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    6 Replies Latest reply on Jul 30, 2008 4:48 PM by needgoodluck

    I dream of opening my own ceramics/crafts store

    needgoodluck Newbie
      I fell in love with ceramics while I was stationed in Holland for 6 years. When I retired from the Army in December 2007, that dream has been keeping me up some nights. My only problem is that I am scared to even take the first step towards that dream. Getting incorporated is easy. I can do that online without going through a 3rd party. Getting funding is the tricky part. Like most big dreamers, my personal credit is a big problem, and with a large family like mine, I can't afford to just let things go. So, for me, incorporating is the only way to go. I started out selling on Ebay, but I spent more than I sold, so there wasn't much profit in it. Because I still live near a major military installation, it is possibly to procure a site on the base. That would alleviate a lot of problems like utilities. The only drawback is the amount of profit they require in return for using one of their facilities. The good part is military wives love ceramics and will provide a large customer base to pull from, and the security offered by the post will be immeasurable. The post also allows civilians to enter the post, and military identification will not be required as long as I charge sales tax. Because I am so nervous about even taking the first step in incorporating, I have yet to develop a business plan. The best part of my store will be the fact that it will be a self-pour facility, meaning that people will be able to create their own ceramic creations to their own standards. There is only one more ceramics store in my city, and it only allows you to paint. There will be a very big difference in repeat business, and it's just plan more fun. I also have a website set up, and I plan to convert it to be used to support my business online.

      What I am looking for is a $50K business line of credit which I am willing to dump all my personal income into each month in order to get and keep my dream store open. I like the open endedness of a line of credit because I would never have to acquire additional funding from another source. I have already researched all the required equipment, and my dream of opening a ceramics store is solid but I will not be able to find conventional funding if they check my personal credit. That and the fact there I have no collateral and my business will have to be a fully-funded credit startup are making my dream diminish exponentially day-by-day.

      Can you help me get started with at least some good information that won't cost me a fortunate?
        • Re: I dream of opening my own ceramics/crafts store
          LUCKIEST Guide
          I dream of opening my own ceramics/crafts store, Welcome.

          **Go for it. YES , Lets start with your last line "*Can you help me get started with at least some good information that won't cost me a fortunate??" YES SCORE. SCORE is FREE and can help you.*<br /<br />As you said you also need a Business and Marketing Plan. Again SCORE.

          Tell me where you are?? like city and state??

          How long will you need the funds for??

          Good luck, LUCKIEST
          • Re: I dream of opening my own ceramics/crafts store
            snipperred Scout
            Co-op. A handful of wives interested in joining you. Give them a chance to sell through your site. Use the networking to extend through their networks. Extend through a military wives network through the internet with some market specific merchandise. Make your money first then open up your shop. Space holding inventory won't do you as much good as space producing and moving inventory.

            My two cents. I think you ought to do little statues of families sitting down and watching t.v. or at the dinner table together- off photos. Something that appeals to military families dealing with the hardship of deployment- an outlet activity for wives to think about and showing their spouses they were thinking about them...

            Hope that helps.
            • Re: I dream of opening my own ceramics/crafts store
              John_6x6 Adventurer
              Snipperred's reply is very sound advice. Before you even have a business plan, you need a positive and solid plan of ROI first. I would look for that niche. As Snipperred suggested, look intot he hearts of military wives and families and find that one piece that they MUST have. Your demand will attract investors - possibly your family or others you know - and help to bypass your personal credit issues.

              Dip your toe into the water before swimming. Make a test product first and test it a little without the worry of all that business overhead. See what sells, get feedback, brainstorm some more, then build your business plan around a solid foundation for success. If it fails, you had little to lose. If you're incorporated first and you try all of this and fail, you'll lose allot more.

              Best wishes. By the way, what's the web address?
              • Re: I dream of opening my own ceramics/crafts store
                caffeinated Scout

                welcome needgoodluck!


                I noticed you started out selling on eBay. eBay will be in the community on August 14th to answer questions on how to successfully sell on their site. Try asking them a couldnt hurt.


                good luck
                • Re: I dream of opening my own ceramics/crafts store
                  puzzleman Tracker
                  Your dream of a ceramic store will only be a dream unless you take the proper steps to get it going. It takes a lot more than money. You need to get a business plan ready and be able to stand behind it 200%.

                  You want some to give you $50K but what have you got for them?? You state that you have no credit, a bad credit history, no money on your own for partial investment, you don't have a plan on how to pay the money back and you still expect someone to give you the money with no plan for them to see how they will get their money back. Would loan money to someone that can't say when or if they will pay you back?

                  Attend business classes at your local college or community college to learn what you need. Get with SCORE to get an business plan and an action plan. Doing these steps will show potential investors that you are serious and have a plan for them to recover their investment.

                  What about starting small? Do local art and craft shows.

                    • Re: I dream of opening my own ceramics/crafts store
                      needgoodluck Newbie
                      I would never expect someone to blindly give me anything, especially money. And I have taken business courses with only one year left before completing a college degree. I have done research, and I was only posing a question at this point. All the internet searches I have done have come up short on pertinent information. I have even looked at the Ray Reynolds Plan. I went do far as to check the BBB, as well. I have been taken for a ride more times than I care to count, and posting a question on this forum was my next step.

                      I'm not trying to sound like a free-loader. I would never expect something for nothing. I just wanted to be pointed in the right direction so I don't have to spent countless, unfruitful hours researching more dead ends. I will visit SCORE, and do some more research before revisiting this forum for any further guidance/assistance. Believe me when I say that I have done my homework. I just have yet to put it on paper. Having the desire and drive to make a dream come true is one thing I have. I don't have the means to make it happen.

                      Thank you for your response.