The 48 Best Embroidery Related Small Business Ideas & Opportunities (2021)

The 48 Best Embroidery Related Small Business Ideas & Opportunities (2021)

If you support marijuana legalization or have a passion for the green, there are dozens of ways to turn your passion into a business.

From CBD, to fashion, to food, we put together 35 potential business ideas you can build around the cannabis industry!

Check out the list.

1. Start an embroidery learning kits business ($180K/year)

Rebecca Ringquist from Portland, OR, USA started Dropcloth Samplers ago, a embroidery learning kits business.

  • Revenue: $15,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: Portland, OR, USA

I started my career as an academic art professor at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in the Fiber and Material Studies Department. I taught embroidery and introductory textiles classes. Originally, I fell in love with embroidery through the backdoor when I took a feminist art history class and learned about the social history of stitching. Along the way, I fell in love with the process, and have been interested in the history of sampler making from a feminist perspective ever since.

As a business owner, I feel very fortunate to have sort of stumbled into this line of work. I’m so much happier now that I was an academic, and I certainly have a lot more free time to spend with my family.

After getting my MFA at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, I stayed on and taught there for seven years. In addition to my academic teaching work, I also taught embroidery and drawing workshops around the country at places like Haystack and Penland School of Crafts. While living in Chicago, I was also the director of the textile department at a local art center, where I taught screen printing, which is where I printed the first hundred runs or so of Dropcloth Samplers.

how-i-started-a-15k-month-hand-drawn-embroidery-samplers-business

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Rebecca Ringquist, on starting Dropcloth Samplers ($15,000/month) full story ➜

2. Start an umbrella brand ($36K/year)

Jim Rowland from Kissimmee started JDK & Associates, LLC over 14 years ago, a umbrella brand.

  • Revenue: $3,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: Kissimmee

In the spring of 2006, my 16-year-old son Michael and I learned about “eCommerce” (called online marketing at the time) at a half-day seminar in a local hotel where they served us a free breakfast. Pretty sure Michael came for breakfast, but that seminar (and breakfast) opened our eyes to the potential of being in business for ourselves and provided a path to accomplish it.

On July 31 of that same year, JDK & Associates, LLC was formed.
“J” = Jim (me!)
“D” = Diann (my wife)
“K” = Kids (Michael, Lena, Shelly, Brandon)
“Associates” = Our partners and clients (you!!)

how-i-started-a-3k-month-rain-and-sun-umbrella-ecommerce-business

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Jim Rowland, on starting JDK & Associates, LLC ($3,000/month) full story ➜

3. Start a dance apparel brand ($96K/year)

Duffy Betterton from Hendersonville, TN, USA started Dance Dress Couture over 5 years ago, a dance apparel brand.

  • Revenue: $8,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: Hendersonville, TN, USA

Our story started five years ago. As competitive amateur dancers, we admired the beautiful and expensive dresses created for dancers. My background as a web designer led us to create a website for dancers to list their dresses for sale on consignment. We had great responses from both consignors and customers ready to buy these beautiful gowns. We quickly realized that traveling to competitions with the dresses was the best way to showcase and sell the dresses.

Just try it. You won’t know until you do and if you don’t you will regret it by always asking yourself would this work.

Over time we added menswear and accessories. We traveled at least one weekend a month to competitions throughout the southeast. We were happy to grow each year and were able to keep our costs down so that we broke even our first year and earned a little profit each year following.

how-we-started-a-niche-business-for-ballroom-dancers-and-pivoted-when-our-industry-shut-down

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Duffy Betterton, on starting Dance Dress Couture ($8,000/month) full story ➜

4. Start an embroidery business ($78K/year)

Cailey Golden from New York, New York, USA started The Patchsmith over 3 years ago, a embroidery business.

  • Revenue: $6,500/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: New York, New York, USA

I’ve been in the customization industry for over 10 years. I started with screen printing first. Eventually I was hired to work for the Yankees and was taught how to embroider caps. A company reached out to me for a production embroidery job and I accepted. I was taught how to run production but was left alone a lot. I ended up teaching myself a lot of different embroidery methods, it was also the place I made my first patch. I ended up creating patches for my supporters club of the local MLS team, NYCFC, and sold them for $7 each. I stopped after a few months and didn’t think about patches for awhile.

