25 Unique Brick & Mortar Shop Ideas For 2021

25 Unique Brick & Mortar Shop Ideas For 2021

Thinking of opening your first brick and mortar store, but not quite sure what to start?

First, you'll need to choose a niche and put together a plan as to what your business will entail.

Fortunately, there are plenty of different brick and mortar shop opportunities you can start with little capital.

We put together a list of 25 unique shop ideas for you here:

1. Start a bento box shop ($2M/year)

Thomas Bertrand from Kyoto, Japan started Bento&co almost 13 years ago, a bento box shop.

  • Revenue: $167,000/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 14
  • Location: Kyoto, Japan

When I moved to Japan in 2003, I knew that I wanted to create my own company here.

Being in a completely different environment, in a country with a different culture, different values is something that gets your brain thinking a lot.

In 2005, I started a blog about life in Kyoto and Japan. At the time I had about 800 unique visitors per day, so I thought I could start selling Japanese items to my readers. I was able to express these feelings on my blog and develop this idea.

starting-an-e-commerce-store-in-japan-and-growing-to-167-000-month

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Thomas Bertrand, on starting Bento&co ($167,000/month) full story ➜

2. Start a lighting store ($420K/year)

Nick Griffiths from Fowey, England, United Kingdom started Any Old Lights over 7 years ago, a lighting store.

  • Revenue: $35,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 3
  • Location: Fowey, England, United Kingdom

I must have written millions of words in my lifetime - for magazines, newspapers and my books - and I loved every minute of it. But kids come along and maybe the city life isn’t ideal for them growing up.

That’s the beauty of starting a business - you have to cram knowledge into your aching grey matter, day in, day out. And it’s really exciting. So new and different and initially bewildering. But cracking it is a major buzz.

So in Summer 2011, my family moved to Cornwall, a delightful and quirky county that takes up the final chunk bottom-left of the map of England, where my wife, Sinead, had grown up. Now the kids have beaches and boats and crabbing. And I had…

starting-a-lighting-store-and-growing-to-35-000-per-month

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Nick Griffiths, on starting Any Old Lights ($35,000/month) full story ➜

3. Start a backyard plant nursery ($60K/year)

Debbie Odom from Georgia started CamelliaShop over 14 years ago, a backyard plant nursery.

  • Revenue: $5,000/ month
  • Founders: 3
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: Georgia

In 1991, I had the life-changing opportunity to become a part of Gene’s Nursery, one of the oldest nurseries in Savannah Georgia.

When I had the opportunity to leave my office job and get my hands into soil, I was happy and I was hooked.

Gene’s Nursery has its roots firmly planted in our quaint historic coastal city and it’s passion was the Camellia. Camellias are ornamental shrubs that produce brilliant blossoms during the fall and winter. They are the most unique flowering shrub species found today and are considered the Queen of Ornamental shrubs.

how-we-expanded-our-local-plant-nursery-to-an-online-business

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Debbie Odom, on starting CamelliaShop ($5,000/month) full story ➜

4. Start a party supply store ($4.8M/year)

Dean Salakas from Sydney NSW, Australia started The Party People almost 36 years ago, a party supply store.

  • Revenue: $400,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 40
  • Location: Sydney NSW, Australia

30 years ago, my mum was “Patches The Clown” catering for kids parties. Her passion for parties led her to open a small party store with my grandfather. From the age of 4, I was put to work filling small bags with sand for 5 cents each which would be used to weigh down helium balloons on tables.

We love change. Every time something changes, there is an opportunity for us to be early and capitalize while everyone else drags their feet.

starting-a-party-store-and-growing-into-a-chain

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Dean Salakas, on starting The Party People ($400,000/month) full story ➜

5. Start a pet store ($240K/year)

Mike Leon from Orlando, Florida, USA started Bike Tow Leash over 18 years ago, a pet store.

  • Revenue: $20,000/ month
  • Founders: 2
  • Employees: 1
  • Location: Orlando, Florida, USA

I am a mechanical engineer graduate from Georgia Tech. My wife Betsy, GA Tech EE graduate, and I met her first day at school. We married after graduation. We have two daughters Jessica and Sam. After GA Tech I developed airline products up until when the 9-11 terrorist attacks occurred.

After the 9-11 terrorist attacks, Betsy and the girls, then 5 and 8, met Cindy at Publix getting groceries. She had a black Lab puppy in a light blue cape with her. From that encounter, my family and I volunteered raising service dog puppies for individuals with disabilities as a way of giving back to our community and country. In honor of those lost, we named our first puppy Tribute.

Raising service dog puppies is a wonderful volunteer opportunity, which ultimately provides companion animals to individuals who suffer from seizures, or who have mobility, vision or hearing impairments.

how-i-started-a-6-figures-business-selling-a-dog-accessory

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Mike Leon, on starting Bike Tow Leash ($20,000/month) full story ➜

6. Start a board game business ($18K/year)

Beth Kovalcik from Bethel Park, Pennsylvania, USA started Bingo Card Creator over 6 years ago, a board game business.

  • Revenue: $1,500/ month
  • Founders: 1
  • Employees: 0
  • Location: Bethel Park, Pennsylvania, USA

Once upon a time, I was an elementary school teacher with a growing family. During this time, my husband and I were considering ways that one of us could be at home to meet the increasing demands that a family of four growing children needs. I loved my job as a teacher but the inflexible work schedule was becoming unmanageable. As fate would have it while on maternity leave, I started looking at a couple of services that were referred to me by a friend that also owns an online business: FE International and BizBuySell. I signed up to receive emails from both. After personally corresponding with one of the brokers at FE International explaining that I was looking for something education-related, I was given early notification of BingoCardCreator.com. I relate this process very much to knowing you want to move to a new area, calling a real estate agent in that area, and then the agent gives you the heads up as soon as something pops up that they believe will be of interest to you.

