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Old 01-15-2019, 08:48 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2019
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Question Need advice on starting my business

Hi, I have always wanted to have my own business and store that is my dream. My husband, kids and I had always lived in a big town in Alabama, I made car decals, kids tshirts and tutu skirts. I was doing pretty good and was working on growing my business, we had lots of stores that rented spaces out to crafters and a couple of places that was nothing but a whole store of crafters spaces. It was too expensive to rent a store so I was working from home and renting a booth and selling at our farmers market.
Then 3 years ago my husband decided to move us to a small town in South Dakota, he said it was a very business friendly place and would be good for the kids since the drugs and crime in our area was getting worse.
After moving here I tried to start my business back up but there were already 3 companies in this small town that made car decals and t shirts. I started thinking of other things I could make, everything I thought of or saw tutorial for there were already 2 or 3 established businesses, bath products, car air fresheners, applique outfits and shirts.
I also found out that stores here weren't as friendly as they were in Alabama. I would go in to talk to them about renting a space or doing consignment in the store, they were really rude, one lady told me that her customers come to her store to buy her products and only her products.
I tried some craft shows and didn't do well. The town we live in is a ranching and military town. I got into making mesh wreaths and wood signs, I did really well at 3 craft shows and started trying to grow my customer base, a couple of weeks later there were 10 people making mesh wreaths and 8 making wood signs, several of them were advertising their new spaces inside stores. We live way out in the country and I can't sell out of my home, it is too far out of town. My sales stopped because people could get the same thing from stores in town. I can sew pretty good so I started making tutu dresses and cute little girls dresses with matching hairbows. Around here people don't wear that kind of thing and don't have money to buy handmade clothing.
I have watched several people who were competing with me making the same things I was making get their things in local stores and then grow to their own stores along with doing wholesale and a good online business. Those people were from this small town and knew some of the store owners in town, have friends here and know a lot of the people here, so the store owners that I talked to would accept the other people's things because they grew up with them.
Now I am at the point where I don't know what to make and how to get my business going in this small town where you don't get anywhere if you are an outsider. My husband refuses to move anywhere else and we just bought a house here. I have tried for 6 months to find a job, but I don't have hardly any job experience because in Alabama I never had to work and I can only work certain hours because we have 2 kids in school and 1 still at home.
I want to make things, I am not good at mls like Avon or Mary Kay I have tried that and just wasted money on the kits. How do I get my things out there and not have to spend a ton of money doing it?
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Old 02-01-2019, 02:21 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2019
Location: United States MI.
Posts: 6
Default Starting your business

Have you tried Etsy?
What about making a blog on word press and then posting your products.
There is EBay of course, and offerUP but that is usually for used items but I think you could still build a base from there. Then there is craigslist of course. I think you would find it to your advantage to market overseas maybe to? Try Denmark. Post in the forums on TheLocal.com in different countries .For clothes there is Poshmark.
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Old 02-03-2019, 07:54 PM
katelynsdad's Avatar
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: United States
Posts: 880

Due to being in a small town, you may want to consider online options -- such as opening up an ecommerce store for your products. At least you can reach others outside of where you live
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Old 02-13-2019, 01:58 PM
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Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: New Jersey
Posts: 262


Have you tied traditional mlm? No kits, no "parties" and no boundaries and really no startup costs?
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Old 02-19-2019, 01:23 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Concrete, WA
Posts: 286

I agree with the others that suggested going online. I used to live very rural and had limited opportunities, so I started selling online on Amazon and eBay. It takes time to grow, but you can easily build a following using Facebook and Instagram. I have been selling online now for over 5 years and love it. For your type of products, I would look into selling on Etsy.
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Old 04-17-2019, 07:06 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Rhode Island
Posts: 14

My first thought was Etsy too, but have you thought about joining Facebook buy/sell groups in your area? Also research local flea markets, festivals and consignment shops. Good luck to you.
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