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megs2108, post: 204369 wrote:
Hi Everyone!

I have a business idea that I’m really keen to pursue, but I first want to get some thoughts and opinions from some more experienced people about my idea and whether or not you think there is a demand for my business. I’ll try to keep it simple.

WHAT –> I’m based on the Gold Coast and I feel there is a real gap in the market for my store and I believe this concept will have a great impact on the success of local designers.
It will be a space for creative locals to come together, collaborate and help one another, and for the consumer to find unique and ethical products.

HOW? –> I want to open a retail store that leases space to local designers and artists to sell their products. Think: mini market. Along with this, I’d like to run art/craft workshops and classes, and have an accompanying online store.

WHY –> I have learnt first hand how hard it can be to get your handmade products seen by people and just really want to help others facing this problem. I have plenty of retail and management experience, and honestly something inside me wants nothing else but to run my own business.

BUT FIRST –> As this is a big venture for me to jump into, I am also considering smaller steps into it:
– Running a pop up shop (perhaps several, in different locations)
– Starting a online store (however, I feel this is not the best direction for me as I personally do not even often shop online)
– Starting the classes (in collaboration with a suitable premise eg. café) to build a following

OK! –> Hit me with your wise words.
What is your best advice for starting a business like this?
Do I plunge in the deep end of a full-on retail store, or test the waters with a more short term plan and build from there?
What would you consider the best way to build a big following of potential customers? i.e. build HYPE!
How would I convince brands to sell my store?
I want to hear from retailers, designers, artists, brands, anyone willing to help!

Sorry if this wasn’t as simple as it set out to be!! Thanks in advance.

Hi Megs,

Unfortunately I cannot give you any retail advice however I design and manufacture boutique hand made gifts and home wares from sustainable, recycled and natural products. I will be approaching retailers in 2015 when my product line is up and running. I would be interested to be kept informed of your plans.

All the best

Sally