When I first got wind of BingoCardCreator.com, I was actually quite surprised because up to this point of about six months of actively searching, I had seen nothing in my education niche. So when I received word from the agent at FE International that the education-focused site, BingoCardCreator.com was for sale- I actually had a subscription to BingoCardCreator.com as a teacher- I was really excited. My first offer was originally rejected leaving time for another offer to come in. Not wanting the opportunity to slip away and considering the fact that the asking price was still in the threshold of what we were willing to spend, we decided to come in at a full price. Once the seller accepted my offer, FE International took over the process making the sale and transfer easy.

It has been quite a journey ever since. Never having any business experience, I had to learn everything: The world of digital marketing, business finances, not to mention understanding the technical aspects of the service we offer. To do this, I read as much as I could from experts like the folks at Digital Marketer or from Perry Marshall. As I quickly learned, however, most things business-related require a lot of money and take up a lot of time which are two things I did not have much of. So I took the approach of just taking it one day at a time, and letting my small successes like adding a new blog post, bingo cards, or making contact with a developer on Upwork, to keep me moving forward. Given my lack of money for proper training, I would use any free resources I could find on YouTube or blogs, to help me figure out what my next step would be. Often, I find that by just starting with a simple question like, “What was my organic traffic the past three months?” leads me to figure out what I need to do or learn, next. I have made a lot of mistakes and at times I was completely overwhelmed by what I did NOT know, but by plugging away at the day to day, ultimately I find that the answers come and I believe the journey has been worth the risk. Although the income is modest, it has allowed me to contribute to my family’s finances with complete flexibility. I work when and where I choose. Not only that, I have a whole new skill set from which to draw from that gives me the potential for future endeavors.

how-i-bought-a-1-5k-month-side-business-that-sells-custom-bingo-creations

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Beth Kovalcik, on starting Bingo Card Creator ($1,500/month) full story ➜

7. Start a candy shop

Examples of a successful candy shop:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a candy shop ➜

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8. Start an eco-friendly toy business

Examples of a successful eco-friendly toy business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a eco-friendly toy business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting an eco-friendly toy business ➜

9. Start a sports collectible shop

Examples of a successful sports collectible shop:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a sports collectible shop ➜

10. Start a vinyl record shop

Examples of a successful vinyl record shop:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a vinyl record shop ➜

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11. Start an artisan donut shop business

Examples of a successful artisan donut shop business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a artisan donut shop business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting an artisan donut shop business ➜

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12. Start a cupcakes shop business

Examples of a successful cupcakes shop business:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a cupcakes shop business ➜

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13. Start a flower shop business ($1.44M/year)

Examples of a successful flower shop business:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a flower shop business ➜

And for some real world inspiration, give Carlos Franco's story on creating Green Fresh Florals + Plants a read:

My name is Carlos Franco, and I am the owner and creative director at Green Fresh Florals + Plants, San Diego's premier modern flower and plant shop located in Hillcrest.

I’ve been connected to Mother Earth my entire life and became a professional florist in my early 20’s. I opened Green in its current location in July 2009. Before that, I had a shop located in the East Village neighborhood in downtown San Diego.

how-i-started-a-120k-month-modern-flower-and-plant-shop

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Carlos Franco, on starting Green Fresh Florals + Plants ($120,000/month) full story ➜

14. Start a holiday pop-up shop business

Examples of a successful holiday pop-up shop business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a holiday pop-up shop business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a holiday pop-up shop business ➜

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15. Start a kitchenware and home essentials shop business

Examples of a successful kitchenware and home essentials shop business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a kitchenware and home essentials shop business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a kitchenware and home essentials shop business ➜

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16. Start a costume business

Examples of a successful costume business:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a costume business ➜

17. Start a book store

Examples of a successful book store:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a book store ➜

18. Become a scrapbooker business

Examples of a successful scrapbooker business:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a scrapbooker business ➜

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19. Start a butcher shop business

Examples of a successful butcher shop business:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a butcher shop business ➜

20. Start a healthy bake shop business

Examples of a successful healthy bake shop business:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a healthy bake shop business:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a healthy bake shop business ➜

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21. Start a hair extensions business

Examples of a successful hair extensions business:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a hair extensions business ➜

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22. Start a cosmetic store business ($102K/year)

Examples of a successful cosmetic store business:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a cosmetic store business ➜

And for some real world inspiration, give Alexis Evans 's story on creating FBI Cosmetics Inc. a read:

My name is Alexis Evans aka Da Mademoiselle. I am a native of South Florida who has started a cosmetic and skincare company named FBI Cosmetics d/b/a Flawlessly Beautiful Individual in the middle of a pandemic.

I am also the owner of Boss Talk Expo an annual expo and conference company. I branched out into the beauty industry, I started FBI Cosmetics off with just lipsticks and have progressed into the skincare business in December. I have grossed over $62,000 in sales. People ask where the name comes from and I tell people “it’s a crime to be so damn beautiful.”

how-i-started-a-8-5k-month-cosmetics-brand

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Alexis Evans , on starting FBI Cosmetics Inc. ($8,500/month) full story ➜

23. Start a home brewing supply shop

Examples of a successful home brewing supply shop:

Here are some great videos on how to get started with a home brewing supply shop:

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a home brewing supply shop ➜

24. Start an antique instrument business

Examples of a successful antique instrument business:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting an antique instrument business ➜

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25. Start a balloon shop

Examples of a successful balloon shop:

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

For further info, check out these books and products:

Learn more about starting a balloon shop ➜

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Pat Walls,  Founder of Starter Story

Want to start your own business?

Hey! 👋I'm Pat Walls, the founder of Starter Story.

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