Everyone is looking for a new and exciting way to bring in a little extra money, especially around the holidays. Home party businesses boom, direct sales companies see higher sales as presents are bought, and websites offering a variety of products pop up just in time for gift buying and giving. For those people who enjoy hand-made items or even crafts, a Claire Murray signature hook rug may be the perfect gift.
Claire Murray moved from New York City to the island of Nantucket to open a country inn and help revive the art and beauty of hook rugs and other needle arts. Over the last twenty years she built up a business that now has over 100,000 people on her mailing list, seventeen retail stores that run the entire east coast, and international sales in China, Italy and the United Kingdom.
Her designs have been featured in magazines such as Better Homes & Garden, Country Living and House Beautiful. Claire’s most recent venture is the launching of her own magazine, La Vie Claire. The website offers a gift registry as well as an extensive F.A.Q. on rug hooking including instructions on properly doing the craft and binding it off. Prospective customers can find the locations and driving directions to each of the stores. All of the rugs sold by the company are hand made using natural fibers and wool thread.
Claire Murray’s site offers hooked rugs in just about every style imaginable, from American Heritage styles to Children’s Designs to Flowers and Gardens. Coordinating sisal and natural fiber accents are also available on the site and underlays to keep the rugs from slipping are featured. Silk scarves and a variety of other home accessories, such as bird houses and dinnerware are some of the other items carried in the Claire Murray line. Prices on the items available start at $50.00 and go as high as $2,000.00.
The website also offers Nantucket inspired craft kits. Kits include needlepoint, cross stitch, Christmas stockings, and, of course, hooked rugs. Difficulty levels on the kits range from beginner to expert and each design page has a detailed description of the finished piece. Kit prices start at $19.99 and go up to $200.00. All items shown on the website can be purchased at one of the seventeen stores or online.
Claire Murray is offering business opportunities for people interested in running their own boutiques. These stores would carry the entire product line as well as the new magazine. This is not a home party or other direct selling proposition. This would be an actual physical store location. The website states that there are no up front franchising fees and that the opportunity is ‘straightforward and cost effective for both existing store owners and budding entrepreneurs’.
This opportunity is not for someone on a low or fixed income. Although there are no franchising fees involved, there are still other fees that must be taken in consideration when starting a business. If you are an existing store owner, these products may be a nice addition to your stock. Otherwise, a prospective business owner will need to look into a business license, a place to set up their merchandise, banking issues and other details of opening a business.