Are you considering options for selling your handmade soap?
Historically this meant opening a brick and mortar storefront. Over recent years online stores have become very popular thanks to Etsy, ebay, Amazon, Big Cartel, WordPress, Shopify and More! What if you could have the best of both worlds with a Mobile Gift Boutique? I had a chance to catch up with Dieshawn Holmes owner of Angelic Soaps and Gifts. Dieshawn has successfully created her own Mobile Gift Boutique and she shared some of her lessons learned as a speaker at the annual Soap conference in Vegas.
What is a Mobile Gift Boutique?
Think of a food truck for your handmade soap and body products. Instead of food you actually have a retail store on wheels. This Mobile gift boutique serves as your store front and rolling advertising around town.
3 Tips from Dieshawn
- Startup Costs for a mobile boutique are fairly inexpensive when compared to opening a brick and mortar. You may be looking at 9,000 for a truck and an additional 9,000 to transform the truck into the boutique you can be comfortable riding around town in. This is a total of $18,000! Do you know any buildings around town that you can buy and own for $18,000?
- Check craigslist, ebay, publicsurplus.com, uhaul, stepvanman.com for used trucks within your budget. Have them inspected prior to purchasing! Consider getting a box truck or a school bus that you can convert into the shop you would like.
- Check with town ordinances. Where are you going to park your truck when it's not in business? Are you able to park the truck in your driveway without hefty fines. Determine maximum size restrictions to avoid costly penalties. Where are you going to park to setup shop? Are you allowed to park there? Are there any fees associated with it?
- Power Source and Water Supply
- Dieshawn recommended getting a portable power generator, mounted generator or solar panels. Whichever power source you are going to select try to get one that is quiet and light weight if its portable. Are you going to have demonstrations in your mobile boutique? Your going to need water. This can also increase costs.
SoapLadyZ Final Thoughts
Mobile shops and gift boutiques are popping up all around my city and this is another alternative for getting your business off the ground and “rolling”. With any business you are going to have to decide what you want to do and make a plan to turn it into reality. Hopefully this gives you another idea to consider for your bath and body business. Your customers are mobile…why aren't you?
If you are looking for additional information check out Dieshawn's guide to launching a mobile retail solution.
Thanks for the innovative insight Dieshawn!
Until next time…