Folksy Ltd

Taking the plunge - or not!

Oh my goodness, I’m in such a quandry.

For as long as I can remember I have wanted a shop.
For as long as I can remember this has been a pipedream.

However, the shop I rent shelves in is up for sale - and I have first refusal.
It would be a private sale, and no mortgage as it would mean cashing in a bond.

My heart says yes - it has huge potential, being small, quirrky, local and slightly rundown - it used to be a traditional 2 up 2 down terraced house, so is freehold with a garden and upstairs space…but no kitchen and the toilet is currently doorless and in the middle of the back room downstairs, in full view of the garden :slight_smile:

That’s the plus side - the negative side is a distinct lack of (buying as opposed to browsing) footfall.
Although I’m looking on it as more as an investment really, and don’t think it would be a problem to sell on/rent out if it doesn’t work out.
And I wouldn’t keep it as just a gift shop.

BUT…it would be the majority of my capital tied up in the shop and I’m incredibly torn as to what to do.
SO, looking for some input really, negatives and positives, as I love the Folksy community :slight_smile:

Sarah x

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OH WOW!

  1. put a shower curtain round the toilet!
  2. run workshops, big rectory table with odd chairs all picked up in auction, ( have just sold the entire contents of my house at auction as I am moving, so I know you can pick up a house full of furniture for next to nothing!)
  3. install a 1950s kitchenette to make coffees and store cups and tins of cakes for workshop customers
  4. invite selected makers, to have pop up area in said shop. Min fee/min time slot.
  5. have it as your main workspace so people can see the items you make being made by your skilled hands.
  6. rent out top flat as accomodation
  7. rent out top flat as gallery area
  8. also run coffee shop in shop
  9. have you been to The Yard in Salisbury? Gallery/coffeeshop/stalls/ all in a house you get to down a very small alley

WOW

If i had the guts…
(ps where is it so we can come and visit)
Suzzie x

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Suzzie, thank you so much :slight_smile:
I was thinking of workshops and have already measured the doorway for potential charity shop tables!

It’s in South Wales, love the 1950s kitchenette idea!

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where in South Wales is it?..I am in Baglan (Port Talbot)…sounds fab to me…I always wanted a shop…(too old now…lol)…
Before you leap though, just check the commitment…(the sensible side of me)…remember the hours , the hard work, the being stuck in the shop when you would rather be down the beach etc…
Mind you if I was younger, the sensible side of me would never kick in…ha ha…
Remember that a lot of shopping now is done online…
The workshops would definitely help to keep the cash flowing, as people who go to classes usually spend while they are there. (I used to teach at adult education and made more money from the sales from the pupils than the class fees)…
Remember that cash flow is the biggest killer…people ask you to get things for them,you have to order a dozen of them from the supplier and the customer fails to come back…heard it all…
I have friends who have and have HAD craft shops and I know it is a lot of work.
Saying that…it sounds brilliant…just check it all out carefully first…hope that helps in some way…

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Ahh, I can see another potential idea!
As I live in deepest darkest Suffolk, and South Wales is… well altogether another country really, I think Sweden is closer to me than South Wales, howabout bed and breakfast for potential workshoppers!!

…but may I ask why charity shop tables, and not other talented makers, so the shop becomes a destination for buyers seeking the quirky handmade one of a kind item? or is that too impertinent a question? sorry if it is.
Suzzie x

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Thankyou so much, Brenda!
I’m on Gower, and the shop is in Gowerton, so not so far from you!

Sarah x

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I just love old furniture, particularly tables, and have a particular Favourite charity shop in Swansea, The British Red Cross, who save things for me and are amazing xx

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Sounds exciting… I know one of my friends underestimated the business rates on her premises and they were crippling, so I would check those out. If you’re not sure, would it be better approaching the bank rather than risking your own capital?
Good luck with your decision making!

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sounds like a good enough reason to me, good luck x

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think about the footfall problem. If you don’t have it naturally then there is a LOT of promoting and advertising to be done .

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Yep, the (lack of) customer footfall is my major concern, but it is on an active, old fashioned high street, with a large comprehensive and primary school in the village, so I’m thinking more workshop based, alongside the gift shop.

Is there an obvious reason for lack of footfall? is there not enough interest in hancrafted stuff in the area? (or too many outlets) or is it just a case of the shop not looking attractive enough to draw people in? If it’s the latter then it could be easily remedied with a lick of paint and attractive window display, if it’s lack of interest it might be more difficult. Workshops would be a good idea and maybe renting the upstairs space out to another crafter who needs a bit more space but hasn’t the funds for anything big.
Good Luck if you decide to go for it, not sure what I’d do if I could afford to (as it happens my savings wouldn’t stretch anywhere near enough so not a choice I’d have)

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Gosh that so-oooo exciting! I’m sure that unlike @teabreaks I could never be sensible about that. My 5 year old self always wanted to be Emily (from Bagpuss). I really like all @thistledownandHOPE 's ideas. And the thought of having a studio there…so I would be being nagged all the time by my OH to stop doing this and do this much more useful thing for him (I digress).

The idea of maybe owning the freehold and leasing it to somebody else, with a term to stock your products, of course, is also very appealing.

Sam x

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I would think of the costs first! A great idea doesn’t always pay off. Will you need permission to sell / run workshops or whatever else you would like to do? Will you need any insurance? How much will these be?

Then the options and possibilities will be endless. It does sound exciting, but think about it carefully. Shops are struggling and closing unfortunately…

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we used to have a lovely lady artist on folksy and she opened up a gift shop/workshop in a craft outlet…her main income was from classes…it didn’t work out as well as she had hoped…however, she went on to move to new premises where as far as I know…she is quite successful…
don’t forget the insurance costs…and public liability if you do classes…
also remember that if you do classes, you could be potentially training people who will set up in competiton against you !! So don’t always give away too many trade secrets…
waving across to the Gower…

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Oh wow, what an amazing opportunity. Forget the negatives, focus on the positives and how you can really make a go of this, it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Elaine

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If you’re sure you could sell it on if you don’t succeed, then you can’t lose. Bank interest is so low at the moment that putting your money into property is probably a good idea. Just be pretty sure that you could sell it on and then go for it - if it’s your dream, you will make it work. Just be aware of current trends and advertise your business regularly to a wide surrounding area. You’ll always regret it if you don’t try.

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What a great opportunity. I guess you need to think it through and think about the competition in that area.
Our local quilting shop was built up from nothing by holding courses and having a good supply of fabric and other supplies. Maybe you could concentrate on retro fabrics to start with.

I’ll be watching this thread with interest- good luck whatever you decide :slight_smile:

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Thank you so much for all the input!
I’m so nervous about taking the plunge and veer between - yes, yes, yes and oh my goodness, what if it becomes a money pit!

Getting a surveyor and valuation next week as it’s a private sale and I don’t really have anything to base the price on - it would also be my first ever building purchase, as I’m still renting.

Sarah x

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Might be worth considering if it would be possible to convert back to a house/flats if it doesn’t work out. Is it in an area you could live? Then you would have property that you could either live in or rent out.

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