With good research ahead and a good business plan in the pocket, as well as support from the bank and suppliers, I was able to start building my formula in spring. The months prior I had been busy with preparations. First the business plan, then financing and property rental, and then the layout of the store.
I had considered marketing and shop fitting when making my business plan. Yet there were still many details I had to decide on later on. Luckily there was someone for me to spar with now and again. Setting up and keeping up administration cost a great deal of time as well. Over 2000 different articles were in store. I purchased at suppliers in The Netherlands, but also Germany and Belgium. And there was also the website I had to keep up to date. Especially in the beginning, it was very busy.
I am quite a creative person myself, at one point I even entered art school, but never attended. Through my connections I came up with the idea to bring together all sorts of hobby and crafting materials in one place. This became Creato. A formula for creative gift shops.
I sold beads, mosaic, painting requirements, modelling material and paper. But I also offered products you could make with these items, as gift articles. For example, jewellery, home decoration and postcards. This meant customers could come to my when they wanted to get hands on at home, but they could also choose the readymade products.
I had very aware chosen a certain business location. In the village where I started my business, income levels were relatively high and people from around the area came to shop in the commercial centre. It didn’t provide a hobby article shop up to that time.