Personalized Gift Business

How Much Does It Cost To Start A Personalized Gift Business? (In 2024)

Updated: July 15th, 2024

Looking to start a personalized gift business?

But curious about:

  • how much it costs to start a personalized gift business?
  • what are the typical personalized gift business startup costs?
  • or the actual cost of starting personalized gift businesses?

Well, we have the data to prove it, supported by real personalized gift businesses and how much they actually cost to start.

Let's go over it.

What is the average cost of starting a personalized gift business?

Based on our data reported by actual personalized gift business founders, the average cost of starting a personalized gift business is between $500 and $70,000.

Additionally, our data shows that the the median startup costs for a personalized gift business are around $15K.

Remember, though, not all personalized gift businesses are the same - and neither are people's budgets. It's important to distinguish between different levels or types of personalized gift businesses

Real World Examples: How much does it cost to start a personalized gift business?

We asked real personalized gift business founders and business owners how much it actually cost to get started?

Here is what they said:

Elliot Bishton

Founder of Engravers Guild ($200K/month)

"Engraving equipment is pretty expensive, but fortunately we were able to start with the two old machines from my father’s factory. They ran off Windows 95, were prone to crashing 100 times a day, but were an inexpensive way for us to enter the market. Since then, we’ve spent about $20,000 on new machinery, but I don’t know if we’d have been able to do that had it not been for those two original machines."

Elliot Bishton is the founder of Engravers Guild, an online personalised gift retailer started in 2018 that clears around $30,000 per month.

Read by 7,913 founders

Tom Strickland

Founder of Bookblock ($260K/month)

"In 2014 we raised £93.5k through Crowdcube, and took out a loan of £130k in 2018 to fund working capital, but aside from this we’ve gone from £65k turnover in y/e 2014 to £2m y/e 2018 with no other outside investment."

Tom Strickland is the co-founder of Bookblock, a gifting and manufacturing business that creates a variety of personalized products.

Read by 9,749 founders

Sarah Davidson

Founder of Australian Woodwork ($20K/month)

"Packaging, both for presentation and shipping protection plus printed product information required a substantial investment."

Gregory and Sarah are the founders of Australian Woodwork, a family-owned eCommerce store that sells Australian handmade woodcraft.

Read by 6,846 founders

Catherine Weis

Founder of Bestowe Gifting ($12K/month)

"Once I received the funding of $20,000, I hunkered down researching categories of products all over the US."

[Founder Name] is the founder of Bestowe Gifting, an elevated gifting service company that started in 2018.

Read by 13,356 founders

Amy Leinbach

Founder of Big Bee, Little Bee ($20K/month)

"As with everything to do with this business, the money for the prototypes, the mold, the samples, the patent application, the inventory, and everything else, was coming directly out of my pocket."

Amy Leinbach is the founder of Big Bee, Little Bee, a business that creates innovative reusable household goods and has gained significant traction after being featured on major TV shows.

Read by 2,626 founders

Tyler Macke

Founder of SendAFriend ($800K/month)

"All in, the business cost a little under $2,000 to launch from start to finish. About $1,500 of that coming from product and packaging. The rest of the expenses came from Shopify, website, LLC fees, and software. I financed this myself with the money I had saved up from freelance work."

Tyler Macke is the founder of SendAFriend, an e-commerce business that sells stuffed animal care packages and has experienced significant growth, now on track for $5M in revenue for 2020.

Read by 17,583 founders

Taha Yavuz

Founder of Lucasgift ($100K/month)

"Actually, we started our business while we were living in a small apartment with my dad. The downstairs was our inventory area (garage), and we were fulfilling the orders from our living room."

Taha is the founder of Lucas Gift, an online personalized gift business that began in 2017.

Read by 745 founders

Iqbal Anwar

Founder of Tohfabd ($5K/month)

"We used Laravel to design the website and it took around 6 months to complete."

Iqbal Anwar is the founder of Tohfabd, an online gift delivery business that started in 2021, providing a means for people to send gifts to loved ones in Bangladesh.

