A good place to start a craft business is by becoming a dealer at a craft and antique store. These are similar to craft shows except they are open seven days a week, all year around. A large selection of crafts are displayed under one roof from several dealers.
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Utilize a Craft and Antique Mall to Start your Business

So you are contemplating starting a new business or maybe you have already made the decision to start a gift merchandising business but have no idea where or how to begin to showcase your products or services. A good place to start is by becoming a dealer at a craft and antique store. This is really how I started my gift merchandising business.

Once I found the products I wanted to sale, I stumbled across this opportunity and I found it to be the perfect medium for my products. Let me explain a little about the store concept. Craft and Antique Malls are similar to craft and antique shows except they are open seven days a week, all year around. A large selection of crafts, antiques, and collectibles are displayed under one roof from several dealers. Individual dealers are not required to be present to sale their merchandise.

These stores provide pre-constructed booths for your merchandise in a wide variety of sizes. You rent the size booth that will accommodate your merchandise. Booth space may rent for as little as $25.00 per month. Typical booth sizes may range in size from 1x2, 3x4, 3x5, 3x6, 4x5, 4x6, 4x8, 5x6, and 6x8. Other sizes including display showcases may be available. Rent, of course, is based on the size of the booth you select.

The store may require that you sign a six month leasing agreement paying the first month's rent and a security deposit equal to the first month's rent. Typically the type of merchandise you will find in a craft and antique store are handmade and unique items. Manufactured items are allowed in most stores of this nature but they should be of good quality and compliment the handmade items in the store.

What is really great about this set up is that all you have to do is keep your booth stocked. You don't have to be present to make sales. There is a professionally trained sales staff present at the store that will take care of all your sales including collecting and remitting all sales tax. You should be paid for sales twice monthly. Detailed statements about your sales should be included with the check.

I've included some qualities that you want to look for if you are thinking about pursuing a craft and antique mall for your merchandise.

  • Look for a store that is open year around, seven days a week.
  • A large clean shopping space. Look for several thousands of square feet.
  • Excellent location in a high-traffic area.
  • Preconstructed booths that can be painted and decorated to suit your merchandise.
  • No work day requirements for dealers.
  • Dealers are not required to be present to make sales.
  • Frequency of payment and notification of sales. Shouldn't be less than twice a month.
  • Leasing agreements 6 month, 3 month, or month-to-month.
  • Type of payments accepted personal checks, major credit cards, layaways. A good store will take the loss if a personal check is returned.
  • Collection and remittance of all sales tax.
  • The ability to fill your booth space with merchandise either in person or by sending it to their experienced staff for stocking.
  • A good advertising and promotion plan.
  • Website
  • Talk to other dealers about their experience at the store.

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