Bead Store Owners, What are You're Hours and do You Hire Employees?

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brians34 wrote
on Nov 17, 2012 4:03 AM

My wife and I are looking at opening a shop in the future, about 8 to 10 years.

We're getting prepared a little at a time, learning what we can along the way.

What are your hours of operation or if you don't own a store, what is your LBS hours of operation?

Do you hire employees?  How many and what kind of hours do they work?

What do you do if you want to take a vacation for a week or something happens in the family?

 

The reason I ask these questions is my wife and I are planning on running the store ourselves and I'm curious as to how we can have time off now and again.

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Beadiecat wrote
on Nov 17, 2012 10:26 AM

My LBS is open 9-6 Monday to Saturday, and they stay open until 8 on Thursday.  It is run by a family, about 4 of them work there on and off, so I guess if one takes a vacation, the other one would fill in.

That's exciting to be thinking about opening a bead store!  I'm sure it's a lot of work though.  I'd rather just be a beader and shop in the store, lol.

Cat

The Cat's Meow Blog

My RebelMouse page and Etsy shop

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shanks wrote
on Nov 19, 2012 10:24 AM

IMO you are about 7 years too soon except for the money. If you are serious, you will need to set aside about $200,000  (inflation) It now takes about $100,000 to start a fairly nice store. Depending where you are located, the permits alone can be a terrible shock, and I am sure they will not be getting less 8 years from now.

You should be able to do all the basic styles of beading so as to answer questions and have classes available. Hours to be open should be set by the location you are at.  10 to 6 normal, maybe be open 6 days a week. These you will have to learn after the store is open for a while, and follow what your customer base tells you.

If you hire some one, that person needs to have basic beading knowledge also. Store owner vacations can be quite hard to come by, wouldn't plan on ant for the first two or three years.

Good luck

 

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brians34 wrote
on Nov 19, 2012 12:57 PM

I appreciate the replies and taking everything in.

I also appreciate those that have responded.  Has the forum member numbers dwindled?  I thought that I might get more responses than when I've seen.

Shanks, I'm in Texas.  You say about $100,000 to start a fairly nice store.  Is there any way that you can break down that amount into costs that I may be looking at?  What all is that initial $100,000 going to be used for?

 

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beadinstyle wrote
on Nov 20, 2012 5:06 PM

Hello, Brian. I'm not sure how many bead store owners (bricks and mortar) are in this forum. Deb used to field many of these business questions here, but she has decided to retire. 

My shop is in southern Australia, and many of the structural issues re planning laws permits and taxes will be different for you.

Holidays are rare and precious, and usually related to beading, lol. This is a passion as well as a business for me. If I do have any strong advice ... take time and a lot of care in choosing any employee. And then some. Your own knowledge has to be very broad in relation to anything to do with beads, and if you are hiring, choose someone who is willing to expand their own knowledge, take classes you don't, and complement your skills. Not just somebody who "would love to work in a bead shop" and "play with beads all day". If only...

I would think a new store would need stocking to the value of $100,000. Take your time to build to this level, tho. Bead shops are wildly different in the stock they choose to hold, bless them. (That's why bead shop excursions in unknown territories are so much fun). In the time you have available before you take the plunge, visit as many different stores as you can, online as well, and note what their stock seems strongest on. Your customer base may be very different.

Also in the intervening period, learn as many beading and jewellery techniques as you can. And as much about beads as you can. What are your personal strengths and interests in beading? 

There is so much to learn and discover, both in the beading sense and the business one. I would be happy to answer what other questions I can, even if I am in another universe, or you can email me. 

Best wishes

Ruth

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tcwhit wrote
on Nov 20, 2012 11:03 PM

The only bead store within an hour or two drive in this area is very limited not only with the stock, but also inconvenient hours. Tues to Fri hrs are 11:AM to 6:PM and every other Sat from noon to 5. Only way I can get there is to actually take a day off work. Serious beaders in this area have to order most things online. All findings are SS. There is nothing in yellow metals as she says she never sold them and quit carrying them, but there are a few odds and ends of copper. She does carry delicas and swarovskis in the most popular sizes. Nothing else. The establishment is neat and always clean. She offers classes a few times a month, but again, unrealistic hours for the working class. (People like me, in other words). I personally feel her prices are ridiculous but when you're the only show in town I suppose you can do as you please. If the hours of operation were a tad more friendly, I wouldn't mind paying the prices if I had the need. Meanwhile, like most others, I'll just be ordering online unless I'm desparate and must have something to finish a project too soon. She is a lovely young lady and knowledgeable and makes some incredible pieces, but obviously opened her shop simply to follow her own passion, which is fine. For her. Our only other options are either to drive several hours each way or order online. Closer to home there are tons of craft shops. IE: Michaels, Joanns, AC Moore. But I find their supplies mostly low end and they're fine for kids or new beaders. But once you've made a few odd pieces, it's time for better quality. Those chain stores don't offer you any. I personally want to wish you well in your endeavor and am truly hoping for your success.