In 2017 I was going through a huge change in my life, a previous employer in the City attempted to permanently remove me from the industry, very unsuccessfully. I’d say it’s part of the reason why I’ve been able to be as successful as I have been so far. I spent months grasping at straws to come up with a business idea that I knew could do while keeping my mind busy while I was on a rollercoaster of repercussions from that employer.

I was in the bank one day after work and was sitting down with a representative, I did that a few months prior with the same guy and we spoke a bit about my career. This time he asked me if I was able to embroider patches for his fantasy football league called “Fight Club”. It was the first time anyone had ever asked for patches, I had no idea what to charge him but I knew I could definitely do it. I said yes and charged him $6 per patch for 25 of them. He was all too excited and agreed. I had no idea if I undercharged, overcharged or was right on the money but it was too easy. I was completely hooked.

how-i-m-turning-my-patch-embroidery-side-project-into-a-full-time-business

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Cailey Golden, on starting The Patchsmith ($6,500/month) full story ➜

5. Start a short sleeve button down brand ($60K/year)

Steve Radke from New York, USA started Short Steve Button Downs over 2 years ago, a short sleeve button down brand.

  • Revenue: $5,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: New York, USA

My backstory took a turn when I started this because I was working in commercial real estate and had no experience in the apparel or fashion industries. The abridged version is that I was born and raised in Pittsburgh. I went to college at Villanova University and upon graduation in 2013, I took a job in Baltimore with a commercial real estate investment advisory firm.

I have no background in apparel or fashion, so I did what any millennial with a question does, I Googled it. I typed in ‘How to make a shirt?’

I lived in Baltimore for four and a half years before moving up to New York City in June 2018 to work for a commercial real estate development firm that constructed the building next to Katz’s Deli. In September 2018, while working my full-time role in real estate, I came up with the idea that would become Short Steve Button Downs. From there, I legally formed the company in January 2019 and quit my job in real estate in May 2019 in order to pursue this full-time.

quitting-my-job-to-start-a-short-sleeve-button-down-brand

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Steve Radke, on starting Short Steve Button Downs ($5,000/month) full story ➜

6. Start a tablecloth business ($180K/year)

Paul Bucklin & Ryan Cunningham from Homestead, Florida, USA started LogoClothz almost 2 years ago, a tablecloth business.

  • Revenue: $15,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 2
  • Location: Homestead, Florida, USA

I always pictured myself working for someone else and never thought I would be the owner of a company. I am not a natural-born entrepreneur and my aspirations were never outlandish. I have a natural talent for drawing and imagined myself doing something creative with my career but I never really knew exactly what it would be.

I have had countless jobs, including a skate guard working in an ice arena to a graphic designer creating web pages. I feel every job I have had in the past though, has led me to where I am today, the co-owner of Logoclothz LLC.

how-i-started-a-15k-month-business-selling-custom-printed-tablecloths

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Paul Bucklin & Ryan Cunningham, on starting LogoClothz ($15,000/month) full story ➜

7. Start a phone case business ($600K/year)

Andrew Moore from Toronto, Ontario, Canada started Felony Case about 9 years ago, a phone case business.

  • Revenue: $50,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

It’s a funny origin story, because I never set out to start an iPhone case company.

I had just graduated from college and I was working as a driver delivering construction supplies. It gave me a ton of time to listen to podcasts and I was really drawn to tech and startup focused ones. I had an idea for a while to do a wishlist website where people could create and share a list of gifts they wanted. I ended up having the site built, but I didn’t know how to get people using the website.

Don’t be afraid to start! Don’t overthink it, get a product out into the world and start your journey.

how-i-started-and-grew-a-50k-mo-phone-case-business

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Andrew Moore, on starting Felony Case ($50,000/month) full story ➜

8. Start a decorative pillow business ($540K/year)

Danielle Oakey from Irvine, CA, USA started Danielle Oakey Shop over 5 years ago, a decorative pillow business.

