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Christa10

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Well, it was yesterday, but I did my first market type event! I’ve been afraid of the entire process of transporting everything, creating a nice display, etc. so I have avoided them. But it was just a small church Christmas bazaar at my church so I felt comfortable being around familiar people for a first shot at this. I did really well considering everybody goes there to get a bargain, win some door prizes and eat the yummy luncheon of turkey salad and turkey soup that they make and serve. Lol. I learned a lot. I brought too much stuff. There’s no handicap access so it was a lot of lugging heavy boxes of soap and everything else up and down stairs, But I had a really nice time and I broke the ice. Here’s a picture. I couldn’t put my banner up because they didn’t allow anything on the walls and it’s a huge banner. Need to get a smaller one for the front of the table. I’m actually very proud of myself!
That looks so professional! I love the organization and display of all the products.
 

TheGecko

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Well, it was yesterday, but I did my first market type event! I’ve been afraid of the entire process of transporting everything, creating a nice display, etc. so I have avoided them. But it was just a small church Christmas bazaar at my church so I felt comfortable being around familiar people for a first shot at this. I did really well considering everybody goes there to get a bargain, win some door prizes and eat the yummy luncheon of turkey salad and turkey soup that they make and serve. Lol. I learned a lot. I brought too much stuff. There’s no handicap access so it was a lot of lugging heavy boxes of soap and everything else up and down stairs, But I had a really nice time and I broke the ice. Here’s a picture. I couldn’t put my banner up because they didn’t allow anything on the walls and it’s a huge banner. Need to get a smaller one for the front of the table. I’m actually very proud of myself!
Lovely display. Better to have too much, than have too little. Holiday craft fairs are a nice place to get your feet wet.

Lessons I have learned:

1. Get a cart/wagon. I bought THIS ONE along with a NET. It then went to Wal-Mart with the cart and some product and bought containers to fit inside and under the cart. I know this won't help with stairs, but I don't do stairs so it's not an issue for me.

2. If the place offers electricity for a small fee...take it. While it was great to have it so I could bring my pod maker and have hot beverages, I got it so I could have a light on my table. It really does draw people in.

3. More is better. I was not expecting to have an eight foot table this year and it affected my display set up. The longer you can keep someone at your table looking through everything, the better your odds of making a sale. Next year I will be better prepared with extra displays, additional decorations and an 8' table cloth.

4. Bags. I really do think that having a nice, brightly colored bag with your name on it or you can staple your business card to really does make a difference. I got two sales because someone had asked someone about their bag and sent them to my table.

5. Be available. Looking and walking around, I noticed that folks who were at their tables engaged with some kind crafting involving their hands, got a lot more traffic than folks who were reading or playing with their phones or heavily engaged with others in the booth/table. Now I can't exactly make soap, but I do knit so that is what I do. My sister brought a couple of pre-planned cards to assemble. Makes for a great conversation starter.

And this is just me, but I prefer to be behind my table as opposed to being in front or to the side. It makes it easier to at extra product and hides my 'mess'.
 

Johnez

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Lovely display. Better to have too much, than have too little. Holiday craft fairs are a nice place to get your feet wet.

Lessons I have learned:

1. Get a cart/wagon. I bought THIS ONE along with a NET. It then went to Wal-Mart with the cart and some product and bought containers to fit inside and under the cart. I know this won't help with stairs, but I don't do stairs so it's not an issue for me.

2. If the place offers electricity for a small fee...take it. While it was great to have it so I could bring my pod maker and have hot beverages, I got it so I could have a light on my table. It really does draw people in.

3. More is better. I was not expecting to have an eight foot table this year and it affected my display set up. The longer you can keep someone at your table looking through everything, the better your odds of making a sale. Next year I will be better prepared with extra displays, additional decorations and an 8' table cloth.

4. Bags. I really do think that having a nice, brightly colored bag with your name on it or you can staple your business card to really does make a difference. I got two sales because someone had asked someone about their bag and sent them to my table.

5. Be available. Looking and walking around, I noticed that folks who were at their tables engaged with some kind crafting involving their hands, got a lot more traffic than folks who were reading or playing with their phones or heavily engaged with others in the booth/table. Now I can't exactly make soap, but I do knit so that is what I do. My sister brought a couple of pre-planned cards to assemble. Makes for a great conversation starter.

And this is just me, but I prefer to be behind my table as opposed to being in front or to the side. It makes it easier to at extra product and hides my 'mess'.

This is all great stuff Gecko. I was thinking of what soapy crafty thing one could do while at the stand waiting for customers that might draw interest-maybe cutting, planing, or trimming the soap. Or packaging it.
 

TheGecko

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This is all great stuff Gecko. I was thinking of what soapy crafty thing one could do while at the stand waiting for customers that might draw interest-maybe cutting, planing, or trimming the soap. Or packaging it.
Problem with packaging you product at the table is that it makes you look like you're still setting up and thus not ready to make sales. This happened to me the first morning...people passing by my table while I finished boxing up some soap. Lesson learned.

I like the idea of cutting, planning or trimming the soap as it is part of the process and it allows you to kill two birds with one stone, but what happens if someone wants to buy what you are cutting, planning or trimming? Folks are 'funny' (not haha)...some might be fascinated with the 'curing' process...water evaporation and crystalline structure...others, well sadly, there are a lot of folks who don't understand what it takes to get stuff from the farm to the table. They think that cows are killed for milk and sheep for yarn...that instead of killing pigs, we should just buy sausage and ribs from the store. They are horrified that one uses Sodium Hydroxide...a CHEMICAL...to make soap. It's just a conversation that I don't want to get into...so I knit. Of course, I don't get a lot of knitting done, but that's okay.
 

mishmish

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I agree with the above. I will bring other busy work to do like folding brochures, restocking, or wiping labels clean. Which brings me to the other reason I don't cut, plane, or package soap outdoors or sell unwrapped soap: air-borne dust and grime from the parking lot and passing traffic, kids on rainy days who can't resist jumping in puddles and splashing, and (especially post-covid) people picking up and smelling items on the table. If they are wrapped/sealed, I know I've done my part in providing a hygienic product.
 

Johnez

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I agree with the above. I will bring other busy work to do like folding brochures, restocking, or wiping labels clean. Which brings me to the other reason I don't cut, plane, or package soap outdoors or sell unwrapped soap: air-borne dust and grime from the parking lot and passing traffic, kids on rainy days who can't resist jumping in puddles and splashing, and (especially post-covid) people picking up and smelling items on the table. If they are wrapped/sealed, I know I've done my part in providing a hygienic product.
Good points, outdoors is fraught with chaos.
 

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