Start Your Native Art Store Business in 9 Simple Steps

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Aboriginal art is not just a decorative piece, but a representation of their rich history, culture and identity. The Native art industry in the United States has experienced remarkable growth in recent years. According to Ibisworld, industry revenue grew at an annualized rate of 1.7% to .1 billion over the past five years. This growth can be attributed to the growing demand for unique and authentic native works that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also environmentally and socially. For entrepreneurs aspiring to start a native art store business, there are various factors to consider to ensure the success of the business. This blog post highlights nine essential steps you need to take to start your native art store business. From conducting market research to building partnerships with Indigenous communities, this checklist will guide you through launching a successful and sustainable business. Let’s dive into the details.

  • Conduct market research
  • Develop a business plan
  • Create a financial model
  • Secured financing
  • Register and obtain necessary permits and licenses
  • Establish partnerships with Indigenous communities
  • Source authentic artwork directly from the artists
  • Launch an e-commerce platform
  • Participate in art exhibitions and fairs

Starting an Indigenous art store business is a noble endeavor that can benefit not only entrepreneurs but also Indigenous artists and their communities. By following these nine essential steps, you can create a sustainable and socially responsible business that celebrates the valuable work of Indigenous communities in the United States.

How to Open/Start/Launch a Native Art Store Business in 9 Steps: Checklist

If you are planning to start a native art store business, there are several crucial steps to take before launching. Here is a checklist of the nine essential steps to follow:

Not Description Average time Average cost (USD)
Conduct market research Analyze market trends, customer behavior, competition and target audience to identify demand and feasibility for your business. 3 to 4 weeks 0 to 0
Develop a business plan Create a document outlining the overall business strategy, business goals, target customers, pricing strategy, marketing plan, revenue and expense projections, and operating plan. 4 to 6 weeks ,000 to ,500
Create a financial model Prepare sales forecasts, cash flow projection, break-even analysis, and start-up cost estimates to determine the financial viability of the business. 4 to 6 weeks ,000 to ,500
Secured financing Identify potential funding sources, including personal investments, loans, crowdfunding and angel investors to support your business. 4 to 8 weeks Varied
Register and obtain necessary permits and licenses File your business legal structure, register for taxes, and obtain the necessary permits from federal, state, and local government agencies to operate legally. 2 to 4 weeks 0 to 0
Establish partnerships with Indigenous communities Build trusted relationships with Indigenous artists and communities to ensure your store’s artwork is authentic, traditional, and represents values and culture. 12 to 16 weeks ,500 to ,500
Source authentic artwork directly from the artists Work with native artists to source artwork directly from them ensuring you have a unique and authentic art collection to sell in your store. 4 to 6 weeks 0 to ,500
Launch an e-commerce platform Build a website with an e-commerce platform to increase your customer base, reach a wider audience, and sell your artwork online. 8 to 12 weeks ,000 to ,000
Participate in art exhibitions and fairs Showcase your unique artwork at art shows and trade shows to achieve brand exposure, grow your client base, and network with industry professionals. Varied ,000 to ,000
Total 47 to 64 weeks ,250 to ,400
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Conduct market research

Before starting an Aboriginal art store business, thorough market research is essential. This step is crucial to understand the demand and competition in the market. Here are important points to consider:

  • Determine the target market: Identifying the customer base and their demographics, including age, income, location and interests, is important to creating effective marketing strategies.
  • Study the competition: Research the market to identify potential competitors’ businesses, their products and services, and their strengths and weaknesses. Find out what you can do differently to stand out from the competition.
  • Assess Market Trends: Analyze current market trends such as popular art styles, colors, and patterns. This will help in sourcing the right products for the store.
  • Analyze Pricing Strategy: Determine the price ranges of similar products and services in the market to set competitive prices and create a profitable pricing strategy for the business.


  • Use Google Trends and social media analytics tools to study market trends and customer behavior.
  • Join local art associations or groups to network with Indigenous artists and other art retailers to gain insight into the market.
  • Visit other art stores, art shows, and galleries to observe their operations and product offerings.

Develop a business plan

Developing a business plan is the foundation of any successful business. It is essential to have a clear understanding of your objectives, your target market, the competition, your budget and your marketing plan. A well-designed business plan can help you secure financing, attract clients, and track your progress.

Key elements to include in your business plan:

  • Executive Summary: A brief overview of your business, including your mission, vision, and goals.
  • Market Analysis: A detailed analysis of your target market, including their demographics, preferences, and buying behaviors.
  • Competitor analysis: an in-depth analysis of your competitors, including their strengths, weaknesses and market position.
  • Products and Services: A description of the products and services you offer, their unique features, and the value they provide to customers.
  • Marketing Strategy: A plan of how you will market your business, including branding, advertising, social media, and public relations.
  • Operational plan: an overview of how your business operates, including personnel, production, inventory management and logistics.
  • Financial plan: a projection of your income statement, balance sheet and cash flow statement covering the first three to five years of your business.
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  • Keep your business plan concise and easy to read. Potential investors and partners may only have a limited time to review it.
  • Use reliable sources for market research and competitor analysis.
  • Involve your team members and stakeholders in the planning process to ensure a comprehensive and collaborative approach.
  • Update your business plan regularly to reflect changes in the market and your business.