  • Revenue: $45,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: Irvine, CA, USA

After 8 years of interior design blogging and running my e-design business, I needed a change.

Building a business has taught me more than I could ever have imagined. I have learned a lot in regards to working with people and setting proper expectations from the beginning. Whether it was an with an employee or a fabric company, I learned that being upfront with expectations is very important.

I knew I wanted to stay in the design world and had always dreamed of opening a little store. Since textiles have been a big passion of mine, a pillow shop seemed like a natural fit.

danielle-oakey-created-a-business-selling-pillow-cases-on-instagram

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Danielle Oakey, on starting Danielle Oakey Shop ($45,000/month) full story ➜

9. Start a towels business ($5.4M/year)

Andy Jefferies from Sydney, New South Wales, Australia started Dock and Bay over 5 years ago, a towels business.

  • Revenue: $450,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 12
  • Location: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Personally, I always knew I would have my own business. I watched my dad run his own recruitment agency from a young age and I loved the freedom that came with being your own boss. Even though I studied Business Management at Leeds University in England, I didn’t start my own business straight away as I needed to find something I was passionate about first.

Don’t be put off by the big picture, doing all the small steps first allows you to get started. Things like deciding on a company name, registering your company, purchasing your domain, designing a logo... All of these small steps can get you inspired and help you move forward with your goals.

Ben and I came up with the idea after we had been traveling a few years ago. We hated using soggy, bulky towels that took up your suitcase space and had a weird odour after a few washes. We wanted to create a towel that didn’t hold you back from exploring, and all of the other quick dry towels we found were small or had dull colours. We didn’t have any expertise in this space and we both worked in finance at the time, so we took a huge risk, packed in our jobs and started researching manufacturers to make our dream towel.

how-two-founders-started-a-5m-year-business-selling-beach-towels

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Andy Jefferies, on starting Dock and Bay ($450,000/month) full story ➜

10. Start a bedding company ($2.4M/year)

Colin McIntosh from Denver, Colorado, USA started Sheets & Giggles almost 3 years ago, a bedding company.

  • Revenue: $200,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 6
  • Location: Denver, Colorado, USA

From 2015 - 2017 I ran biz dev at a Techstars-backed wearable tech startup in Denver. We raised a $3M seed round, grew to a full-time team of 25, and were in most major retailers in the US… and then it all abruptly ended in September 2017. It was pretty devastating, and I can’t really go into the reasons why it ended, but leaving retail partners at the altar without holiday inventory was particularly upsetting for me as the partner lead.

Build a business model first, not a product. So many entrepreneurs spend time and money building a solution for a problem they perceive without ever validating that it’s a viable business.

After that experience, I decided that the timing was about as good as it was going to get for me to found a company: I had a great CO network, had just been through Techstars, was on the founding team of a company that launched two crowdfunded physical products at nationwide retail, and had built a skill set in marketing and distributing physical products. That said, I didn’t have much money in my bank account (working at startups will do that to you), and I didn’t want to raise VC right off the bat, so I knew I had to do a crowdfunding campaign.

starting-a-bed-sheet-business-making-600k-in-first-8-months

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Colin McIntosh, on starting Sheets & Giggles ($200,000/month) full story ➜

11. Start a pet accessories business ($0/year)

Yuri from Chernihivska municipal council, Chernihiv Oblast, Ukraine started COLLAR over 26 years ago, a pet accessories business.

  • Revenue: $0/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 500
  • Location: Chernihivska municipal council, Chernihiv Oblast, Ukraine

When I was a teenager, I adopted my first puppy. But in 1995 in my native city, there were no pet accessories manufacturers. My father and I, had to make the collar from a uniform belt by myself. Later, when I walked my dog, my friends came to ask where I got such a collar and ordered some similar for their pets. That’s how the story of COLLAR company started.

