My husband and I are seriously considering a major life change and moving "back home" and opening a frame shop in the suburb where we own a home (we relocated for a job but it isn't panning out so we want to move back to our adopted city). In the past few years our little inner ring suburb has experience a minor resurgence with the opening of 2 nationally talked about restaurants and that has brought galleries (who don't offer framing) and other boutique type stores like a yarn store, a high end bakery etc. Housing prices are climbing steadily and it's bringing in younger families with disposable income. There is a lack of frameshops in that section of the metro area (besides a lone Michaels about 3.5 miles away and a gift shop with a single counter and about 50 frame samples if that but they specialize in local artists) because the area was pretty solidly blue collar but was always wedged between "rich grandparent" type suburbs and we were just waiting for the upswing to the area. So there's my argument for location and we're looking into retail space. Please tell me if I'm totally off base location-wise. I'd really love to be in the downtown area for the foot traffic and (mainly) because it's less than a mile from my house so I could bike to work and our kids could walk there after school and do homework in the back before we go home for the evening. I would need this to work for *us* and not just me. What is the absolute bare minimum one would need to start? Showroom and backroom square footage (I'm planning on primarily framing with a small amount of art from local artists but not gift/tchotchkes that take up a lot of space)? Must have pieces of equipment (at least for the first 2-3 months until we save up funds to expand the equipment)? Is renting a CMC reasonable until we can make sure this is a definitely go? I'm also planning on starting with chops and expanding into cutting lengths in our garage or basement later. I'm hoping to start with the bare bare bare minimum and avoid needing any loans of any type (we have a wee bit saved up). Essentially the showroom needs to wow the customer but the back end can be put together with duct tape and bubble gum for a while. Anything you wish you did differently when you started?