Developing a business plan can be a daunting task, but it’s an essential step in starting a successful native art store business. Take your time to research, analyze, and craft a solid plan that reflects your vision and goals.

Create a financial model

Creating a financial model for your Aboriginal art store business is crucial to ensuring its sustainability and growth. This template will help you determine the level of profitability, funding sources, and expected income and expenses.

  • Identify your target market: The first step is to identify your customer base. Conduct market research to determine potential customers, their preferences and buying behaviors.
  • Determine sources of income: Next, identify the different sources of income your business can generate, such as sales of artwork, custom home decorating services, commissions, and participation in trade shows and fairs.
  • Calculate start-up costs: You need to figure out your start-up costs, including the cost of acquiring artwork inventory, renting or renting, office equipment, and marketing expenses.
  • Estimate operating expenses: Calculate monthly operating expenses, such as salary, rent, utilities, and supplies.
  • Forecast income: Use sources of income and expenses to forecast your income statement for each year for the next five years. This will help you determine the break-even point and level of profitability.
  • Monitor and adjust: Be prepared to adjust your financial model in accordance with changing market trends. Regularly monitor your expenses and sources of income and adjust forecasts accordingly.
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Financial Model Tips:

  • Be realistic and conservative in your projections.
  • Include a buffer for unexpected expenses and emergencies.
  • Seek advice from a financial advisor or mentor.
  • Review your financial model regularly and make adjustments as needed.

Secured financing

Once you have developed a business plan and financial model, the next step is to secure funding for your Aboriginal art store. Here are some tips to help you navigate the funding process:


  • Research Funding Opportunities: There are several government grants and private funding options available for small businesses. Researching and applying for those that align with your business plan could be a great way to secure funds.
  • Consider crowdfunding: Crowdfunding platforms allow small businesses to seek funding from a large pool of donors who share their interest or passion. Platforms like Kickstarter and GoFundMe have helped many small businesses turn their ideas into successful businesses.
  • Look for investors: Investors could be individuals or groups who are willing to provide financial support in exchange for an equity stake in your business. You can pitch your business idea to private investors, venture capitalists, or angel investors who might be interested in backing your business.
  • Explore Loans and Lines of Credit: Banks and other financial institutions offer various loan options and lines of credit for small businesses. However, be sure to read and understand the terms and conditions carefully before applying for a loan or credit.

Securing financing can be a difficult process, but with careful planning and research, you can find the right financing option that provides a solid foundation for your native art store to thrive. Remember to stay focused on your business goals and values and seek support from mentors and advisors who can guide you through the process.

Register and obtain necessary permits and licenses

Before you can start selling indigenous artwork, you must register your business and obtain the necessary permits and licenses. This step is crucial to ensure you are operating within the legal framework and avoiding fines and penalties.

Here are some of the permits and licenses you may need for your native art store:

  • Business License: Obtaining a business license is mandatory for any business in the United States. You can apply for a business license at your local government office. The license will state the type of business you are engaged in and the taxes you are required to pay.
  • Sales tax license: You will also need a sales tax license to sell your products legally. The license is issued by your state’s Department of Revenue. You must register for the sales tax license if you sell to customers in your state or if you have a significant physical presence in another state.
  • Trademark and copyright: You may also need to register your trademarks, copyrights and patents to protect your business and products from infringement.
  • Import/Export License: If you purchase Indigenous works from other countries, you may need an Import/Export License to bring them into the United States.
  • Environmental license: If you create or sell green products, you may need an environmental license to prove that your offerings comply with relevant regulations.
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Tips for obtaining permits and licenses:

  • Check with your local government office to determine the permits and licenses required for your native art store.
  • Carefully read the regulations and requirements and follow them to avoid legal problems.
  • Get professional legal advice if you are unsure of the licensing process and requirements.

Establish partnerships with Indigenous communities

Building partnerships with Indigenous communities is crucial for an Indigenous art store business to thrive. These partnerships ensure that the artwork sold in the store is authentic and accurately represents the culture and traditional values of the community. Additionally, building relationships with Indigenous communities can open up opportunities for the store to access unique and exclusive artwork, increasing the store’s appeal to customers.