Read by 3,372 founders

Enjoyed reading these real world examples?

Our platform is full of case studies of successful personalized gift businesses that you can learn from.

Starting a personalized gift business - what you should know:

Embarking on a personalized gift business can be as rewarding as it is complex, and understanding the associated costs is crucial.

Initial Investments

The first and most significant chunk of your budget will likely go toward equipment. If you're cutting and engraving gifts, a high-quality laser engraving machine can cost between $3,000 and $10,000. For those personalizing apparel, a commercial embroidery machine could range from $7,000 to $25,000. Additionally, you'll need a robust computer system with design software, which might set you back another $1,000 to $2,000.

Material Costs

Raw materials are another significant expense. Quality blank items like mugs, T-shirts, and photo frames vary greatly in price. For instance, bulk orders of blank T-shirts might cost around $2 to $5 each, but high-quality ceramic mugs suitable for sublimation printing can be around $3 to $8 per unit. The cost of raw materials will ultimately depend on the type and quality of items you plan to personalize.

Operational Costs

Don't overlook ongoing operational costs. Leasing a small commercial space could cost anywhere from $500 to $2,000 monthly, depending on your location. Also, factor in utilities, which might add another $100 to $300 each month. Marketing is another critical area; digital marketing campaigns can cost from $500 to $1,500 per month based on the scale and reach you're targeting.

Labor Costs

If you plan to hire staff, wages will vary by region and skill level. In the U.S., for example, the average hourly wage for a skilled artisan or production assistant might range between $15 and $25. Hiring just one or two employees can significantly impact your monthly budget, potentially adding another $2,000 to $4,000 in wages alone.


Every personalized gift business will have unique costs depending on various factors such as location, scale, and type of products. However, a reasonable upfront investment could range anywhere from $10,000 to $50,000, with ongoing monthly expenses varying from $1,000 to $5,000. Careful planning and budgeting can help ensure your business gets off to a successful start.

Potential Costs of Starting a Personalized Gift Business

Starting a personalized gift business involves a variety of potential costs, spanning from website hosting and marketing fees to equipment and labor expenses. Below is a detailed breakdown of the potential costs you may encounter:

Expense Category Specific Breakdown Cost Estimate (USD)
Website & Technology
Domain Name Registration Annual fee $10 - $15
Website Hosting Monthly fee $5 - $50
E-commerce Platform Monthly fee (e.g., Shopify, WooCommerce) $29 - $299+
Website Design One-time fee or hourly rate $500 - $5,000+
SSL Certificate Annual fee $50 - $200
Marketing & Advertising
Social Media Advertising Monthly budget $100 - $1,000+
Google Ads Monthly budget $100 - $1,000+
Email Marketing Service Monthly fee $10 - $50
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) One-time or ongoing monthly fee $500 - $2,000+
Product Development
Design Software Monthly/annual subscription $20 - $50/month
Prototyping Materials Initial cost $100 - $500
Inventory Purchasing Initial stock $500 - $2,000+
Production Equipment
3D Printer One-time purchase $200 - $1,000+
Laser Engraver/Cutter One-time purchase $2,500 - $10,000+
Heat Press Machine One-time purchase $150 - $500
Vinyl Cutter One-time purchase $300 - $2,000+
Sublimation Printer One-time purchase $300 - $1,000+
Labor Costs
Employee Wages Per hour $10 - $25/hour
Freelancer Fees Hourly/Project-based $20 - $100/hour
Operational Costs
Utilities Monthly $100 - $300
Rent for Workspace Monthly $500 - $2,000+
Office Supplies Initial setup $100 - $300
Shipping Supplies Boxes, packing materials, etc. $50 - $200
Legal & Administrative Fees
Business License Annual fee $50 - $400
Trademark Registration One-time fee $225 - $400
Insurance Monthly/Annual fee $20 - $100/month
Accounting Services Monthly/Annual fee $150 - $500+

This table covers a comprehensive list of potential expenses you may encounter when starting a personalized gift business. Depending on the scale and specifics of your operation, these costs may vary.