I'd be glad to help if I can. Please understand that every situation is different and what works for me or Herr may not work for you. Also, I would stop looking at this as a business with a profit (I'll explain in a moment).
So, some questions I hope you can help me with are:
How did you get started? If you want, I'd also love to hear about why you got started making Rosaries and what prompted you to go into business. When did it change from a hobby into a business?
I initially started making rosaries out of frustration. I HATED being forced to buy a new rosary every six months or so due to the poor construction. A man can go broke spending $30-50 on a rosary two or three times a year!
I'd also like to mention that I sought out the best way to make rosaries, as far as strength and durability go. I'd never heard of wire wrapping, but learned quickly that it produces a nearly indestructible rosary. Seeing as how I was feed up with replacing rosaries I figured that if I was going to learn I wanted to learn how to make the strongest. (I'm not saying this to imply that anyone else's rosaries are not strong or anything like that).
The wire wrapping has only two downsides that bear mentioning, but the strength of the rosary far out weighs any downside. First the rosaries are generally longer due to additional space between each bead (10-25% depending upon the specific design) and the rosaries can become more twisted, also due to the added space between each bead. The length isn't an issue for anyone I've sold to as I list the size on the site and the twisting is caused by storage so a simple 10 second untwisting at the start of prayer fixes that problem.
The reason I started selling rosaries is because I got good at it (and am much better now) and many people seemed to love them. I was also faced with mounding tuition costs to send my daughters to Catholic Schools. Seemed to me that Our Blessed Lady was trying to answer a prayer of mine but I was to dense to get it.
Again, I may not use the word business but I'll address that later. The only other word to use is apostolate, that may or may not be better. I just think business carries a lot of bagage that will not be useful to selling rosaries.
Do you mind revealing where you purchase your parts--beads, wire, crucifixes, centers?
A few good links:
Do you mind if I ask how much start-up cost you needed before getting your businesses going?
How long did it take for you to start making a profit?
Well, I don't remember much about start-up as it was a hobby that morphed on me. I'd say all in all for tools, supplies, and website domain costs, probably a few hundred dollars.
I'm not 100% sure I'm making what could be called a profit now. I'll explain briefly; sales can be very erratic, seems like one month (Christmas, Easter, First Communion times) you'll be so busy you can't think straight, then you'll be dead. I believe that's part of the blessing (once you've admitted this is an apostolate and not a business) because Our Lord and Our Lady will bless you with sales when they've deigned you need them and they'll bless you with the down time needed to work on your rosaries. I my situation I get swamped with custom orders at those times and the down time is used to work on 'ready made rosaries', that is rosaries that are ready to ship at any time.
Again, I don't look at it as a profit (especially if you think about how much time it takes to wire wrap a rosary and you're used to making upwards of $20 an hour driving a bus) but it seems Our Lady always comes through when new uniforms are needed or more school supplies or something like that. If no immediate school need is there and the tuition so paid then I just spend the money buying more supplies, so it's still very much a hobby for me as opposed to a business.
I'm sure I'll have more questions later, but that's all I can think of for the moment.
No problem, I just realized how I've gone on and on, sorry. I could talk rosaries all day!
My boyfriend and I are seriously considering starting our business now because we want to get married, but we're both broke and are trying to come up with some ways to supplement our incomes so that we can save enough money for a wedding. (Weddings are so expensive these days! It's almost sickening.)
I would warn against getting into a business mentality. This must first and foremost, in my opinion, be about prayer and serving Our Lady as Her unfit instrument. As I wrap each bead I pray the prayer, so I get the privilege not only of being the first to pray on some wicked nice rosaries, but I get the most beautiful privilege of weaving many crowns for our Heavenly Queen, though I'm totally unworthy of this grace.
Seeing as how it is very uncertain what orders will come in and for how long yo must turn this over to Our Lord and Our Lady so that their will may be done. Your desires may not be theirs. I'm not trying to discourage you in the least, I just want to be clear that you won't get rich or even make much of a profit off rosaries, what you will gain in abundance is grace. I think the grace will be far more valuable to a new couple than a nice centerpiece or cake or whatever. Those things make for nice memories and photos, but fade quickly. Our love and fidelity to Our Lady can live on forever.
Thank you in advance for any help you can offer us!
Not sure I was of any help and others may not agree with everything I've said, but I've been totally honest about my experience, your may be different. Do seek out Herr as he has more experience and probably a different perspective on some things. Also, he makes 'normal' rosaries as I don't so he will have knowledge about something other than just wire wrapped rosaries.
I pray for your success and I pray for Our Lady's boundless blessings on your pending marriage. Sorry once again for being so long winded. I hope you haven't found it to be too annoying.