From the July 1998 issue of Startups

Miniblinds add style to any home or office, but after a while, they can also add dust. Steve Dale, owner of All-American Mobile Mini-Blinds Cleaning Systems, has a solution for dirty blinds--and for entrepreneurs seeking new businesses. All-American offers several business opportunities that can be run from the home.

All-American Mobile Mini-Blinds dealers visit customers' homes and clean all types of blinds using All-American's cleaning methods. The start-up cost ranges from $3,995 to $15,000.

Mini-Blinds `N' More, a discount shop-at-home window-covering business, is the product-selling arm of All-American. Mini-Blinds `N' More dealers pay $3,995 in start-up costs to sell blinds, drapes and shutters at discounted prices. Dealers receive a monthly newsletter, and products are ordered from manufacturers, so there's no need to maintain inventory.

All-American Mobile Mini-Blinds Cleaning Service also has the window-tinting industry covered with its Advanced Window Tinting Systems business, which uses a patented tinting machine to allow one person to do the job instead of two. The $4,995 start-up cost includes the machine and tools.

For each opportunity, dealers receive training videos, operations manuals and marketing strategies.

For more information, call (888) 922-5963.

Mall Aboard

Everybody owns a T-shirt. That's the idea behind Endless Editions, a retailer of upscale sportswear, which sells embroidered T-shirts and sweatshirts primarily to gift-buying customers.

Endless Editions sells sportswear at mall carts and kiosks. The company offers a licensing package for businesspeople who would like a mall location but need a less expensive alternative to renting a shop.

The estimated start-up cost of the Endless Editions business opportunity is $10,550, which includes about $8,000 for initial inventory and a $2,500 one-time licensing fee; there's also an annual renewal fee of $100 per location. Carts and kiosks aren't included.

Licensees may operate year-round or just during the holiday season. Endless Editions provides more than 50 new embroidered designs each year, and the company also buys back current, undamaged inventory.

For more information, call (800) 532-0001.

Art Attack

By Michelle Prather

Do you admire art from afar but feel you lack the art history knowledge to be part of the esteemed "art world?" Pish posh! The Carlyle Collection in San Diego lets distributors offer high-brow art at a low cost with its re-creations of the world's most beloved paintings, such as Van Gogh's "The Starry Night" and Klimt's "The Kiss."

The Carlyle Collection color-corrects a transparency of the original painting, an artist enhances it with brushstrokes you can actually see and feel, and a re-creation is born. Each re-creation comes in a custom-made frame, finished with hand-applied gold or metal leaf, that displays the painting's title, artist and date.

Distributors of The Carlyle Collection can earn commissions of $50 to $200 per re-creation without recruiting others. Another option is to build a nationwide sales organization by certifying a "virtual gallery" and sponsoring two distributors. Increased sales in each branch of your virtual gallery result in residual income and bonuses.

The start-up cost of The Carlyle Collection business opportunity is less than $350 and includes one or two framed re-creations, depending on size; three portfolios; a training manual; policies and procedures; artist and painting reviews; brochures; applications and order forms. The opportunity is open to part- or full-time distributors who can devote at least 10 hours per week to the business, which can be run from home.

For more information, call (888) 650-5550 or visit http://www.carlylecollection.com/bus

Contact Sources

All American Mobile Mini-Blinds Cleaning Systems, http://www.allamericanblind.com

Endless Editions, fax: (616) 662-0112.