I own From The Stash a store which primarily deals with used cloth diapers. The store spawned from necessity. I live in a rural area and do not have any cloth diaper stores nearby and when I wanted to by used cloth diapers. So I would be travel over an hour each way (with baby in tow) to pick them up off of online classified sites.
Where Do You Find Support For Businesses In Niche Markets?
To say my store is a niche market is an understatement. To my knowledge I own the only store of it’s kind in Canada and I only know of two places in the USA (and that was after many, many, hours of web searching) once which is currently closed.
The closest store category to mine would be a traditional cloth diaper retailer. We deal with many of the same issue (cloth diaper care, education etc). The big difference is I do not deal with wholesale companies.
On Facebook there are support groups for cloth diaper retailers. A place where these (mainly) women can get together and give and get advice. A few weeks ago I was allowed into a group. To get into this one group you had to give links, prove you have been a retailer for over 6 months and some other requirements.
Removed from the Group
Tonight I was messaged that I have been removed from the group because I do not carry many wholesale products. I completely understand why this is the case. Wholesalers have rules and regulations and the group does not want to be responsible for inadvertently leaking any information with anyone who does not have agreements with them.
But I am not going to lie. My feelings are hurt. I understand it is not a decision about me personally, however since starting my business this group was the one place I could go and give/get advice on cloth diaper specific issues. I also got to see some of the pros and cons of making certain decisions in this market.
As a niche business I do not fit into a neat box with other retailers. If I was to be in a group with stores exactly like mine I would be the only one. That doesn’t make for much of a group.
Do you have a business in a niche market? Where Do You Find Support For Businesses In Niche Markets?