Primitives are a name given to decorative items, dishes and even jewelry usually handcrafted and in a limited quantity. Primitive art is usually distinguished by its distinct lack of perfection, which is what provides the decorative appeal of primitive products. Starting a business in selling primitives isn't difficult and can be accomplished with minimal start-up costs. With the popularity of primitive décor, you can start a business selling primitives on a shoestring budget and and watch it grow into a profitable, easy-to-manage business within months.
Make as many of your primitive items yourself as you can. Handmade primitives that are one of a kind sell for higher prices. The more handmade items you have to sell, the better your profits will be. Making your own products, especially in the beginning, is a way to build your store inventory. If you have friends who are handy with crafts, get them to help you.
Get a website. You'll need a web host that specializes in online business and offers shopping cart and online payment options (see Resources). Selling your primitives on your own website is a good way to get started earning money without the expense of a brick-and-mortar store.
Design the website with the built-in web design tools provided by your host. It doesn't have to be fancy. The front page of your website will have the name of your business, then links to your product categories. Your navigational menu should be simple. Break your primitives down into basic categories like "Kitchenware," "Art," "Home Décor" and "Outdoor." Each category should contain photos of your primitive design products and pricing. Devote one page of your website to contact information and your return policy.
Consider using an online craft service like Etsy (see Resources). Etsy is a service that charges a minimal fee to introduce craft buyers to those who make crafts. This is a great place to sell your primitives for extra money toward expanding.
Attend flea markets and craft fairs. Many of these are advertised in local papers. Flea markets and fairs are a great source of income for primitives and a good way to build your customer base.
Look for primitive wholesalers where you can purchase quality products in bulk to add to your stock (see Resources). Apply for a tax ID number and register your business with the Small Business Administration (SBA) in your state. Many wholesalers only sell to a business with a tax ID number, which will allow you to purchase stock without paying a sales tax.
Carl Hose is the author of the anthology "Dead Horizon" and the the zombie novella "Dead Rising." His work has appeared in "Cold Storage," "Butcher Knives and Body Counts," "Writer's Journal," and "Lighthouse Digest.". He is editor of the "Dark Light" anthology to benefit Ronald McDonald House Charities.