Do you dream of being an entrepreneur? For most of my life I didn’t like the idea. It actually scared me quite a bit, the thought of having to depend solely on myself. It seemed much safer to work for someone else. But the truth of the matter is, jobs aren’t 100% certain. You could get fired, or the company could go out of business. Of course bad things can happen to an entrepreneur too, but there are a few things that intrigue me. I like the idea that potentially I have the ability make more money as an entrepreneur. When working for someone else I’m making a set wage and they make the profit in the end. I like the idea of being able to set my own hours, although entrepreneurs tend to overwork, especially in the beginning. But that is part of the allure, the notion that you can have it, if you want it bad enough.
I do have a secret dream business. I’ve even gone so far as to scout out locations in the city nearest to where I live, and I’ve fallen to sleep at night thinking and planning about my dream business.
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You’ll never guess what my secret dream business is, so I’ll tell you:
I would love to be the proprietor of a yarn shop.
Does that sound boring to you? If you aren’t a lover of the fiber arts, then it probably sounds extremely boring to you. But for someone who loves to knit or crochet, I think it would be a wonderful business. And least you think knitting and crocheting is only for matronly grandmothers, you are highly mistaken. Knitting has come into fashion in recent years. Working with fiber arts is wonderful for people of all ages. Children strengthen their fine motor skills and learn the ability to sit still and concentrate, and follow through on a project. Adults find knitting and crocheting wonderfully relaxing and fulfilling. It’s a great hobby.
So… the Yarn Shop of My Dreams… I’ve fantasized about it for several years, planning out minute details in my head. I’ve even gone so far as to scope out the perfect site in the city nearest to me. Close to a dance studio and a beauty spa, I thought it would be perfect as the traffic going in and out of those stores could potentially bring in business. Although there are Men Who Knit, typically the female of our kind tend to be the knitters and crocheters and crafters.
Ideally I would have my own money to invest, but I would most likely need to apply for a small business loan to get started. The shop would need to be set up in a certain way, for example I would need lots of cubby hole shelves against the wall to store the yarn. I can see yarn from the floor to the ceiling in my shop. I would have one of those ladders that attach to a rail at the top and slide from one side of the wall to the next so that I could easily climb up and get the yarns stashed up higher.
I’ve thought the first thing I should do is conduct a survey in the area to see if there was any interest. Obtain permission from the grocery stores and sit out with a table and ask shoppers if they would be interested in or would shop at a yarn store in the area. As I was conducting the survey, I would ask the people interested if I could have their mailing address to put them on my mailing list.
I would include inexpensive yarns and the fancy expensive yarns. The less expensive Metal knitting needles as well as the fancy bamboo knitting needles. But I wouldn’t just sell yarn, needles, books and such… I’d also hold knitting and crocheting classes several times throughout the month. I’d hold knit-a-thon charity events where we would use up our extra yarn and leftover skeins (and new skeins!) to make caps and blankets for tiny premature babies, shawls for women in shelters and caps and scarves for the homeless.
I would also expand to selling yarn on eBay to bring in another source of revenue for the shop. For the eBay shop, I would focus on selling expensive hand spun yarn.
I would definitely need to hire employees, I couldn’t do this all myself. For one thing, I don’t consider myself a professional knitter. Actually my skill is more at crocheting, since I’ve crocheted for over forty years. It would be a requirement that most of my employees be able to knit and/or crochet, so I would need to pay a reasonable wage in order to keep them happy and working for me. Of course they would get a nice discount on everything in the store!
I’d have a display window up front where we would mount various projects, and items would be rotated for each season. I’d get everyone started on their Christmas projects in January!
I can imagine how comfy it would be. In the winter I would have an electric fireplace heater set up with cozy Lazy Boy type chairs in a circle with a comfy rug on the floor. Lamps set up that could easily be maneuvered for better lighting by each chair, and a table with crafting magazines and books.
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In the summer the shop would be cool from air conditioning and it would still be a comfortable place sit and relax and hang out and chat while knitting and crocheting.
I would custom order products for my customers, so that they wouldn’t have to go on a hunt into the city. I would search our local area for people that keep rabbits and goats for their fiber, and consign their products as well.
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I would definitely have a blog for the shop, and remember that mailing list I started from the survey? I would use that to announce my shop opening, and would reward anyone who signed up for my mailing list with a 10% off their first purchase coupon. I would mail additional coupons out every month or so to bring new and faithful customers into the store. I would also offer free delivery within a five mile radius. Say the customer needed one more skein of peach, we could get it right out to her without her having to come into the store.
I would also consider a consignment portion to the shop, for those who do not knit and crochet, but would like to buy something handmade. These consignment items could be part of the front display window.
If my store grew successful enough, I would invest in spinning wheels, but they are rather expensive so I would wait on that until an interest was shown and I was doing well financially so that purchasing them for my inventory would be a good investment rather than a risk.
Every year, maybe twice a year, I would hold an arts and crafts event where people could set up booths and sell their products. This would ideally be in the parking lot area near my shop. I think it would be a blast owning a shop like this and connecting with men and women in love with fiber arts.
Do you have a dream for opening your own business? What would it be? Have you given it much thought? Share in the comments and let me know, I’d love to hear about your dream business.