Nine years ago I decided to begin selling the needlepoint items that I seemed to be mass producing. I started doing craft shows a couple times a year. Gradually I began going to shows more often. In 1994 I obtained a tax license and named the business "Sandbrook Creations".
The more shows I did, I noticed that the same things were being sold. I decided I needed a different product to add to what I was carrying. I was introduced (via AOL) to a woman in California by a mutual friend. In getting to know her we began to discuss our respective businesses. She was making embossed notecards and was very enthusiastic in talking about them
Her enthusiasm started me thinking that maybe this was a good idea for me. I began by going to different stores and looking for rubber stamps. With her guidance (from 3,000 miles away) I began pricing supplies to get started. The smallest quantity of note cards and envelopes I could purchase was 500 of each. This is what I started with. I found many stamps that I wanted but limited my selections to 13 or 14. This I felt was a good number of designs.
My largest problem was finding suppliers. I needed the stamps, embossing powders, ink pads, cards, envelopes, heat gun (for melting the powder) and plastic bags to package the cards for resale. Most of these were readily available locally. The hardest items to locate were card and plastic bag suppliers. I used the yellow pages of my phone directory and the Internet for help. I would also go to stores and look on the back of packages of cards for company names and addresses. I discovered if the company I was calling didn't have what I needed they could usually help by providing the name of another company to call.
Producing the cards is relatively easy because no special skills are needed. I started by making several packages of each design in the colors I offer. I made a small catalog that I can send on request along with a sample. The catalog includes the designs and colors offered, an information sheet and an order form.
I advertise on the Internet and by donating packs of cards for door prizes at card parties, luncheons, etc. When I do a craft show I put packs of cards on the table along with catalogs. I also have a loose leaf folder with all the designs stamped on cards in the available color choices.
If there had been a small book or pamphlet published on making, displaying and selling cards I would have appreciated it. But sometimes you learn the best by hands-on experience.