Though the seventies are long gone, it doesn't mean there isn't a market for hippie goods and services. If you play it cool, you can freak out the squares and make some green while you're at it.
Get Everything in Order
Sure, you're opening a hippie store, but that doesn't mean you can just throw everything together and expect it to work. Regardless of what you plan to sell, your state and local governments require you to have a business license. Also, unless you are well-versed in tax and employment laws, you should lay out some cash to have an outside source handle your accounting and payroll. Put in the time upfront on organization so you can focus on making your shop as far out as possible without having to worry about whether your employees will get paid on time or the fire inspector will shut you down.
Location is everything when opening your own hippie shop. Before you start filling the shelves and lighting the incense, scope out the perfect place to freak out the establishment. If there is a part of town known for its Bohemian atmosphere, you’ll want to establish yourself in the thick of it. That way, you can capitalize on like-minded patrons and build connections with other businesses that may share your open-minded ways.
Make it Colorful
You can't have a proper hippie store with a gray exterior. Provided that there are no local ordinances against it, you should make a statement with bold colors or a hand-painted mural on the outside of your shop. You could hire a professional painter to do the job, but that really wouldn't be in the proper hippie spirit. The best way to handle this is to make a project out of it with friends, family and employees. The brighter the colors, the better.
Pick your People Well
The hippie culture has its own mores and lingo that may seem baffling to the uninitiated, so it’s best to have people working in your shop who are familiar with the words, music and even smells of the counterculture. This doesn't mean that everyone you hire should be a hippie, but it does mean that all your employees should have an open mind to the types of individuals who will patronize your store.
Atmosphere and Vibes
As much as the goods you sell, the atmosphere in the store will determine whether your intended clientele will make it through the doors (or hanging beads) and into your store. Provide the appropriate music and light an incense stick or two. Promote a laid-back, low-pressure environment, and the sales will come. Few hippies want to deal with high-pressure salespeople.
Local and Handmade
If you want to keep the hippie foot traffic flowing, you should fill your shelves with locally made, sustainable crafts. The modern hippie movement is closely entwined with social-justice movements, and many of your shop's patrons will want to know if your goods are sustainable, fair trade and environmentally sound. By stocking your shop with these types of goods, especially those that are locally made, you will ensure that your wares will meet the needs of your clientele.