When it comes to looking for the perfect group of consumers to market your product to, the Amish may not be the first demographic that comes to mind. After all, Amish communities aren’t exactly keen on the latest inventions, given that their communities shun everything from modern dress to electricity. But should their fondness of shunning modern luxuries mean they should be shunned as target buyers?
Not necessarily. After all, no matter how conservative the Amish may be, they do tend to pull in some pretty good money selling all those beautiful quilts and handcrafted furniture. What’s the point if they aren’t spending it somewhere, right?
Contrary to what some may believe, the Amish aren’t afraid to venture out of their communities and shop right along with the rest of us at non-Amish businesses. Here you’ll get a look at the kind of businesses that tend to enjoy their fair share of profit from Amish consumers.
Amish-friendly tool vendors
Ohio’s Buckeye Trade Show is a place where you’re likely to find as many buggies parked in the lot as automobiles. The show has become a draw for the Amish community, given several creative vendors who have found ways to take the electricity out of power tools. Given that their propensity for woodwork has made Amish furniture famous around the country, it makes sense that the show would be a goldmine for self-respecting Amish everywhere looking to restock their tool sheds. But how could a power tool possibly run without electricity? Two words: compressed air.
“It’s almost unlimited the tools you can convert to air,” one salesman told NPR. “Drills, impact wrenches, saws, table saws.”
Even some members of the Amish community got in on the action after realizing the marketing potential among their own people. One such man invented special skylights that funnel natural light through the roofs of workshops. This allows his fellow Amish workmen to get more light out of the workday without having to literally burn the midnight oil.
Horse supply shops and buggy makers
Hey, those famed buggies the Amish are always driving around in don’t just magically appear out of nowhere.
While starting up your own buggy shop may not make you a millionaire if you live in the middle of New York City, it might not be such a bad idea if you’re from certain parts of the midwest. Given that horses and buggies are still the only means of transportation many Amish people rely on, there’s a huge demand in their communities for nearby shops supplying everything from harnessing to carriages.
The perk of these sorts of businesses is that they can also market to non-Amish customers by selling saddlery and other types of equestrian supplies.
Though many Amish quilts are absolutely stunning, it’s not like the women sit around weaving all their own threads and fabrics out of thin air. If you ever get the sudden urge to get up shop as a fabric salesperson, then a relatively close distance to Amish country is a great place to do it.
Not only will you always have a steady supply of customers, but you might also get the chance to see your wares turned into beautiful finished products.
Salvage shops and flea markets
The Amish really dig a good bargain, and who can blame them? While Wal-Mart tends to draw a surprisingly large amount of Amish customers, so do smaller salvage stores.
Many Amish are pretty handy when it comes to repairs and don’t mind a good fixer upper, especially if they can get it for a great deal. Many also find the idea of saving something from going to waste in line with their beliefs and traditions.