Here are some tips for partnering with Indigenous communities:

  • Research Communities: Research the different Indigenous communities in your area to determine which ones you want to work with. This may involve attending events and workshops, visiting art galleries or talking to experts in indigenous art.
  • Building Trust: Building trust with the community is key to establishing a successful partnership. This may involve reaching out to community leaders or elders, participating in cultural activities, or volunteering to support community initiatives.
  • Communicate effectively: Ensure communication with the community is clear and respectful. This includes being aware of cultural differences in communication styles and a willingness to learn about community values and traditions.
  • Respect intellectual property rights: Indigenous artworks are often copyrighted or have cultural significance. Respect the intellectual property rights of artists and the communities they represent by obtaining their permission to use artwork and crediting it appropriately.

Developing strong partnerships with Indigenous communities can also lead to opportunities for social and economic development. The store can support and promote community initiatives, such as art workshops or cultural events, and help grow the local economy by purchasing artwork directly from artists. Partnerships can also serve as a means of educating the public about the value and importance of Indigenous art and culture.

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Source authentic artwork directly from the artists

When starting a Native art store business in the United States, the authenticity of the artwork is crucial. To ensure that the artwork sold in your store represents traditional culture and values, it is essential to offer it directly from the artists themselves.

Here are some tips for finding authentic works of art:


  • Build a relationship with artists by visiting their communities and getting to know them personally.
  • Learn about their process and art techniques to understand the value of their work.
  • Collaborate with them to create custom artwork that meets your customers’ needs and preferences.
  • Attend art exhibitions and indigenous festivals to meet other artists and grow your network.
  • Be respectful of their cultural traditions and practices and negotiate a fair price for their work.

By sourcing authentic artwork directly from the artists, you not only ensure your store has unique and original artwork, but you also support the indigenous communities that create it.

Launch an e-commerce platform

With the growing popularity of online shopping, launching an e-commerce platform for your native art store business is crucial to reaching a wider audience and expanding your sales. Here are some tips to help you launch your e-commerce platform:


  • Choose a user-friendly and secure e-commerce platform that can manage your sales volumes and transactions.
  • Get your website professionally designed with high quality images and descriptions of your artwork.
  • Add a search bar and filter options to make it easier for customers to navigate your products.
  • Make sure your website is mobile-friendly and has a responsive design to cater to customers buying on their phones.
  • Provide detailed shipping and return policies and offer various payment options.
  • Run promotions and offer discounts to encourage customers to buy from your e-commerce platform.
  • Integrate social media and email marketing to promote your e-commerce platform and engage with your customers.

By launching an e-commerce platform, you can also track your sales, analyze customer behavior, and improve your marketing strategies. This creates an opportunity for your customers to shop from the comfort of their homes and allows you to sell your artwork worldwide. Don’t forget to test your e-commerce platform before you launch it to make sure it works smoothly and efficiently.

Participate in art exhibitions and fairs

Participating in art exhibitions and trade shows can be an effective way to introduce your native art store business to potential customers and stakeholders. These events provide a platform to network with other artists and business owners, gain exposure and generate revenue. Here are some tips to help you get the most out of your participation in art exhibitions and trade fairs:

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  • Research and identify the most appropriate art exhibitions and trade fairs for your business based on your target audience, budget and brand identity.
  • Design your booth or display in a way that represents your business and effectively showcases your art. Use high-quality visuals and signage to grab attention and convey the essence of your brand.
  • Train your staff to engage with visitors and present your artwork in an informative and engaging way. Provide business cards and brochures with details about your business and your products.
  • Offer Exclusive discounts or promotions to event visitors to encourage sales and generate interest in your business.
  • Collect visitors’ contact details and follow them after the event to nurture them into potential customers or partners.

Attending art shows and trade shows can be a great opportunity to showcase your native art store business, attract new customers, and generate revenue. Plan ahead, be professional, and stay on-brand to take advantage of these events.


The Indigenous Art Stores business is a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs who want to showcase the beauty and culture of Indigenous communities. Launching a successful Indigenous art store business requires careful planning, extensive research, and a deep understanding of Indigenous communities and their values.

The first step towards starting a native art store business is market research, which involves identifying the target audience, competition, and trends. The creation of a business plan comes next, which serves as a guide for the operations and growth of the store. The combination of a solid financial model with a secure source of funding is essential for the business to take off.

Registering the business and obtaining the necessary permits and licenses should not be overlooked as they help to avoid legal problems. Partnering with Indigenous communities can help find authentic and ethical works of art. Launching an e-commerce platform and participating in art exhibitions and trade shows can expand the store’s customer base and increase revenue.

By offering sustainable, socially responsible and environmentally friendly products, the Native Art Store can appeal to customers who value ethical and environmentally conscious shopping. Custom artwork and interior design services can meet specific customer needs and preferences and add competitive advantage.

With the right strategies and values, an Indigenous art store business can thrive and contribute to the preservation and appreciation of Indigenous cultures.