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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Everyone in this area bemoans the lack of a place to buy cloth diapering and AP stuff locally. They also seem to think that this town is sufficiently crunchy to support such an endeavor.<br><br>
So, my fantasy would be selling cloth diapers, slings, etc., out of my home, mostly by appt.<br><br>
Does this sound absolutely insane?<br><br>
Any recommendations on researching small business strategies?<br><br>
Anyone out there already doing this?<br><br>
TIA!
 

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I am in the process of doing this right now. I have collected all my inventory and will be "opening my doors" next month.<br><br>
I still am trying to figure out how I am going to accept credit cards. ....<br><br>
i can't really talk right now, but if you would like to PM that is alright. Then when I have a minute I can really sit down and talk to you, and tell you what my start up has been like.
 

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I am also in the process of doing this, though my plan is not anywhere near as well thought out as Zanymom's. :LOL I wish I had more start up money, but I will be starting in a few weeks with minimal product, adding as I can...it's either that, or wait 10 years. :LOL Good luck on your endeavor!!<br><br>
Zanymom, I can't remember if I emailed you back. If not I will try tomorrow. Things are crazy!:LOL
 

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zany, try <a href="http://www.propay.com" target="_blank">www.propay.com</a> for easy startup on credit cards.<br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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This is something I'm REALLY interested in doing as well! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin"> Being close to Seattle, I think there is enough interest here. And there is NOTHING like it in the area at all. I'd love to sell/feature different WAHMs, too, so people can have the chance to experience WAHM dipes without taking the risk of not liking them in person, kwim? Anyway, I'm wondering how this is going for all of you, because it's completely my dream as well!!! I'd love to eventually translate it into an actual B&M store, with diapering, accessories, slings, mama stuff, etc. I completely have a vision for this... but I have NO idea where to start, so please let me know what you're up to! And mamamoo... we should get together sometime. Spokane isn't *that* far away, and I'd love to see your set up! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngbiggrin.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="orange big grin">
 

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My partner and I are working on this too! Wish us luck, it will be awhile before we open our doors! GOod luck to all of you!<br>
Lauren
 

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I went to a very cool little b&m store packed full of lovely natural products, and I was sad to overhear the owner tell a woman that she would not even look at her products to possibly carry because it is her policy to NOT use any local people for wholesale etc.<br><br>
She elaborated that it was because they would agree to retail price value, but then the local person would go sell their wares for much less at craft fairs and just through personal sales etc.<br>
So she was loosing money because no one would buy them at her shop when they could get it elsewhere for less...<br><br>
So, it did make me sad, but i understood it too...<br><br>
anyhoo...<br>
Don't know what made me think of that?!<br>
:LOL
 

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Wow, I sell a lot of the stuff I make locally. I also sell it at craft fairs, but they are not direct competition to the stores. That woman is silly, she has no idea what she is talking about. People will buy add ons and never know what they are selling for at the craft fair down the street. That's just like how I sell products on my site that ppl have whole stores devoted to- those ppl know that I am advertising in different places, that my customers are different from theirs and the exposure is what's good. I sell roducts made and advertised by a wahm who advertises in the same place as me. They would not buy an ounce of diaper rash cream by itself, but it doesn't sound like such a bad idea if they are buying something else from me. She made less $ b/c she sold it wholesale rather than retail, but she sold it and made money. Also, I never sell my products for less than the msrp, it isn't fair to do so. I may offer a discount based on a lrage purchase or something, but msrp is a figure to be respected, IMO. I have more musings on this but I have to run. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/Bolt.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="bolt"><br><br>
As my new governator would say, "I'll be back." <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="/img/vbsmilies/smilies/rolleyes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="rolleyes">:<br>
Lauren
 

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I do this - I started out wanting to ONLY sell to local moms out of my garage but I wasn't getting enough business (read: none LOL) so I went online... well it took about a year and now I THINK I ACTUALLY (oops caps lock) do more business locally ... it just takes a LOT of word of mouth. I also advertise in south florida parenting - the local magazine - but much more calls come in from "my friend told me her friend got diapers from you."
 

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yes. i think you should do it. i never intentionally decided to do this, but, because of the amount of crunchies in my area, i find myself meeting people with a bag full of products for them to check out in person. no rent overhead & a cool way to meet like-minded people & save 'em the cost of shipping. there are actually b&m cloth diapering stores in toronto.<br>
anyway, think avon, except crunchy & cooler! more mamas need to do this!<br><br>
joleen<br><br>
LAUREN! hi hi hi! how are you? did you move? ive been laying off the message boards for awhile plus taking yet another vacation. hugs for you and sephie. tell robbie we say, hi. keep in touch & stuff.
 

