Having bronze baby shoes is a tradition: a baby's first pair of shoes are permanently preserved by being dipped in a bronze solution. This practice has also been adopted to save other mementos and heirlooms such as a child's first pair of dance slippers, a baby's hand imprints and picture frames. The cost for one pair of bronzed baby shoes can range from $40 for a basic treatment to more than $150 for shoes mounted on special bases and embellished with plaques. Starting a business selling bronzed baby shoes can be a lucrative endeavor provided you carefully research and plan your venture.
Learn how to make bronze baby shoes or outsource the production of them. If you go the route of having someone else produce the shoes, you can hire an artisan to work for you as an independent contractor and have him work only when orders come in.
Purchase an instructional kit from a company such as Caswell Inc. or Casting Gifts to learn how to bronze baby shoes yourself.
Find an outlet to sell the bronze baby shoes. The least expensive option for a company trying to become established is to launch an e-commerce website or become a seller on an artisan site such as 1000 Markets or Etsy.
Choose a name for your company and get an assumed name certificate, or DBA, from your city or county. You may also need to obtain a tax identification number from your state, if you are required to collect taxes on the shoes you sell, and an employer identification number (EIN) from the IRS.
Purchase the packaging you'll use for your orders as well as shipping boxes, protective wrap or packing peanuts, tape and labels. You can purchase packaging and shipping supplies from a company such as Nashville Wraps or PaperMart.
Develop marketing materials such as business cards, brochures, a media kit and press releases to promote your business. If you cannot design the templates, you can typically get them for free from the printing company you use or hire a freelance graphic designer to come up with a design.
To get help writing and distributing your press release and media kit, hire a freelance publicist or public relations firm that specializes in working with small retail businesses.
Advertise your baby shoe bronzing business by purchasing ads on informational websites for expecting parents, niche parenting magazines, message boards for grandparents and online and print business directories.
Melinda Gaines has been a freelance writer since 2006, with work appearing online for YellowPages and other websites. Her areas of expertise include business, beauty, fashion and sports. Gaines attended the University of Houston where she earned a Bachelor of Science in sport administration.