Kim Guymon offers this excellent advice on her ScrapBizness blog, on the timing of opening a scrapbooking store:
I just wanted to share a bit of advice to anyone thinking about opening a scrapbook store. Internalize this and it will save you a LOT of headaches later! The middle of this month is CHA in Chicago - the Summer Show of the Craft and Hobby Association. The other CHA show is in late January. The WORST time you can open a store is just before or just after either of these shows. I have seen it many times - people open their store just before one of these shows and then go to the show to buy a bunch of stuff feeling very smart about their "timing".
Well, think forward a year when you want to have a big birthday celebration and start snooping around for freebies, vendor support, or even scrapbook celebrities to come to your store. Where are all of those people going to be?? CHA!!! Shoot, you can't even get many vendors to answer your emails in the weeks before and the weeks after one of these shows. I tell ScrapBiz members to avoid trying to set up new accounts around this time. The wholesalers are BUSY!
Soooo, as you plan the dates to open your store, if it is anytime near one of the shows, do it WAY before (like a month) or WAY after CHA.
EXCELLENT advice from Kim! I'm quite familiar with the craziness surrounding each craft trade show -- she's right, vendors are crazy-busy for about a month before and a month after each show. But I never would have thought of the one-year-anniversary celebration angle, of not being to secure vendor support/goodies. Kudos to Kim for sharing this priceless tidbit!
BTW, I've heard great things about ScrapBiz as an option for independent scrapbooking and stamping business owners. They provide not only resources for getting your business started, but also support via other business owners as you continue to grow your business.