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I live in a very non crunchy area but have been considering doing the same thing... I know there are a few around here that use cloth (heard from my pediatrition) but what I would really love to do is convert people to cloth! Anyway, I'd be really curious to know more about doing this as well!
 

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We had the same dream of selling cloth diapers and natural baby products from our home, and started it all up 3 years ago. For 2 years we were just local out of my business partner's home. Our website went up about a year ago, but we still do a whole lot of local business by appointment.<br>
What we did to start out was each invest $150, and we bought used baby clothes off ebay. We would hold a sale once a month (the same Saturday of every month so people would know exactly when it was), and sell the used baby clothes. We advertised on bulletin boards at local grocery stores and restaurants, in local papers, and in local pedriatric offices. Every month we would reinvest everything we profited into the business. Soon we had a mailing list of over 100 people, and enough money to buy cloth diapers to add to our inventory. Most of the people on our list were crunchy folks who liked our sales due to the recycled clothing aspect, and were interested in using cloth diapers, but didn't know where to buy them or how to use them. This was mainly due to the fact that we advertised the sales at whole foods grocery stores, vegetarian restaurants, and midwives offices.<br>
Eventually we were able to drop the used colthing, and invest everything into what we were really interested in...cloth diapers. We still hold sales about once every 3 months, and market them as an Open House to learn the basics of cloth diapering. Admitingly, once our website went up, we doubled our business, but we still cater to the locals, with free delivery in our area, and diapering demonstrations.<br>
I say go for it! It took us a while to be able to pay ourselves, but we were dedicated to making it work, and worked for free alot of the time. Now, it's a full time job, and our children have been by our sides the whole time <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"><br>
Good Luck!<br><br>
-Kelly
 

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I have new/expectant parents to the house to show them different types of dipes, and to talk about what's involved, and to answer any questions they have. I do what I wish someone would've done when we started CD'ing, lol. I also think it's a nice way to meet other similar-minded parents. I've started loaning out diapers as well, and that's going well. It would be my dream to open a store, but we have two young kids, and they're my priority right now, so until we're done having babies, I'll keep on plugging away at home. It's the best of both world's, I guess. Regarding income, I guess I'm breaking even, it takes a lot of work and $$$ to start a biz... every penny I earn is plowed right back into the biz, but it's a rewarding feeling to know I'm helping ppl out....<br><br>
susie <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/wink1.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="wink1">
 

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A partner and myself are looking into starting a brick and mortar AP shop. I'd love to know about your experiences--those of you who are off the ground. What was your start-up? How much did you loan? Anyone know how to do financial projections? THANKS!! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile"> Lea
 

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I have thought about doing this too. I would want to include a second hand clothing part also because it just seems to fit well and I don't live in a very crunchy area although the second hand clothing would pull them in and maybe they would get intrested in the other stuff. It is a far off dream though. Although there is a building we are looking at for our bike shop that provide rooom for such a store and class room space to do natural parenting classes etc. . . It would be pretty cool.
 

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I live in Ann Arbor and have thought about opening such a business, mostly to sell handknit items. I think there is a big market for such things at the farmers' market or the Sunday artisan market. Have you thought of doing that? I think you could do really well there if you offered a good variety of products (and maybe brought some cute models!)<br><br>
You would have to spend a morning or two out of the house, but it might work out to be easier in the long run than working by appointment. Definitely there would be more visibility.<br><br>
Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well, Ann Arbor already has a cloth diaper retailer...Molly of Treecitydiapers.<br><br>
Congratulations Molly on your WAHM biz!<br><br>
Maybe she'll join in here and let us know how she's doing.<br><br>
She runs some great presales and coops. Thanks Molly! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/smile.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="smile">
 

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There is nowhere in my town to buy an ap stuff so I am planning on opening a store. Right now I have my website and I will be going into craft fairs, farmers markets, hodge podge market etc. I have it set up as a homebusiness, but will be moving to a store.
 

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Check out the Small Business Administration website and SCORE website. I don't have the links handy, but they will help you with all the technical stuff and it's free. SCORE will set you up with a personal counselor.<br><br>
Good luck and go for it!
 
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