How to Start a Custom Doll Business

bizfluent article image

Michael Blann/Photodisc/Getty Images

Dolls have withstood the test of time and are a common staple found in the family home. If you are crafty and have ever thought about owning your own business, then you may want to consider starting a custom doll business. Dolls come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from cloth dolls for babies to antique porcelain dolls for collectors and everything in between. Opening your own custom doll business can be a rewarding and profitable career choice.

Perfect your crafting skills. Inquire at your local library, community centers and even your local community college about craft or sewing classes being offered that can enhance your doll-making skills.

Develop a business plan for your custom doll business and include start-up costs, overhead expenses, necessary supplies, projected profits, market demand and all other aspects of running a business in the plan. Think about hiring a professional consulting company to assist you with developing a plan for your custom doll business.

Consider running the business out of your home to save on overhead expenses. You always can move to a retail location as your business grows, if you desire.

Decide on a name for your custom doll business. Check with your state business directory and perform a title search to make sure it is available. Register your business name.

Contact your local town hall and inquire about local and state regulations for manufacturing and running this type of business. Visit the Small Business Administration for information on how to obtain all necessary licenses and permits in your state.

Contact insurance companies in your area and inquire about business insurance. Consider the benefits of choosing a locally owned insurance agency that may be able to provide you with better rates than larger corporate agencies.

Contact lending institutions that specialize in small business loans. Present them with your business plan and apply for a loan.

Order doll-making supplies and accessories from suppliers. Search through industry periodicals available at your local library to locate manufacturers of such items.

Apply to become a member of professional crafting associations, such as the Craft & Hobby Association. Advertise your custom doll business on their websites and in any brochures or magazines they send out.

Develop a website for your custom doll business. On the site, include the company name and contact information, a description of your services, types of dolls you specialize in, turn around time for custom orders, shipping rates, and any other details of your products, as well as photographs of some of your work.

Mail out flyers and hang them in local craft stores, children’s party centers, shopping malls, restaurants, and other public areas. Print up business cards and carry them with you, so you are ready to distribute them at any time.

Make custom dolls as gifts for your family and friends. This is a great way to showcase your skills and get your dolls out in the public eye. Be sure to add a small label with the name of your company and contact information, so other people know how to order their own custom dolls.

Tips

  • Consider expanding your business by selling doll accessories, such as clothing, dollhouses and furniture. After you perfect your skills, offer custom doll repairs.