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Topic: Crazy Craft Store Idea- please weigh in?  (Read 5547 times)
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NyteRayn
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« on: July 09, 2008 12:29:03 PM »

So I have this crazy thought in my head- that is SO far from being a real business plan that I can't even tell you.. but I'd love to hear what some fellow crafters think...

I've been reading about these things over in Europe called Sewing Cafes... where you can go in and buy your fabric & notions, and then they have sewing machines set up right there so that you can work on your project in the store, with other people around, and with experts available to help you out. Realize you need a matching button? Its right there!

I just think this sounds like the greatest thing ever!

But take it one step further- what if I had a large space, say, a converted 2-3 story house rezoned for business... and what if I had different rooms sort of dedicated to different crafts... sewing, knitting & crochet, scrapbooking, jewelrymaking... and a huge library of books and magazines to look through... and I had chairs, tables, sewing machines, ironing boards, etc and people could come in, work on a craft, buy materials on site, and just hang out with other creative folks? We could do classes too!

What do you think? Would you spend a significant amount of time in a place like this? How about money? What sorts of realistic roadblocks am I not thinking of?

For the record- this isn't going to happen anytime soon.. just an idea I've been mulling over.
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kimmasaurus
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« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2008 02:41:21 PM »

i think that sounds like B+N or Borders or any other book or music store, everyone hangs round and reads and listens to what they want... except people at the sewing house would actually purchase what they're using!  i kinda think that could be super fun!!!
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Puppy_girl
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« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2008 02:48:50 PM »

that would be totally awesome.   Smiley
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jloveg
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« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2008 02:51:14 PM »

my first thought was I wanna go!!
then I thought wow insurance would be crazy high I bet.   also maybe add a room for kids to play/ craft while moms get to craft. adn then once a week or once a month  have a mom and me craft time or something like that. sounds like a great idea and bunches of fun.  I would be willing to spend on fabric and such as much as joanns charges if I had a place like that to go. I don't buy from Joanns cause tehy are too pricey for me. but if there was a place I would have books to referrence and machines to use it wwould be much more worth it to me. yep I am cheap!
where would this wondrful store be??  Oh you could also check out an old closed down grocery store for a site instead of the house idea. lots of space would surely be needed.
Serger, brother, kenmore may even donate some machines for oyu to let the customers use if you also sell their machines. I would contact them and ask.  great  idea.....   I had one very similiar but will never make it happen I know good luck to you!!!
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CraftyChef
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« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2008 03:42:40 PM »

I imagine you'd have to spend a fortune on inventory with all those different crafts going on. Other than sales of that, you would have to make actual money somehow. There's a couple ways to do it:

Paid classes, which would cut down on inventory purchases because you would only have to get what you need for the class, but could you get those things at wholesale in that case?

Memberships: annual, monthly, etc. where folks could get a bulk discount on the class fees, but maybe they would have to pay for the materials.

Machine rentals (in store). Come in and use our Cricut, printer, guillotine, or sewing machine or whatever for a fee.

Space rental. Offer to bring in cake, coffee, and sandwiches so folks can gather for private scrap parties and stuff.
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karmazon
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2008 03:44:03 PM »

You know what I think? Ain't nothing to it but to do it. If you want it you need to make it happen. It's a great idea, so I'm sure it would attract lots of people.
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NyteRayn
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« Reply #6 on: July 09, 2008 03:53:05 PM »

Thanks for all the replies guys! Sounds like you agree with me, it sounds like an AWESOME place to go- but the logistics are of course tough to wrap my head around. I've given some thought to membership fees, machine rental fees (would I rent scissors for the scrapbookers?! LOL), and definitely classes...

I guess this is the sort of thing I would set up just for fun, if I ever won the lottery, and didn't need my place of business to feed my family.  Grin

But I'm not giving up the idea yet- I figure it'll gel in my head over the course of months or years, and maybe someday the opportunity will present itself.
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« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2008 05:28:47 PM »

maybe table fee.....
scrapbook table with cricut and scissors a 5 dollar or what ever fee.
sewing table with a brother 3 dollars or what ever
sewing  with serger a few dollars more
you get the idea.
don't  let the fear of making it happen hold  you back.
write a  business plan and see if you can get a grant or a business loan.you could even start small adding on as you grow financially. like add the kids area in later  or have one large room with different mediums set up at each
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tiltcreations
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« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2008 04:29:24 PM »

OK - so I'm not the only nutty thinker out there - yeah Smiley
I was thinking something similar recently...I was wondering about more of a store - where you'd have a group of different crafters (both style & medium?) that use the space as a studio kind of "behind the counter" - viewable from the store...so people could actually see the hard work going on (of course there'd be behind the scenes work areas too) - even a classroom (helps with the funds)..
maybe you could encorporate something like that...
just more thoughts to muddle  with...
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« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2008 09:01:53 PM »

We actually have a "Crafter's Cafe" nearby.  It started out as a coffee room with a light lunch menu.  The women that run it asked crafters to come by and sit and chat while working on their projects.  There's a room behind the lunchroom where they conduct some classes and workshops, or when no class is going on, there is lots of table space for bigger projects folks want to work on. (It is a working cafe, so they really can't tie up all the tables out front as they do conduct a reasonable lunch business with non-crafters.) Those working on crafts sort of have a bottomless cup for beverages and, although the cafe sells pastries and such as well as sandwiches, crafters have also been known to bring in cakes, cookies, etc. to share with other crafters.  They don't sell supplies but they do have shelving around the perimeter on which they sell consigned crafts.  It's a great place to meet other crafters and just sit and chat a while.  Not as elaborate as your vision but still an interesting concept.
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Sassy
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