With the development of the company I understood that looking at the foreign ideas may work great for the Ukrainian market, but to conquer the international one I had to make something entirely new. Then the motto of the company - “Innovation only” - was born. Now every idea that is proposed in COLLAR company shall pass the simple test: is it really innovative? Is it better than anything that already exists in the market? Does it fill the still empty niche? If the answer is “yes” the idea turns into a project and then into a product.

Now COLLAR company has grown from a small flat in Chernihiv to an international manufacturer with more than 500 employees and offices all over the globe. The products we invent and produce are well-known in European, Asian and American pet stores, but we still do our best to fascinate the customers even more with new innovations.

on-starting-a-pet-goods-company-that-grew-to-500-employees-with-offices-in-6-countries

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Yuri, on starting COLLAR ($0/month) full story ➜

12. Start a wedding rental business ($60K/year)

Brittany Finkle from New York, USA started Happily Ever Borrowed almost 10 years ago, a wedding rental business.

  • Revenue: $5,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: New York, USA

As far as my professional background, I went to Cornell University and studied Fiber Science Apparel Design - a degree based mostly in actual fashion design and construction.

I have three older sisters, and from the age of 12, I always helped plan their weddings. My one sister became engaged while I was at university and asked me to make her wedding dress. That was far too much pressure for me, but I offered to help shop with her.

When I saw the poor quality and construction of the gowns, I was horrified. All women deserve to wear quality products on their wedding day. Charging thousands of dollars for such poor construction was terrible!

starting-a-wedding-accessories-rental-business-and-growing-to-5-000-month

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Brittany Finkle, on starting Happily Ever Borrowed ($5,000/month) full story ➜

13. Start a quilt business ($9.6M/year)

Ross Lohr from Boston, Massachusetts, USA started Project Repat about 9 years ago, a quilt business.

  • Revenue: $800,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 2
  • Location: Boston, Massachusetts, USA

The Project Repat story starts in Nairobi, Kenya, where I was doing non-profit education work. After sitting in traffic for 2 hours, he discovered the cause of the jam: an overturned fruit and vegetable rickshaw pushed by a Kenyan man wearing a t-shirt that said “I Danced My Ass Off at Josh’s Bar Mitzvah”

Amazed by all the incredible t-shirts that get sold off and sent overseas by nonprofit and for-profit companies in America, we began working with Kenyan artisans to design new products out of castaway t-shirts, including bags, scarves, and re-fabricated t-shirts.

The next thing we knew, we had sold 2,000 quilts in a week and that put $80,000 in our bank account. At the time, that felt like the most money we would ever see in our lives. We were sleeping in our office and showering at the gym at that time.

project-repat-10mm-business-making-quilts-from-old-t-shirts

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Ross Lohr, on starting Project Repat ($800,000/month) full story ➜

14. Start a men's underwear brand ($60K/year)

Krystian Frencel from Toronto, Ontario, Canada started Bunch of Animals over 2 years ago, a men's underwear brand.

  • Revenue: $5,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

In late 2014, I came across a very unique underwear brand from Australia, Stonemen Underwear. I think I found them on Instagram.

What really drew me to the underwear were the seamless prints which looked like pieces of art sprawling across like a painting on a canvas.

how-we-built-a-boxer-briefs-brand-to-5k-month-with-zero-experience

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Krystian Frencel, on starting Bunch of Animals ($5,000/month) full story ➜

15. Start a fashion accessories brand ($24K/year)

Jay Fuller from Chicago, Illinois, USA started FLXCUF almost 4 years ago, a fashion accessories brand.

  • Revenue: $2,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: Chicago, Illinois, USA

I came up with the idea while working behind a bar. My uniform was a dress shirt and given the nature of the business -- I ALWAYS rolled up my sleeves. The problem, they never stayed up or looked good. It was a classier place, so appearance was just as important as functionality. I started using rubber bands behind my cuffs. That worked as a temporary fix, but it also cut off the circulation in my arms.

Go for it. If you have an idea, embrace uncertainty and make it happen.

