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Planning My Own Online Only Quilt Shop

Planning My Own Online Only Quilt Shop

Old 07-21-2014, 02:01 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: central Ohio
Posts: 406

For a few years a good friend had a quilt shop plus her online list of customers. When she retired, she sold almost everything at an auction. I thought she should have had more sales but that was her choice. It's hard to get money back from fabric and other quilting merchandise. She sold a list of online customers' names too to another person. That person rarely sends out a message. My friend would have special incentives with both the "coming" in customers plus the online customers. I think that is why she was so successful. Good Luck with your endeavor whatever you decide to do!
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Old 07-21-2014, 04:10 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: Houston, TX
Posts: 8,273

My husband and I have been self employed for over 25 years now. I agree with the start small and grow slow philosophy. Also, keep overhead to a minimum. Don't invest in rental space until you absolutely have to. Work out of your house, no rent, utilities or phone service to pay for. Also, the county probably won't find you and want you to pay property taxes that way. Etsy or eBay are great ways to start accumulating capital. Don't take out a loan. Just keep reinvesting the money from your company back into the company for the first few years. If you need an income, keep working and do the fabric as a sideline so you can build some capital in the business. As someone mentioned, you probably won't have any profit the first years. Good luck! PM me if you want to talk. I'm the money person in our company and I'm pretty good at it! (yeah, modest too) lol
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Old 07-21-2014, 04:17 PM
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Join Date: May 2011
Location: SW Washington USA
Posts: 3,851

Have you sold on on-line in the past? Anything at all?
I see sellers shooting their wallet in the foot on postage all the time.
They don't know there are options beyond priority mail, they don't know or care to learn about printing postage on-line. USPS even gives a discount on postage if you print from their website. I use PayPal's software because it has some features the USPS site doesn't, but both include tracking numbers in the cost of the postage. Buying it at the counter is .60 I think...

If you intend to sell online what will you use for packaging for 1st class shipments? carefully recycled cereal boxes won't cut it from a business trying to be professional, and packaging is expensive. So is tape, so is bubblewrap etc.
Might look at Uline, they have pretty good prices.

You can have all the priority packages you want delivered to your home, ordered from USPS online. Don't denude the local PO of packaging for everyone else.
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Old 07-22-2014, 05:50 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 269

Check with your local city or county. In my state, I sit on a board of citizens that loan money (funded by the county) to those in just your situation. But I warn you now, you will need a business plan, cost projections, etc. If you need help with those, find a Small Business Technology and Development Center in your state. They offer free services to business owners and my picture framing business has benefitted greatly from their advice.
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Old 07-22-2014, 10:39 PM
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Carlisle, MS
Posts: 196

THANKS to everyone who posted. I really appreciate all of the great advice, ideas, suggestions and well wishes. There were NO wet blankets or dampened dreams!
I am going to be on Etsy and Amazon and possibly Craftsy. The building I have by my house is mine. My friend and a partner ran a small quilt shop out of it for a while. Then they dissolved their partnership when her friend got a divorce and they closed the shop. We bought their house with the bldg when they built a house across the road. I also have some shipping experience but will have to check out the online shipping. I have only done that with ups. Still LOTS to research and get ready for next month. I will keep y'all posted. :-)
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