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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,

I have been batting around an idea for a business for a bit now and wanted to get some opinions on what you all think about it. What I am thinking of is a custom furniture business.

Basically, I could custom design and build anything someone wants for furniture ie: tables, beds, bedside tables, cabinets, fish tank stands & canopies, shelving, built-ins, entertainment units. That sort of thing.

As most here will know, I have already build a few stands for other members, and was thinking of doing a business for just stands, but starting thinking that would limit my potential customers too much. This would open it up to many more people as not everyone is a fish-obsessed as we are.

So what do you think? I know there is a market, but not how big of one. I also know that it will be a long while, if ever, that this would be a business that would fully support my family. But for the time being, having it as a side business for some extra money would be a good thing in my mind. Plus, I enjoy woodworking anyways so it lets me enjoy another hobby.

Thoughts, comments, advice?

Thanks
 

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you would just have to invoice according to material cost.
and custom carpentry is not cheap...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
^^ no it isn't. But it doesn't have to be crazy expensive either. Even if this only generated enough income to support my fish hobby, I would go for it.
 

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The thing I have found with my experience in the same trade is people don't want to pay the $$. A product from you or I is far superior in sturdyness and quality then what you can buy at the stores, but the $$ follows it and people don't pay it they would rather spend little and get something that "will do" so to speak. Unfortunately we now live in a throw away world of dollar stores and walmarts. people buy cheap to make due and chuck it in 5 years for a new one. instead of spending a bit more money on something that is solid and last for decades. Just my two cents, but i do wish you the best of luck in your venture. In the future if there is something i can not handle i will PM you for the job!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks t-bore. and I totally agree. For me, i'd much rather spend a little more upfront and get something really nice and not have to replace it. Not everyone thinks that way though.
 

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Personally, i think making smaller "trinket" items would be big sellers. Things like baby rattles, xmas tree ornaments, kitchen clocks, etc would be great sellers at farmers/flea markets, craft fairs, etc. My girlfriend had this amazing notepad/pencil/box thingy that went on her door when she wasnt home. When it was closed, it looked like a half a branch cut lengthwise, and when you pulled the pencil out, a section folded down to reveal a notepad on a flat surface and a little slot to put the note in. Had a cute "drop me a note" poem on it. But I have never seen anything like it and I thought it was the greatest idea. these things you could make them on your own time instead of having deadlines. And if you have a website up and a "card" attached to everything you sell, you could always ship items out to repeat customers year round quickly and inexpensively. Anything that says "wedding gift" or "baby" on it can be doubled in price! lol Ask Alym...

I saw a program where a guy made an amazing old fashioned baby rattle and said it would take less than an hour without varnish/paint. I wanted a woodshop ever since. lol

Just my two cents :)
 

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Daniel, I went this route when I first left mining. I had a car detailing business that I ran out of my garage. But you know what I found? Once my hobby became my job, I didn't like it as much, and missed what I was good at, and trained for (hence my return to the exploration business). The other thing I found as an engineer was that I had to deal with lousy customers. The nice ones were really nice, but to make a business work, you have to take the good with the bad, and I found that the bad customers soured the whole thing for me.

It's certainly something to think about.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hey Tracers, those are so good ideas. smaller items are definitely easier to produce. And I know how to make those baby rattles already.

Hey Gary, yeah a few people I have talked to have said the same thing about making a hobby your job. But I also know others who did it and loved it. Right now it is all ideas. I might just keep doing what I have been, providing a service where I can and not really chasing business too hard.
 

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Certainly, it isn't a big deal to do a few jobs on the side, but as a full blown business, I'm not considering anything that has to do with my hobbies until I retire. :D

I think you'll still make good money doing some custom furniture to pay for your hobby if you want.
 
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have you considered custom dog houses ??? my brother is a carpenter in ottawa and i suggested this to him ... he made a website and advertised on craigslist ... my father is a retired architect and he designed four different designs and made models to post on the website and he has sold two of them now for 400 a piece ... i have a custom dog house (pink) for my dog and i paid over 300 dollars for hers ... dog owners spend much money on their little family members, especially here in vancouver :) good luck to you but could you build my stand first as it is really leaning :)
 

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I think the trick is to do it on your own time, not someone elses. Otherwise you may feel rushed & stressed.

Plus if its ready-made you have "last minute decision" customers that buy what they see in front of them :)

The same gf of mine used to make hemp bracelets and sell them at flea markets & farmers markets etc, mind you she was on the sunshine coast, but she makes enough money to pay the bills for the entire summer! And anyone can make those...woodworking takes talent :)
 

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have you considered custom dog houses ??? my brother is a carpenter in ottawa and i suggested this to him ... he made a website and advertised on craigslist ... my father is a retired architect and he designed four different designs and made models to post on the website and he has sold two of them now for 400 a piece ... i have a custom dog house (pink) for my dog and i paid over 300 dollars for hers ... dog owners spend much money on their little family members, especially here in vancouver :) good luck to you but could you build my stand first as it is really leaning :)
I dont need dog houses but Im always pricing doggie stairs to the couch and /or bed or a ramp. Those things run over $100 and its a plank with hooks for petes sake!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
have you considered custom dog houses ??? my brother is a carpenter in ottawa and i suggested this to him ... he made a website and advertised on craigslist ... my father is a retired architect and he designed four different designs and made models to post on the website and he has sold two of them now for 400 a piece ... i have a custom dog house (pink) for my dog and i paid over 300 dollars for hers ... dog owners spend much money on their little family members, especially here in vancouver :) good luck to you but could you build my stand first as it is really leaning
HAHA, no worries. I am almost finished the design for you to take a look at. And I have thought about the dog houses as well. There is definitely people who are crazy about their dogs. Not a bad thing either.

I think the trick is to do it on your own time, not someone elses. Otherwise you may feel rushed & stressed.

Plus if its ready-made you have "last minute decision" customers that buy what they see in front of them :)

The same gf of mine used to make hemp bracelets and sell them at flea markets & farmers markets etc, mind you she was on the sunshine coast, but she makes enough money to pay the bills for the entire summer! And anyone can make those...woodworking takes talent :)
Yeah, that makes sense. And flea markets are a good idea for some smaller items.

Certainly, it isn't a big deal to do a few jobs on the side, but as a full blown business, I'm not considering anything that has to do with my hobbies until I retire. :D

I think you'll still make good money doing some custom furniture to pay for your hobby if you want.
That's my thinking. Not anything big for the time being.
 
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I dont need dog houses but Im always pricing doggie stairs to the couch and /or bed or a ramp. Those things run over $100 and its a plank with hooks for petes sake!!
i was just in barking babies in yaletown and custom stairs are over 300 dollars !!! another good idea :)
 

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I have a weiner dog and i cant tell you the amount of stories ive heard from ppl who have had them in townhouses or houses with stairs. Their backs give out around 5yo & its $10000 to have surgery which may leave them in a wheelchair, or put them down :( So I keep mini stairs so he wont jump from the couch or the bed. But they charge thru the nose for garbagethings. Id pay $100 for a nice solid one tho...
Shouldve added "doggy" to the "wedding" and "baby" list lol cha-ching!
 
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