Fast forward to my first-day job in marketing for a casino, I began doing the exact same thing. I would roll up my dress shirt sleeves throughout the day and continuously run into the same problem. Going back to the rubber band trial, the idea of making the shirt cuff “flexible” (ta-da, flxcuf) and allowing it to expand as it went up one’s arm started to come to life in my mind.

how-i-launched-a-2k-month-solution-that-holds-shirt-sleeves

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Jay Fuller, on starting FLXCUF ($2,000/month) full story ➜

16. Start a jacket brand

Examples of a successful jacket brand:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a jacket brand:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a jacket brand ➜

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17. Start a car seat covers business

Examples of a successful car seat covers business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a car seat covers business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a car seat covers business ➜

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18. Start a curtains business

Examples of a successful curtains business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a curtains business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a curtains business ➜

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19. Start a hair accessories company

Examples of a successful hair accessories company:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a hair accessories company:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a hair accessories company ➜

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20. Start a baby blankets brand

Examples of a successful baby blankets brand:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a baby blankets brand:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a baby blankets brand ➜

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21. Start an embroidery machine manufacturer ($360K/year)

Examples of a successful embroidery machine manufacturer:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a embroidery machine manufacturer:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting an embroidery machine manufacturer ➜

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22. Start a laptop bags brand

Examples of a successful laptop bags brand:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a laptop bags brand:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a laptop bags brand ➜

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23. Start a chair covers business

Examples of a successful chair covers business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a chair covers business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a chair covers business ➜

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24. Start a custom company uniforms business

Examples of a successful custom company uniforms business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a custom company uniforms business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a custom company uniforms business ➜

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25. Start a gym bag brand

Examples of a successful gym bag brand:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a gym bag brand:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a gym bag brand ➜

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26. Start a military name badge business

Examples of a successful military name badge business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a military name badge business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a military name badge business ➜

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27. Start a souvenir shop ($30K/year)

Examples of a successful souvenir shop:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a souvenir shop:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a souvenir shop ➜

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28. Start a running shorts brand

Examples of a successful running shorts brand:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a running shorts brand:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a running shorts brand ➜

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29. Start a lab coats business

Examples of a successful lab coats business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a lab coats business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a lab coats business ➜

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30. Start a beach hats brand

Examples of a successful beach hats brand:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a beach hats brand:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a beach hats brand ➜

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31. Start a baby bib business

Examples of a successful baby bib business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a baby bib business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a baby bib business ➜

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32. Start a golf apparel store

Examples of a successful golf apparel store:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a golf apparel store:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a golf apparel store ➜

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33. Start a book cover and case business

Examples of a successful book cover and case business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a book cover and case business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a book cover and case business ➜

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34. Start a baseball cap brand

Examples of a successful baseball cap brand:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a baseball cap brand:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a baseball cap brand ➜

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35. Start an aprons business

Examples of a successful aprons business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a aprons business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting an aprons business ➜

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36. Start a napkins business

Examples of a successful napkins business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a napkins business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a napkins business ➜

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37. Become a martial arts uniform maker

Examples of a successful martial arts uniform maker:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a martial arts uniform maker:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a martial arts uniform maker ➜

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38. Start a corporate swag business

Examples of a successful corporate swag business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a corporate swag business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a corporate swag business ➜

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39. Start a pageant sashes business

Examples of a successful pageant sashes business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a pageant sashes business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a pageant sashes business ➜

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40. Start a sweaters brand

Examples of a successful sweaters brand:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a sweaters brand:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a sweaters brand ➜

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41. Start a handkerchiefs brand

Examples of a successful handkerchiefs brand:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a handkerchiefs brand:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a handkerchiefs brand ➜

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42. Start a school bags brand

Examples of a successful school bags brand:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a school bags brand:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a school bags brand ➜

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43. Start a foot mats business

Examples of a successful foot mats business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a foot mats business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a foot mats business ➜

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44. Start a diaper bags business

Examples of a successful diaper bags business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a diaper bags business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a diaper bags business ➜

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45. Start a medical scrubs business

Examples of a successful medical scrubs business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a medical scrubs business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a medical scrubs business ➜

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