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Small Business Ideas Forum

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Old 3rd January 2005, 03:24 PM   #1
Althea
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Default New Business Idea - Custom Home Decor Workshop

Hello members:

I have had a business idea for many years and would realy like to get some input into what entrepreneurs think.

I am a home decorator and fabricator and have always had the idea of starting a custom home decor workshop where the average home/apartment owners can come and learn how to make custom drapery, pillows, bedding, table linens, etc. to decorate their home. I want to start with about six students and would provide all the machinery/and facility help needed.

Let me tell you a little about my background and myself - I have been sewing for over 40 years. I have a heirloom teachers certificate and have been making beautiful baby heirloom christening gowns for about ten years and am also a graduate of the Custom Home Furnishing school and I have a home based business of making drapery for retail and wholesale clients. I love to sew beautiful things for the home and with the advent of all these home docorating shows now on TV I have met so many people who would love to know how to do the professional drapery, etc for their home but cannot afford the high price tag and have expresssed an interest in learning how to do them for themselves. I do have a passion for teaching this craft to others and I have even taught a few of my friends in my home how to fabricate articles for their homes. I have even written a business plan on how I would go about teachig this craft, and how I could offer assistance on to the average homeowners. I am also in the process of preparing the start up cost and want to start scouting out a location.

I have done some research but have not found many places that teach this craft (the few that I found is like Calico corners )and I know there is a market for this but trying to find a mentor that has gone in this direction is difficult. I have gone to a few fabric stores in my area and voice intentions and they think it is awsome as this would generate some sales for them and I am also doing some some counseling with SCORE but would still like to here from other entrepeneurs as to the steps they have taken on their startup.

Why is it I feel so confident but also so nervous, is this tipical for new business owners?

Thanks for taking the time to read.

Sincerely,

Althea

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Old 3rd January 2005, 04:56 PM   #2
Robert
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(I moved Althea's post here from the New Member Intro forum because I think this post could spawn a variety of ideas that could potentially touch on many topics. So, we'll just say "hi" to Althea here )

Welcome to the forum Althea! What a great first post!

Quote:
Why is it I feel so confident but also so nervous, is this typical for new business owners?
It absolutely is typical and it is healthy for a new business. You'll need all that nervous energy for all the work you have ahead of you.

Right off the bat I think it is a fantastic idea. I know that my wife and daughter love watching all those home improvement/decorating shows. Having someone who could actually teach them how to do it would be great.

I like the social aspect of the idea. It's something you could do with a friend or attend to make new friends with similar interests.

Quote:
I have gone to a few fabric stores in my area and voice intentions and they think it is awsome as this would generate some sales for them...
Excellent approach. Would it be possible to have these stores dedicate the space as a monthly(?) event? What a great way for them to bring customers into the store and they could help you promote it. Not having to pay rent and minimal marketing costs to begin with is always helpful.

This reminds me of how one of our animal shelters holds a weekly event at various pet stores to let people adopt cats, dogs, etc. The pet stores give them a ton of space because for each animal adopted, the new owners turn right around and start shopping for the new family member.

I really think you have an excellent idea. I would suggest looking at other similar industries for ideas. One that immediately comes to mind is scrapbooking. I know the local scrapbooking stores here have weekly or monthly events of some sort.

Thinking long term, it would be cool if you video taped your presentations and sold them online. You could provide very detailed instructions on how to do things - something the TV shows really can't. A virtual workshop for those that don't have yours in their town (yet!).

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Old 3rd January 2005, 06:00 PM   #3
divshow
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Athena ~

First of all...welcome to the forum! We are so happy you decided to join us.

Now, for the meat of this post...

What a wonderful idea! I really think you can go far with this. They sky is the limit for you!!!

Yes, it is very normal to be nervous...I'm nervous everyday, but like Robert stated...that nervous energy is what drives you and will make you work even harder to obtain "the next goal".

I love Robert's idea about seeing if you can hold classes/seminars in the fabric stores. Not only will it generate business for them, but it will help get your name out in your own community.

Another idea I have is to put a "how to" guide online for simple projects. You may want to start out with very simple ones you do for free, but then you can get your name known and then start to sell more complicated "how-to" projects.

Do you currently have a website?

Best of luck...my brain is still swirling with ideas for you!

Sincerely,

Lisa Spaulding

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Old 7th January 2005, 10:44 AM   #4
Linda
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Hi Althea

I agree with Robert and Lisa, you have a great plan in the works. Here in Houston, we have a big craft store called Hobby Lobby and they are always having classes offered by individuals, crafts like sewing, cake decorating, painting ect. Also we have craft malls, where people rent a space and sell their goods, those people have all kinds of connections and probably know someone who could direct you where you need to go. Where do you live? Your idea is so awesome that I think someone would just jump at it to get you started. I personally would love to learn how to make custom drapes.
I wish you all the luck in your endeavor. Let us know how it is going.

Linda

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Old 20th December 2009, 12:42 PM   #5
Johnmark209
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Althea View Post
Hello members:

I have had a business idea for many years and would realy like to get some input into what entrepreneurs think.
Hello Althea,

Welcome here on this board, after reading about your work profile I must say that if you feel nervous that's common to everyone to start something new, but atleast you're confident with your work, so after reading your whole story I remembered about one guy who is also a entrepreneur in music industry and how did he got success in it actually i followed him very closely about the way he was doing his business online..

And I think you may try it as well with a minimum cost, I am just trying to give you an idea hope it will works for you.

1. Setup a blog, write as much article on your custom home decor to teach people.
2. Get socialize through facebook, twitter whatever social sites is famous within your region.
3. Popularize your social sites online as well offline. In Offline you can use as for example putting id's on your visiting cards.
4. Use Yahoo live to air your program to teach people about your custom home decor program. Set its timings so that people might get catch you at that hours and get in interaction.
4. Sends periodic newsletters to people about more designing developments or anything which comes out new from you.
5. You can even air your program on radio but you can try this later when you are too much used to of previous ideas.
6. Make videos of your program about teachings custom home decor. Publish them on Youtube as well on your blogs, social sites and never forget to send those links in your newsletter.
7. Use social sites as much you can.

If you try all these methods I think you will get much success and from one single place you can teach to many around you.

Thanks.

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