are you going to use and what are their costs? Lots to think about.
    Last edited by TanyaL; 03-11-2012 at 12:22 PM.

  10. #10
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    Not sure how that could really replace the goods available on the internet. Most libaries have internet , so the internet is really quite accessable. Internet shops could end up having lower overhead , once you figure vehicle, insurance, gas, maintainience, lodging, meals etc. I figure you could end up with a $2,200.00 per month overhead very easily. That means you need to sell $4,400.00 to break even . Thats about 25 + yards per day to break even( 5 days per week) . What about bad weather and no one wants to venture to your "truck" .. so the next few days you will need to make it up just to make your overhead.
    Those really rural areas will take some gas $$ to get to and fabric is heavy , so mileage will be very low.
    Think about the members of this board who internet shop now because getting to a shop is too far and costs more than the gas to get there.
    I'm not trying to throw all the water on your business plan , but make out a business plan listing ALL of the costs , prior to selling your first yard of fabric. Ask yourself how many people are without internet, either at home, or work.
    Last edited by Lori S; 03-11-2012 at 12:23 PM.

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