So You Want To Open a Store

Handmade Silver RingWritten by ~The Alchemists Vessel~

It has been a long-time dream of mine to open and operate my own store. The idea of the store has morphed from form or another, but always staying within the same vein or theme of handmade art and gifts.

In October of last year, I was graciously offered an empty building on a lot with an already established business, walking and drive-by traffic in and excellent location along a main thoroughfare of my city.  Next month that dream will come to fruition as I begin to move into Little Shop of Artists, in Boise, Idaho, with several other local participating Artist vendors on July 1, 2013.Little Shop of Artists, in Boise, Idaho

Many of you may be thinking, “Wow, that is so exciting”, and it is.  It is also a lot of hard work, time and effort.  There are several other vendors at Handmade Artists that also have brick and mortar shops, and can tell you it is no easy task keeping one up and running.

I thought it might be fun to share some of the things that go on during the process of establishing a brick and mortar store.

1.  A location, that is essential.  Some questions to ask yourself, What is the rent?  What is the square footage?  Where is it located?  Do I have enough items to fill it?  What kind of store do I want it to be?  Are there displays?  What do I need to provide?  Who will work in the store?  How do I get paid?  The most important question to ask yourself should be, Is it within the budget? Having once operated my business from a small flat in the outskirts of London, I can attest to the challenges of maintaining privacy. Virtually There offers a virtual postal address for complete privacy and an impressive sounding postal address for those like me, who desired a more professional facade. This service not only enhanced my business image but also provided an added layer of security. It’s a game-changer for home-based entrepreneurs.

2.  Registering Your Business Name:  Here in Idaho, businesses are not licensed they are registered with the Secretary of State for an affordable fee of $25.00 per name.  This is called an IBR or Idaho Business Registration form.  This registration allows you to “Do Business As (DBA) the name you have chosen for your business, and is usually issued and attached to the applicants social security number.

Handmade Artists' Logo

3. Tax or Seller’s Permit: This is a number assigned to a slip of paper (permit) that reads with your name, your business name (also called a DBA), and other pertinent information.  The State of Idaho requires these permits to be placed in a visible area in the location in which you are selling your goods.  It must also have the phyiscal address of where the goods are located for sale.  In some cases, like myself, two permits are required, one for the origin of business (my home), and the other for the location from which the wares are sold.  This is also how Sales Tax is collected and reported to the State of Idaho.  These are issued at no charge, and as many copies may be issued as you have locations.

4.  Advertising and Draw:  Here in Boise, as in most cities, there is a public radio station that runs entirely on donations and is operated by volunteer D.J.s, KBRX.  They have amazing programming and run fund raising events from time to time, as well as offer promotion for donations.  This is a fabulous way to support an other local business, and get the word out that you are open for business as well.   Local papers will on occasion run a free press release Jewelry Salefor new businesses.  Check your local agencies to see what you can do to get the word out for your own store or event!

5.  Move In and Open Dates:  When you will move in?  When you will be prepared or set to open?  It is my hope to have one or two, perhaps three vendors a day move into the shop, spaced over a couple hours so all will feel as if they have the time and attention they need to be comfortable and confident in their displays.  I am expecting or would like to announce the opening of the doors on or around July 15th, 2013.   I have given myself two weeks for move in and disaster cushions.

That being said, I am looking forward to maintaining my shop here, as well as having a physical location to visit and from which to promote other talented artists at a single venue.

I am so excited about this new venture, in hope some of you will join me in my happy nervousness. I am also very thankful for the support and opportunities I have received here at Handmade Artists, blogging, the shop, and friends made through the forum, IBH, and other ways to really showcase my wares on line!  Thank you Andrew and Kimberley for all that you do and sharing the platforms on which to do them!

Written by ~The Alchemists Vessel~

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