This is a lively, informative guide to starting and running a specialty shop - a small retail shop carrying a particular type of merchandise and with only a few employees (sometimes only the owner). Dorothy Finell covers more than 100 niche categories and gives specific examples of 37 successful shops in the US, UK, Australia, Italy, and France. She personally visited all 37 and gives advice from their owners based on her interviews. Shops include bakeries, gift shops, apparel, toys, china, linens, hats, dolls, candles, coffee, tea, books - even a papier mache shop specializing in masks (Venice, Italy).The examples were chosen because the author considers them fascinating, imaginative, creative shops with a remarkable ambience. In addition to the vignettes, the author provides practical information on key business needs, e.g., pre-planning, decor and display, finances, customer service, marketing, community relations. The appendices include lists of major trade and gift shows, e-commerce sites, and a resource guide to the 37 profiled shops. It also includes many photos.