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Finding Your Niche

Discover your strengths to distinguish your business from the rest of the crowd.

This story appears in the April 1997 issue of Business Start-Ups magazine.

Find a need and fill it. That's what Ida Krenzin did when she couldn't find a retail store in Northern California that sold quality buttons to finish the tailored suits and blouses she enjoyed sewing at home. Rather than settle for inexpensive plastic buttons that easily chip and don't enhance a garment, Krenzin started her own small business selling unusual buttons. "I had a feeling other people were as annoyed as I was about spending plenty of money and time making a garment and having to finish it with a 25-cent button," says Krenzin.

Her instincts were right. Through her Button Shoppe in Carmichael, California, which she founded in 1993, Krenzin sells thousands of buttons in hundreds of different shapes, sizes and textures. Her customers design their own clothes, or want to improve the appearance of store-bought merchandise. They don't mind spending from a dollar to $20 apiece for a button, especially when the buttons are made of sterling silver, pewter or pearl, and are shaped as gold leaves, coins, fishes, and Raggedy Ann and Andy.

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