Tips in Starting a Sympathy Gift Shop

Sympathy gifts are now popular alternatives to flowers and cards in consoling bereaved friends and colleagues. If your heart has always been drawn towards giving hope and encouragement to people who have just experienced loss, then a sympathy gift shop could be the best business you can start. Learn some tips from our guide.

Traditionally, people send flowers and gifts to express their sympathy to friends, relatives, and colleagues who are experiencing loss because of many reasons.

But sometimes people are also looking for something else other than cards and flowers to comfort the bereaved. The reason might be that they want the expression to be more personal, more appropriate to the level of their relationship with the recipient and the extent to which the other feel the loss, and even to the receiver’s needs at the moment. This is where the need for sympathy gifts arises. You can cater to this need as an entrepreneur by selling condolence gift ideas.

Sympathy Gift Store Pre-startup Tips

  • Experts usually suggest that small business owners focus on offering a novel idea to a niche market. One outstanding example of a successful startup done this way is the sympathy gift shop business of Renee Wood an award-winning entrepreneur who started her now famous The Comfort Company by custom designing a pendant as a sympathy gift. She attributes the success of her business on the strategy of acknowledging a loss instead of minimizing it, according to Michelle Anton of Weekend Entrepreneur.
  • To start your own sympathy gift business, or any business, it is important that you have the heart for what you are doing. And so, if you want to succeed in this business, you must personally believe in the value of graceful and genuine expression of sympathy to other people. As homework, learn all you can about how to properly express sympathy to people in many ways. You would need that in guiding your customers how to do it themselves, especially that this gesture is something that should be done delicately.
  • What is most often appreciated and sought for in giving sympathy gifts is the personal touch that the sender puts in the gift. You must be able to draw that idea out from your customers so that they can choose the most appropriate gift to give.

Sympathy Gift Ideas

  • Sympathy gift ideas include poems, personalized rocks, trees or plants, and bottles, wall ornaments, jewelry (pendant, engraved personal tag or bracelet), figurines, photo frame, wind chime, toys, pillows, goodies baskets, books, and music boxes.
  • Since each gift idea, to be custom-made, needs its own set of tools, you might want to narrow down your business to a particular theme. You can make it Christian-inspired, for children, for the loss of pets, or in line with engraved jewelry.
  • Starting your sympathy business need not be very expensive. Mrs. Wood said she spent just less than $6,000 before her business became profitable.


  • RP said on April 28, 2010
    Corpus Christi, Texas (US). From whom could I buy my sympathy gifts from with a Christian theme? I would like to custom make my own (dried flowers) funeral arrangements. Would that be a good idea? Please rush your answer as I might be able to get a good deal on rental spacing a store real soon.
  • Rosie P. said on September 15, 2010
    I've been thinking of doing an online type of business, as the rent space here in CC is outrageous.
  • VW said on December 1, 2010
    Houston, TX (US) I am very much interested in starting this business online, or at a Flea Market. If I could only come up with a stand out business name. I would like more info about the Christian inspired, for children, the loss of pets, and engraved jewelry.


    (All the above fields are required.)