Two things this weekend have put the whole self-owned business idea back into the front burner of our minds.

While at St. Augustine, we visited a shop there with a very unique concept that totally captured us as customers and our imaginations as a possible option for a business. The store is called Bath Junkie, and they sell bath products that you can personalize with custom-blended fragances from a menu of about 200 options. I thought this was a fantastic store concept, with a neat gimmick to set it apart from your Bath and Body Works-type of stores, and after mentioning it to my wife, she’s come around to think likewise. Miami is a ripe market for this kind of idea, especially because the next closest Bath Junkie is about 250 miles north of us! We’re gonna run the idea by the family’s Fountain of Wisdom (aka. my mother-in-law) and see what she says, then proceed from that.

The second thing is that I just received in the mail the summer catalog from The Container Store, which is always dedicated to travel products. Every single time I see this catalog, I get a pain in my chest because I KNOW that a dedicated Travel Store in Miami would be a feasible business option and one I could certainly organize and run. The problem with this idea, compared to the one above, for example, is that this would be a brand-new concept, not a franchise, which brings with it support and an amount of recognition, which makes it harder to secure funding. Then again, who says it couldn’t eventually become a franchise operation? I really wish I could put this together; though I know it would be hard, especially because travel equipment is very much a luxury item and one that would need to be marketed aggresively in order to gain a following (though let me tell you, after years of hanging out at The Container Store during the summer months and seeing literally thousands of dollars worth of travel gear being bought, much of it by me and my family, I know it is possible), I believe in the idea, especially when presented as what I truly have in mind, a one-stop travel resource center, with luggage, packing solutions, books, maps, DVDs and audio, all conveniently present for the would-be traveler.

Being self-employed is scary, but I know in my heart that it is the way to go for me, and I believe for my family as well.

Anyone got $500,000 they’d like to invest in two new upstarts? 😉

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