Make a Living with a Consignment Crafts Shop

It's certainly nice to make a satisfying living while "playing" at the hobby you enjoy. Learn how Donn Stoffer did just that with Grasshopper Flats, a head shop/consignment crafts shop.

| May/June 1972

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    Donn Stoffer makes a living while living a life he loves.
    Photo by Jack McClintock
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    Grasshopper Flats is a combination head shop/crafts store.
    Photo by Jack McClintock

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Donn Stoffer left Brown County, Indiana rather hastily in 1962. In an orgy of youthful exuberance he had siphoned some gasoline from a school bus, and a judge had suggested that Donn might prefer life in the U.S. Navy to life in the county jail.

Today, Donn is 27 and back in Brown County. Thanks to that judge he's a veteran, and thanks to himself he's one of the most successful—and independent—businessmen in Nashville, Indiana.

Donn minds a store called Grasshopper Flats, which has paid for itself five times over in the last year and now owns an inventory worth $15,000. The same business establishment has made Donn Stoffer the third largest retail depositor in the local bank and is the main reason that Donn and his wife, Joyce, now live the Good Life on a nearby 190-acre farm where they're 75% self-sufficient ("We do everything by MOTHER").

In short, Donn Stoffer has freed himself from the system and now lives as he likes . . . and he says that you can do it too. There are many ways to accomplish this end but if you want to do it the way he did it, Donn says you should start by choosing a place.

Choose a Place to Live

The place Donn chose was Nashville . . . partly because it's his home and partly because it's an art colony. Because of that second reason, Nashville—even though it's a small town (about 800 souls)—draws tourists from the Big Cities. And that's why the tiny Indiana town can support Grasshopper Flats—a combination head shop and crafts store—in such royal fashion. The right small town, in other words, can be a better location for a New Life shop than most large cities. The secret? No competition.

The second ingredient you'll need as you brew up your heady new way of living, according to Donn, is "an idea, not money". Donn's idea was jewelry (since he happened to be a silversmith) . . . which meant he automatically had something to sell. But Stoffer didn't stop there and you probably shouldn't either. He combined silver with other crafts (brought in on consignment) with head shop gear with a MOTHER dealership. "Diversification", the Captains of Industry would call it.

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