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Beadiecat wrote
on Nov 21, 2012 5:02 AM

Oh, I forgot to say, if you're interested in a franchise, you might take a look at Potomac Beads. I've never been in one of their stores, but they look nice.

Cat

The Cat's Meow Blog

My RebelMouse page and Etsy shop

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brians34 wrote
on Nov 21, 2012 1:58 PM

Thanks everyone,

Up until now, my wife has been the only one interested in beading and with her, it's all been more about stringing beads and focals.

After reading from some of the posts on the forum and a couple of personal emails from Deb (thanks Deb if you read this), I now have decided that I need to learn more about beading.

Fortunately, we have time to learn and expand what we want to know and save our nickels and dimes.  Unfortunately, we don't have an LBS in our area that we can go and take classes to learn.  I have ordered myself some beginner's books and hopefully we can make some bead shows for classes now and again.

Ruth, we hope that we can get to a point that we will be able to hire some employees.  Like you say, have to be careful when hiring.  Nobody really cares for the shop like those that own it.

TCWhit, you brought up the fact about hours not being friendly to the working people.  This is one area I wanted to be especially watchful for because we work too and would want to have a shop that all can visit and be easily accessible.  Because it would only be the two of us running the show in the beginning, I was thinking about opening shop Thursday thru Sunday 11am to 6pm at least until we are able to hire employees.  I would like to know everyone's opinions on those hours.

Cat, I had actually thought about a franchise and did look at Potomac.  The only problem I find with having a franchise is that we'd be limiting ourselves and would actually lose some of that personal "flavor" if you will.  We would like to have a store that we can really get to know our customers and give them what they want.

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Beadiecat wrote
on Nov 24, 2012 2:43 AM

Re your hours.  If I discover I need some certain bead on Sunday night, I could mail-order it and get it faster than having to wait for your store to open on Thursday.  I'd rethink those hours.

Cat

The Cat's Meow Blog

My RebelMouse page and Etsy shop

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shanks wrote
on Nov 24, 2012 10:10 AM

I agree with Cat, If you are going to own a bead store and make a success with it, being open 4 days a week is an excellent way to fail.

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brians34 wrote
on Nov 26, 2012 12:36 AM

That's about what I've been telling the wife also.  If we're going to think about doing this, we have to be willing to go all out.

I've told her that I believe what we should do is start out in a flea market and make sure it is something that we'd really want to do before tying up lots of money into something and worry about getting burned out from it.

Something else I brought up to her is the possibility that we could do bead shows and that way we could travel around and see lots of places.

Weighing more than one possibility.

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DebWAZ wrote
on Jan 18, 2013 4:59 PM

beadinstyle:

Hello, Brian. I'm not sure how many bead store owners (bricks and mortar) are in this forum. Deb used to field many of these business questions here, but she has decided to retire. 

Hi Ruth,

We finally got the store closed and I'm retired, but that means I'll be here more often.

I've chatted with Brian in private e-mails and have jumped in here with some answers, too.

It's good to be back!

Deb

Deb

azbeaddepot.blogspot.com

 

 

 

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DebWAZ wrote
on Jan 18, 2013 4:59 PM

beadinstyle:

Hello, Brian. I'm not sure how many bead store owners (bricks and mortar) are in this forum. Deb used to field many of these business questions here, but she has decided to retire. 

Hi Ruth,

We finally got the store closed and I'm retired, but that means I'll be here more often.

I've chatted with Brian in private e-mails and have jumped in here with some answers, too.

It's good to be back!

Deb

Deb

azbeaddepot.blogspot.com

 

 

 

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shanks wrote
on Jan 18, 2013 8:36 PM

@Brians, A few years ago when I was younger, I did Trunk shows. I had an inventory of about 900 different beads and would rent a motel room, the ones that are for special meetings and set up for three days on a weekend.  Always advertised in a local paper and would get a sandwich board or two out. Did quite well. I would do two weekends a month.  Gives you a good background about inventory and purchasing.

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