1. Find warehouse space (at least a garage) where you can permanently store and display materials.
2. Find volunteers to help with pickups, displays, making sample artwork, teaching workshops and selling goods.
3. Visit manufacturers to find materials you want. They are often very surprised that anyone would want their disposables and are happy to save money on disposal costs.
4. Display your materials in an organized manner. Insist that your customers take responsiblity to keep things as neat as possible.
5. Notify schools and teachers that you have re-usable supplies available at low cost.
6. Plan a Grand Opening with special events, hands on art projects, music and refreshments.
7. Advertise with fliers, press releases to newspapers and radio stations.
8. Establish a pricing system. Keep in mind that you are a service providing an alternative source of supplies for poorly funded or unfunded programs and projects. A good rule of thumb is not to exceed 25% retail. Also, price per volume of goods: charge $5.00 for each grocery bag filled with materials. Smaller or more valuable items like buttons and beads can be sold separately. The money you earn can be used as matching funds for grants. There are many internet resources on how to get grants. Below are a list of resources on how to find grant providers, apply and write grant proposals.
Non-profit guides are free Web-based grant-writing tools for non-profit organizations, charitable, educational, public organizations, and other community-minded groups.