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Need some Advice/pointers

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  • Need some Advice/pointers

    Now that I am officially a Senior Citizen, I am seriously considering retirement from my day job, Police Department Manager. I would like to start a small in home scrolling and general woodworking business. Do any of you do this or know someone? I am looking for pointers and any advice I can get. This will not be an extra income that I will need to depend on to survive. Any advice will help. Thanks

  • #2
    I just looked up where you live to see if a college was near by. They usually have some really good information for starting small businesses. Even taking an adult education class on small business can be rewarding. I noticed you need a building permit to change out electrical fixtures and indoor walls. Wow! If you are remodeling a room for this project I guess I would start with the free building inspector project review. Glad I live in Idaho!


    • #3
      I started doing just what you are planning to do about 4 years ago. I have been retired for twelve years. I spent 8 years learning how to make things of wood and then started selling them. Gave a lot of stuff away in those earlier years. Once you have improved your skills enough, all you need to do it get a "sellers permit "(sales tax collection account) from the state. There are a lot of wine tasting and art shows in California that would be great places to sell wood working projects. I used to attend them and wanted to try selling at them. I am now in rural Texas but I do about 15-20 sales a year without having to travel too far. (Just day trips)
      Go to some of those sales and see what is selling, to get ideas. Talk to the vendors.
      I do not make any money but I do have a self funding hobby, including equipment upgrades occasionally.
      Hegner Polymax- 3,Hegner Multimax-3,
      "No PHD, just a DD 214"


      • #4
        Check with SBA - Small Business Administration. In Maryland they have day seminars on everything you need to know about starting your own business. It is usually about $45-$60 for the seminar but well worth the money. You also usually get a first appointment free with a CPA and attorney.

        "Congress needs to realize it is a government of the people, by the people and for the people. Not of the people, by the people and for Congress." - Dr. Benjamin Carson, Pediatric Neurosurgeon, Johns Hopkins Hospital


        • #5
          I have a series of articles coming out in Creative Woodworks about the "Business Side of Scrolling". First installment should be out in a couple weeks. I tried to cover a lot of the basics in it.


          • #6
            Your comment " This will not be an extra income that I will need to depend on to survive." is very important. Jim is a journeyman at this and I think he is very right.

            The only pure scroll work that I have seen where I think the person is making a living are in premium Intarsia and the subject matter is focused for where it is sold. I've seen some examples at over $400. My talent level doesn't cover that good of work.

            This isn't to say that a lot of scroll work doesn't sell, but at less than $15 you need to sell an incredible amount to actually make a living.

            If you can combine scroll work with another type of wood work, then it can be better. I've seen puzzles and names in children benches sell for reasonable money. Inlay for boxes and picture frames gets some better money.

            I am definitely going to read Janette's articles.

            EX-16, DW-788, Dremel 1680


            • #7
              Do your home work. If it was me I would look around the area for juried art and craft fairs/shows. Go to them and check them out. Talk to the vendors. Doing these fairs/shows is a way to get yourself established.
              Creator of fine designer sawdust.


              • #8
                Don't sell yourself short. Once you gain some expertise and can make some quality items. Price them accordingly. People are willing to pay a fair price for "quality" craftsmanship. Don't buy into the garage sale, flea market pricing mentality.
                "Still Montana Mike"

                "Don't worry about old age--it doesn't last that long."
                Mike's Wood-n-Things LLC


                • #9
                  Go for it. And I say that with no reservations. I wouldn't say that if you required the income for survival, but since you don't, it's a win-win. If you don't make money, you should at least fund the hobby, and if you do make money, that's extra money you can spend that will benefit the economy, put money in the pockets of others who may be struggling to survive. My income from selling intarsia varies, there are good and bad years and years that I put more effort into it than others, but I usually manage to clear a few thousand dollars, and while I could get by without it, it sure comes in handy, and the folks running the wood and tool stores, music stores and gardening stores are very happy to see me coming!

                  Best of luck to you.



                  • #10
                    Just proofed the 2nd installment today - looks like they will get it all into 2 installments rather than make people wait! I think you'll find some good information in there.
                    @Lou - glad to see that you're doing your part for the economy!


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