Kids love personalising stuff. They also love stuffed animals. A bear-stuffing business combines the best of both by allowing kids to customise every aspect of their stuffed animal. The clever business model is a hit---most malls have at least one bear-stuffing company, which is almost always filled with children. Why not start your own business, either with a brick-and-mortar shop or via stuffed-bear parties?
- Skill level:
Things you need
- Bear-stuffing machines
- Trailer or location
- Liability insurance
Determine how much you can afford to invest in your business. Starting a brick-and-mortar store will cost much more than simply teaming up with an existing business or starting a party business. Instead of jumping into your own store, contact children's stores, party rental stores, or gift stores in your area about setting up a mobile bear-stuffing cart in their stores.
Purchase a bear-stuffing machine, stuffing, fixtures, unstuffed plush skins of teddy bears and other animals, costumes, accessories, birth certificate software, and boxes. Find machine package deals that include everything you need to get your business started. Ensure that all toys meet federal safety standards.
Purchase a trailer that can hold your stuffing machine. On it, detail your business name, phone number, and website. Purchase equipment hauling to move your cart to and from events.
Set up your booth at fairs, flea markets, festivals, carnivals, church events, local events, schools, birthday parties, and company picnics. Contact party rental companies about renting your equipment for their own events. If setting up at local or school events, donate a percentage of each sale to a local charity.
Purchase a website for your plush bear stuffing business. Advertise your prices and events that you cater. Contact local birthday party caterers and party supply stores about putting links to their stores on your site in exchange for allowing you to advertise in their stores.
Tips and warnings
- Advertise in your city's free event magazine for kids and on notice boards at kids' clothing stores.
- Purchase liability insurance.
- Have someone on hand who can quickly repair your machine.
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