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  • Create your niche

    20 posts, 9 voices, 601 views, started Dec 6, 2008

    Posted on Saturday, December 6, 2008 by Cindylouwho1966

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    • One of the keys for any business, especially a small business, is to find a niche-what is it you do that your competitors don’t? Your uniqueness could be the key to doors you may not have realized.

      This week, I visited a gift shop near my house, to see if they might agree to carry my candles. This store is a consignment store for new home decor and arts and crafts. As I walked through, I noticed quite a few areas with candles, including one display with lots and lots of jar candles. I figured I didn’t really have a shot, but I talked to the owner anyway and gave her one of my Christmas flyers.

      She excitedly asked me to bring in various items, like my baskets, because her store was getting ready to host an open house.

      When I showed up two days later, both she and her clerk were thrilled. I brought my funky Coffee Break baskets, with coffee-themed tarts in actual coffee bags. I brought the whimsical Breast Cancer baskets, with their bright pink wickless candles and fluffy tulle ribbon. I showed them wineglass and tea cup candles. The owner was disappointed that she did not have an actual room or shelving unit for rent right now, but wanted me in the shop for Christmas so much she took my items on consignment.

      My niche, in a world full of candles, is uniqueness. Everyone carries a jar candle. I make whimsical candles that people like to give as a gift. I am unique because I do custom orders. I offer refill service. I deliver. My logo is bright pink so it really pops.  

      What makes you unique? Have you already figured out your niche?

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      Cindylouwho1966, Your links have been removed, please consider upgrading to premium membership.



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          Lightbringer wrote Dec 24, 2008
        • I’m still figuring out my niche.  I’m leaning towards accent lighting because my lamps are mostly small lamps under 15” tall.  I haven’t seen a lot out there like I make.  There are some teapot lamps but none like mine with florals in the base.  Another area I’m considering is replacement shades.  That doesn’t help with online orders but does help for local business.  So far the only sales I’ve had online have been people requesting lamps with bases they already have.  So maybe custom designed lamps?  Good question.



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          Lisa Middlesworth wrote Dec 24, 2008
        • Cindylou, you are the bomb baby! You’ve got what it takes. I am so happy for youestatic



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          (華娃娃) ChinaDoll wrote Dec 24, 2008
        • Sorry Lu, it’s my eye sight again.  I thought you asked me to create an itch and I am like HA?



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          Jacquie6363 wrote Dec 24, 2008
        • Oh CD, you know how to bring a smile to the gloomiest of faces...LOL

          Cindy, my mom and I are brainstorming together on a couple of ideas, she is turning 65 next month and will be looking to retire in the next 2 years.



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          Cindylouwho1966 wrote Dec 24, 2008
        • “Dear Santa, Please bring Chinadoll new glasses...”

          The great news is-the owner of the gift shop is clearing a space for me so I can get into her shop right after Christmas! And she specifically wants my candles, because, as she said, everyone does jars. She loves the unique ideas I have. So I am very excited! I hope this will inspire and motivate me toward my other goals!

          Lightbringer, I understand your dilemma. I’ve been facing the same one. Just take a critical look, ask others for input and figure out what you can do to be different.

          Lisa, you are sooo sweet. Thank you for your support!



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          Inakika wrote Dec 24, 2008
        • Cindy, Way to go girl! You‘re so awesome!
          I’m going to try and re-start my fledgling baking business. I don’t do all the fancy decorations, my specialty is that they taste amazing. I make pound cakes and cookies and pies, mostly Southern fare. My mother is the Queen of all pound cakes and she and I have talked about having a business together in the near future. Then I could just concentrate on my pies and cookies.
          I make a buttermilk pecan pie that would make you slap yo’ mama and kick the dog! Tomorrow I’m giving one to a friend that is a mover and shaker in town for her to take to a party. I’m hoping to start a buzz from that.estatic



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          Jacquie6363 wrote Dec 24, 2008
        • Ingrid, how funny....that cake has got to be darn good for one not to care about slapping momma and kicking the dog...LMAO



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          Cindylouwho1966 wrote Dec 24, 2008
        • That’s one thing I have trouble with, tooting my own horn. I have to remind myself to haul stuff with me at all times and not be afraid to show it off.  

          The other day, I decided to take some to the tanning salon. The lady on duty is going to buy after the holidays, and advised me to bring stuff in when another of the gals was in. So I went back yesterday with all my scent samples, a wineglass candle and a coffee basket. The gal bought $50 worth of stuff on the spot and ordered more for after New Year!



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          Inakika wrote Dec 24, 2008
        • Jacquie, it is to die for. It’s made with cream cheese, it’s my moms recipe. Now the pie, if you hate pecan pies because they are usually made with molasses, mine will change your mind. It forms a custard inside and the sugar rises to the top to form a crust. My husband can eat a whole one all by himself. I’ve been making them for 15 years and I will not give the recipe up. You can find similar ones on-line, but I have yet to find one that tastes like mine.



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          Jacquie6363 wrote Dec 24, 2008
        • Cindy, that’s awesome, and I am sure, she will tell a friend/business and then you have the snowball effect



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          Inakika wrote Dec 24, 2008
        • TOOT IT LOU!! You have the goods!!! estatic



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          Cynthia Schmidt wrote Dec 24, 2008
        • One thing I see in you, Lu, is your personality. I know you have a hard time with tooting your own horn but you actually may not have to. Your personality is great for working with people. I know that people like to buy from people they like. I see it time and again.

          A couple of weeks ago I was attending a charity luncheon in Honolulu and sitting at the table next to me was Wally Amos. Now he’s still making cookies but not under the famous amos label. He was bigger than life wearing a watermelon hat. People flocked around him. He’s an icon. And his cookies are really nothing special. But he is.

          So what I’m trying to say is not only do you have a unique product but you also a person that others will want to buy from.



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          Cynthia Schmidt wrote Dec 24, 2008
        • Cindy, I just looked at your site and what I see in your lamps is they are pieces of art. I noticed the price is up there and that’s where I came up with the idea of you being an artist rather then providing a functional item for the home. I don’t know anything about the lighting business. But your lamps are very pretty and quite artistic. I’d love to know more about your business and how you got started in this field.



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          (華娃娃) ChinaDoll wrote Dec 24, 2008
        • Lu, let me take a moment to comment
          You are smart and humorous
          Though I may have bumped head with you in the past
          I can just see that, it is a blooming friendship by far
          I hope you have a very Merry Christmas
          and thank you for asking Santa to get me a pair of new glasses.

          Did you happen to specify to be name brand by the way???

          Mmmmwha!



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          Lightbringer wrote Dec 25, 2008
        • Thank you, Chocolatier!  I will post a blog about how I got started.  I hadn’t thought of that for this site, but good idea.  Hmmm...lamps as functional art. There are some who have done that.  I will check to see what they’ve done.  This really is a great community here with awesome ideas.

          “Cindy, I just looked at your site and what I see in your lamps is they are pieces of art. I noticed the price is up there and that's where I came up with the idea of you being an artist rather then providing a functional item for the home. I don't know anything about the lighting business. But your lamps are very pretty and quite artistic. I'd love to know more about your business and how you got started in this field.”



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          Coachmombabe wrote Dec 25, 2008
        • I’m kind of brain dead with the flu right now, and this may all be more clear later, but I am having a hard time translating the niche into the public service sector (non profit ministry). Maybe some of you more business/entrepreneur types may be able to help me bridge that gap?

           Thanks,
          Cindy



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