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What made you take the plunge???


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Anyone who owns a store, what led you to your decision?? How did you know you were ready financially and product-wise? I've been toying with the idea for a couple of years and would like any input on why you did it, and if it's been successful or not successful, why. Thanks!! :cheesy2:


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OK...here we go. We opened up our First "Candle" Shoppe in 2001 in a small town...in a strip center...BIG MISTAKE. You have to have population...and more than just a Storefront!! You have to have constant walk-by traffic. Candles are such an "impulse" item...you just HAVE to have traffic. We have since closed the small store and are now in a Mall. We have been here 2 years and are about to sign another lease. It does pretty well....Not millionaires by any means...but we do OK!! Of course ....Christmas ROCKS!! Retail is a tough business...there are about 6 stores in the Mall that carry some of the name brands....C----E....Y----ee and others...so it's very competitive. We keep our prices low...and do sell lots and lots...mostly to repeat customers...That is what you want!!

We still love what we do...we work lots and lots of hours....we do have one girl that works for us on Sundays only...the rest of the time...DH and I run it together...and whoever is not here at the store...of course is Pouring their hearts out!!

I wish you luck should you decide to take the plunge....It's a tough business...but I must say very, very rewarding.

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I had done festivals and flea markets for years before going into my first mall. I didn't have any events for Christmas one year and decided to get a cart for the holidays. It did great and I found myself moving after Christmas into a larger mall and was there for 2 years. The opportunity came along to open a shop in that same mall. It was a cute little store and the leasing manager offered it to me for only $50 more than I was paying for my cart. I took the deal. The only difference was a store took way more merchandise than I already had and I found myself spending 5 figures to stock the store. It was small, but my products were little too (jewelry, beads, soaps, scents, etc.) So it took quite a bit of inventory to make it look full.

It did well until a couple of years later a larger tenant wanted my spot and others in the "row" and the mall moved us little "guys" to other stores in the mall. Unfortunately, the spot that the mall moved me into was a store 2.5 times larger than the one I was in. It sounds great, but I learned from that experience that your shop really has to look "full" and "abundant" to make sales. After moving all of my merchandise into that larger space, my shop looked sparse and my sales dropped by more than 50%.

I moved out a year later.

My advice would be that if you open a shop, don't get anything too big. Or if you do, make sure you put up some type of backdrop, or temporary wall, to make the space look smaller so that it looks full!! The look of abundance, creates abundance.


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Thanks for your input...I really appreciate it. The city I live in isn't necessarily a tourist-spot and constant foot traffic would be hard to come by. I'm in love with the idea of opening a store and have been for years now. I think that I need to do more shows and build up a steady customer base. I'd also like to sell supplies, which I think would add a lot to the start-up cost--especially fragrances. I really believe in my products and think that I could make a go of it, but it's really the money that always gets me hung up.

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